Ahead of Gandhi Jayanti, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), India has appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare October 2 as ‘National Meat-Free Day’ to honour Mahatma Gandhi’s “dedication to non-violence”.
In a letter to vegetarian Modi, PETA India noted that being vegetarian was “a matter of moral principle” for 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,” wrote 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,” he said.
PETA India said that ditching meat also reduces the risk of 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, PETA India said in a release.
“Leaving animals off our plates shows reverence for other species, the planet, and our own bodies,” says PETA India Vegan Foods and Nutrition Specialist Dr Kiran Ahuja.
“PETA India encourages everyone to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy daily, simply by eating healthy and delicious plant foods.”
PETA India opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, it added.