Chennai Crowned India’s Most Vegan-Friendly City

Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, was recently crowned India’s most vegan-friendly city.

The title was awarded by the Indian branch of the largest animals rights organization in the world, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

PETA India sent a letter of thanks to Dr. D Karthikeyan, the commissioner of Chennai Municipal Corporation, who has helped to create a welcoming space for vegan and vegetarian venues in the city.

This is only the third time a city in India has received the title. Bengaluru was named most vegan-friendly in the first year, while Pune was awarded the label in 2017. But this year, Chennai was the natural choice, PETA India said.

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Chennai plays host to multiple vegan-friendly businesses, including a vegan butcher, called Vegetagold, which crafts plant-based meat with soy and mushroom. As well as food companies, several vegan fashion brands call Chennai home, such as Monkstory, a shoe brand which produces fashionable, durable, eco-friendly vegan leather footwear. Arture, also based in the city, uses natural cork material to make animal-free wallets, handbags, and travel accessories.
Shoppers in the city can also visit Earth Story, Chennai’s first vegan lifestyle store, which sells plant-based food including dairy-free ice cream, vegan meat, and animal-free chocolate, as well as cruelty-free cosmetics and accessories.

Even some of the schools in the city are vegan-friendly, the German International School Chennai, for example, is entirely plant-based. The move was intended to help children learn “ethical and sustainable eating habits,” the school says.

Further promoting cruelty-free living are organizations like Vegans of Chennai and the Tamil Vegan Movement. Last year, vegan adventure tour company VegVoyages even held a plant-based potluck dinner in the city.

“Global interest in the vegan lifestyle has never been higher, and Chennai is leading the country in responding to it,” said Dr Manilal Valliyate, CEO of PETA India, in a statement“PETA India is honouring this special city for its wealth of cruelty-free clothing and food options and encouraging all residents and visitors to take full advantage of them.”

People in India are increasingly concerned about issues that tie in with veganism, like animal welfare. Last year, India banned the use of all animals in circuses following reports of animal cruelty. In August, the country also banned all live animal exports after widespread protests against shipments for religious animal sacrifice in the UAE.

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