India’s Interest in Veganism Sparked By Controversy Over Country’s Meat Production

Meat has been sourced from animal carcasses at a dumping area in West Bengal, India. The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), says it believes the discovery will raise awareness about the negative health impacts of eating meat and push people to connect carcass meat with what is produced at a slaughterhouse.

“With the extraordinary increase in lifestyle diseases, from kidney disease to heart disease, maybe it is time we re-look at our diet…to move towards a greener diet over one including animal products,” said FIAPO director, Varda Mehrotra, according to Business Insider. “Meat being sourced from rotten bodies of cats, dogs and even diseased animals in unhygienic conditions is not uncommon. Animals bred for the purpose of meat are routinely given antibiotics, growth hormones and other drugs and their meat may contain these drugs with many viruses and bacteria.”

“Hopefully this situation can bring awareness [to the carcass meat issue],” he continued, adding that meat consumption is dropping across the city amid the reports of meat being sourced from carcass dumping areas.

Mehrotra added many people do not consider the source nor origin of meat – whether a slaughterhouse or carcass dumping area – as they only see and consume the final product, he says. As the director noted, many diseases are heightened by a diet with animal products; these include sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, liver disease, diabetes, among more.

The recent discovery joins a growing list of factors contributing to India’s shift toward a vegan diet. The city of Bangalore is set to hold its inaugural vegan festival this month in response to the growing demand for plant-based food. And recently, vegan cheese by Greece-based brand, Violife, arrived in Indian retailers for the first time as the nation known for its dairy-drinking begins to reduce its dairy intake. Meanwhile, an entrepreneurial mother-and-son duo launched affordable plant-based milk in the country earlier this year.

Conscious consumers in the nation are driving the demand for vegan beauty products. Bollywood actor and Indian native, Mallika Sherawat, is set to promote the vegan lifestyle as a healthy choice across the nation this year.