In the lead-up to Eid al-Adha, PETA India and actor Sadaa Sayed – who owns Earthlings, a vegan café in Andheri West – have donated vegan biryani, made with soya chunks instead of meat and packed with protein and calcium, to 750 children living in seven orphanages run by the Children’s Aid Society. Sayed acts in Bollywood and South Indian films and most recently appeared in the Tamil film Torchlight.
“As a vegan, I celebrate a meat-free Eid. This year, I’m delighted to join with PETA India to donate healthy vegan biryani to hundreds of children at Mumbai’s orphanages,” says Sayed. “For Eid, many people distribute vegan food, clothing, or money or devote time to charity work. This benefits both humans and animals.”
The High Court of Bombay has directed that animal slaughter must take place only at the Deonar slaughterhouse and not on private premises. PETA India’s exposé of the slaughterhouse – where more than 1.24 lakhs goats and sheep and about 2,700 buffaloes were taken to be sold for sacrifice last Eid al-Adha – revealed that animals routinely die during transport because of severe crowding, dead buffaloes were moved through the premises with a bulldozer, and a shed there was full of animals’ corpses.
Other common illegal practices include beating animals in order to keep them moving to the place of slaughter and having untrained people slit their throats with dull knives in full view of other animals and often in front of traumatised children.
PETA India has once again called on states and union territories to stop any illegal transport and killing of animals in the lead-up to the festival. The Supreme Court ruled that animals can be slaughtered only in officially licensed slaughterhouses and that municipal authorities must ensure compliance with this ruling. The laws regarding preventing cruelty to animals and the food safety and standards guidelines permit the slaughter of animals for food only in registered or licensed slaughterhouses equipped with species-specific stunning equipment and don’t permit killing camels for meat, a common practice during Eid.
Vegan options don’t involve cruelty to animals and often are more nutritious. While one egg contains 6 grams of protein and a 100-millilitre glass of cows’ milk contains 170 milligrams of calcium, 100 grams of soya chunks contain 52 grams of protein and 350 milligrams of calcium.