For Immediate release:
28 September 2020
Hiraj Laljani; [email protected]
Dr Kiran Ahuja; [email protected]
Group Says Move Would Honour Mahatma Gandhi, an Advocate for Non-Violence and Vegetarian Eating
New Delhi – This morning, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India 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 for non-violence and vegetarian eating. The full text of the group’s letter follows.
His Excellency Narendra Modi
Prime Minister of India
152 South Block, Raisina Hill
New Delhi 110 011
28 September 2020
Honourable Prime Minister,
I am writing to you from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India on behalf of our 2 million members and supporters with a request: that all slaughterhouses and meat shops in India close every Gandhi Jayanti. Such measures have been taken by local governments, but we hope you agree that a national directive would be a fitting tribute to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, who advocated for vegetarian eating.
As you know, animals raised for meat are treated violently. They are typically confined to filthy, crowded cages or warehouses and denied everything that is natural and important to them. They’re torn away from their loved ones and often subjected to painful mutilations or kept chained or tied in place until they are killed. During severely crowded transport to slaughterhouses, many break their bones, suffocate, or die in other ways. At most slaughterhouses, terrified animals’ throats are slit or they’re even dismembered while they’re still conscious, in full view of their companions.
Eating animal-based foods wreaks havoc on human health, too, which stands in direct contrast to the purpose of the Eat Right India and Fit India Movement initiatives. Today, doctors warn that meat and other animal-based foods are linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening ailments – and live-animal markets, factory farms, and slaughterhouses are behind animal-borne diseases, including bird flu and swine flu, which spread to and sicken humans. Indeed, scientists overwhelmingly believe the current 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 plant-based (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 one-third of the world’s freshwater and one-third of global cropland as feed for animals (instead of feeding humans directly).
Shuttering 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 everyone, humans and animals alike.
We respectfully request to hear from you regarding this important matter. I can be reached at [email protected] Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.
Dr Kiran Ahuja (BPTh, DNHE)
Vegan Outreach Coordinator