Why I Decided To Go Guilt-Free

Posted by smritibhargav_r in Animal Rights
February 23, 2017

On this weekend, it’ll be a month since I turned vegan or should I say, started following a plant-based diet. The day I informed my family that I was going vegan, most of them were perplexed.

How would you get the energy to do anything at all? What if your bones start crumbling because of a lack of calcium? Did you know that soy leads to knee pain? What about paneer? What about all those desserts that you love?”

I got that they were all worried, but they were ignorant of the fact that milk isn’t as healthy anymore because most of our cows now eat more plastic than bananas. Calves are taken away from their mothers after they are born, so that we human beings can get most of the milk.

Now, my intention is not to get anyone to go vegan. However, let’s face the facts. The hard hitting facts that slammed me right across my face when people in my city, my dear city Chennai, were fighting for the cause of Jallikattu just about a month ago. My heart ached. Here’s why:

Jallikattu is a sport that is over a 1000 years old, where a bull is let loose and the strongest of the men capture him and try to control this ‘beast’. It is also referred to as ‘bull-taming’. This is apparently done in order to save our native breeds. This bothers me and it always will. Nothing justifies a sport that actually proactively allows cruelty towards animals.

Let me put it this way. What a way to save your native breed!

This sport was banned by the Supreme Court of India, given that the investigation — mind you, legitimate investigation — by the Animal Welfare Board of India showed that men twist the tails of these bulls, add chilli powder to their eyes to enrage them and also bite their tails if need be. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

When our ex-chief minister’s ordinance was accepted, it was the day justice failed. Jallikattu was conducted in a few places. Guess what happened after that. History repeated itself. Bulls were tortured and people died too. That’s a double whammy now, isn’t it?

There’s a good chance I’ve lost a few friends because of this argument and you know what? It doesn’t matter. You practice what you preach. After I went vegan, a lot of people have said, “how does it matter if you do it? A lot of people have to do it for it to become a movement.” Now, I possibly can’t wait for pigs to start flying. The number of people I’ve met and conversed with in India ever since I went vegan is just phenomenal and I am so glad I jumped right into the bandwagon.

There is nothing wrong with going guilt-free and cruelty-free. Yes, it is a difficult decision to get rid of your clothes, cosmetics, personal and home care products that are sold in the market after being tested on animals and saying no to products and brands that you’ve been using for ages. However, it is worth it as you are finally guilt-free.
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Image source: Moyan Brenn/ Flickr

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