Monday, January 18, 2016

Stop animal suffering: Veganuary gets popular with Chennaiites.


Stop animal suffering: Veganuary strikes a chord among Chennaiites.


CHENNAI: If you've successfully grown a long beard after 'No Shave' November, it's time to take the pledge for "Veganuary" . A global campaign that began in the United Kingdom, it aims to reduce animal suffering by inspiring and supporting people to go vegan for a month. And it has struck a chord with Chennaiites too, with many resolving to shun animal products.

Founded by Matthew Glove and Jane Land, the movement stands apart from its month-long counterparts by focusing on January as it is the time for change, resolutions and new beginnings. "People find it easier if they have to abstain only for a month or a week and not forever. Fortunately , many of them experience its benefits and turn vegan for life," says Bhuvaneshwari Gupta, campaigns and nutrition advisor, Peta India.

In Chennai, those who are taking the pledge say it is tough to give up on ghee, paneer and curd rice when those are your favourites. "It is easy when you are at home as you can try different vegan recipes, which are tasty. But it is hard to stick to it when you are eating out with friends," says animal-lover Malavika Madhavi Nori, a vegetarian taking the vegan pledge this year.

Though Indian sweets during festivities make it difficult to resist the urge to indulge, the health benefits motivate her to continue. "Slowly, I am noticing the difference. After lunch, I am able to pay attention without feeling sleepy in office. Also, my acne has reduced considerably," says Malavika, who is among 22,000 others who have decided to take the pledge and ditch meat, fish, eggs and milk for a month.

But will the month-long promise develop into a permanent change? Vegans say that it may seem tough initially but there are many ways to stay motivated.
The vegan-starter kits of Veganuary and PeTA are ideal guides for meat-eaters and vegetarians to discover delicious vegan recipes, substitutes and products. From Japanese to Turkish, Indian to African, animal-welfare sites highlight vegan-friendly dishes in various cuisines, like miso soup, red pepper hummus and chana masala. They also bust myths concerning nutrition and health for veganism.

Apps like Meal 'n' Heal developed by nutritionist Preethi Raghav are largely helpful. "It is informative as it provides statistics on how you save the environment by going vegan.
There is also a graph that shows how the diet improves your health," says app-user Karuna Devi, whose shift to veganism from non-vegetarianism has benefited her.
Regular vegan meet-ups in the city are also a motivation booster. For instance, potlucks organised by Veg Voyages - a vegan adventure tour company, have served as eye-openers for many.


Ped Mal said...

what is the harm in consuming milk and its derivatives ?

on one hand you seem to support yagnas which require curd, ghee as ahuti, but now veganism; reason ?

Jayasree Saranathan said...

Though this blog is about Veganism, I don't consider diary products as dispensable. There is no harm caused to the animals in procuring these products.