PETA urges Rlyways for ‘Vegetarian Day’ plan

PETA urges Rlyways for Vegetarian Day planNEW DELHI: Animal rights body PETA India have urged the Railways to not only go ahead with its plan of observing Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary as a ‘Vegetarian Day’, but go a step further and offer only vegan food on October 2.

However, the Railway Ministry has kept its proposal of observing Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary as a ‘Vegetarian Day’, in “abeyance”.

PETA India, in its letter to the Railway Minister, said that choosing not to serve eggs, dairy products, or meat on trains on October 2, will truly be honoring and celebrating Gandhi’s unwavering dedication to ‘ahimsa’.

The Railway Ministry had instructed its zonal units to keep its recent proposal of observing Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary as a ‘Vegetarian Day’ in “abeyanceā€¯.

In a recent letter to the general managers of all zonal railways, the Railway Board had proposed that October 2 in 2018, 2019 and 2020 be marked as “Vegetarian Day” with no non-vegetarian food served in trains, stations and other premises of the Railways.

“I am writing on behalf of PETA India and our more than one million members and supporters to request that Indian Railways go ahead with its plan to honor the 150th anniversary of Gandhi Jayanti by not serving meat on trains on 2 October and that it go a step further by offering only vegan food (which is vegetarian food sans eggs and dairy products) that day,” the animal rights group said in its letter.

Another animal protection body Humane Society International India (HSI) has also asked the Railway Ministry to not only serve vegetarian food in trains but also exclude any animal derivative, and promote plant-based food at least once a week.

“Mahatma Gandhiji was committed to leading a life of compassion and ahimsa, which is why he wrote about leaving eggs and dairy products off our plates as a way to protect animals from violence. If he would have been alive today, he would most certainly be vegan,” the letter written by Manilal Valliyate, Chief Executive Officer PETA India, said.

In the letter, PETA India said that as the leader of the Indian independence movement and a pioneer of non-violence, Gandhi taught that being peaceful includes being kind to all animals.

PETA India said Gandhi read about the way cows were treated on dairy farms and was disgusted by the violence they experienced.

Referring to Gandhi’s autobiography, ‘The Story of My Experiments with Truth’, PETA India said India’s Father of the Nation wrote, “It is my firm conviction that man need take no milk at all, beyond the mother’s milk that he takes as a baby.

The animal rights group said that a day of vegan eating can only do the bodies good, as consuming animal milk and eggs “wreaks havoc” on human health, while plant-based foods are free of all the cholesterol and much of the saturated fat associated with poor health outcomes such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and cancer.

“Cardiovascular disease is India’s leading cause of death, with strokes in third place. The country also has more people with type 2 diabetes than any other nation, and our cancer rate is spiraling out of control,” it said. PTI

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