Tag Archives: India

Vegetarian way grows around the world

Globe - blue & greenWe’re happy to report that the vegetarian way of eating continues to grow world over, north and south. The latest countries to gain new notice are India and Sweden.

Palitana, an Indian city, has become the first all vegetarian city in the world.  Behind this revolutionary change are the Jain monks who went on a hunger strike to pressure the state of Gujarat to outlaw animal slaughter in their city. The hunger strike was successful and the Gujarat government imposed a ban on animal slaughter and outlawed the sale of meat and eggs. Virat Sagar Maharaj, a Jain monk, says, “Everyone in this world – whether animal or human being or a very small creature – has all been given the right to live.”

A recent survey has found that one in ten people in Sweden is a vegetarian or vegan. There has been a four per cent increase in the number of Swedes adopting a meat-free lifestyle over the past five years, according the study commissioned by Animal Rights Sweden. The largest percentage of vegetarians and vegans were in the Skane and Stockholm areas. In the poll conducted by Demoskop, six per cent of respondents said they were vegetarians, while four per cent said they were vegans. The highest prevalence was seen among 15-34 year-olds, with 17 per cent describing themselves as vegetarian or vegan.

More Countries Ban Foie Gras – the indelicate delicacy!

GeeseWe are happy to report that India has just joined the growing honor roll of countries which have banned foie gras, or swollen goose, and sometimes duck, liver.

The initiative for the ban got started in 2012 by animal welfare organizations complaining to their government, and documenting the awful conditions that geese and ducks endure while being force fed in order to swell their livers. India has also taken the extra step of not only banning the production of foie gras, but also banning its importation.

Other countries banning the production of foie gras under various laws and regulations include the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Israel, Turkey and Argentina. Unfortunately, countries that still produce it include Canada, China, Bulgaria, Spain, Hungary, and of course, France.

Closer to home, the city of Chicago has also banned foie gras, as has the entire state of California, where it has successfully survived several court challenges and now may be headed for the Supreme Court.

Producing foie gras is considered to be particularly harsh by animal welfare groups, as well as unhealthy by health groups. For anyone who still wants foie gras, we’re happy to say that there are now animal-product-free foie gras analogues, such as the very popular White Truffle Country Pate, made by our home-town company, Field Roast, and there’s also Elianni’s Vegan Pate. Both are available at local veg-friendly grocery stores, or by mail order through several online veg mail order companies. Some of the local vegetarian restaurants also feature an indulgent vegetarian pate. Or, if you like to cook, try this recipe!

Learn more about the California Foie Gras ban here.

The Dream of All-Vegetarian McDonald’s

The dream of all-vegetarian McDonald’s restaurants has taken a step closer to becoming a reality. After offering 50% vegetarian menus at most of its restaurants in India, McDonald’s has taken the next step with the announcement of their first two all-veg restaurants, which will open in India in the next few months.

While this is big news for the global veg world, it has many in the veg movement hoping that other countries will be next, including the good old US of A.  A recent survey showed that fully 40% of the Indian population follows a vegetarian diet. While the percentages are lower here in the US, one recent survey showed that there are as many as 15 million vegetarians in the US and millions more veg-curious. With deeper pockets than their Indian counterparts, McDonald’s may just be tempted to tap into that market, if their experiment in India pans out as expected. The fact that McDonald’s is able and willing to respond to cultural norms is a good sign that the company is not irrevocably stuck in its ways. American consumers will have to drive the changes they’d like to see to McDonalds’ menu, by letting the company know of their desires, and that’s where we can all make a difference.

Their first vegetarian restaurant in India will open its doors middle of next year. It will be located near the Golden Temple in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar in northern India, where religious authorities forbid the consumption of meat at the shrine. After the opening in Amritsar, the US chain has plans to open another vegetarian restaurant near the Vaishno Devi cave shrine in northwestern Indian Kashmir – a revered Hindu pilgrimage site that draws hundreds of thousands of worshippers each year. The vegetarian restaurants will sell items such as the McAloo Tikki burger, a sandwich with a mashed-potato patty, and the Pizza McPuff, a vegetable and cheese pastry.