HYDERABAD: The Global Agricultural Information Network report, Diary and Products Annual between January to December 2015 states that India’s fluid milk production is projected to increase by 4.8 per cent to 154 million metric tons(mmt).
This implies that so many cows are forced in a body-breaking cycle of pregnancy, birthing and milking throughout their life. They are either artificially inseminated or forced to mate with a common bull. This is opposed to their gestation period of a little over nine months. Once they conceive and give birth to a calf, they are put through the grind immediately, leaving them no time to heal. To meet the requirement of 154 mmt, they are plainly tortured.
This is only milk production. India is also one among the top countries to export beef, cow leather and producers of eggs.
Fighting to relieve animals from this misery and against speciesism, a term used by animal rights advocates who argue that the rights of all species need to be identified, people from seven different cities - Hyderabad, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Jammu, Mumbai and Pune - conducted a synchronised event on March 20, Sunday. Around 30 people from India Against Speciesism gathered at Dharna Chowk, opposite Indira Park.
The event was to urge people to join the global movement while drawing similarities between speciesism and other social discrimination like sexism.
“From unequal opportunities to domestic violence to sexual abuse, women have been victims of sexist, male-dominated mind set. Another set of victims and the most defenseless of all, are animals and that is what to we want to bring to light,” informs Pulkit Parikh, a software engineer, who along with Sowmya V, a business law professional, organised the event in the city. Pulkit became a vegan almost five years ago, along with his wife, Sejal Parikh. She carried a son after turning vegan and the couple vouches for veganism along with the growing vegan population in the city. There are healthy, nutritional alternatives to meat and even diary products, informs Pulkit.
“Besides not hurting defenseless animals for food, clothing, entertainment etc, being vegan also benefits one’s health and environment immensely. There are plant-based foods that provide the calcium and protein a human body needs. There is also compelling evidence that cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, blood pressure fluctuations, asthma, bone weakness and obesity can all be prevented and even reversed through a vegan lifestyle,” shares Pulkit.
Preethi Raghav, an entrepreneur and one among the 30 people who believes in the cause of veganism, says, “Imagine being born just to be someone’s lifelong slave, or to be tortured and killed for their avoidable wants. That’s the story of the tens of billions of land and marine animals that we exploit for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation, labour, etc. Had these victims been humans, we would have called this the worst genocide. Moreover, unlike atrocities perpetrated by vicious dictators, this one is being powered by well-meaning individuals like you and me!”