PETA India has sent a letter to vegetarian Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting that he issue a directive to close all slaughterhouses and meat shops this – and every – Gandhi Jayanti, in honour of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, who advocated non-violence and vegetarian eating.
Animals raised for meat are treated violently. They’re typically confined to filthy, crowded cages or warehouses and denied everything that’s natural and important to them. They’re torn away from their loved ones and often subjected to painful mutilations, and they may be kept chained or tied up until they’re killed. During severely crowded transport to slaughterhouses, many break bones, suffocate, or die in other ways. At most slaughterhouses, terrified animals’ throats are slit or they’re dismembered while they’re still conscious, in full view of their companions.
Eating animal flesh wreaks havoc on human health, too, which is in direct opposition to the purpose of the government’s Eat Right India and Fit India Movement initiatives. Today, doctors warn that the consumption of meat and other animal-based foods is linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening ailments – and live-animal markets, factory farms, and slaughterhouses are breeding grounds for animal-borne diseases, including bird flu and swine flu, which can spread to humans. Indeed, scientists overwhelmingly believe the COVID-19 pandemic originated in a live-animal market in China.
Meat production is also hard on the planet. A United Nations report has advised a global move towards a vegan diet in order to save the world from the worst impacts of climate change. And according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, animal agriculture uses up .
Shutting slaughterhouses and meat shops, at least on Gandhi Jayanti, would encourage the public to give healthy, eco-friendly, and – most importantly – humanely produced plant-based foods a try, which would benefit humans and other animals alike.