Veganism in India

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The more relaxed the cow is, the more milk you'll get Cropped shot of a male farmer milking a cow Milking Stock Photo

I am not going to have the article styled as a typical blog-like write-up. I am going to write the content freestyle. Let me get started right away. If you look at it, India is the only country in the world with almost 25-30% of the population that follows vegetarianism, as a part of living. Vegetarians freely consume dairy products in the form of curds, paneer, milkshakes, ice creams, sweets, and so on and so forth. If you were to interview an Indian guy or girl on veganism, they would say, “I only drink milk and dairy products that come from animals that are alive. I do not contribute to the death or slaughter of a living animal. In what way can this amount to cruelty done to animals?’’ This is the overall perspective an Indian householder would end up saying to you. The general perception is far away from the brutal truth. While it is true that the milk is secreted from a live animal, be it a cow or a buffalo, what happens to the cows or buffaloes when they can no longer produce any more milk? What happens to the calves that are forcibly brought into the planet via artificial insemination? When you research Google or the Internet, you will have enough mind-blowing facts to ponder over. 

The dairy industry thrives on exploiting the mammary glands of cows, calves, and buffaloes. India is the largest producer of milk, and it is also the fact that India is the 2nd largest exporter of beef the world over. Do you think this is a coincidence? No surely, this isn’t. The dairy industry, the beef industry, and the leather industry work hand in hand. Let me explain to you how the process takes place. Cows or buffaloes are artificially impregnated in order to keep the lactation process up and running. Coz only if the animals are made pregnant, the milk flows into their mammary glands. Post their births, the calves are forcibly taken from the cows by the workers of the dairy industry. This is done almost 24 hours post-birthing of cows or buffaloes. The dairy calves if they turn out male, are discarded at nearby ponds or forest areas. Some dairy farm owners leave them to starve to death. 

Else, they are left on the roadsides to rot. The dairy cows if born females, take the place of their spent mothers. Dairy cows which can otherwise live for 20-25 years as their natural lifespan are artificially impregnated every single year. They are pumped with highly harmful sedatives like oxytocin, hormones, and antibiotics to help them increase their productivity of milk. This puts their bodies at a complete level of stress. The animals collapse when they are hardly 4-5 years old. The spent dairy cows are again sent for slaughter. This way, you have enough cattle to satiate the demands of the beef cum leather industry. Male calves are killed at veal centers for cheap grade meat, while spent dairy cows are slaughtered and sent to the leather industry for tanning their skins away. Cows that are alive are burnt at 950 centigrade to scrape out their skin which satisfies the demands of the leather industry. Hence, the dairy, beef, and leather industries work hand in hand with each other. 

Hence, the glass of milk, cheddar cheeses, thick curds, paneer, milk sweets, ice creams, and varied other products that come to you are at the cost of slaughtering billions of cows and buffaloes. We call the cow ‘Goumata’ and worship her in movies and emotional soap serials. But what we are doing to their docile and innocent lives is pure evil and misery. 

Again, In India, we go by baseless propaganda in the name of religion. We say to ourselves “Lord Krishna himself drank milk’. While it may be partially true, we have never heard of Lord Krishna artificially impregnating milch cows to get their babies out. Lord Krishna never separated mother cows from their offspring. Then, when the milking process was done, Lord Krishna never slaughtered animals by their body parts. Again, today we live in Kaliyuga. During Lord Krishna’s period, the name of the era was ‘Dwaparyuga’. People lovingly cared and nurtured for animals at that point in time. Cows were allowed to calve, and the remaining milk was utilized by households to make milk, butter, curds, etc. During the Dwaparyuga, people allowed cows and calves to freely graze in ever-green pastures. So, our comparisons of what Lord Krishna did for the herd and what we do now for dairy animals cannot be justified even from a closer point of view. One must learn to compare apples with apples, after all. 

Therefore, although plenty of dishes like your poha, upma, masala Dosas, oatmeal, puri, or rice Pongal are default vegan dishes, a majority of the Indian population is still skeptical to go completely vegan. We make a lot of recipes that use Makhan, ghee, or curds in your daily staples. Rava idlis use curds or yogurts. Punjabi Kadis use thick curds to make the staple. We make ‘Moor-kozhambu’ and ‘avial’ here in the Southern part of India. Moor Kozhumbu refers to a South Indian gravy made from a soft mushy vegetable camouflaged with thick curds. Avial refers to a stew-like consistency where diced veggies like carrots, beans, raw plantains, brinjals, peas, etc. are added. Coconut milk and yogurt are mixed alongside the dish. We can easily veganize these dishes using plant-based curds after all. At Gujrati restaurants, they have rabdi with jalebis, Kadis, and other dairy-based delights, that heavily rely on the usage of condensed milk or a thick variety of curds. Again, you can use creamy plant-based milk to replicate the very same recipes. Bengali sweets like Ras Gulla, Gulab jamuns, Sandeshi, and Malai sandwiches, Ras Malai predominantly make use of milk-based chenna to have the delights curated. You can use the chenna from peanut milk or other forms of plant-based milk too. You get on-the-shelf plant-based sweets too. This is in case; you do not have enough time to make plant-based sweets at home. Log on to https://www.vvegano.comto discover plant-based Bengali sweets that you can avail of, on a platter.

Again, I wish more and more vegetarian restaurants to introduce vegan dishes too. Say like a Tofu or a Cashew-based paneer masala, vegan ghee masala Dosas, vegan cheese sandwiches, etc. This way, more and more vegans can dine together with their families. Eventually, we can allow our family members to taste the plant-based versions at the same restaurants serving dairy-rich food. This way, they can figure out the differences in taste between a plant-based food and that made from animal milk secretion. We do have Vegan restaurants in pockets of Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and other parts of India. But even vegetarian restaurants can slowly incorporate vegan dishes to serve the vegan communities and animal activists who constantly fight for the rights of animals. With this, I put myself to rest!

About Vvegano:

We are an online vegan store based out of India. We have personalized lifestyle products catering to people belonging to the present millennium.  You get nut butters, mock meats, plant-based sweets, dairy-free alternatives, groceries and wellness care products from our store. Do check out some of our outstanding collections right here:

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