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Celebrate the Indian Republic by trying vegan this January
New Delhi: The Constitution of India is at the centre of how the world’s largest democracy conducts itself. The rights, freedoms and duties that citizens of India enjoy are a result of this landmark document which was adopted this day in 1950.
The Republic day- a celebration of our Constitution- coincides with Veganuary- the global movement to try vegan in January. It is the perfect occasion to acknowledge the provisions in our Constitution for the protection of animals and nature.
The founders of India were foresighted enough to see the connection between human wellbeing and that of the environment and the animals. The Indian Constitution has several provisions for the protection of animals, improvement of our environment and preventing its degradation.
Increasingly, people are choosing to try vegan to be kind to animals. In 2022, 44 percent of Veganuary participants did so as they felt empathetic towards animals. There is a growing consciousness among Indians about basic rights and freedoms being denied to farmed animals.
These animals are no different from humans in thinking, feeling and caring for their families. However, in complete violation of their inherent right to live a dignified life, they are subject to lifelong suffering in factory farms. Intensive farming practices are also the leading causes of pollution, land degradation, loss of natural habitats and climate change.
Article 51A(g) of the Indian Constitution states ‘It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures’
Veganuary Ambassador Soundarya Sharma says ‘I am vegan because I want to live a compassionate life. Being in the BigBoss house, I saw what it is to feel the lack of freedom, to be away from family and friends, and to be confined. While I did it by choice knowing that it would end, millions of animals are forcefully subjected to much worse conditions for their entire lifetimes. With so many great alternatives to milk, cheese, curds and meat, we don’t need to consume animal products. Even though it was challenging, I stuck to being vegan in the BigBoss house without compromising on taste or nutrition. Join me and try vegan, for the animals and the planet.’
According to a study, a vegan diet could be the single best way to reduce humanity’s impact on the planet. Raising animals for food takes up massive amounts of land, water, food and energy. Animal agriculture by-products pollute air and water. From the reduction in greenhouse gases to conservation of water, a vegan diet is good for the planet.
Article 48A of the Constitution states ‘The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.’
Articles 39, 47 and 48A cast a duty on the State to secure the health of the people, improve public health and protect and improve the environment.
Veganuary India head Prashanth Vishwanath says ‘Animal agriculture contributes more than 60% of all food-system greenhouse gasses. The periodic outbreaks of bird flu in many parts of the world are a constant public health concern, in addition to the tragic culling of thousands of birds. The global trend of antibiotic resistance in humans is a direct result of industrial animal agriculture. While we look at different ways to improve the environment, public health and living with compassion- all prescribed in the Indian constitution- nothing compares to the impact we make when we eat vegan.’
This year, Veganuary has added new resources to support people like a new Indian starter kit, a podcast and youtube series- all for free. So this Republic day, make a conscious decision to uphold the spirit of the Constitution. It can be a small step of trying vegan for a month with Veganuary.