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July 20, 2020 - Forbes

Can India lead the 'vegan economy' against future pandemics?

Can India lead the 'vegan economy' against future pandemics?
Platter of vegan Indian dishesCredit: Green Queen

The WHO estimates that 75 percent of new diseases discovered in the last decade have originated in animals (zoonosis). This is primarily because more than 90 percent of the meat we consume is sourced from a vast industry of factory farms that house farm animals in unhygienic conditions. This presents a perfect breeding ground for viruses.

To prevent future virus outbreaks, a part of the solution may lie in moving towards a more plant-based diet. In this regard, India might be sitting on a gold mine of opportunity.

The vegan movement advocates for a shift to a 100 percent plant-based diet with the objective of ending animal cruelty. While India is still a milk-loving nation, it is well placed to anchor the movement away from meat consumption. The hostility against the slaughter of animals, immense regulation of abattoirs, and prevalence for meat and egg-free apartments and localities are all proof of India’s natural inclination towards this cause.

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