Why Vegan?

Imagine being born just to be someone’s lifelong slave, or to be tortured & killed for their avoidable wants. That’s the story of the tens of billions of land & marine animals that we yearly exploit for food, clothing, entertainment, experimentation, labour, etc.

Animals: Sentient individuals, NOT commodities

Linked to this unimaginable misery is an unjust attitude similar to racism, casteism, sexism and heterosexism. It’s called species-ism – the discrimination that leads to the exploitation of a class of sentient beings on the ethically irrelevant basis of their species. For our obligation to not cause unnecessary suffering, the question is not ‘Can they talk or reason?’. All that matters is ‘Can they suffer?’. And, animals can suffer acutely – physically and emotionally. Hence, there is no justification for causing them suffering and death, except in rare self-preservation situations.

Animals raised for meat (such as chickens, pigs, goats, fishes) and hens raised for eggs are subjected to a lifetime of enslavement, atrocities like mutilation and premature death. Like meat and eggs, milk production also leads to the torture and killing of cows and their babies. Similarly, honey, leather, wool, silk, fur, pearls, entertainment avenues like zoos & circuses, animal-tested products, etc. also involve a lot of barbarities towards innocent sentient beings. Hence, millions of people around the world – including many in India – practice and promote being vegan, i.e., avoiding the above mentioned things and other uses of animals (except in rare cases wherein they are absolutely necessary for survival). In addition to preventing animal exploitation, avoiding animal-based choices is also crucial for improving our own health and mitigating environmental degradation. Read on for details:

Animals feel love, joy, fear and pain just like you and I do. They are NOT object, ingredients or fashion.

The acute misery caused by eggs and meat

De-beaking with a hot blade: A part of the routine torture endured by checken in IndiaChickens raised for eggs and meat are stuffed awfully in tiny cages or a stinking compound containing scores of birds. To reduce the losses by the agonized birds’ pecking, they are de-beaked (i.e., their beaks are chopped off with a hot blade) without anesthesia at a very tender age! At the end of their miserable lives, the birds are butchered barbarically in full view of their terrified fellow victims! The egg hatcheries (even the so called ‘free-range’The tale of suffering is equally sad for fish, goats, pigs and other animals raised for human use ones) brutally kill all male baby chicks, since they can’t lay eggs, and don’t grow fast enough to be raised for meat. This 3-minute clip of Indian poultry farms depicts some of the shocking horrors suffered by egg and meat chickens. The tale of suffering is equally sad for fishes, goats, pigs and other animals raised for humans.
Back to Top

Milk: A source of immense animal suffering

A cow undergoing articifial insemination - an atrocious experienceThe cow (or the buffalo), a mammal like us, has to become pregnant and deliver a baby to be able to produce milk. And, her milk flow lasts only for a limited period after delivery. But, for any tabela/dairy to be financially viable, every cow in it needs to produce milk continuously. Hence, she has to be forced into a constant, body-breaking cycle of pregnancy, birthing and milking! The repeated impregnation is done through a torturous process involving either a shared bull or artificial insemination, exposing the cow to diseases. The cow’s babies, the rightful owners of her milk, are largely deprived of it. Since male babies are useless for milk production, they are either starved or sold to be slaughtered or skinned (often alive for soft leather)! Like humans, cows are deeply attached to their babies. Yet, calves are separated from their mothers, who are subsequently seen letting out cries of anguish for weeks! Milk is mostly extracted through machines, which often run even after the cow’s udders are empty, resulting in a lot of pain. She is injected with hazardous growth hormones like Oxytocin, causing her severe stomach cramps and bone weakness. Kept constantly pregnant and/or lactating, dairy cows get spent very quickly. At less than half their natural age, they are either thrown out on the streets to die eating plastic, or brutally hurled into trucks, which transport them to slaughter houses to die as atrocious a death as their lives have been. This 5-minute video, shot across various Indian tabelas/dairies, shows all of these and other barbarities taking place routinely.
Back to Top

“But, don’t plants feel pain too?”

This is a totally flawed argument. If plants feel pain, that’s actually yet another reason to avoid animal products! That’s because eating animal food (indirectly) takes many times more plants than eating plants directly does. A non-vegan consumes not just animal products, but also the plants fed daily to the animals for their entire lifetimes! Up to 5 times more grains are required to produce the same amount of calories through animals as through direct grain consumption. Thus, avoiding animal food causes the least harm to plants too. Besides, the majority view among scientists is that plants can not feel pain, as they don’t have a central nervous system.

Back to Top

Vegan food: The healthiest choice

Milk, eggs and meat account for most of our cholesterol & saturated fat, and contain no fiber. Contrastingly, plant foods are rich in fiber (essential for good digestion), and contain no cholesterol. These facts are among the several reasons behind the following alarming summary from a number of independent studies, including the biggest study ever to link food and health [Undertaken by Oxford University, Cornell Univ. & others under the name ‘The China Study’]:

Milk, eggs and meat cause or aggravate many dreaded diseases including
heart disease, high BP, cancer, asthma, diabetes and bone weakness.

Milk, eggs and meat cause or aggravate many dreaded diseases including heart disease, high BP, cancer, asthma, diabetes and bone weakness.In other words, vegan food does way more than the removal of excess body fat, and improvement of fitness/energy & digestion. It is actually essential for good health. ‘The Last Heart Attack’, a CNN documentary, features Bill Clinton, who has cured his heart disease through healthy vegan food. It also has the testimonies of many eminent doctors/scientists who advocate plant-based food. The awareness is rising in India too. Dr Nandita Shah has successfully solved a lot of diabetes and heart disease cases merely through healthy vegan food! Moreover, animal foods are alarmingly high in antibiotics, pus & pesticides. The pesticide concentration is much higher in milk, eggs & meat than that in vegetables. Recently, the Food Safety Authority of India found 68% of India’s milk contaminated with pesticides, detergents, etc.!

EMany of the world’s biggest/strongest animals (like elephants, horses and rhinos) are totally vegan. Do they lack bone strength, calcium or protein?!xposing the calcium & protein myths: There’s absolutely no nutrient that vegan food cannot provide [B12 deficiencies are equally likely in non-vegans]. As substantiated by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, milk protein actually leaches calcium from the bones, resulting in bone weakness! Plus, humans absorb only 32% of the calcium in cow’s milk. Even in calcium content, milk is surpassed by dozens of plant foods: leafy green vegetables (like coriander, methi, radish, curry patta), til (sesame seeds), ragi, almonds, rajma, peas (e.g., chana), moong sprouts, soya products like tofu, etc.

The countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis (bone weakness)
are those boasting the highest consumption of dairy products!

If you consume enRobert Cheeke is one of the many successful bodybuilders who consume no meat/eggs/milk, proving that we need not torture & kill animals to tone up our bodies.ough calories, you are bound to get enough protein! That’s why protein deficiencies are mostly found in malnourished people. In fact, excess protein leads to serious harm. Anyhow, there are plenty of protein-rich plant foods: all pulses (dal), soy products, all legumes [peas like chana, beans such as rajma, etc.], almonds & other nuts, seeds, and more. In fact, there have been quite a few world-class vegan athletes and body builders, ranging from two-time Olympian Seba Johnson (a vegan since birth), to long-distance runner turned renowned bodybuilder Robert Cheeke (another long-time vegan). Many have also sustained babies and pregnancies on totally vegan food, and are healthier for it!
Back to Top

Vegan for the environment and food security

Animal products use up resources like land and water massively, since the 10s of billions of animals that we breed every year have to be fed & hydrated daily all through their lives. Growing loads of crops for animals and then eating animal-based food is a terribly inefficient way to feed ourselves: It takes up to 10 kg of grains to make 1 kg of animal food! The UN finds that animal agriculture uses up a whopping 50% of the world’s grains, and enormous deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions & energy depletion! As much as 50% of India’s maize becomes animal feed. There’s simply not enough land and water to continue using animal products. A huge contributor to climate change, our non-vegan choices also cause a lot of air pollution [animal farms release harmful gasses like H2S & methane], water pollution [through farm runoff] & soil degradation.
Back to Top

Conditioned vs natural

No species in nature drinks the milk of another species, or any milk at all post infancy!Ever wondered why milk and eggs are the only unbranded foods being advertised? That’s because natural, instinctive foods like fruits and veggies never need to be marketed. What would a small (unconditioned), hungry child pick up when offered carrots, and a live chicken? Our so-called canine teeth do not make us omnivorous, as canines are also found in several herbivores (e.g., gorillas, horses, hippos). From laterally moving jaws to long intestines, humans possess a dozen physiological traits that put us closer to plant-eaters than omnivores. Arteries of omnivores in nature are never clogged, but heart disease through clogged arteries caused by animal products is the biggest killer of humans! As for milk, no species in nature drinks another species’ milk, or any milk at all post infancy. Each animal’s milk is tailor-made for her species by nature. Hence, hormonally and biologically, the milk of a cow/buffalo is totally unsuitable for humans. Finally, since we breed (i.e. artificially produce) the animals we use, going vegan will bring the animal population way down to the natural state.
Back to Top


It is ironic that many of us avoid racism, casteism, sexism, heterosexism, etc., but unconsciously practice a similar injustice called species-ism, i.e., the exploitation of animals not belonging to the human species. We know that it’s wrong to discriminate on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, etc. Then, how is it fair to enslave and torment animals just because of their species (that too merely for pleasure, not survival)? Why should justice & kindness be confined to humans when animals too feel pain acutely?

“Animals exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans,
just like blacks were not made for whites, and women not for men.”

What we are doing to animals is analogous to the human slavery that we cringe at the thought of. Imagine being born just to be enslaved & tortured for life! That’s exactly the story of the billions of animals that we breed into existence every year. Had these victims been humans, we’d have called this an unprecedented genocide. And, this atrocity is being powered by ordinary people! Thankfully, most of us successfully overcame centuries of conditioning to shun human slavery. We need to again choose ethics over history, and take the next leap in our ethical evolution by eradicating animal exploitation. Millions already have.

The question is NOT ‘Can they reason or talk?’. It is ‘Can they suffer?’.

Back to Top

Renowned vegan personalities

Tobey Maguire aka ‘Spiderman’ is a staunch vegan who doesn’t allow anyone wearing animal skin (e.g., leather) in his house. He even sent back a Mercedes with leather seats.Here are some interesting anecdotes/quotes from a few of the many eminent vegans. Tobey Maguire (‘Spiderman’), a staunch vegan, doesn’t allow anyone wearing animal skin (e.g., leather) in his house. He even sent back a Mercedes with leather seats. Another inspiration is former Citibank vice president Philip Wollen, for whom, being vegan is ”to be able to look in the mirror without feeling profoundly ashamed”. ‘Avatar’ director James Cameron’s initial motivation for going vegan was environmental conservation. He terms the avoidance of animal products as the “single biggest thing that an individual can do to combat climate change”. Germany’s strongest man, Patrik Baboumian, is vegan!
Back to Top

Leather, wool and silk are NOT cruelty-free byproducts

Your leather sofa has blood on it!Milk production is the most common source of leather. Since male calves have no use for a tabela/dairy, most of them are used for leather. They are often intentionally starved, so that can be skinned quickly. Indians are the worst offenders, as our indiscriminate dairy consumption has made us the largest exporter of cow leather! Leather makes up half of all profits of many slaughter houses. Thus, leather (and wool) buyers make meat much cheaper. Wool also causes many atrocities such as flesh stripping on sheep. A silk cloth leads to the exploitation and killing of tons of silk worms.
Back to Top

The cruelty caused by consuming honey

Honey is nothing but bee-vomit. It is the bees’ buffer food. During a bee’s lifetime, she makes only about one teaspoon of honey!  To make just one pound, a bee colony flies over 55,000 miles! Humans ruin all that, destroy their homes (hives), and steal their critical food security. This process also injures and kills many bees. Bee keeping too causes enormous pain and death. The queen bee’s wings are often cut off to ground her. Scores of bees are kept in a small box, and many routinely get crushed to death.
Back to Top

Does it harm employment? Not at all

A vegan world will not have fewer jobs. The reduced employment in the animal products industry will be compensated for by increased openings in the vegan products industry. Jobs decline when the demand diminishes. But, veganism doesn’t reduce the demand; it only changes the demand. And, history shows that the market is very adaptable. Besides, from tobacco to chemical weapons, there are many unethical things wherein people are employed, but, do we approve of such things? No, because there exist enough cruelty-free means of employment.
Back to Top

Agreed, but what about insects in the house?

The idea is to try one’s sincere best to cause the least amount of cruelty necessary for survival. So, rather than hurting or killing insects, we prefer to keep them at bay through cleanliness, nets and/or repellents. Besides, it’s one thing to inflict pain in self-defense or accidentally, and totally another to do so when it is avoidable.
Back to Top

Vegan alternatives exist for almost everything!

As a vegan, you will never feel deprived of tasty food!Being vegan is easier than ever. Avoiding animal products does not mean giving up yummy food, comfortable clothing, enjoyable entertainment, etc. Sweets, cakes, chocolates, ice-creams, curd, paneer, cheese, pizza, tea/coffee – pretty much everything – can be enjoyed without anything animal-derived! Find all the alternatives, recipes, vegan products, eat-out options and tips on A complete practical guide to delightful vegan living.

Plant based milks made from cashews, almonds, coconut, soy, peanuts, rice, etc. can veganize any dish you love! Tofu (a healthier taste substitute for paneer), milk-free chocolates, vegan biscuits, soya milk, etc. are readily available in stores. Many cities also have options for vegan ice-creams and cakes. As for eating out, restaurants of every cuisine serve dishes that are devoid of dairy, eggs, meat & honey.

Like food, other choices can easily be cruelty-free too. There are ample options for non-leather furniture, footwear & accessories. Wool, silk, fur, pearls & honey can be easily substituted or avoided too. Shampoos, soaps, cosmetics and other lifestyle products involving no animal testing/ingredients are also readily available. To sum up, veganism involves no deprivation at all! The following will make your vegan life even smoother:

Back to Top

“If you think it’s difficult for you to be vegan,
imagine how terribly difficult it is for the animals that you are not vegan!”

  1. Loved this article, one of the best I read on the subject.

  2. any one who says he is a vegetarian should see this vedieo.shoking to say the least

  3. dee[ly shocked.. its horrible what we are doing to animals…i will definitely turn into a vegan

    • Great to learn about your vegan resolution. I have just sent you a detailed email providing many pointers (including practical pointers) on vegan living from pulkitparikh[at]gmail[dot]com.

      Please join https://www.facebook.com/groups/vegansinindia/ if you are on Facebook. Which city do you live in? Based on that, we can also send you pointers to a local vegan group.

      Welcome to the win-win-win lifestyle in terms of animal torture avoidance, environmental sustainability and personal health improvement!

  4. I am a vegetarian through out my life till now and thought that I was doing the best thing by vegetarian.But, after reading this article I found out how wrong I was.I will try and adopt vegan lifestyle.Thank you for such a valuable article

    • Amulya, great to learn about your vegan resolution. I have just sent you a detailed email providing many pointers (including practical pointers) on vegan living from pulkitparikh[at]gmail[dot]com.

      Please join https://www.facebook.com/groups/vegansinindia/ if you are on Facebook. Which city do you live in? Based on that, we can also send you pointers to a local vegan group.

      Welcome to the win-win-win lifestyle in terms of animal torture avoidance, environmental sustainability and personal health improvement!

  5. I am a vegetarian from birth, I am following it till now, and I never ever give up my lifestyle. But I am really shocked knowing about the cruelty involved. I will adopt complete vegan lifestyle. Now, I got a strong base to convince my friends who are non-vegetarians, who might not be aware of the extent of cruelty involved. Instead of getting inspired and impressed by this lifestyle, they make fun of vegetarians. I am sure this article gives an useful insight to a lot of people. Thank you !

  6. I am , before reading this post, a ardent meat lover. I didn’t see any video here..but understood the gist of it in the article..I am gonna try my best to be a vegan from now..

  7. Great.. more and more people should read it

  8. Hi ,

    I am apurva, I need to thank Hyderabad vegans for giving so much information on veganism. I have been thinking on from recentpast to become vegan,after knowing “Sharan and Hyderabad vegan” overnight became vegan(vegan diet) since Aug 21 2015.I am so happy I made the decision and successful in practising and I hope will continue for ever. Thank you for providing info and would like to join your group

  9. Deva Devan Nethala

    Its nice reading your blog. I am a recent Vegan. 2 months back I happened to watch the video by gary yourofsky – best speech ever posted by a UK citizen on a news blog. I feel bad as to why i did not come across it earlier. There is an urgent need for mass education and awareness to bring about a change in perspective of general public towards animals suffering we humans are causing. I have decided to be a vegan to endorse the right to life and freedom of animals, not to treat them as commodities. Its a movement that has set it self against a hugh challenge. The challenge of breaking the religious & traditional beliefs of good people, killing animals to please there Gods and stomach. There has to be a missionary zeal shown by all vegans to bring about a better tomorrow for our animal citizens. I am from Hyderabad (ECIL) would like to actively participate in your forum.

  10. Amazing blog. Wondering why I did not find this earlier. I am a Jain and a lacto-vegetarian since birth. I have been following a vegan diet as much as possible (like around 99.9% of the time) since around two months now and most probably will continue for the rest of my life. It bugs me that most Jains go to such lengths to not cause any suffering and pain of the living creatures around them, and yet they ignorantly consume dairy products in such huge quantites! They need to be educated well regarding this matter. I am sure they are not bad people and are just narrow minded and ignorants.

    The only problem for me is that here, in Mira Road, Mumbai, there is nobody that truly understands veganism. So, there are not many junk foods options which taste very very good. But again, this is not a huge problem for me as I eating super duper healthy and clean like nine days out of ten days.

    The sad thing though is that as people are getting richer here in India, they are leaning towards eating non-vegetarian stuff more and more and actually many people are turning into non-vegetarians from vegetarians here in India!

    Hopefully, things go in reverse some day (maybe after a few years) after people become educated!

    Keep up the blog though! ❤

    • Hi Adarsh,

      Great to know about your interest in veganism. If you are in mumbai, you are in a very decent city for vegans. Join Veganism in Mumbai group to get in touch with other vegans in the city : https://www.facebook.com/groups/vegansinmumbai/

      You could also join Vegans in India fb group. The files section of this group has list of vegan businesses in the country. You will find many options for Mumbai there.

      Veganism is catching up fast in India too. We meet new vegans almost everyday (virtually of course, not physically). So there is a ray of hope for animals. 🙂


      • Thanks. I am thinking of opening my own vegan food corner or something like that which provides healthy and nutritious meals right here somewhere in Mira Road (East). Waiting for my IPCC exams to get over. 😀 I am sure that there are at least a few dozen people or more right here in my locality who want to be able to eat healthy food outside with comfort but are not able to.
        And I have joined both the groups – Vegans In India and Vegans In Mumbai. Looking forward to great things. But I do not like to travel much to eat. I like the comfort of my house. In South Bombay there are quite a few vegan places, but right here there are none.


    It’s an eye opener.
    I’m grateful to GOD for showing this information earlier.

    ” VEGAN “👍✌

  12. nishchala kodandpani

    Hi all,
    I am new to hyderabad , I was not sure as to where i can find vegan ( almond) yogurt . It will be really helpful if you can provide me with a list of places i can try.


  13. 8 years ago at age 50, I was 90 lbs overweight and in pain all the time. I went Vegan, began working out, lost all the weight and was pain free. After a divorce and some financial issues, i started drinking and eventually went back to my old diet; meat, lots of carbs, even fast food. I’m right back where I was and am in pain. Several of my joints are swollen and hurt severely. Glad I found this site. Just got back from the store and Health Food market. Bought all organic produce, a juicer and some good supplements. Came home and threw away ALL the crappy food in my apt. Today is the first day on my journey to good health. Really excited!


    Nice.. I am interested to be as a vegan

  15. I am against animal cruelty and would like to join a vegan club if any in Secunderabad..

  16. quite informative..nice read..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s