Veganism is popularly perceived by dietary parameters – a choice that involves excluding all animals and animal derived foods from your diet and depending solely upon plant based food. When you consider the ethic behind it, you will find that in essence, veganism involves non-violence and compassion to all living beings. Veganism is a way of life that excludes, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to animals for food, clothing and any other purpose.
“Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to a man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not to die.” The Dalai Lama
People choose to be vegan for different reasons. Some choose it for health, some for compassion and others for the sake of fashion. Whatever the reason, Veganism is certainly the way to go ahead. Not only will it save you from the health hazards of an animal based diet, it will also help you be a better more considerate human. As you widen the scope of your understanding and compassion you will find that adopting the vegan way of life, one person at a time can go a long way in benefitting the longevity of Earth.
The environmental degradation caused in sustaining the dairy and meat industry is a concern that should not and cannot be ignored. In the rising global population, the per capita meat consumption has more than doubled. That in turn escalates the demand for water, land, feed, fertilizer, fuel, waste disposal capacity, and most of the other limited resources of the planet. A prime example of environmental damage would be that livestock rearing is claimed to produce as much as 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The water consumption per kg of meat in livestock raising can be up to 200 times more than that for one kg of grain.
Most vegan thinkers and analysts believe that veganism is the only effective option to save the planet from the meat-based diet’s effects on our planet which include global warming, depletion of resources, extinction of species, deforestation and so on. Clearly, vegan life is not just a question of morals, nonviolence or nutrition anymore. It is a question of survival of the human species.
Veganism in India
In India, veganism is still in its nascent stages. Though vegetarian diet is diet of choice for many Indians, our love of dairy products is insatiable. Not only do we consume cottage cheese (the famed paneer), curds and milk based sweets on a daily basis, ghee and milk are also an integral part of many religious rituals. In fact, it can be said that most Indians are quite attached to the idea of having milk and milk products as part of their lives. To make us let go of these, is an enormous task to say the least.
It was different, when ages ago we treated domestic animals with great reverence and took care of them as part of the family. With the advent of modern urban and industrial cultures, the proportion of self-contained communities has diminished to a bare minimum.
A step in the right direction: Unived
While a majority of Indians continue to thrive on a lacto- vegetarian diet, Unived takes veganism to the next level. We are the only Indian healthcare company to be registered by the Vegan Society – UK. The healing power of nature is the premise of our work. With our vegan, herbal alternatives for healthy life we are set to bring new trends in healthcare.
World Earth Day 2014.
David Adam, ‘Amazon rainforests pay the price as demand for beef soars’ , The Guardian, 21 May, 2009.