Many activists advocate veganism

Many activists advocate veganism

A wall art promoting veganism. Activists say that it is a social justice moment.

Vegetarianism is common among Bengalureans. With October being ‘Vegetarian Awareness Month’, many are propagating the idea. 

Recently, members of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), held a demonstration against the slaughter of animals for consumption by dressing up as animals at the War Memorial on Brigade Road. They were trying to advocate the concept of vegetarianism.  

Shamala Raghu, a high school teacher, who hails from a Brahmin family has always followed a vegetarian diet. 

“Hailing from a conservative family, I was always told that eating meat is a sin. But when I was away from home, I got into the habit of eating meat and eventually, I could not stop my non-vegetarian cravings,” she shares.

It was a gory video of an animal being slaughtered that brought her back to follow a vegetarian diet. “I quit consuming meat overnight. Now, my friends give me the evil eye when I politely decline the toiled-over mutton biryani,” she adds.

Veganism is another practice where followers don’t consume dairy products, even honey; basically products derived from animals.

Richa Thomas, a tech recruiter, has been a vegan since two-and-half years. “Veganism is not a diet choice but a social justice movement. It recognises animals as sentient beings and goes against animals being treated as commodities, be it for meat, dairy products, experimentation, clothing or entertainment,” she says.

While many say that the lifestyle is not easy, vegans vouch that it is not a big challenge.

“It’s not too hard being a vegan in Bengaluru. There are many restaurants like Carrots, Jumping Beans and food delivery services like Vegan Heat which make it easy for us,” adds Richa. 

V H Ramasubramanian, vegan and animal rights activist, strongly advocates the vegetarian philosophy. 

“People consume meat as they are rich in nutrients. Where do animals get their nutrients from? Animals feed on plants. So, if we can draw our nutrients directly from the main source, why destroy a family in the process?,” he questions.

Commenting on the issue of artificial insemination in cows, he says, “Rape in human terms gets a fancy name, ‘artificial insemination’, in the animal world. This is how selfish and mean humans have become.”

Dhivakar Naemana Sathyamurthy, Business Development Manager at GoodMylk, turned a vegan the day he realised what happens in the dairy industry.  “I turned vegan the day I realised what happens in the four walls of a dairy industry. The whole idea of consuming dairy products is just a social conditioning we are subjected to. Cow’s milk has all the nutrients and minerals necessary for the calf and not us,” he opines. 

Health experts in the city vouch that it is not difficult to have a balanced diet while being a vegetarian.  

Vasundhara Agrawal, a nutritionist, says, “Most of the essential nutrients can be met with a vegetarian diet. If somebody wants to be a vegetarian, there is nothing they will be missing on. Green leafy vegetables, pulses, milk and milk products are great substitutes for everything you need,” she says.  

“Being or not being a vegetarian is subjective. But, having a balanced diet with nutrients from all food groups is necessary,” she adds.


How to strike the right balance?

- 100 gms of meat: 1 cup of cooked dal, 1/2 a cup of sprouts, 1/2 a cup of curd and 45-50 gm of paneer.
- Milk and milk products along with the right intake of pulses, vegetables and proper amounts of fat will surely make it up to a balanced healthy vegetarian diet.
- Vegans can consume almond milk or soya milk. A generous intake of fruits and nuts should be added.