January 5, 2011
Sir Paul McCartney is reportedly urging India to declare a National Vegetarian Day and Hindus have thrown their weight behind his call to celebrate meat-free living and compassion toward animals.
Well known Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that vegetarianism, besides reducing greenhouse gas emissions, was good for ethical and health reasons also.
McCartney reportedly sent a letter to India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying such a day could save animals while helping to protect both the environment and people's health and "it would be a celebration of life."
Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that Hinduism promoted strict vegetarianism insisting on ahimsa (not harming living creatures) and non-killing, and renouncing animal slaughter and meat eating. It suggested taking of sattvik (vegetables, fruits, etc.) and avoiding rajasik (eggs, etc.) and tamasik (meat, intoxicants, etc.) foods.
Rajan Zed argued that there was extensive protection of life in Hinduism and ahimsa was a command. All the major religions of the world were opposed to killing, he added.
Zed further said that as eating less meat would help the environment; more celebrities should come out in support of staying away from meat, thus contributing to a healthier world.
To reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the world's livestock, which was one of the most critical contributors to global warming, McCartney is also advocating Meat Free Monday. McCartney, who has been a vegetarian for over 30 years, finds vegetarianism "very simple, tasty, and most enjoyable".
According to reports, meat is responsible for 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than transport's 13 per cent.
According to an estimate, around 42 percent of India's about 1.2 billion people are vegetarian.