Expo 2013_122


The Christchurch Vegan Expo proudly hosts a variety of interesting and informed speakers, talking on a range of topics around vegetarianism, including health and nutrition, animal welfare, and environmental issues. 




 11.00am – Making a difference, one meal at a time – Jennifer Riley (SAFE)
11.45am – The benefits of a whole food plant based diet – Dr Mathew Hobbs
12.30pm – Fun, creative animal rights activism – Jordan Wyatt (INVSOC)
1.15pm – Effective Altruism: Using evidence and analysis to do the most we can for animals – Catherine Low (Effective Altruism NZ)
2.00pm – Plant Based Fitness and Nutrition – Julia Rose Grenon-Doran (Plant Physique)

2.45pm – A vegan cooking journey – Aaron Brunet (NZ Masterchef winner)

Speaker Bios

Jennifer Riley is SAFE’s programme coordinator and creator of SAFE’s Eat Kind programme. She is passionate about creating a world where all animals everywhere are happy and free. Jennifer has over 10 years’ experience as a communications and government advisor. Prior to moving to New Zealand in 2015, Jennifer was the vice-chair of a volunteer-led charity in Canada, where she worked with volunteers across the city to save the lives of homeless and abandoned cats.

Mathew Hobbs is a local doctor who trained at Otago Medical school and also completed a degree in neuroscience. He currently works in general practice and specialises in chronic disease management. He has been researching the effect of diet and lifestyle on health and disease for the last eight years and works closely with Wellington lifestyle medicine specialist Dr Luke Wilson.

Jordan Wyatt runs the Invercargill Vegan Society (INVSOC), a creative and positive animal rights organisation from the nation’s (alleged) “vegan capital”! Focusing on interesting and opportunistic activism, his work has covered the gamut of soy milk giveaways through to entering a DeLorean into Invercargill’s slaughterhouse-sponsored Santa Parade. Winning best entry, the townsfolk were encouraged to “Brighten the Future for animals in need”.  In his spare time, Jordan soaks in the briny think-tank known as “A Vegan Future”.

Catherine Low is a science and ethics teacher from Christchurch, and is a spokesperson for Effective Altruism New Zealand. She also works for Students for High-Impact Charity, which brings practical ethics (including animal rights) to high school students around the world.

Aaron Brunet won Masterchef NZ in 2013 as an omnivore, released his first cookbook and then experienced a burnout, going largely under the radar for a couple of years. This began a personal enquiry into how he could live in our modern world in a way that made real sense to him, acknowledging the major issues of our times including climate change. He chose a whole-food plant-based lifestyle for its reduced impact on the environment, for the significant health benefits and to cause the least harm to fellow beings. Since late 2014 Aaron has written a column in Bite magazine, which became plant-based when he did in early 2015. Recently he has been running plant based cooking workshops, and has just started doing “House Calls” where he cooks with people in their homes and shares their real reactions. He hopes that by showing what everyday Kiwis think of plant-based food he can make it more relatable and inspire people to give it a go. As part of his environmental purpose, Aaron also has a part-time day job working with a community trust helping run the re-use shop at Auckland’s largest transfer station. This keeps his feet firmly on the ground (especially answering the “how did you end up here?!?” questions) and he finds the work very aligned with his food mission since both involve helping people transform their viewpoint on major issues.Expo 2013_065




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