People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) India today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to close all slaughterhouses and meat shops on Gandhi Jayanti.
"I am writing to you from Peta India on behalf of our two million members and supporters with a request that all slaughterhouses and meat shops in India be closed on every Gandhi Jayanti," Peta India said in the letter written to the Prime Minister.
Peta's vegan outreach coordinator Kiran Ahuja said that October 2 commemorates the 'Father of the Nation' Mahatma Gandhi who advocated non-violence and vegetarianism.
Peta India said eating animal-based foods wreaks havoc on human health which stands in direct contrast to the purpose of the Central government's 'Eat Right India' and 'Fit India Movement' initiatives.
Shutting slaughterhouses and meat shops at least on Gandhi Jayanti would encourage the public to eat healthy, eco-friendly and most importantly humanely produced plant-based foods, Ahuja added.
"Such measures have been taken by local governments but we hope you agree that the national directive would be a fitting tribute to the 'Father of the Nation' Mahatma Gandhi advocated for vegetarian eating," Peta India said.
The letter went on to outline how animals were subjected to cruel treatment in warehouses. "They are typically confined to filthy, crowded cages or warehouses and denied everything that is natural and important to them. They are torn away from their loved ones and often subjected to painful mutilations or kept chained or tied in place until they are killed."
Stuffed in cramped and crowded transports to be taken to the slaughterhouses, many break their bones, suffocate or die from other causes, Ahuja said, adding that at most slaughterhouses, terrified animals' throats are slit or they are even dismembered while being conscious in full view of their companions.
"Today, doctors warn that meat and other animal-based foods are linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other life-threatening ailments and live animal markets, factory farms and slaughterhouses are behind animal-borne diseases, including bird flu and swine flu which spread to and sicken humans. Indeed, scientists overwhelmingly believe the current pandemic originated in a live animal market in China," Peta said.
A United Nations (UN) report has advised a global move for a plant-based diet to save the world from the worst impacts of climate change. According to a study published in the 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences', animal agriculture uses up one-third of the world's freshwater and global cropland as feed for animals.
(With agency inputs).