Vegan café owner, Morgan Redfern-Hardisty changed his menu to exclusively plant-based products in a bid to reduce his environmental impact and now serves products such as oat milk in his coffees. Since the change in menu, business for the café increased by 25 percent and no complaints were received. Recently the café owner raised controversy as he revealed the Mangawhai Activity Zone (MAZ) Charitable Trusts that owns the land insisted his café, Cool Beans Café, provide dairy options. Redfern-Hardisty generated around 14,000 signatures in support of his plant-based switch but will ultimately close his business as he refuses to decide between taste and suffering. He also raised questions behind the motives for the dairy ultimatum.
“Mangawhai’s surrounded by dairy farms so there’s heaps of suspicion around that. You’d have to look into each member of the trust to find out their interest in dairy. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them had worked with dairy or ice cream or something. [Dairy] is New Zealand’s backbone, and it’s a sensitive, challenging time for the country, looking like dairy’s on the decline,” said Redfern-Hardisty.
To take his protest against the use of dairy in his café and the cruelty the industry subjects its livestock to further, Redfern-Hardisty plans to walk the length of New Zealand along the Te Araroa trail barefoot. He calls it “the barefoot walk for those who can’t talk” and aims to raise funds through this to fight against animal cruelty.