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  • Celebrate Baisakhi – Vegan-Style!

    Written by PETA

    Happy Baisakhi! 

    Here are some recipes for traditional dishes to help you celebrate – vegan-style. 

    Makki Ki Roti 

    Adapted from http://www.archanaskitchen.com/indian-recipes/indian-breads/1025-makki-ki-roti-a-spicy-corn-meal-flat-bread

    1 1/2 cups makki ka atta (cornmeal)

    1/4 cup whole-wheat flour

    1 green chilli, chopped

    1 tsp grated ginger

    Salt, to taste

    Cooking oil

    • Combine all the ingredients except the oil in a mixing bowl. Add a little water and knead into a soft dough. Drizzle with a little oil and knead for a few more minutes until the dough is smooth.
    • Divide the dough into 10 portions (about the size of a lemon) and cover with a wet muslin cloth. Set aside.
    • Preheat an iron skillet. Put a wet muslin cloth on your working surface. Wet the palms of your hands and place a dough portion on the wet cloth. Pat with your fingers or use a rolling pin to make a flat circle, approximately 3 inches in diameter.
    • Use the muslin cloth to place the rolled-out dough onto the preheated skillet. Cook the roti on medium heat, flipping to cook both sides.
    • Once you notice lighter brown spots, smear with a teaspoonful of oil and cook for a few more minutes until lightly crisp.

    Sarso Ka Saag

    Adapted from http://www.archanaskitchen.com/indian-recipes/main-course-vegetable-gravy-recipes/1515-sarson-ka-saag-a-north-indian-recipe-of-mustard-leaves 

    500 g fresh mustard leaves, washed and roughly chopped

    250 g fresh spinach leaves, washed and roughly chopped

    250 g fresh bathua leaves, washed and roughly chopped (optional)

    Salt, to taste

    1 tsp cooking oil

    1 2-in piece ginger, grated

    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

    1 large onion, thinly sliced

    3 green chillis, cut into halves

    1/2 tsp turmeric powder

    1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

    1 tsp cumin powder

    • Steam all the leaves with a little salt until soft but still green. Allow to cool. Pureé or mash with a masher, depending on how you like the consistency.
    • Heat the oil in a thick pan. Add the ginger, garlic, onion and green chillies. Sauté on low heat until the onions are completely tender (you can cover the pan halfway to create steam, which consumes less oil).
    • Stir in the greens. Add the turmeric, cinnamon and cumin powder for an extra boost of flavour.
    • Turn the heat to high and cook for a couple of minutes so that the greens absorb the spice and onion flavours. Transfer the sarson ka saag to a serving dish and enjoy with your guilt-free makki ki roti! 

    Not only will your body feel great without all the ghee, your conscience will also, as vegans save the lives of many animals per year! And why only for Baisakhi? You can pledge to eat vegan every day.

  • Cruelty to Jaipur Elephants Used for Tourism

    Written by PETA

    The extensive inspection of elephants in Jaipur conducted by a team including experienced veterinarians and Honorary Animal Welfare Officers from PETA India, Animal Rahat, Wildlife SOS and the Centre for Studies on Elephants at the College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Kerala showed rampant and widespread abuse of captive elephants used for elephant rides and other tourist activities in Jaipur, in violation of Indian animal-protection laws.

    After learning about the findings, the Animal Welfare Board of India decided not to permit the use of elephants for the annual Elephant Festival, and the event was called off this year.

    PETA is now calling on the Rajasthan state government to stop the use of elephants for any purpose, including tourism and ceremonies, and instead to set up an elephant sanctuary with a no-breeding policy under the chain-free protected-contact system of management for rescued elephants. PETA is also calling on the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) to look into the legality of Hathigaon, where the elephants are housed, and urges all tourists to stop patronising elephant rides and other uses of captive elephants.

    The findings of the inspection included the following issues:

    Injured and unfit elephants, including blind ones, were forced to work

    This elephant, who was blind in one eye, possibly because of corneal opacity, was being forced to work.

    Iron ankuses, which are prohibited by the Rajasthan High Court's order, were used

    These eight iron ankuses were seized.

    Chains or hobbles with spikes or sharp edges were used to restrain the elephants

    Spiked hobble chains were found tied around the front legs of this elephant. 

     Elephants were continuously tethered or chained by more than one foot

    Severe scars from tethering wounds on the hind legs of an elephant indicated continuous tethering and chaining.

    Elephants' ears had been mutilated

    This elephant had several holes punched in his ear from which to hang ornamental accessories

    Elephants had serious foot ailments

    This elephant had abnormally overgrown toenails with cracks, which is a clear indication of a complete lack of care and severe neglect. 

    Stereotypic behaviour, such as constant swaying, head-bobbing, etc – the result of severe frustration – indicated serious mental deterioration

    This elephant expressed stereotypic stress behaviour, including weaving, swaying and head-bobbing. She also had holes drilled in her tushes.

    Elephants' tusks and tushes had been cut or had had holes drilled into them without permission from the state wildlife department, which is an apparent violation of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

    This elephant had multiple holes drilled into her tushes.

     The rooms for all 51 elephants fell well short of the 1.2 acres of land per elephant required by the CZA's guidelines

    This elephant stood in a restrictive shed.

     You can help. Pledge never to patronise elephant rides or other uses of captive elephants.

  • HC Orders Sunder's Release to a Sanctuary

    Written by PETA

    Today, in a landmark judgement, the Honourable Bombay High Court ruled in favour of PETA India by upholding the implementation of the order dated 21 August 2012 that had been passed by the Joint Secretary (Forests), Government of Maharashtra to release the well-known and much-abused young elephant Sunder to a sanctuary. 


    More than 2.2 lakh people from around the globe wrote to authorities seeking Sunder's release through action alerts on PETA affiliates' websites. Celebrities such as Paul McCartney, Amitabh Bachchan, Madhuri Dixit, Pamela Anderson, Arjun Rampal, R Madhavan, Gulshan Grover and many others took to Twitter or helped in other ways with the campaign for his release.

    The court allowed the writ petition filed by PETA and dismissed the appeal filed by the Member of Legislative Assembly Vinay Kore, who had given Sunder as a "gift" to the Jyotiba temple in Kolhapur. The court also refused to stay its order, even though the senior counsel representing Kore requested as much. PETA was represented in the matter by Senior Counsel Shiraz Rustomjee and Counsel Rohan Rajadhyaksha, who were instructed by K Ashar & Co. Advocates & Solicitors, which was on record for PETA. Sunder is now slated to be transferred to the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre (WRRC) in Bangalore.

    The Jyotiba temple came into possession of Sunder in 2007, but after constant chaining and beatings came to light, Maharashtra Minister of Forests Dr Patangrao Kadam and the Project Elephant division of the Ministry of Environment and Forests issued orders for Sunder's release to a sanctuary on 21 August 2012 and 9 November 2012, respectively. However, those orders were never carried out, and Sunder was then spirited away at the behest of Kore and hidden in an old poultry shed, where he remained in chains. In December 2013, PETA obtained video footage showing that his mahout was violently beating him, and veterinarians and elephant experts who examined Sunder found him scarred, wounded and chained so tightly that he couldn't lie down.

    PETA India is now calling on Maharashtra Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Sarjan Bhagat to implement the court's order quickly, before Sunder can be harmed again.

    The campaign for his release spanned 21 months, as people in India and around the world worked to save him from his abusers. PETA thanks everyone who sent letters to authorities calling for his release and who helped with the campaign in other ways. PETA will keep working until Sunder is safe and happy in his new home. 

  • Baby 'Smokes' Cigar in New PETA Ad

    Written by PETA

    In honour of World Health Day (7 April), PETA's cigar-smoking toddler has something to say!


    The ad, which is featured on a new billboard in Amritsar, Punjab, was created to remind people that just as we should put down the cigarettes, we should also put down the chicken drumsticks and pick up heart-healthy vegan foods instead.

    The rates of heart disease, cancer and diabetes – all linked to a bad diet – have been soaring in recent years, and Punjab has been leading the charge. Its cancer cases exceed the national average. Experts say heart disease is even increasing among our youth, especially those from Punjab. A high prevalence of diabetes has also been found in the state.

    Parents would never dream of giving their children cigarettes, but they shouldn't give them meat, milk or eggs, either. The consumption of animal products has been directly linked to increased rates of cancer, heart disease and diabetes, just like smoking. The risk of developing heart disease is 50 per cent higher among meat-eaters, and adopting a meat-free diet has been shown to reverse heart disease and prevent heart attacks. Scientists have also found that vegetarians have only 40 per cent of the cancer rate of meat-eaters!

    Dangerous to our health, eating meat is also a killer of the environment and animals. Raising animals for food is a leading cause of water pollution and land degradation, and a recent UN report concluded that a global shift towards a plant-based diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change. And animals killed for food suffer terribly.

    So how about kicking that unhealthy and inhumane meat habit? Pledge to go vegan for World Health Day!

     

     

     

     

  • PICS: Vijender Singh's Ad Launch at WIFW

    Written by PETA

    Acclaimed Indian boxer Vijender Singh and Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) Autumn/Winter 2014 teamed up with PETA India to knock out cruelty to animals in circuses.

    The initiative was part of an ongoing Fashion for Freedom joint initiative between PETA and the WIFW.

    "Animals cherish their freedom every bit as much as we do, but circuses deny them their freedom and every other form of natural expression", Singh says. "I'm asking people across India to help knock out cruelty by never attending a circus that uses animals." 

    "We are proud to announce our association with PETA yet again", says Sunil Sethi, president of the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI). "Fashion is an effective tool to create awareness about issues which we tend to overlook. We believe that every living creature has a right to live free from pain and suffering and with dignity. Forcing animals to perform at a circus infringes upon this innate freedom. We are teaming up with PETA to protect and respect animals and give them the right to live unreservedly." 

    Now it's your turn! Share PETA's recent investigation of 16 circuses in India with everyone you know. Let people know that animals in circuses are subjected to chronic confinement, physical abuse and psychological torment.

    You can also add your voice to PETA's by urging the Indian government to ban animals from being exhibited or forced to perform in circuses.

  • Milk Is the Real Joke

    Written by PETA

    April Fool's!

    You've been PETA punk'd! We are not opening a human breast milk ice cream parlour, but we are encouraging you not to be a sucker for cow's milk. If the thought of drinking human breast milk – which is made for our human bodies – makes you shudder, just think how udderly unnatural it is to drink milk from another species. 

    Cows on dairy farms are often forced to produce such an unnaturally large volume of milk that they have painfully enlarged udders. Many cows used by the dairy industry also suffer from mastitis, an inflammation of the udder – an extremely painful condition. Their babies are torn away from them right after birth and often deprived of the mother's milk that is stolen for humans to drink. Watch PETA's video on dairy farm cruelty in India:

     

    Seventy per cent of milk samples collected across the country in 2011 by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) revealed detergents or other contaminants. The study found urea, starch, glucose, and formalin along with detergent used as adulterants used to increase the thickness and viscosity of the milk as well as to attempt to preserve it. When we drink cows' milk, these contaminants enter our bodies. That’s no joke!

    Put your health first and ditch dairy products. Besides decreasing your risk of some of India's biggest killers – diabetes, cancer and heart disease – your skin will look better (acne is linked to milk consumption). Plant foods provide the energy, protein, vitamins and minerals that we need in order to be healthy and strong without all the fat and cholesterol. Try non-dairy, cruelty-free milks like almond or soya milk next time a craving for something creamy overtakes you.

    Join us in going meat- and dairy-free by ordering your free Vegetarian/Vegan Starter Kit, complete with nutrition information, how-to-make-the-transition tips and tasty recipes, today!

  • PETA to Open From Mom, on Ice

    Written by PETA

    PETA is excited to announce that we are opening From Mom, on Ice, an all-natural, cruelty-free ice cream parlour with a twist: instead of stealing milk from cows with infected udders, all our ice cream will be made with donated breast milk from human mothers. It doesn't get more free-range than that!

    Unlike cows' milk, which is udderly unnatural for humans and comes from miserable cows who are often injected with Oxytocin – which induces pains like those of labour contractions – in order to force them to produce more milk, the milk used in our ice cream will come from willing human donors with a clean bill of health.

    Moms have thrown their support behind the idea – perhaps because they can imagine how traumatic it must be for mother cows to have their newborn babies taken away from them – and have been lining up at PETA's door to pump. So many women have volunteered to help that we are at the point of turning some of them away!

    As milk donor Geeta Ravikumar explains, "Our milk is pure and donated happily, whereas cows don't have a choice. People will taste the difference".

    From Mom, on Ice will serve up delicious flavours such as Lullaby Lemon, Wet Nurse Watermelon and Cry Baby Coconut. Keep an eye out for the grand opening of From Mom, on Ice in the Mumbai area soon!

  • Celebrate A Vegan Gudi Padwa!

    Written by PETA

    Gudi Padwa is a festive, joyful holiday that marks the beginning of a new year. It's the perfect time to try new things—like delicious vegan versions of traditional Gudi Padwa treats. We guarantee that everyone will love these ghee- and guilt-free recipes!

    Yummy Yoghurt-Free Mango Shrikhand


    1 cup raw unsalted cashews

    2 Tbsp water

    2 cups mango pulp

    1/2 cup sugar

    1/2 tsp cardamom powder

    1/2 cup dried fruit, chopped

    • Grind the cashews into a smooth paste. Slowly add the water and continue grinding until a thick, creamy consistency is obtained (add more water if needed).
    • Keep covered in a warm place to ferment until the paste has a pleasant sour smell and small bubbles are visible, about 10 to 15 hours.
    • Mix the paste, then drain the excess water with a muslin cloth.
    • Strain the mango pulp with a muslin cloth to remove most of the liquid.
    • Add the mango pulp and the sugar to the cashew paste and mix well.
    • Add the cardamom powder and refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours.
    • Serve chilled and topped with dried fruit.  

    Makes 2 servings

    Tasty Ghee-Free Tilgul Poli  

    Adapted from http://momrecipies.blogspot.in/2011/01/tilgul-poli-sankranti-special-gul-poli.html

    1/2 cup white flour (maida)

    1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (atta)

    4 Tbsp chickpea flour (besan)

    Salt, to taste

    2 Tbsp oil, plus more for cooking

    Water, for the dough

    2 Tbsp sesame seeds

    2 Tbsp poppy seeds

    1 Tbsp grated coconut

    1/2 cup grated jaggery

    Pinch nutmeg powder (optional)

    • Mix the white flour, whole-wheat flour and 2 tablespoonfuls of the chickpea flour together. Add salt to taste.
    • Heat 2 tablespoonfuls of the oil until sizzling hot. Create a well in the middle of the flour and add the oil. Mix well.
    • Slowly add water and stir until a medium-soft dough is formed. Knead well for 5 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for at least 1 hour.
    • Heat more oil in a pan. Roast the remaining chickpea flour, stirring continuously and adding olive oil as required, until the flour changes colour, about 6 to7 minutes. Let cool completely.
    • Individually roast the sesame seeds, poppy seeds and coconut, then separately grind each into a powder.
    • Combine the sesame seed powder, poppy seed powder, coconut powder, roasted chickpea flour and jaggery in a mixer and blend. Add the nutmeg powder and mix well. Roll into 7 to 8 balls. 
    • Divide the dough into equal portions. Sprinkle some all-purpose flour on a rolling board. Roll each portion of dough into a puri-sized round. Place a ball of filling in the centre of each round of dough. Fold the dough over the top of the ball and seal the edges. Using more flour, roll the filled dough into the shape of a roti (7 to 8 inches in diameter).
    • Heat the griddle (tawa) and add oil. Roast both sides of each poli on medium heat until golden. 
    • Serve hot.

    Makes 4 servings

    See how simple it is to cut dairy products out of your favourite recipes? Not only is ditching dairy easy, it's also one of the best things that you can do for yourself and cows. After all, dairy consumption contributes to the onset of diabetes, obesity and respiratory problems, and the cruel dairy industry causes the suffering and death of millions of cows and buffaloes each year. So cows about taking the pledge to go vegan today?!

  • Earth Hour Food for Thought

    Written by PETA

    The dark hour is upon us!

    Not Doomsday, but Earth Hour, which falls on Saturday, 31 March, at 8:30 pm this year. It's the hour that people around the globe turn off their lights to help the planet.

    So what do you do when everything around you is plunged into darkness for one whole hour? Think, of course!

    Here is some food for thought – five facts from PETA about our planet, just for Earth Hour. Please share them with your family and friends:

    1. A UN report shows that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, trains, ships and planes in the world combined.
    2. The UN report concluded that the meat industry is "one of the … most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems".
    3. The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook states that "refusing meat" is "the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint".
    4. Chew on this: it is estimated that it takes nearly 9,500 litres of water to produce 1 pound of meat, whereas growing 1 pound of wheat requires only 95 litres.
    5. All Earthlings deserve compassion and respect.

    Whoa!

    With so many compelling reasons to go vegan, tell everyone you know it's high time to take the pledge. And with the availability of soya milk, tofu and soya chunks and our delicious vegan recipes, going vegan has never been easier. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Sunder Update

    Written by PETA

    The latest development in PETA's ongoing battle to free Sunder, the elephant who was held captive at the Jyotiba temple in Kolhapur, was a hearing on 20 March at the Bombay High Court. The bench heard the arguments at length, and the matter is now reserved for orders.

    You can read about what happened at a previous hearing here.

    PETA has been fighting for Sunder's release and transfer to a sanctuary, where he can live a healthy life, without chains and in the company of other elephants. Thanks to your support on social media, #FreeSunder is gaining worldwide exposure. Please continue to post and tweet about Sunder's story to help win his freedom.

    Join us in taking a stand for Sunder's freedom now.

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