Public functions to go vegan? PETA urges Modi to ban meat at govt meetings

Letter said Germany’s ministry went meat-free because meat production contributors to climate change

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#LATEST| Animal rights organisation PETA India on Monday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take meat off the menu from all government events, taking a cue from the German Environment Minister’s initiative to ban all meat products from public meetings.

Noting that as a vegetarian, Modi is a a role model of “compassionate, healthy, and environmentally friendly” eating, PETA said that it is time the entire Indian government should follow his lead and protect the environment by eliminating animal-derived foods from its meals.

The letter notes that Germany’s ministry went meat-free because meat production is one of the leading contributors to climate change, which is causing people throughout India to suffer severe droughts and heatwaves.

In addition to producing an estimated 51 per cent of worldwide greenhouse-gas emissions, meat production also uses a massive amount of water, land, and food resources, it said.

“I hope you will agree that India should also set a good example where environmental conservation is concerned by eliminating animal-derived foods from the menus of all government or government-sponsored meetings and functions,” said Nikunj Sharma, Lead – Public Policy at PETA India in the letter.

PETA said that after going vegetarian, public functions could go vegan. It said that the meat production is one of the leading causes of climate change.

Quoting a report published by the Worldwatch Institute in 2009, it said that 51 per cent of worldwide greenhouse-gas emissions may be attributable to agriculture, specifically to businesses that raise cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, camels, and pigs for food.

“Raising animals for food also gobbles up land and food resources. According to Global Footprint Network, it takes 14 times as much biologically productive land to produce 1 tonne of beef as it does to produce 1 tonne of grain,” it said.

“PETA is calling on Prime Minister Modi to set a global example by ensuring that exclusively healthy, humane, and environmentally friendly vegan meals are served at all government functions.”

Stating, “animals are not ours to eat”, PETA claimed that meat production causes climate change due to which people around the nation suffer through severe droughts, heatwaves, and more.

“According to the United Nations, a global shift towards a vegan lifestyle is vital in order to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty, and the worst effects of climate change,” the letter added.

“I hope you will agree that India should also set a good example where environmental conservation is concerned by eliminating animal-derived foods from the menus of all government or government-sponsored meetings and functions,” the letter written by Nikunj Sharma, Lead – Public Policy, PETA said.

Animal-derived foods include those that come from animal sources such as meat, milk, eggs, cheese and yogurt.

Sharma later told PTI that although the body first wants the prime minister to “eliminate” meat from menus, on a larger note, the organisation has sought a ban on food derived from animals.

“The meat industry is heating up the planet and gobbling up our natural resources, but we can fight climate change by starting with what’s on our plates.

While more than 194 million people in India are undernourished, 60 per cent of the world’s grain supply is used to feed farmed animals, as it takes 10 kilograms of grain to produce just 1 kilogram of meat, the body said.

According to the United Nations, a global shift towards a vegan lifestyle is vital in order to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty, and the worst effects of climate change.

Noting that India is home to more than 280 million cows and 200 million other ruminant animals such as goats and buffaloes, it said they are bred predominantly to be used for meat or dairy production.

According to satellite data from our space programme, these animals transfer almost 12 million tonnes of methane – which traps 25 times as much heat as carbon dioxide does – into the atmosphere via flatulence every year| READ MORE

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