by Ali Berman
Categories: Animals, Eats
Tags: .
Photo: PR Photos

One of the world’s most outspoken and influential vegetarians, Paul McCartney, has asked the Indian Prime Minister to declare a national vegetarian day.

India, a country where an estimated 42% of the 1.2 billion people who live there are vegetarian, seems like a perfect place to declare a day for compassion and respect for animals.

PETA noted that McCartney’s letter said that a day celebrating the vegetarian diet could help animals, the environment, and people’s health.

McCartney wrote: “It would be a celebration of life.”

A day devoted to being veg seems like a great idea to me. Activists in the US have tried to create their own with movements like the annual Meat Out; but imagine a day set aside by the government. That would certainly get people’s attention. (Editor’s note: And send Fox News into hysterics.)

Via CBS News

About Ali Berman

Ali Berman is the author of Choosing a Good Life: Lessons from People Who Have Found Their Place in the World (Hazelden) and Misdirected (Seven Stories Press). She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. Her published work can be found on her website at aliberman.com. In early 2012 Ali co-founded flipmeover, a production company with the mission to use media to raise awareness of social issues.

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  • http://www.the-slap.com Marcus Riedner

    Celebrating life means participating in the circle of life. Homo Sapiens is a species that evolved to eat meat, and living on a diet without animal proteins is dangerous for most, if not all, people. ( Read The Vegetarian Myth to hear a first hand account of the damage vegan diets can do ). Plus it seems silly, in the natural order of the world apex predators ( lions, bears, humans ) consume species further down the natural order. In turn we all get eaten by bacteria, recycled back into the ecosystem. In the end, everyone is just food for another species.

    The entire idea that being a vegetarian saves ‘lives’ is foolish, given the damage that agriculture does to natural biospheres. Vast numbers of herbivores can be grazed on natural settings like prairies, preserving the ecosystems and lives of these bioregions. Or we can rip it all up ( like we have ) and replace it with monocrops of soy , corn, and wheat ( the vegan holy trinity ).

    The real complaint here shouldn’t be with meat, it should be with how our entire food system operates. A concentration camp cow is a very different thing from a pasture raised cow. An organic monocrop carrot you buy in the store is a very different thing from an heirloom carrot grown in your own garden. In both cases the latter ( pasture cow and garden carrot ) will be superior nutritionally and have a lower environmental impact.

    While I recognize that various faith groups ( Hindu, Buddhism, PETA ) associate veganism with a deeper sense of world orientation I see no reason why the Indian government should give them a special recognition day for being a vegitarian. I also wonder how many of those 480 million people in India who are vegetarian are doing it out of choice, or out of poverty?

    • http://www.herwinsvegancafe.com herwin

      thats so touchy. can you also post your opinion about “concentration cows versus pasture cows” on pro meat websites ?

    • BenCat1000

      Marcus, you said: “In turn we all get eaten by bacteria, recycled back into the ecosystem. In the end, everyone is just food for another species.”

      Yes, maybe so, but the difference between bacteria “eating” a human is that the bacteria didn’t kill the human in order to eat it. Unlike “apex predator” humans killing animals so as to be able to eat them. The bacteria are not criminals, the humans are…..especially because we humans know that taking a life is not correct morally, ethically, emotionally, etc.

      Then, you go on to discuss the problems with our food system as if animals are food, comparing a cow to a carrot…unbelievable!

  • Jane

    I really really can’t help but feel like this is out of some sense of paternalism and trying to educate the ignorant, swarthy masses on the right way to be. Why go after India? Why not the United States or Canada?

    • Louis

      Because, silly, India is a nation with huge numbers of vegetarians. If anyone is going to have a national day to celebrate vegetarianism, India would be a good place to do it. It’s irritating when the PC police see paternalism behind every corner.

      • Jane

        It’s also really irritating when people mansplain and condescend to people who have a legitimate concern. The fact that nearly half of India is made up of vegetarians suggests that India is plenty knowledgeable about vegetarianism, so why do they need some white guy to swoop down and tell them they need to be celebrating it? Think critically about that for a minute before you bust out with that PC police crap.

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  • http://indiaanimals.org/ India Week for Animals

    1st Annual India Weeks for Animals is coming and being celebrated January 14-31, 2011. Please visit official website and share the joy of India and the precious animals. Let’s together help the India orgs and animals.