image courtesy:The Statesman

Taking a cue from reports that Germany’s environment minister had recently banned meat from being served at meetings and events, PETA India asked Modi to “lead” India in a similar direction. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said the move will help in curbing green house gas and tackle the issue of climate change.

PETA has called on PM Narendra Modi to “set a global example by ensuring that exclusively healthy, humane, and environmentally friendly vegan meals are served at all government functions.”

“I hope you will agree that India should also set a good example where environmental conservation is concerned by eliminating animal-derived foods from the menus of all government or government-sponsored meetings and functions,” the letter written by Nikunj Sharma, Lead – Public Policy, PETA said.

The letter notes that Germany’s ministry went meat-free because meat production is one of the leading contributors to climate change, which is causing people throughout India to suffer severe droughts and heatwaves.

Describing Prime Minster Modi as a role model for leading a compassionate, healthy, and environmentally friendly eating lifestyle, the organisation said, “It’s time for the entire Indian government to follow your lead and protect the environment by eliminating animal-derived foods from its meals.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is an American animal rights organization based in Norfolk,Virginia,and led by Ingrid Newkirk,its international president. A nonprofit corporation with 300 employees, it claims that it has 3 million members and supporters (5 million in total) and is the largest animal rights group in the world. Its slogan is “animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.”

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PETA India, based in Mumbai,launched in January 2000,focuses primarily on the areas in which the greatest numbers of animals suffer the most: in the food and leather industries, in laboratories and in the entertainment industry.

PETA India’s investigative work, public education efforts, research, animal rescues, legislative work, special events, celebrity involvement and national media coverage have resulted in countless improvements to the quality of life for animals and have saved countless animals’ lives.

While more than 194 million people in India are undernourished, 60 per cent of the world’s grain supply is used to feed farmed animals, as it takes 10 kilograms of grain to produce just 1 kilogram of meat, the body said.

According to the United Nations, a global shift towards a vegan lifestyle is vital in order to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty, and the worst effects of climate change.

According to satellite data from our space programme India’s 280 million cows and 200 million other ruminant animals such as goats and buffaloes transfer almost 12 million tonnes of methane – which traps 25 times as much heat as carbon dioxide does – into the atmosphere via flatulence every year.

In fact, a widely publicised report published by the Worldwatch Institute in 2009 estimated that 51 per cent of worldwide greenhouse-gas emissions may be attributable to agriculture, specifically to businesses that raise cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, camels, and pigs for food, PETA said.

“Animal welfare is also a growing concern because of today’s industrialised meat and dairy industries. “Citizens are concerned that many chickens’ throats are cut while they are still conscious, that fish typically suffocate or are cut open while they are still alive, that pigs are often stabbed in the heart as they scream in pain, and that calves are usually torn away from their mothers within hours of birth,” the body said.

It said that at slaughterhouses, animals are often killed in full view of one another and dismembered while they are still conscious while eating animals also wreaks havoc on human health and leads to increased risk of suffering from heart disease, strokes, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

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