Can Indians turn vegan?

Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all form of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. Like the rest of the world, Indians are waking to the physical, ethical, and economic benefits of plant-based, meat-and-dairy-free food. There are also a good number of celebrities and influencers in our country who share their thoughts of being a complete vegan and thus inspire many people. The names of ViratKohli, Shahid Kapoor, Lisa Haydon, etc. are worth mentioning in this regard.

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Photo by Deryn Macey on Unsplash

India has a section of people who are strictly vegetarian following their religious customs and traditions. But, many people confuse vegans with vegetarians which on the other hand, are very apart from each other. Dairy products like- milk, cream, cheese, butter, curd, or any byproducts are also a no-no for vegans.

A true vegan diet is a tad tough one to stick to in any part of the world and not just in our country. Indians rarely can think of a dining table without meat or dairy products. No vegetarian spread is complete without at least one paneer item, a bowl of curd or ‘raita’ is a common accompaniment to our meals, a tall glass of milk or ‘lassi’ is one portion of nutrition every Indian mother swears by.

India is known for its enormous varieties of spices that go with any food. Having limited options of food for a vegan doesn’t make it less tasty in any way as Indians are capable of innovating new recipes every time they work with items and the taste-budding spices.

For being a vegan, a major obstacle faced by people in India is to get adequate nutrition. There is a chance of missing out on a large source of protein, calcium, iodine, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Omega 3 fatty acids. Therefore, it is necessary to consult a nutritionist before transforming directly into a vegan diet as people must be introduced to the supplements of the non-vegan food for the required protein intake and many other nutrients necessary for the human body.

Veganism is not just about the diet but making a conscious choice to not harm any animal in the process of living, it’s a lifestyle. It’s avoiding everything, the diet is difficult to be followed in India because of various reasons starting from the expenditure to the availability, but avoiding various other products is a choice that can be made. The first step towards turning vegan in itself is a huge step.

Contributed by Shawgat Ashrafi content writer at Mitti Ke Rang

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