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Māori vegans decolonise their diet

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A University of Canterbury doctoral scholar is researching kaimangatanga or kaupapa Māori veganism.

Kirsty Dunn from Te Aupouri and Te Rarawa, who holds a Ngata Centenary Doctoral Scholarship, says she hopes her work on plant-based kai and ethics will lead to a deeper understanding of the broader issues surrounding food sovereignty.

Her MA research studies considered representations of Western meat production and consumption in contemporary fiction and the portrayal of concerns about intensive animal agriculture.

She says there is a growing community of Māori discussing kaupapa Māori plant-based kai and ethics via social media sites, websites and podcasts.

Some marae including Tūrangawaewae in Ngaruawāhia are starting to offer vegetarian options.

Ms Dunn says tangata whenua perspectives regarding plant-based kai ethics, food sovereignty and decolonial diets provide an alternative to the debate on food in the Western context which can become polarised between the rationale supporting intensive animal agricultural practices and vegan ethics.

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