Cam Tova IMAGE

Kia ora, I’m Cam.

I’m part of the team that helped to create the 21 Day NZ Vegan Challenge and am currently a mentor as part of the team. This challenge was created for those wanting to try the vegan lifestyle for 21 days with support from experienced mentors and registered dieticians.

I was the biggest meat eater for 26 years of my life. Growing up with a Fijian dad and Chinese mother, they both enjoyed meat as part of their traditional dishes. Thankfully I have been able to veganise most of those dishes including my Chinese grandmother’s dishes!

On a random rainy day in October of 2016 I was scrolling through Netflix and decided to watch a documentary called Cowspiracy. It shocked me to learn of the huge negative impact that animal agriculture has on our environment. As someone, passionate about protecting our environment I decided to transition towards a plant based diet.

I did my research to make sure it could meet all our nutrient requirements and learnt it could. So I weaned myself off of animal products and at the start of 2017 went fully plant based.

Sadly the last connection I made was to the animals. I always considered myself an animal lover. But I never considered the animals that were on my plate before. I went vegan after watching a documentary called Earthlings in June 2017 that showed the standard practices of animal agriculture. I did a lot of research and could not find one reason for why we needed to consume animals.

I wish someone had told me from birth about what happens to animals before they get to our plates. So in my spare time I advocate for animals on the streets of Auckland at Make The Connection events to help raise awareness as I believe people have the right to know the processes behind animal agriculture. I also help out at sanctuaries when I can as a lot of these sanctuaries don’t get any sponsorship and many of them run off of donations and volunteers. 

In my spare time I also love to run and show that we can thrive on a whole foods plant based diet. I will be running my 2nd marathon in Oct 2021 and will represent Team Vegan loud and proud!

I will continue to speak up for the animals for as long as is required. The quote “If you are silent in times of injustice, you choose the side of the oppressor” is how I view the current unspoken of suffering of animals. Many people know now but are not willing to speak about it or engage in it for fear of how they will look or be perceived. For me, what the animals going through is much worse that what any human in NZ will ever have to go through and so I choose to speak for them as they have no voice.