Monday , December 10 2018
Breaking News
Home / RAJASTHAN / UDAIPUR / The Vegan India Movement is born : Volunteers from Udaipur unite to raise consciousness about veganism at Fatahasagar Pal

The Vegan India Movement is born : Volunteers from Udaipur unite to raise consciousness about veganism at Fatahasagar Pal

Udaipur : Victor Hugo is quoted as saying “There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.” 2017 was a year that expanded our understanding of social justice, with global movements like Black Lives Matter and Me Too breaking new ground in acknowledging the struggles of people of colour and women, and setting new frameworks for the recognition of their rights. Another social justice movement that saw a worldwide surge was the animal rights movement, with governments taking steps towards banning certain forms of animal-based entertainment, more emphasis being laid on investing in alternatives to animal testing for academia and research purposes, prominent fashion houses pledging to eschew the use of animals for fur and leather, and a rapid increase in the number of people, including notable celebrities in India and around the world, adopting a vegan lifestyle.

Endeavouring to further build on these milestones in 2018, activists from around the country have come together for the inception of the Vegan India Movement – a PAN-India awareness campaign focusing on the ethical, environmental and health impacts of using animals for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation and other purposes. The inaugural event of the Vegan India Movement was conducted on January 21st in 38 cities across India by various grassroots animal rights groups through various non-violent and innovative methods of animal advocacy. Asked about what veganism means to him, an activist with Mumbai Animal Liberation League (MALL) had this to say. “A vegan is someone who treats all sentient beings with equal respect and right to exist, and therefore does not consume animals or their secretions, nor use animals for any kind of service or pleasure.”

In Udaipur, at Fatehasagar Pal the event comprised of an activity known as the “Earthlings Experience”, where volunteers activists from Udaipur and some from foreign countries sporting black uniforms  stood motionless in a straight line while holding signs and devices showing actual footage from inside Indian slaughterhouses, hatcheries and dairy farms, as well as the torture suffered by animals in the fashion, animal sports and animal testing industries, while other activists interacted with members of the public watching the videos, explaining the cruelty inherent to these industries and encouraging them to make kinder choices. Each year, an estimated 56 billion land animals and 90 billion marine animals are slaughtered just for food. Before they are killed, it is common for animals in the meat, egg and dairy industries to be fed an unnatural diet and be kept in cramped indoor places without access to proper hygiene or sunlight. Inhumane processes like forced impregnation, bodily mutilation and castration at birth are all standard practices in these industries. To explain how and why such wanton exploitation continues to be prevalent, another MALL activist offers “If you view animals as property, as something rather than someone, why would you bother treating them with dignity?”

While local animal rights groups in various cities have been conducting regular outreaches and awareness drives across their respective cities on a smaller scale through leafleting, video outreach, and organizing talks in schools and colleges, this marks the first time that these groups have collaborated to organize an event on such a large scale. “Even though we share our planet with millions of other species, each with their own interests and possessing the capacity to feel happiness, fear, pleasure and pain, we continue to act as if we are the only species that matter. Animals are here with us, not for us, and to say otherwise is a form of prejudice and oppression like any other, and cannot be justified”, says  Chintam Matta, one of the coordinators of the Vegan India Movement in Udaipur, adding that “Social norms are constantly evolving. There are many things that were considered acceptable in the past that we do not find acceptable today. As a society, we must be open to accepting new information and changing our behaviour for the greater good of all sentient beings.”

The rise in popularity of veganism comes in the wake of a re-evaluation the supposed nutritional benefits of consuming animal products, with numerous international nutritional organizations, including the American Dietetic Association having certified that vegan diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases, and the World Health Organization classifying processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen, alongside tobacco smoking and asbestos. Animal agriculture also has serious ramifications for the environment, in particular contributing to water scarcity, deforestation, species extinction and climate change, and the United Nations has recommended on more than one occasion that a global shift towards a vegan diet is necessary for a sustainable future.

The world is waking up to the idea that non-human animals are sentient beings that deserve at least one inalienable right – the right not to be exploited as property. In a future not too far away, we will observe a paradigm shift in terms of how we view and treat animals. In order for that to be achieved, it is important toeducate and sensitize the public to the plight of animals, and appeal to them to avoid contributing to animal exploitation through the choices that they make.

thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.” 2017 was a year that expanded our understanding of social justice, with global movements like Black Lives Matter and Me Too breaking new ground in acknowledging the struggles of people of colour and women, and setting new frameworks for the recognition of their rights. Another social justice movement that saw a worldwide surge was the animal rights movement, with governments taking steps towards banning certain forms of animal-based entertainment, more emphasis being laid on investing in alternatives to animal testing for academia and research purposes, prominent fashion houses pledging to eschew the use of animals for fur and leather, and a rapid increase in the number of people, including notable celebrities in India and around the world, adopting a vegan lifestyle.

Endeavouring to further build on these milestones in 2018, activists from around the country have come together for the inception of the Vegan India Movement – a PAN-India awareness campaign focusing on the ethical, environmental and health impacts of using animals for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation and other purposes. The inaugural event of the Vegan India Movement was conducted on January 21st in 38 cities across India by various grassroots animal rights groups through various non-violent and innovative methods of animal advocacy. Asked about what veganism means to him, an activist with Mumbai Animal Liberation League (MALL) had this to say. “A vegan is someone who treats all sentient beings with equal respect and right to exist, and therefore does not consume animals or their secretions, nor use animals for any kind of service or pleasure.”

In Udaipur, at Fatehasagar Pal the event comprised of an activity known as the “Earthlings Experience”, where volunteers activists from Udaipur and some from foreign countries sporting black uniforms  stood motionless in a straight line while holding signs and devices showing actual footage from inside Indian slaughterhouses, hatcheries and dairy farms, as well as the torture suffered by animals in the fashion, animal sports and animal testing industries, while other activists interacted with members of the public watching the videos, explaining the cruelty inherent to these industries and encouraging them to make kinder choices. Each year, an estimated 56 billion land animals and 90 billion marine animals are slaughtered just for food. Before they are killed, it is common for animals in the meat, egg and dairy industries to be fed an unnatural diet and be kept in cramped indoor places without access to proper hygiene or sunlight. Inhumane processes like forced impregnation, bodily mutilation and castration at birth are all standard practices in these industries. To explain how and why such wanton exploitation continues to be prevalent, another MALL activist offers “If you view animals as property, as something rather than someone, why would you bother treating them with dignity?”

While local animal rights groups in various cities have been conducting regular outreaches and awareness drives across their respective cities on a smaller scale through leafleting, video outreach, and organizing talks in schools and colleges, this marks the first time that these groups have collaborated to organize an event on such a large scale. “Even though we share our planet with millions of other species, each with their own interests and possessing the capacity to feel happiness, fear, pleasure and pain, we continue to act as if we are the only species that matter. Animals are here with us, not for us, and to say otherwise is a form of prejudice and oppression like any other, and cannot be justified”, says  Chintam Matta, one of the coordinators of the Vegan India Movement in Udaipur, adding that “Social norms are constantly evolving. There are many things that were considered acceptable in the past that we do not find acceptable today. As a society, we must be open to accepting new information and changing our behaviour for the greater good of all sentient beings.”

The rise in popularity of veganism comes in the wake of a re-evaluation the supposed nutritional benefits of consuming animal products, with numerous international nutritional organizations, including the American Dietetic Association having certified that vegan diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases, and the World Health Organization classifying processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen, alongside tobacco smoking and asbestos. Animal agriculture also has serious ramifications for the environment, in particular contributing to water scarcity, deforestation, species extinction and climate change, and the United Nations has recommended on more than one occasion that a global shift towards a vegan diet is necessary for a sustainable future.

The world is waking up to the idea that non-human animals are sentient beings that deserve at least one inalienable right – the right not to be exploited as property. In a future not too far away, we will observe a paradigm shift in terms of how we view and treat animals. In order for that to be achieved, it is important toeducate and sensitize the public to the plight of animals, and appeal to them to avoid contributing to animal exploitation through the choices that they make.

Loading...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*