An Aukland-based M\u0101ori couple is encouraging other native New Zealanders to give veganism a go this World Vegan Day. According to\u00a0M\u0101ori Television,\u00a0Chris Huriwai and Sam LaHood\u00a0are the passionate animal rights activists\u00a0taking to the streets to promote a message of compassion. The couple, both\u00a0world champion unicyclists,\u00a0are committed to speaking out about animal welfare to spark\u00a0curiosity in veganism, and because,\u00a0"if you believe in something that\u2019s worth fighting for then you should fight for it no matter what,"\u00a0Huriwai says in a film about the couple. Huriwai and LaHood partake in street activism with Anonymous for the Voiceless,\u00a0a group which displays graphic images of animal industry practices - something Huriwai believes is key to engaging the public. His own beliefs and commitment to a cruelty-free lifestyle stem from personal experiences of witnessing animals being taken to slaughter. "I grew up rural; my friends were the animals that I looked after,"\u00a0he explains. "When I witnessed animals being killed on my farm, it was a big wake up call for me." LaHood likewise went vegan after seeing footage of violence against animals. "I didn\u2019t understand how the issues could be so bad and that\u2019s the day that I went vegan," she says. Huriwai points to the cognitive dissonance that many people experience, caring for some animals as family members and protecting them while paying for other animals to be slaughtered. "Humans are inherently kind and compassionate beings. We all love animals but we are taught to love some and eat others,"\u00a0he says. The animal welfare advocate is keen to pass this understanding to members of the general public, including the couple's fellow\u00a0M\u0101ori people. The\u00a0M\u0101ori\u00a0are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand, and are the second-largest ethnic group in New Zealand. A traditional M\u0101ori diet centers around birds and fish, including eel caught from freshwater streams, shellfish, and kina (sea eggs) supplemented by wild herbs and roots. Despite this cultural backstory,\u00a0Huriwai hopes that more\u00a0M\u0101ori people will consider dropping animal products this World Vegan Day.\u00a0"Veganism and M\u0101ori go hand in hand because they're both about respecting life and sustainability,"\u00a0he explains. Earlier this year a\u00a0traditional M\u0101ori meeting ground announced that it was shifting to a plant-based diet for the health of the community. Glenda Raumati, kitchen head and manager of a local\u00a0health\u00a0clinic, is the brain behind the change.\u00a0\u201cWe\u2019re trying to change the way our people eat," said Glenda Raumati, who spearheaded the shift, "you can never eat too many vegetables.\u201d\u00a0 Image credit:\u00a0M\u0101ori Television Become a\u00a0CLUBKINDLY\u00a0member today!