PETA Hails Air India's Proposal to Cut Costs and Carbs as National Carrier Set to Go Vegan

IANS

Lucknow: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has praised Air India for its proposal to serve its crew cost-effective low-fat meals in an attempt to tackle its financial crisis.

PETA India has sent a letter to the Air India Chairman and Managing Director, Ashwani Lohani, urging him to introduce a policy of serving vegan meals to all crew members as well as passengers on all domestic and international flights.

PETA India has said that such a move would support the government's Eat Right India initiative, cut costs and help animals and the planet.

The letter sent by Kiran Ahuja, vegan Outreach Coordinator of PETA India, said that the initiative fits perfectly with the government campaign and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Fit India Movement.

"The healthiest, most cost-effective meals that are also good for animals and the planet are vegan (that is, entirely plant-based). We suggest you bring down your costs, promote healthy eating, reduce Air India's carbon footprint, and protect animals by serving crew and passengers only delicious vegan meals on all your flights," the letter says.

The letter further points out that meat, milk, cheese, and eggs are expensive, whereas some of the most versatile vegan foods, including beans, rice, pasta, vegetables, and fruit, cost relatively less in comparison. Consuming meat, eggs, and dairy increases the risk of suffering from ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

"Indeed, India is the 'diabetes capital of the world', and heart disease is the leading cause of death here. The United Nations estimated that non-communicable diseases, which are largely caused by the consumption of meat and other animal-derived foods, would cost India's economy more than US $ 6 trillion between 2012 and 2030," the letter said.

Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that "the incidence of all cancers combined was lower among vegetarians than among meat eaters".

Another study found that 'vegan diets showed statistically significant protection for overall cancer incidence in both genders combined and for female-specific cancers' and that vegetarians seemed to have a reduced risk of suffering from cancers of the gastrointestinal system.

Regarding diabetes, a study of over 40,000 people published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases concluded that vegetarian diets "were associated with a substantial and independent reduction in diabetes incidence".

The PETA coordinator further said: "Air India already serves only vegetarian meals on domestic flights and will soon end its use of plastic, but your company, your employees, your passengers, the environment, and animals would benefit hugely if you went one step further. We would be happy to assist with menu-planning."