We’ve all heard of Hollywood celebrities supporting different social causes and in India, it is now becoming more common for celebrities, public figures, and influencers too. Celebrities have the power to influence the public and their stand plays a significant part in spreading awareness about a cause. One such cause many celebrities and the public abroad and in India are supporting is that of farmed animal protection. The cause not just saves animals but also helps avert the ill effects of factory farming and slaughterhouses on the environment and consumer health.
Western celebrities like Leonardo Di Caprio (pictured above) and Bill Gates have endorsed and invested in plant-based meats.
Animal Equality, an animal protection organization based in Pune announced a ‘21 days Plant-powered challenge’ initiative in which public figures take the plant-powered challenge and share their experience; while others who are already plant-powered (vegan) share their journey, tips, etc. The challenge is given through a video that is published on the social media accounts of celebrities and Animal Equality. So far, actor Sadaa Sayed from Telugu film, ‘Jayam’, Aaditi Pohankar from the web series, ‘She’ and Krishna Bhawardwaj from TV series, ‘Tenali Rama’ have presented the challenge.
Amruta Ubale, Senior Director of Public Affairs at Animal Equality says, “Since Sadaa and Aaditi are already following a plant-based diet, they shared their inspiration behind going plant-based, tips and insights. And Krishna took the challenge himself in which he tasted different plant-based dishes and vowed to go plant-based for 21 days.”
Sadaa shared that she turned vegetarian in her childhood. When she learned about the cruelties inflicted on cows and buffaloes for dairy on social media, she eliminated dairy from her diet too. She further shared how she replaced milk with soy milk in her tea and within a few weeks saw benefits like her persistent acne clearing up.
Aaditi shared that she went plant-based because of her connection to animals which was evident since her childhood. She adds that animals are sentient beings capable of expressing themselves and it is easy to go plant-based in a country like India which has a variety and abundance of plant-based foods. She went plant-based after knee surgery and saw its benefits and has been one for 4 years. While sharing what she eats in a day she added that a plant-based diet has helped with her fitness and skin and hair.
Krishna took the challenge from Animal Equality and tasted plant-based tea, chicken nuggets, pizza, blueberry cake and shared that they taste similar to their counterparts and some in fact taste better and are healthier. He adds if you add plant-based alternatives one will not miss out on anything. He further adds that by going plant-based we are helping animals and society.
Because of the multitude of benefits of a plant-based diet, many public figures like Bill Gates and Leonardo Di Caprio have invested in plant-based meat. Recently the Ministry Of Health and Family Welfare’s Eat Right India campaign asked Indians to choose plant-based foods to help fight climate change, citing sustainable living.
Animals in factory farms are separated from their mothers on the very day they are born. At the farm, they are beaten, thrown, and tortured during handling. They are fed antibiotics and hormones to increase their productivity. The animals are given little to no medical care. Male animals are sold for slaughter and the females are sold for slaughter as soon as their egg or milk output capacity reduces.
World Cancer Research Fund states, “Basing your diet on plant foods is a great first step to eating well and reducing your cancer risk.”
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals) states, “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 athletes.”
In a special report published in 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN climate body, found that plant-based diets are a “major opportunity” for mitigating climate change, and recommended that countries reduce meat consumption. Findings from a study at Oxford University; concluded that the single best way a person can reduce their impact on the environment is to follow a vegan diet.