Ahead of Gandhi Jayanti, PETA India has sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the vegetarian leader to declare 2 October “National Meat-Free Day” in honour of Mahatma Gandhi’s dedication to non-violence. In the letter, PETA India notes that being vegetarian was “a matter of moral principle” to Gandhi.
“Encouraging the people of our nation to follow Gandhi’s moral example would protect smart, sensitive animals from being caged in filth, separated from their babies, and gruesomely executed for their body parts,” writes PETA India CEO Dr Manilal Valliyate. “Starting a tradition that promotes peaceful vegetarian food is a lasting way to pay tribute to Gandhi’s immeasurable impact.”
PETA India notes in its letter that ditching meat also reduces the risk of suffering from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity; helps fight climate change by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions; and even helps prevent future pandemics. COVID-19 is largely believed by experts to have stemmed or spread from a live-animal meat market, and SARS, swine flu, and bird flu have also been linked to confining and killing animals for food.