BENGALURU: A lot of animal lovers across the city as well as vegetarians are planning to reach out to their friends, asking them to abstain from consuming any animal meat-based dishes this Sunday. International Meatless Day, observed every year on November 25, will fall on a Sunday this year, giving people the chance to take some time out from their work schedules to reach out and work towards a cause they believe in.
Celebrated on the birthday of Sadhu TL Vaswani, an animal rights activist, the Sadhu Vaswani Mission organises several campaigns to promote his vision of vegetarianism. Ahead of Sunday, a message, recorded by his successor, JP Vaswani, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and actor Aamir Khan last year, is being played at some theatres, urging people to observe the day.
“Generally, my friends laugh off my requests to give up eating meat permanently. But I ensure that I reach out to them every year and urge them to give up meat, for just one day, and most of them are happy to oblige. I find that most of my friends are kind to animals, but eating meat is something that plays a huge role in their lives, so they cannot think of giving it up,” said Deepika Agarwal, an engineering student.
The movement has, in the past, received the support of several state governments as well, and this year, Uttar Pradesh has already announced a ban on meat sale on November 25. However, no such orders have been issued for Bengaluru yet.
For others, the day is a chance to move beyond encouraging vegetarianism to convincing people to go vegan. Speaking to City Express, Nitya Ramakrishnan, a member of Whitefield Rising and a vegan, said, “It is worth wondering why we take children to farms and not slaughterhouses. Vegetarian Day must actually be Vegan Day.”
She added, “Common concerns like calcium and protein myths (vegans not getting enough of these nutrients) are busted quickly. In fact, numerous body builders, athletes and celebrities around the world, including our very own Virat Kohli, are vegan,” Nitya said, adding that for countries like India, where milk is popular, people needed to realise that milk and all milk products are one of the biggest contributors to the problem. “The torturing of cows is unspeakable as you have to forcibly impregnate cows to make them give birth so they lactate. Then you must take away the calf to take the milk. And if the calf is male, it is immediately sold to the veal industry. Finally, the mother cow is killed after five-six reproductive cycles.”