Written by PETA
Bigg Boss contestant and professional wrestler Sangram Singh appeared in a new video for PETA India's pro-vegetarian campaign just before entering the Bigg Boss house.
Watch Singh's exclusive video to find out how his vegetarian diet helped him overcome challenges and evolve into the wrestling star that he is today.
Going vegetarian saves the lives of animals, and vegetarians are less likely to be afflicted with leading killers, such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer – all of which are major health problems in India. And raising animals for food is a leading cause of water pollution, land degradation and the greenhouse-gas emissions responsible for climate change.
Write to JalajK@petaindia.org today to order your free copy of PETA's vegetarian/vegan starter kit, which is packed full of easy recipes to help you get started, tips on making the switch to being meat-free and more.
PETA joins the world in mourning the passing of Nelson Mandela, a man who risked his own life to advocate for the freedom of others. Not only did Mandela’s work help to end apartheid in South Africa, he also set a powerful example for all peaceful activists, showing that they must rattle the “cages” of what society feels is acceptable in order to help those who are suffering.
Once photographed laughing in delight as his dog jumped up on him, Mandela’s compassion extended to animals—he was a patron of the National Council of SPCAs, which works to improve the standards for animal welfare in communities in South Africa.
For tirelessly defending the rights of animals, Kolkata resident and vegan Beas Mukherjee will receive the Outstanding Activist Award from PETA on International Volunteer Day (5 December).
In her seven years as a volunteer, Beas has filled key functions at PETA protests in Kolkata. This includes helping to find volunteers to sit in cages outside the Alipore Zoo to protest keeping animals in captivity and helping PETA organise eye-catching demonstrations against the cruel leather industry. She has also helped rally local support by holding information stalls for PETA at college festivals across the city. In addition, Beas helps rescue animals in trouble and is actively involved in getting community dogs sterilised.
"Beas is the consummate activist because she helps stop animal suffering and inspires others to do the same", says PETA India CEO Poorva Joshipura. "PETA has had a major impact on animal rights in India, and Beas is one of the reasons why."
Let's hear it for Beas for a job well done!
An undercover investigation conducted by PETA this week has resulted in shocking footage of a mahout (handler) violently beating Sunder, a 14-year-old elephant at the centre of a PETA petition in the High Court of Bombay, with a thick wooden pole. The video reveals a malnourished-looking Sunder, chained by two legs, writhing in pain and struggling to stand as the mahout strikes him repeatedly with the pole. Sunder visibly recoils in fear from the weapon-wielding mahout, who continues to threaten him with violence after he has stood.
Sunder was chained and abused for six years at the Jyotiba Temple in Kolhapur, and following orders by the Maharashtra Forest Department and Project Elephant, which operates under the central Ministry of Environment and Forests, to retire Sunder to a sanctuary, Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Vinay Kore, who had given the elephant as a "gift" to the temple, sent him to be chained in an old, dark poultry shed in Warananagar instead.
The former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and current Head of Forest Force, SWH Naqvi, has also failed to implement the state and central government orders. Just this week, Kore was reported to have claimed to the media that Sunder is fine and healthy, while Vijay Shelke, Deputy Conservator of Territorial Forests – Kolhapur division, said that "every month a veterinary doctor visits the place to check the elephant" and that "we also guide the mahout and local caretakers". These claims are in spite of the fact that Sunder's legs show scarring from abuse, he has a low weight, and he is being forced to stand on concrete all day with no opportunity for exercise, which is essential for elephants' health.
"He is fearful of the mahout", says international elephant expert Dr Mel Richardson, who examined PETA India's video of Sunder. "From what I can see his legs and feet are in bad shape. He is in a dangerous situation and needs relief – no chains, natural substrate, and space to exercise."
You can help Sunder. Take action to urge authorities to free Sunder to a sanctuary today.
PETA India has filed a petition with the High Court of Bombay asking the Maharashtra Forest Department (MFD) to implement its previous order – as well as the recommendation from Project Elephant under the Ministry of Environment and Forests – and retire 14-year-old elephant Sunder, who spent six years chained at the Jyotiba Temple in Kolhapur, to a sanctuary.
Following pressure from PETA, more than 26,000 people who have signed PETA India's online petition and celebrities such as Pamela Anderson and Paul McCartney, who have written to authorities, the MFD ordered that Sunder be sent to a sanctuary. Instead, he was locked in an old, dark poultry shed and chained at the behest of Vinay Kore, a local member of the Legislative Assembly.
Sunder's body shows visible signs of severe abuse. Photos from August 2013 show how Sunder is forced to stand on concrete all day and denied exercise, which is essential to his mental and physical well-being. In fact, his current living conditions are so poor that they could predispose him to foot and joint diseases, which could eventually kill him. He's also small for an elephant of his age and underweight as a result of years of inadequate nutrition.
Please take action to help free Sunder NOW!
Here's a delicious piece of news for vegans and health-conscious people of Mumbai: Rajdhani's "Royal Kitchen", Rasovara, is celebrating its Vegan Week from 2 to 8 December.
Rajdhani's Rasovara is bringing together authentic Rajasthani and Gujarati vegan delicacies made with recipes handed down through generations of experienced Maharaj. You can experience the joy of veganism with a royal twist. The vegan thali has been specially made to tickle your taste buds and includes traditional dishes like kokam sarbat, dal bati churma, kadi, jodhpuri gatta, bhakri and mouth-watering desserts like jalebi and dry fruit halwa.
Whether you choose to go for lunch or dinner, you are in for a treat because the Rasovara seasons every vegan thali with care and compassion!
The brand-new vegan thali will be available even after the Vegan Week but only for prior bookings. To let diners know about its vegan initiative, Rasovara has put up PETA's "vegan-friendly" stickers in its windows and on its tabletops.
Visit Rasovara's Facebook page for directions and hours and to check out the tasty treats for yourself. Do take your friends and family, and be sure to say that your friends at PETA sent you!
After an extensive PETA campaign, with help from MP Maneka Gandhi and others, the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), in its 65th meeting held on 25 November 2013, recommended the addition of a suitable provision under The Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, to prohibit the import of cosmetics that have been tested on animals abroad. This decision comes on the heels of recently enacted bans on the import, marketing and sale of cosmetics and their ingredients that have been tested on animals in the European Union and Israel and a recent decision to eliminate animal tests for cosmetics by the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS), which prepares standards for cosmetics (IS 4011 (1997): Method of Test for Safety Evaluation of Cosmetics).
"We commend DTAB for its recommendation. Compliance with international standards can help ensure that cruel and outdated animal tests for lipstick and eye shadow become history around the globe", says PETA India science policy adviser Dr Chaitanya Koduri, who holds an official seat on the BIS Cosmetics Sectional Committee. "PETA India looks forward to the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare officially bringing in a sales ban on cosmetics that have been tested on animals abroad and working with the government on the next step: a ban on testing household products, such as floor cleaners, on animals as well as a ban on the marketing and sale of household products that have been tested on animals in India."
During cosmetics tests, harsh chemicals may be dripped into rabbits' eyes, smeared onto animals' abraded skin or forced down their throats. More than 1,200 companies around the world – including LUSH and The Body Shop as well as Indian companies Trumount Cosmoceuticals, Future Skin, Omved Lifestyle, Shahnaz Husain and others – have joined PETA's list of companies that use only modern and reliable non-animal tests for their products.
You can help end consumer product tests on animals by taking action here.
Bollywood heartthrob Imran Khan is known not only for his good looks but also for his kind heart. And the latter has earned him an award from PETA India. According to news reports, Imran was shooting his upcoming film, Gori Tere Pyaar Mein, when he saw a dog trainer smack a dog. He immediately walked up to the trainer and pushed him in order to stop the abuse.
Imran will receive a Hero to Animals Award and a basket full of dog-shaped vegan gourmet chocolates prepared by Pune's Ambrosial Chockies.
Imran – who was last seen in Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara! – will soon be seen in Gori Tere Pyaar Mein opposite Kareena Kapoor. He has also appeared in a PETA ad urging people to adopt homeless animals.
Other recipients of PETA's Hero to Animals Award include Zarine Khan for rescuing a cat from the streets, Cyrus Broacha for refusing to perform a stunt that involved riding a bull, Rani Mukherjee for helping a dog in distress on her film set, Asin for saving a dog hit by a car, Sadaa Sayed for helping a puppy who just missed being hit by a car during a rainstorm and Dia Mirza's production house, Born Free Entertainment, for showing that homeless animals make wonderful additions to families.
Because of India's countless stray and abandoned cats and dogs, PETA India encourages all animal guardians always to adopt an animal from a shelter or the streets and always to have their dogs and cats sterilised.
Bollywood beauty Jacqueline Fernandez accompanied her pals from PETA India for a meeting with Sunil Prabhu, the Mayor of Mumbai, to discuss cruelty to horses who are forced to haul carriages in Mumbai and the unlicensed stables in which they are housed, just before the High Court of Bombay hearing in December. The officials pledged to consider the matter.
Dr Manilal Valliyate, PETA's director of veterinary affairs; Jacqueline Fernandez, Bollywood actor and Sunil Prabhu, the Mayor of Mumbai.
PETA and several other non-governmental organisations have called for a ban on horse-drawn carriages in the city. PETA recently released reports from its latest investigations of filthy and decrepit Mumbai stables that house horses who are used to pull carriages. The horses – including those who are injured, sick or severely malnourished – are forced to stand amid their own urine and faeces on trash-strewn floors.
Horses used to pull carriages are routinely forced to haul more passengers than the legal limit allows in all weather extremes, are often lame or have permanent leg damage and are frequently denied adequate rest, food, water and veterinary care.
This is not the first time that Fernandez has come forward to speak up for horses. She had sent a letter to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation Commissioner asking him to ban the use of horses in the city immediately. She also starred in an ad to make people aware of the routine cruelty that horses endure in this industry.
Now it's YOUR turn to speak up – please share this link with everyone you know!
The competition was fierce in PETA India's annual Cutest Vegetarian Next Door contest, but after tallying the votes (and thanks to all who voted!) to help us decide who we should choose as our top picks, we've selected the winners. Without further ado, we're proud to crown Nikhil Asrani and Kritika Punj Berry as the Cutest Vegetarians Next Door of 2013 (insert a round of applause here)! Nikhil, the male winner, feels that "[w]hen we say no to meat, we not only save a happy soul but also add to the greatness of our country by conserving animals". And the female winner, Kritika, says that "[b]eing a vegetarian keeps your heart healthy, energetic and happy".
Both winners will receive a sash, a trophy and – most importantly – bragging rights. And who wouldn't want to brag about following a plant-based diet, which decreases your risk of cancer, heart disease and obesity; shrinks your carbon footprint and spares the lives of many animals a year?! So how about going vegetarian yourself? Getting started is as easy as checking out these hot dishes and helping yourself to this hot read. Who knows? You might even be inspired to enter the contest next year.
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