On day four of our food justice initiative, we’re in India and celebrating World Vegan Day alongside Diwali. Diwali is the festival of lights, which for some also coincides with harvesting and the New Year. It is celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. It is a festival of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness… and that’s what veganism stands for, too.
Veganism gives us hope, and helps us to see the light despite all of the darkness of the pandemic around us. Veganism gives us the hope of a foundation on which we can build a better world. Veganism gives us the hope of a kinder world through the courage of those who dare to take action against the dominant ideology in order to transform the world. By choosing plant-based food, we can sow seeds of happiness, success, love, and a more equitable world for all, and we hope we will reap these in abundance. By choosing plant-based food we can fight the darkness by bringing in the light.
Vegan Sweets for Diwali
During Diwali, people celebrating it abstain from eating non-vegetarian food like chicken, eggs, mutton, and fish, but on the other hand consume a lot of sweets made with ghee (clarified butter). Today, we’re taking the opportunity of World Vegan Day to share jars of plant-based Live Yum ghee, and delicious Diwali sweets made with it, with 400 families in the city of Kolhapur, Maharashtra. The sweets have been made by one of the most well-known confectionaries in Kolhapur, Jaswant Sweets, which has embraced the concept of plant-based ghee with enthusiasm. With these delicious sweets, we want to bring attention to how dairy products are destroying the concept of Ahimsa, which is a doctrine shared by Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Through them, we want to share our hope of a kinder and more just world for all beings on this planet. We’re partnering with Prani Mukti that will help us share not only the ghee and sweets, but also information about why we need to go vegan and how easy it is for those in India who have access to plant-based foods.
A Better Future
All around the world, the pandemic has caused distress and suffering in many forms, and life almost came to a standstill in 2020. This year, India and the world is slowly trudging back to “normalcy”. But do we want to go back to ‘normal’ or do we hope for a future without more pandemics? We hope that you, like us, wish for the latter and for that we need to question the choices that got us to where we are now.
The present food system, majorly based on animal products, has been responsible for a host of infectious diseases spreading rapidly after jumping from animals to humans. It is also one of the most damaging systems for our health, the planet and most of all for the animals. The dairy industry in India kills over 3.5 crore (35 million) cows and buffaloes every year and yet most vegetarians in India are unaware of the inherent cruelty of the industry. Most people in India believe that there is no harm done to our ‘holy’ cows and buffaloes because farmers in India don’t raise cows to produce beef. Yet, India is one of the top exporters of beef in the world all because of the dairy industry. With these plant-based ghee sweets we hope to bring attention to the reality of the dairy industry in India and to dispel the myth that dairy doesn’t kill. We hope people will learn the benefits of ditching dairy and with these delicious sweets, realise that choosing plant-based foods means no loss of tradition or enjoyment. Most of all, we hope to empower people to make choices aligned with their core values of compassion, peace and justice.