On 21st January 2024, the animal rights organisation PETA India staged a poignant protest in Chhattisgarh, a landlocked state in Central India, in which an activist covered in fake blood was lying on a giant plate alongside vegetables and an oversized knife and fork to remind passers-by that no one wants to be carved up and served as food.

In a statement about the event, PETA India said, “Animals killed for food suffer terribly, as can be seen in PETA India’s disturbing and highly publicised video exposé “Glass Walls”. Thousands of chickens on factory farms are packed into crowded sheds that reek of ammonia from the accumulated waste in which they’re forced to stand. They’re denied everything that’s natural and important to them. When chickens and other animals killed for food are crammed into vehicles and transported to slaughterhouses, they’re contained in such high numbers that many sustain broken bones, suffocate, or even die on the journey. At slaughterhouses, workers often hack at the throats of goats, sheep, and other animals with dull blades. On the decks of fishing boats, fish suffocate or are cut open while they’re still alive. Each person who goes vegan spares nearly 200 animals per year immense suffering and a terrifying death. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of water pollution and one of the largest consumers of land and water. A United Nations report concluded that a global shift towards vegan eating is necessary to combat the worst effects of the climate catastrophe.”

India is the country in the world with most vegetarians, so one would expect that it should not be that difficult to persuade people to become vegan. However, like in any other country, many people feel reluctant to change habits and traditions, especially if they are rooted in religion (as is the case of the Hindu, Sikh, and Jain traditions of India), so pro-vegan demonstrations are still needed.

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.