PETA India Founder Feeds a Thousand Women and Children in Need in Delhi in Honour of Late Mother

Posted on by Erika Goyal

In honour of the 100th anniversary of the birth of PETA India founder Ingrid Newkirk’s late mother, Mary Patricia Ward, PETA India has teamed up with Little India Foundation to treat a thousand families residing at the Bengali Basti in Vasant Kunj to delicious and healthy vegan rajma chawal – Mary’s favourite meal. Mrs Ward loved children and animals and spent years in Delhi helping both.

Mrs Ward lived in Diplomatic Enclave in New Delhi for eight years while her husband worked as an advisor to the Indian government, including during the time when war with China was considered likely. Mary turned the family home into a refuge for every living being in need she came across – from Tibetan refugees to street dogs and injured wild animals – and spent her time selling embroidery to benefit unwed mothers, volunteering at Mother Teresa’s orphanage, and assisting people affected by leprosy. She enlisted young Newkirk’s help stuffing toys for children, packing pills, and rolling bandages, telling her daughter, “It doesn’t matter who suffers; it only matters that they suffer and what you can do to reduce that suffering.” Mary’s husband also contributed to her efforts, donating to charities in Bangladesh while working there during a humanitarian crisis. Mary died in 2013 in the United States in Springfield, Oregon.

“My mother’s life was defined by compassion and charity for all living beings, no matter the skin they were in or whether they had fur, fins, or feathers,” says PETA India founder Ingrid Newkirk. “By distributing nutritious, protein-packed vegan meals to those in need, PETA India will help to continue spreading her enduring message of kindness and empathy for all.”

Every person who goes vegan spares nearly 200 animals a year a life of suffering and a violent, terrifying death in the meat, egg, and dairy industries. Chickens used for eggs are confined to cages so small they can’t even lift a wing, and male chicks are deemed worthless and killed because they can’t produce eggs. Other animals killed for their flesh are crammed into vehicles and transported to slaughterhouses in such high numbers that many sustain broken bones or even suffocate on the way. At slaughterhouses, workers hack at the animals’ throats with dull blades, often while they’re still conscious and able to feel pain.

In addition to being a compassionate choice, going vegan also slashes an individual’s risk of suffering from heart disease, diabetes, and cancer – all of which are widespread health problems in India. The nutritious kidney beans and rice in rajma chawal – a comfort food to many – are full of healthy amino acids (it is a complete-protein meal) and contain both soluble and insoluble fibre.

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