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No subsidy on meat, fish & eggs through PDS, says NITI Aayog to FIAPO
Friday, 24 January, 2020, 16 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
NITI Aayog recently assured the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), of which People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India is a part, that it had not proposed any plan to subsidise meat, including fish, or eggs through the public distribution system and that any news reports to the contrary were inaccurate.

The announcement comes after PETA India, which opposes human speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview, and FIAPO sent urgent letters to NITI Aayog, warning of the harmful consequences for animals, the environment, and human health of subsidising animal-derived foods, and urging it to promote only plant-based (vegan) foods.

“NITI Aayog roundly debunked rumours of what would have been a disastrous move for animals, the planet, and Indians’ health,” said Dr Kiran Ahuja, vegan outreach coordinator, PETA India, adding, “Now that this harmful subsidy is no longer on the table, PETA India urges everyone to take it upon themselves to choose humane and healthy vegan foods.”

In its letter, PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that animals are not ours to eat – noted that researchers found that people who consumed the most eggs increased their risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease by 19 per cent.

Study participants with high egg consumption who already had diabetes had an 83 per cent risk of developing heart disease. And a review of 14 studies published in the journal Atherosclerosis showed that people who consumed the most eggs increased their risk for diabetes by 68 per cent.

The group noted that the US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a highly-reputed organisation of food and nutrition professionals, stated that appropriately-planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets were healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.

PETA India also warned that meat, egg, and dairy production was one of the leading causes of climate change and results in animal suffering on a massive scale.

Varda Mehrotra, executive director, FIAPO India, said, "A kilogram of meat is about 30 times more demanding on the environment in terms of water, greenhouse gas emissions as compared to a kilogram of plant protein.”

“There are about 5,500 varieties of plants and grains, vegetables and fruits that are edible. Yet we are so concentrated on such a narrow selection,” she added.

“India, specifically, has a whole host of recipes of all that can be cooked from plants, alone with no compromise on an individual’s health whatsoever. We surely do not need animal products and it is really important for us - the government included - to educate the public, in terms of making choices as consumers so that we focus on the use of a greater variety of food sources,” Mehrotra said.

“We are glad that Niti Aayog does not intend to promote animal products, which are harmful to people, animals and the environment. The government’s Eat Right campaign rightly promotes plant-based foods for the best nutrition possible,” she added.
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