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  • Dipannita Launches ExtraVEGANza

    Written by Erika-G

    Amongst the jewellery, art, electronics and high-end cars, PETA was front and centre at The Indian Luxury Expo (TILE). which took place in Mumbai from April 26 to 28. Supermodel and actor Dipannita Sharma, who starred in Jodi Breakers and Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, launched the initiative. At TILE, PETA exhibited elegant animal-friendly fashions, chic synthetic-leather handbags, stylish leather-free shoes, trendy cosmetics that weren't tested on animals, delectable dairy-free chocolates and gourmet mock meats. PETA featured the products of more than a dozen progressive companies and designers, including Anita Dongre, Anupama Dayal, Rina Shah, The Body Shop and Baggit. The theme of PETA's newest initiative? "ExtraVEGANza – Be Classy Without Cruelty."

    Many cows, buffaloes and other animals used for meat and leather are dismembered and skinned while they are still conscious, and runoff from leather tanneries has been linked to cancer and respiratory infections. Snakes are often nailed to trees and skinned alive for their skin. More than 1,000 companies around the world have banned all animal tests, but many others still choose to subject animals to painful tests in which substances are smeared on their skin, sprayed in their faces or forced down their throats in notoriously unreliable tests. 

    Thanks to cruelty-free cosmetics and stylish vegan clothing, shoes, bags and foods readily available just about anywhere that one shops, going vegan and enjoying the finer things in life can go hand-in-hand. Take PETA's pledge to go leather-free and treat yourself to the very best without mistreating animals.

    The following is a list of designers and companies whose vegan products were showcased at the PETA stall:

    • Amore
    • Anita Dongre
    • Anupama Dayal
    • Aurum. Co Shoes
    • Baggit
    • C4 Chocolates
    • Everbest Mock Meat
    • Future Skin
    • Krya
    • Omved
    • Princesse K
    • Rina Shah
    • Senso Vegetarian Shoes
    • The Body Shop
    • Trumount Cosmeceuticals
    • V-design
    • Verushka
  • CBSE Includes Humane Education in Curriculum

    Written by PETA

    Children across India will soon be learning kindness to animals as part of their school curriculum. Following meetings with PETA India, Dr Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development, has urged the National Council of Educational Research and Training to examine incorporating our humane-education programme, Compassionate Citizen, in its textbooks, while Vineet Joshi, Chair of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), has issued a notification to CBSE schools to use Compassionate Citizen as part of the official school curricula.

    The notification, issued to more than 10,000 CBSE-affiliated schools around the country, explains how the programme can be easily included in the school curricula via the languages, science, social studies, environmental and values education subjects. Compassionate Citizen is also perfect for use in eco and animal rights clubs in schools.

    Compassionate Citizen has been successfully used in nearly 15,000 private and government schools, reaching 3 million children between the ages of 8 and 12 years, and with the board's help, even more children will learn how to respect animals and peacefully coexist with them.

    Most children have a natural affection for animals, but they become desensitised to cruelty and learn to accept "the way things are". Receiving humane education early on can help children retain the compassion that they feel for animals and turn it into action.

    And there's more good news: Dr RM Kharb, Chair of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), has shown his support by writing to Gerry Arathoon, Chair of the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, asking for the inclusion of PETA's school programme in their official school curricula.

    Compassionate Citizen resource material can be downloaded from the CBSE and AWBI websites. A full copy of the Compassionate Citizen pack with a video can be ordered for free by sending a request to PujaM@petaindia.org.

  • John Abraham Tells MoEF: Ban Animal Circuses

    Written by Erika-G

    He pushed for enforcement of the ban on jallikattu and spoke out against Mumbai’s “dancing” monkeys. Now, John Abraham is urging the Ministry of Environment and Forests to help animals who are abused in India’s circuses. As a Bollywood actor, producer, and model, John chooses to perform – but the longtime PETA India supporter is quick to point out that animals who are held captive and used for human entertainment do not

    John is appealing to Jayanthi Natarajan, the Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests, and is asking her to ban animal acts in circuses. And he didn’t mince words in describing the abuse that the animals suffer: “Unlike human performers, animals are forced to entertain through the use of fear, pain or hunger. Whips, clubs, hooks and other weapons are often used to inflict pain on elephants and other animals in order to force them to perform confusing tricks. Dogs are crammed into dirty cages, horses are kept tethered by short ropes, elephants are chained by their legs and regularly beaten in order to keep them docile, and birds' wings are clipped, denying them flight. When the show is over, the animals are forced back into their cages or are shackled or tied, loaded onto lorries and taken to the next town. They never get a break from this endless cycle of abuse.”

    It is already illegal for circuses to use bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers, lions, and bulls in their acts. But as John points out, “no animal – no matter the species – wants to be chained, caged, hit or psychologically abused.”

    Join John in speaking out against the cruelty of the circus by writing a letter to the editor of your newspaper, organizing a demonstration when the circus is in your area, and requesting that local officials cancel performances. Also, send an e-mail to the Ministry now.

  • Illegal 'Pet' Show Cancelled

    Written by Erika-G

    After receiving inquiries from PETA India and People For Animals (PFA), the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), a statutory body operating under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, sent an advisory to Kherwadi Police Station in Mumbai instructing the police to stop a three-day exotic-"pet" show featuring birds and other animals – organized by Babloo Aziz, a former Congress corporator, and scheduled to begin on 19 April – from taking place.

    In the advisory, AWBI Vice Chair S Chinny Krishna wrote, "[P]lease note that prior permission of the Animal Welfare Board of India … is required for holding such an exhibition/show. The Animal Welfare Board of India has neither been approached for this permission which is mandatory under the Performing Animals Rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 59 of 1960, nor have we given any sort of permission to hold this show. May we request you to please see that this show is not allowed to be held".

    On 16 April 2013, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Zone 8, Mr Namdeo Chavan, called Aziz and confirmed that the show will not be held. PETA, PFA and Bombay SPCA officials also met with the DCP.

    Bollywood celebrities Emraan Hashmi and Neha Dhupia, whose names appeared in the media as supporters of the event, have confirmed to PETA that they did not support it and were not even aware of it. Dhupia even took to Twitter and re-tweeted PETA's message confirming that she is not attending the show. Mahima Choudhry's and Sunil Shetty's names appeared on a billboard promoting the event, but when contacted by PETA, Choudhry was baffled because she did not even know of the event, and Shetty's office confirmed that he has already communicated to the concerned party that he cannot attend the event so long as adequate permissions are not in place.

    You can help animals! Never patronise places that encourage the buying and selling of animals and take this pledge to adopt, not buy, an animal if you have the time, resources and commitment to give a dog or cat a loving home: http://action.petaindia.com/ea-campaign/clientcampaign.do?ea.client.id=111&ea.campaign.id=6332.

  • Arjun Rampal Helps Horses

    Written by PETA

    When he's not acting, producing and modelling, Arjun Rampal makes time to help animals, including joining PETA in a successful call for relief for bullocks, who were once forced to haul kerosene carts in Mumbai. Now, Arjun is appealing to the Municipal Commissioner of Mumbai to ban horse-drawn carriages in the city, calling the industry "a perpetual cycle of abuse".

    Horses in Mumbai are worked to exhaustion, and many collapse. When they are too tired and sick to continue, they are whipped. Horses develop crippling lameness and chronic illnesses, for which they rarely receive veterinary care. The ramshackle stables in which they are housed are unlicensed and filthy and offer little protection from the elements or biting insects. As Arjun says, "The manner in which these magnificent animals are treated is a crime". 

    Please ask Mumbai's Municipal Commissioner to ban horse-drawn carriages.

  • Festival Stops Exploiting Elephants!

    Written by PETA

    Bowing to pressure from PETA and after hearing from the statutory body Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI), Jaipur's Elephant Festival has been changed so that elephants are not used. This means that elephants will not be forced to give rides or participate in tug-of-war and polo matches. 

    Elephants used in public displays are controlled through the use of ankuses – heavy batons with a sharp hook on the end – or wooden sticks. Elephants comply because they know they will be hit if they don't. When not performing, they spend most of their lives chained by two or more legs, barely able to take a step in any direction.

    In response to a PETA complaint, the AWBI weighed in on the matter, agreeing that the event was not only illegal (since organisers failed to apply for or receive the proper approval) but also not in the best interests of the elephants.

    The festival will still offer fun events like races, a turban tying competition, human tug-of-war, fireworks and great music. And it will be all the more entertaining since dispirited, depressed elephants won't be forced to participate.

    If a local event in your area exploits elephants or other animals, speak out! Even "traditions" can and do change for the better. 

  • This April Fools' Day, Trick Your Taste Buds

    Written by Erika-G

    While almost all of us have fallen victim to a good-natured April Fools' prank at one time or another, this year PETA has an idea for a "trick" that's really a "treat": fool your family (or yourself) with delicious mock meat.

    Unlike conventional meat, vegan meat is high in healthy plant protein and fibre, low in saturated fat and free of cholesterol. Simply substitute versatile vegan meat in any recipe that calls for animal flesh. With its fooled-you flavour, you'll never know the difference!

    Here are two recipes to try:

    Tease Your Taste Buds Thai Red 'Chicken'


    2 tsp olive oil

    500 g mock chicken pieces

    2 Tbsp red Thai curry paste

    1 cup zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced

    1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips

    1/2 cup carrots, sliced

    1 onion, diced

    1 Tbsp cornstarch

    1 can light coconut milk

    Cilantro, chopped

    • Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the mock chicken pieces and sauté for 10 minutes.
    • Add the curry paste, zucchini, bell pepper, carrot and onion. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes more.
    • Dissolve the cornstarch in the coconut milk. Add this mixture to the pan, bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 2 minutes.
    • Stir in the cilantro and serve immediately.

    Makes 4 servings

    This recipe was adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/thai-red-chicken-curry/. 

    Better-Than-Chicken Kolhapuri

    2 Tbsp chilli powder

    2 Tbsp turmeric powder

    2 Tbsp ginger paste

    2 Tbsp garlic paste

    10 small pieces mock chicken

    1 Tbsp cumin seeds

    1 tsp fenugreek seeds

    3 Tbsp coriander seeds

    2 tsp white poppy seeds

    1 tsp sesame seeds

    1/2 cup desiccated coconut

    5 cloves

    5 green cardamom pods

    5 black peppercorns

    5 cinnamon sticks

    1 cup onions, chopped and fried

    Oil, for sautéing

    1 pinch asafoetida

    6 whole red chillies, fried

    1 tomato, diced

    1 1/2 cups water

    Juice 3 lemons

    Coriander leaves, for garnish

    • Combine the chilli powder, turmeric powder and ginger and garlic pastes. Marinate the mock chicken in this mixture for 15 to 20 minutes.
    • Roast the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, white poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coconut, cloves, cardamom pods, black pepper and cinnamon.
    • Place the fried onions and the roasted spices in a blender or food processor. Blend with a little water to make a smooth paste.
    • Heat a little cooking oil in a sauté pan. Add the asafoetida, whole red chillies and tomato and sauté lightly. Add the onion mixture and continue cooking.
    • Add the marinated mock chicken and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add 11/2 cups of water and cook over low heat until the mock chicken is heated through. Add the lemon juice and stir well.
    • Spoon onto a serving platter, garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately.

    Makes 4 servings

    This recipe was adapted from http://cooks.ndtv.com/recipe/show/chicken-kolhapuri-176180.

    Now that you see how easy it is to fool even the most diehard meat-eater, why not do it every day – by going vegan and dishing up healthy, animal-friendly delights for your family members and friends? To help you get started, we've got vegan recipes galore on our website, or order our free vegetarian/vegan starter kit by writing to Info@petaindia.org

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