This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Animal Equality India. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Three Reasons To Stop Eating Meat

More from Animal Equality India

More and more people are becoming aware of the downsides of eating meat and are moving away from it. International celebrities like Lewis Hamilton, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Liam Hemsworth and Ellen Page are a few of the many celebs who have adopted a cruelty-free diet. Closer to home, celebrities like Kangana Ranaut, Shahid Kapoor, Richa Chadda, Ayesha Takia,  Rupali Ganguly are vegan.

Like them, millions around the world are choosing to leave meat and other animal products out of their diet for a variety of reasons. Read on to find out the three major reasons that are fuelling this paradigm shift away from meat.

  • It’s healthier!

“Appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.” – The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

  • The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. They recommend well planned meatless diets for optimal health. So does the World Health Organisation, the Harvard School of Public Health and the World Cancer Research Fund.  
  • On the other hand, numerous studies are reporting that eating meat is linked to a host of health problems, such as cancer, heart disease and even the decline of semen quantity and quality in men.


  • The World Health Organisation released an intensive report which concluded that processed meats cause cancer.
  • The study also observed that red meat, such as mutton, pork, lamb and beef, may increase the risk of colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancer.
  • But a high-fibre vegan diet can prevent cancer and even promote healing. A study found that women following a vegan diet had 34% lower rates of cancer than women who ate a non-vegetarian diet.

Cardiovascular disease

Cardiovascular diseases accounted for around one‐fourth of all deaths in India in 2008. These diseases are expected to be the fastest growing chronic illnesses in India; between 2005 and 2015 the growth rate was spotted 9.2% annually.

  • Studies have shown that eating meat can increase your cholesterol levels, lead to clogged arteries and other heart related diseases. In general, meat and dairy products are high in cholesterol and saturated fat, which may contribute to heart diseases.
  • By contrast, plant foods are low in saturated fat and contain no cholesterol.
  • On top of that, cholesterol-lowering nutritional components such as soluble fibers, unsaturated fats and phytochemicals, are found almost exclusively in plant foods.
  • A vegan diet can reduce the risk of developing heart disease by up to 32%.


  • There is a growing body of research connecting meat consumption to diabetes.
  • Researchers believe that sodium, nitrites and heme iron are the three main components in meat that increase diabetes risk.
  • One study concluded that choosing plant-based proteins can actually help prevent diabetes.
  • A vegan diet can also improve kidney function.


Nearly 70% of antibiotics are sold for use in meat and dairy production.

Normally, a chick takes months to naturally reach the weight of an adult chicken. But at farms, they’re routinely given feed laden with antibiotics to grow their bodies unnaturally fast. This massive use of antibiotics results in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. That means when you are sick and have to take antibiotics, it will not work.  Due to the antibiotics birds put on weight at an accelerated rate. Their delicate legs can’t handle the weight and they get crippled.

  • The World Health Organization released a report warning about the danger of antibiotic overuse in India and the subsequent phenomenon of antibiotic resistance.
  • Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to health today.

Today, it’s much easy to find nutritious and delicious vegan alternatives to meat. Tofu, lentils, quinoa and various beans are all rich in protein. Amaranth(rajgira), is another super food that is packed with protein along with numerous other vitamins and minerals.

There is a growing list of vegan athletes whose physical performances actually became better, including ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek and MMA competitor Mac Danzig. You can visit the SHARAN India’s website for more information on eating a healthy meatless diet.

2) It’s better for the environment.

There are a host of direct and indirect environmental problems associated with raising livestock for meat.

GHG emissions

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, the production of meat and dairy is one of the biggest contributors to global warming due to the emission of greenhouse gases, such as methane and carbon dioxide (CO2).

  • According to FAO 14.5% of all human-caused global greenhouse gas emissions are due to animal farming.
  • This is higher than the combined emissions from the entire transportation sector- including road, rail and ship.
  • India’s emissions of the GHG methane from livestock, is larger than any other country constituting 63.4% of the total GHG emissions from agriculture in India.

Water Use

Meat production uses an enormous quantity of water.  

Water being used on a dairy farm. Old and unproductive dairy animals are eventually sent to be slaughtered for meat.

  • Water is used to grow the crops which are fed to the animals, instead of people.
  • Meat production, particularly if based on intensive grain feeds and irrigated forages, requires 10-50 times more water than crop production.
  • Water is used to maintain the animals and to keep their bodies cool.
  • It is also used in abundance in the slaughterhouses.

Water Pollution

The meat industry is also responsible for polluting water. Animal faeces and other pollutants are diverted into nearby water bodies and groundwater.

The crops grown to feed the animals are treated with massive doses of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, which seep into the groundwater. Antibiotics also find their way into the water systems.

Land Use

  • Keeping livestock for meat uses a lot of land, which can include ecologically important areas like prairies, wetlands and forests.
  • Forests are cut down to make space for pastures and fodder extraction.
  • At present, 26% of the planet’s ice-free land is used to graze farmed animals, and a third of all croplands are also used to grow feed for animals.
  • Slightly more than one-third of the total global surface area is being wasted on industrial animal farming.



3) It’s kind to both- animals and human beings.

For People

Hunger is one of the most prevalent issues that affect impoverished Indians on a large scale. The 2011 Global Hunger Index (GHI) Report ranked India 15th, amongst leading countries with hunger situation. Then why do we end up feeding a huge amount of global soya and corn crops to animals instead of feeding people who are suffering from hunger or malnutrition?

The world population has reached 7.5 billion, but if corn was distributed equally around the globe an additional 3 billion people could still be fed.

Water scarcity is also a pressing issue in India, yet we are still using a significant amount of water in meat production. Lack of clean drinking water is often lethal for impoverished people, especially children. The World Bank estimates that 21% of communicable diseases in India linked to not having access to safe water.

For Animals

It’s common knowledge that animals feel pain as they possess a central nervous system. Science has also confirmed that farmed animals too are sentient beings, who, just like us, have the ability to feel various emotions.

Like humans, animals form strong emotional bonds with each other.

In India, 1.2 million farmed animals are killed for food every hour. More than 180 million male chicks are killed every year because they can’t lay eggs. In 2014, more than 372.3 million cattle were exploited for their milk and later slaughtered for their meat.

In 2017 we released nationwide studies exposing the cruel egg, chicken and dairy production of India.  If animals can feel pain and emotions like fear, should we still be eating them? More importantly, is there any need to?

Vegetarianism and veganism are not new concepts. Nikola Tesla and Leonardo Da Vinci were vegetarian, as were many other noted thinkers and leaders throughout human history. Avoiding meat has been an integral part of Indian culture. India has the world’s highest percentage of vegetarians in the world.

Animal rights started in India with King Ashoka. He brought about a number of changes in favour of animal protection. Like him, many great Indian leaders, including M.K Gandhi, didn’t eat meat.

APJ Abdul Kalam was a vegetarian

Today, it’s much easier than ever before to thrive on a meatless diet. Mock meat brands like Veggie Champ, Vezlay, Vegeta, Vegitein and Good Dot have entered the Indian market and sell their products across India at affordable prices. There are lots of easy recipes available online, too.

Mock meat by Good Dot

So what are you waiting for? Take a pledge today to choose veg.



Youth Ki Awaaz is an open platform where anybody can publish. This post does not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions.

You must be to comment.

More from Animal Equality India

Similar Posts

By Tanish Agarwal

By Jaidev Malik

By Fatem

    If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

      If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        If you do not receive an email within the next 5 mins, please check your spam box or email us at

        Wondering what to write about?

        Here are some topics to get you started

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

        Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

        The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

        Read more about his campaign.

        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

        Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

        Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

        Read more about her campaign.

        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

        With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Read more about her campaign. 

        A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

        As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Find out more about the campaign here.

        A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

        She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

        The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

        Share your details to download the report.

        We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

        A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

        Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
        biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

        Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
        campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

        Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below