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Category : Vegetarianism

The non-dairy queen taking on the choc giants – Elite Business Magazine

From their kitchen table, to supermarket shelves via Dragons Den, the founders of vegan chocolate brand LoveRaw, Manav and Rimi Thapar, have set their sights on the established giants of the UK choc market.

Whatever happened to the good old-fashioned lacto-ovo vegetarian? Did they become extinct?

After years of slow but steady progress in establishing veggie brands like Linda McCartney, Quorn and RealEat in supermarkets, the cruelty-free food market has suddenly made a quantum leap towards full-on veganism by-passing most peoples usual first step in giving up meat, which is vegetarianism.

Research from Finder estimates that the number of vegans in the UK increased by a massive 419,000 (62 per cent) over the past 12 months. A not-insignificant 7.5 per cent of the UK now claim to be vegan in 2020, whereas 14 per cent claim to be vegetarian. Vegan food suits both of course. And then theres the flexitarians, that eat both vegan and meat. Go figure.

Clearly then Manav and Rimi Thapars LoveRaw business, with its brand of vegan chocolate, is riding a sizeable wave and, in fact, having started back in 2013 in their own kitchen, caught that wave early on.

Manav [Rimis husband] and I were your typical twenty something millennials, explains Rimi Thapar. We both worked independently of each other: I was working in Investment Banking and Manav in Textile Distribution. Both miles away from anything food or FMCG related and not particularly mindful about food. Our idea of healthy was calorie counting. At the time we were living in the south of Spain and started visiting farmers markets and really appreciating seasonal fresh produce, and our vegan journey started from there. Our brand and products have really evolved since then. Today we make indulgent vegan chocolate products.

Although not exactly a rags to riches story (both had well-paid jobs) it is a classic entrepreneurial, cottage industry tale of kitchen table to supermarket, started with no investment (and, it has be said no real level of expertise either) but a lot of determination and trial and error.

I wanted to start the business with minimal cost and risks, and the quickest route to market was making the products at home, explains Thapar. Also coupled with the fact that every contract manufacturer turned us away as we didn't meet their minimum quantity requirements. We got our big break when we launched with Wholefoods. Our first order was 5,000 units, which increased over a few months. We were making around 3,000 units a week in a tiny kitchen working 18 hours a day and even when I reached the minimum requirements of the factory, I worked from the kitchen until I reached full capacity.

Searching for an investment boost the pair even appeared on Dragons Den. Having received an offer from Deborah Meaden, however, they decided not to take the investment but did receive a PR and branding uplift from the experience.

We needed the investment but intuitively it didn't feel right to give away so much of the business. A business which we had invested so much time, effort and emotion in. It was the right decision as we went on to raise much more money financially, and at a higher valuation.

Progress has been made since then, with the brand stocked in Holland & Barrett, Boots, Waitrose, Wholefoods, Ocado, Revital, As Nature Intended, The Vegan Kind, Selfridges, Various petrol station forecourts and independent retail stores. In the last 12 months the firm has experienced 114% YOY growth during Covid.

With a staff of around 13, the headcount has also tripled from two years ago.

This year we have mainly focused on sales and digital growth, growing our sales team from one to three people and taking on a digital marketer earlier in the year to support our growing direct to consumer sales since COVID 19.

Unless you believe that the rapid rise of vegan product at retail is a passing fad (and Thapar is somewhat unsurprisingly of the opinion that it is not) then there is still a lot of potential for growth as more and more people convert to plant-based foods.

Paradoxically, what gives this trend some stickability is the fact that it is not so much about the widespread adoption of a strict vegan lifestyle, but more about people adding vegan products onto their shopping list. Its those flexitarians. And that means it is much more likely to have permanence on supermarket shelves.

There are so many factors which have contributed towards the shift to vegan: health, environment, animal welfare, social media, comments Thapar. I think the food industry has been exposed a lot over the past few years and there is more transparency about the source of what we eat, especially the meat and dairy industry. Most consumers are not converting to full veganism however, more-so taking a flexitarian approach, where they have the choice to eat partially vegan and non-vegan, but still contributing towards their health and the environment. I don't think you can scroll through Instagram without seeing a user's vegan breakfast, lunch or healthy smoothie.

Now that the brand has emerged from the kitchen, sights are set high - on market leadership of the vegan chocolate market, no less and beyond- and having obtained fresh investment, the Thapars are already developing a range beyond its initial launch.

The brand and product offering has evolved since we launched in 2013 and we are confident in continuing to grow our range of indulgent vegan chocolate snacks. Not letting COVID get in the way of progressing, we are working on new products and extending ranges. I think now is even more of an important time to innovate and be dynamic to the current market conditions.

Thats where the fresh investment comes in.

We have invested in new hires, new product development, working capital, marketing and generally building the brand.

Ultimately, LoveRaw does not want to be just a vegan chocolate brand but wants to make an impact in the established dairy-based choc market too.

We want to be recognised as the leading vegan chocolate brand that disrupts the mainstream chocolate market, and we want to be accessible to all UK consumers. Most importantly we want to have a good time along the way and to make our journey memorable.

Lofty ambitions indeed. Looks like the Dragons missed a sweet deal on this one.

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The non-dairy queen taking on the choc giants - Elite Business Magazine

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Eight Duke Books on Religion and Spirituality – Duke Today

This month we offer a collection of Duke-authored books that explore historical and current aspects of faith, spirituality and religious culture in society.

These books along with manyothers are available atthe Duke University Libraries, the Gothic Bookshop or the Regulator Bookshop.

What It's About:Professor Marc Z. Brettler and co-author Amy-Jill Levine take readers on a guided tour of the most popular Hebrew Bible passages quoted in the New Testament to show what the texts meant in their original contexts and then how Jews and Christians, over time, understood those same texts. Comparing various interpretations historical, literary, and theological - of each ancient text, Levine and Brettler offer deeper understandings of the original narratives and their many afterlives. They show how the text speaks to different generations under changed circumstances, and so illuminate the Bibles ongoing significance.

What It's About:How have millions of American Christians come to measure spiritual progress in terms of their financial status and physical well-being? How has the prosperity gospel movement come to dominate much of our contemporary religious landscape? Professor Kate Bowler's Blessed traces the roots of the prosperity gospel: from the touring mesmerists, metaphysical sages, Pentecostal healers, business oracles, and princely prophets of the early 20th century; through mid-century positive thinkers like Norman Vincent Peale and revivalists like Oral Roberts and Kenneth Hagin; to today's hugely successful prosperity preachers.

What It's About:In Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition, Professor Omid Safi translates more than 200 poems into contemporary English from the original Arabic and Persian. In this anthology of newly translated poetry, Safi focuses on love especially ishq/eshq, what he renders as radical love. The volume organizes translations of Quran and Hadith, Sufi mystics and poets into four thematic sections: God of Love, Path of Love, Lover & Beloved, and Beloved Community. Radical Love introduces readers to key ideas from Islamic mysticism that are rooted in firsthand knowledge of Arabic and Persian texts.

What It's About:Opening Israels Scriptures is a collection of 36 essays on the Hebrew Bible from Genesis to Chronicles which gives insight into the complexity of the Hebrew Scriptures as a theological resource. Based on more than two decades of lectures on Old Testament interpretation, Professor Ellen F. Davis offers a selective yet comprehensive guide to the core concepts, literary patterns, storylines, and theological perspectives that are central to Israel's Scriptures.

What It's About: In God? A Debate between a Christian and an Atheist, Professor Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and William Lane Craig bring to the printed page two debates they held before live audiences. Avoiding overly esoteric arguments, the two directly address issues such as religious experience, the Bible, evil, eternity, the origin of the universe, design, and the supposed connection between morality and the existence of God. The book is composed of six chapters that alternate between Craig and Sinnott-Armstrong, so that each separate point can be discussed as it arises.

What It's About:In these devotions for the season of Advent, the Rev. Dr. Luke Powery dean of the Duke University Chapel and associate professor at Duke Divinity School leads the reader through the spirituals as they confront the mystery of incarnation and redemption. In Rise Up, Shepherd! each devotion features the lyrics of the spiritual, a reflection on the spiritual's meaning, a Scripture verse, and a brief prayer.

What It's About:In Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating Professor Norman Wirzba demonstrates that eating is of profound economic, moral, and theological significance. Unlike books that focus on vegetarianism or food distribution as the key theological matters, this book broadens the scope to include discussions on the sacramental character of eating, eating's ecological and social contexts, the meaning of death and sacrifice as they relate to eating, the Eucharist as the place of inspiration and orientation, the importance of saying grace, and whether or not there will be eating in heaven.

What It's About: Though fascinated with the land of their traditions birth, virtually no Japanese Buddhists visited the Indian subcontinent before the 19th century. In the richly illustrated "Seeking kyamuni," Professor Richard M. Jaffe reveals the experiences of the first Japanese Buddhists who traveled to South Asia in search of Buddhist knowledge beginning in 1873. Analyzing the impact of these voyages on Japanese conceptions of Buddhism, he argues that South Asia developed into a pivotal nexus for the development of twentieth-century Japanese Buddhism.

Read more on the Duke Today Books Page

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Eight Duke Books on Religion and Spirituality - Duke Today

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Karnataka: BJP Revives Plan to Impose Blanket Ban on Cattle Slaughter – The Wire

Mangaluru: On November 27, addressing the media, Karnataka animal husbandry minister Prabhu Chavan said, After the government came in, we had promised go mata is our mother, they should not be slaughtered. The Bill will 100% be introduced this coming session. He was announcing the decision taken in the cabinet meeting held in Bengaluru to introduce a Bill that aims to achieve the BJPs long-standing goal of a stringent anti-cow slaughter law in the state.

The Bill, if implemented, will impose a blanket ban on cow slaughter and the sale and consumption of beef in the state. Apart from the prohibition of cow slaughter, the Bill also bans the slaughter of the calf of a cow and bull, bullock, buffalo male or female and calf of a she-buffalo too.

The Bill revives the BJPs plan, first mulled in 2010, to ban the slaughter of cattle. In that year, the B.S. Yediyurappa government introduced the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2010. However, among staunch opposition, the BJP could not succeed in getting the law passed. And when the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government assumed power in 2013, the Bill was abandoned.

A decade later, the Yediyurappa government is once again attempting to pass the Bill, something the BJP had mentioned in their 2018 manifesto too.

Karnataka CM B.S. Yediyurappa. Credit: PTI

Karnataka is not the first state to plan a stringent anti-cow slaughter law. Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Telangana already have such laws in place.

Cow slaughter is forbidden in most parts of the country. In Karnataka, the anti-cow slaughter law The Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation Act, 1964 has been in force. Unlike the new proposed Bill, under the 1964 Act, permits the slaughter of bulls, bullocks and buffaloes if they are more than 12 years old or if they are unfit for breeding/do not give milk.

Also Read: Whatever the BJP May Say, the Cost of Protecting Cows Is High

Opposition from rights, farmers and other groups

The new proposed Bill is facing opposition from human rights groups, farmers associations and several butcher communities in the state. If passed, the cow protection Act will not just stop sales of the meat in the state and thereby directly impact the Qureshi butcher community but also hurt farmers and cattle herders deeply, farmers organisations feel.

For farmers, too, looking after an old, ailing cattle is not a viable option. In September, several farmers and anti-caste organisations had come together to oppose the states move.

J.M. Veerasangaiah, working president of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, said at a press conference organised in Bengaluru at the time that Yediyurappa had failed to enact the law in 2010 because of opposition from the farming community. The farming community is suffering severe economic hardship in the state because of the pandemic. The sale of aged cows, bullocks and buffaloes allows a farmer to alleviate his dire situation slightly and this law will even prevent that. Somehow, the BJPs ideology wants us to feel that vegetarianism is supreme whereas non-vegetarianism is bad, but how will the poor, Dalits and religious minorities get nutritional food without beef? he asked.

R. Mohan Raj, the state convener of the Dalit Sangharsh Samiti, had called it an attack on an individuals choice of food. Food culture is unique and the constitution gives everyone the right to eat whatever they want. This anti-peoples Bill should not be tabled The BJP shows that they are targeting Muslims, but their real target is Dalits, Raj said.

On December 1, a Qureshi butchers association met the former chief minister and the current leader of the opposition Siddaramaiah, appealing him to oppose the Bill in the assembly. Siddaramaiah, a vocal opponent of the Bill right from the start, has been questioning the BJPs intent.

Qureshi butchers association meets Siddaramaiah. Photo:

Why is Cow slaughter not banned in Goa even though @BJP4Goa is in power? Why only in Karnataka? he asked in one of his messages on social media.

Regardless of the law, there has been a long history of violent vigilante campaign in Karnataka against the consumption of beef. As early as in March 2005, a father and son duo were paraded naked for hours and then violently attacked, allegedly by a mob that included members of the Hindu Yuva Sena, Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The victims, identified as Hajabba (60) and his son Hasanabba (25), suffered several internal injuries in the mob attack. The same year, another person, Azaruddin, was attacked while transporting a legitimately purchased cattle from Amasebail near Kundapur to Moodabidri in Dakshin Kannada in a tempo. Azaruddin was killed on the spot and one policeman who had intervened was also severely injured in the attack.

Shabeer Ahamed of the Karwan e Mohabbat, a peoples campaign for solidarity to survivors of hate crimes, says that with or without the Bill, the state has witnessed several violent attacks, many of which led to deaths. Several vendors and cattle transporters have been targeted across the state. These attacks were all in the public space, in full public view. But almost all have led to acquittals, Ahamed says.

Since 2005, at least nine persons have lost their lives and close to 200 other incidents of mob vigilantism against cow trade and slaughter have been reported across Karnataka. Most of them were cattle transporters who belong to lower socio-economic castes such as the Qureshis. The most recent incident was from 2018, when a suspected cattle trader Hussainabba was killed in Udipi district.

See more here:
Karnataka: BJP Revives Plan to Impose Blanket Ban on Cattle Slaughter - The Wire

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

I Went a Year Without Meat. Here’s What I Learned. – InsideHook

The closest I came was in Hawaii, all the way back in February. I was eating out with a big group of people Id just met, at a sushi restaurant on Oahus North Shore, sunburnt, drunk on sake, trading jokes that are better left out of print. A couple courses in, the waiter brought out a bamboo board with a lava rock grill, a plate with cooking fat, and a tray of marbled Hokkaido Wagyu steak. I audibly cursed.

Last November, I quit meat. Like everyone else, I havent caught up with too many people this year. But when I do, and that fresh fact eventually comes to light, they generally reply: Really? Why?

Ive found its easier to offer up a single, digestible reason indigestion, heart health, rain forests than tell the truth, which is that it was a long, incremental, incredibly dull process. One night I had snap peas and carrots with noodles instead of steak. I felt great on my run the next morning. A month later I watched a documentary about athletes and plant-based protein. A couple weeks after that I didnt order bacon on my Sunday morning egg sandwich. During a trip to a science museum in San Francisco, I learned about the link between cheeseburgers and deforestation. In the concluding chapter of one of my favorite non-fiction books I read last year, the author explained why hed moved on from meat. I read his words three times.

Eventually, there was a day that I had my last piece of meat. Thats how I know its been a year. But there was nothing ceremonial about it at the time. It became the last meal after the fact, after I decided that Id seen enough, that I could live without it, because apparently Id been trending in that direction for a long time.

Wagyu beef skewers, like the ones I passed up in Hawaii

Stefan Cristian Cioata/Getty Images

And then came Hawaii, where the waiter showed me how to spread the lard around the lava to get it ready for the beef. No one on the trip knew about my fledgling dietary decision. Even if they had, no one would have judged me for partaking. Still my mouth watering, my spirit shaky I held off. Instead, somewhat comically, I cooked a steak for a friend who was too far down the table to reach the station.

There are days that I miss it. I think about it a bit more around holidays, when its sizzling on the grill, or sitting there in the middle of the table, just the same as it always has. I ooh and aah with my roommate when we watch Parts Unknown, and Bourdain is in Uruguay or Oman and someone hands him a dripping, glistening piece of meat on a stick or over a bed of rice. (Ill ask myself, as if checking some sort of mental manual, whether it would be disrespectful to turn down a local delicacy if I were in the same situation.)

And I wonder, too, where Id be without the pandemic, which saved me a summer of having to smell hot dogs at Yankee Stadium. I like to sit in the left field bleachers, Section 237, where a couple dozen men start chanting CHI-CKEN BU-CKET! over and over again in the fifth inning. They proudly pick up their hollow tubs which not long before before housed 10 chicken tenders and a pound of fries then present them to a raucous crowd.

Its a testament to the growing diversity of plant-based personalities these days, I suppose, that I can write nostalgically about carnivorous days. Im not here to levy guilt, or link out to photos of animals kept in desolate conditions. I dont want to tell Americans to eat less meat. In fact, I dont need to. Recent surveys suggest that an overwhelming majority (90%) of Americans are eager to eat more fruits and vegetables, while a sizable figure (over 50%) are open to subbing out red meat for plant-based alternatives.

There are positives to this lifestyle choice enough that I have no plans to abandon it here at the start of year two but there are pitfalls, too, which I wish Id known more about before I started. However you come to your decision to divorce meat, either from months of diligent reading or after one bad bout with a burrito, you should know what to expect from the world youre entering into. So here are my takeaways from 12 months without beef, pork, poultry or fowl (I identified as a pescatarian, so I was still eating some seafood).

Maeda Rei/EyeEm

Giving up meat 30 years ago wasnt a bad idea. But it was bad timing. If your goal was to eat fewer animals, there were plenty of plants to choose from, but that was pretty much it. For years, our concept of diet was somewhat binary, hingeing on omnivores versus vegetarians, and a lack of creativity or optionality reflected this status quo. Thanks to the last half-decades revolution in plant-based products, though propelled by imitation meat giants based in Silicon Valley or the tech hubs of Europe going meatless doesnt have to mean only eating food grown in the ground or on trees. It also includes food grown in labs.

By 2027, the global plant-based food market will be worth $72.4 billion. Brands like Beyond Burger and Impossible Foods, which pioneered soy protein simulation meat, are now easily recognized and increasingly popular at grocery stores and fast-food joints across the country and world. A year ago, Id never had a plant-based burger in my life. This summer, I wrote an entire guide to grilling them. In fairness, not every vegetarian is interested in this new wave. But I certainly am: for me, the definitive arrival of alternative meats has lowered the intimidation barrier to a life without meat. Its eased the blow of removing all those familiar, beloved tastes from my life, as in their stead Ive come to truly enjoy and even crave certain plant-based foods.

An additional note on timing: the best is probably yet to come. In Tel Aviv, a company called SuperMeat recently became the worlds first to serve so-called cultured meat to a commercial public. They make a chicken sandwich sourcing the powers of cellular agriculture, harvesting meat without harming any animals. Its possible that 10 years from now we could all be accustomed to eating such cultured meat, which begs an interesting question. If you quit meat in 2020, why are you doing so? Would the promise of cruelty-free meat bring you back in 2030? Upon some internal reflection, I was interested to learn my answer is yes. That indicates to me that the treatment of animals and the preservation of the planet have become my biggest reasons for doing this.

Ive lost almost 20 pounds since I quit meat. Thats not necessarily weight I was trying to lose, but Ive also taken up long-distance running again, a sport which favors a lighter frame, so I dont mind. The running has definitely contributed to the weight loss. And yet its all interconnected, considering Ive run faster times (Im convinced of this) because I quit meat. The fitness aspect was a huge initial draw for me to a plant-based diet, and I can say, quite roundly, it has delivered. I was familiar with research at the outset. In theory, switching to a plant-based diet can trim your waistline, boost athletic performance, sharpen your day-to-day focus, increase your libido and improve your sleep. Those who eat a lot of red meat are at an increased risk of death from heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Vegetarians, by contrast, take in less calories and less fat.

I talked to one vegetarian at the start of this, who told me the most common question he gets is Where do you get your protein? Americans, especially American men, are extremely anxious about this concept, as if guzzling protein shakes is the silver bullet to fitness, instead of getting your heart rate up on a consistent basis. The reality is, I was getting way too much protein before I gave up meat, and I still take in more than enough. Most Americans consume double the amount that they need each day. A different question we might start asking ourselves is Where do you get your energy? I remember heading straight for the couch not the gym after eating particularly meaty dishes. Fatty, high-sodium foods close up the arterial pathways, making it difficult for blood vessels to oxygenate the body.

Thats not to say you cant get ripped on a diet of chicken and steak. Millions of people have. But it really just depends on your fitness goals. Ive moved away from bang-bang, short-run strength training in recent years in favor of running and functional, full-body fitness workouts. That brand of exercise requires more energy, better blood flow and an emptier stomach. Im in a great place these days. I recently ran my fastest mile in 10 years (4:43). Its important to remember, also, that a shift in focus from protein to energy could also have implications on longevity. Countless studies of metabolic health have linked a reduced protein-high carbohydrate diet to more years lived on the planet. This is true of every community with a disproportionate amount of centenarians (Blue Zones) throughout the world.

Im a big alternative meats guy, yes, but Ive also taken the plant part of the plant-based diet seriously this year. I have tried and tried cooking more foods this year, namely vegetables, than the previous five years combined. Its worth taking a break from meat just to remind yourself that as a food group, it can be a bit of a ball-hog. Meat is always looking for ways to dominate a meal. Theres a reason many men report feeling like a meal is incomplete or insufficiently filling without meat. But foods like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and chickpeas can be a worthy main course if given a chance. During peak quarantine, my speciality became a tray of oven-roasted carrots dressed in honey, garlic and gorgonzola.

Photo by Ollie Millington/Getty Images

This is one of the pitfalls I mentioned earlier: there is a sense when you give up meat, that you have a ton of healthy credit in the bank. After all, youre constantly denying yourself a food group that is connected to bad heart health and a slew of other ailments. This must mean youve earned the right to fill up on anything flavorful that youre still allowed to eat, like pizza, potato chips and ice cream. When the main goal is to avoid meat, excessive consumption of butter, cheese and sugar feels reasonable, if even a little expected. But a full plant-based diet is only effective when meat is replaced with whole food alternatives; in fact, if a so-called junk food plant-based diet becomes your endgame, studies indicate that you would have been better off just sticking with meat.

To avoid rookie vegetarianism, prioritize real, whole foods. Think starchy vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats. Eschew processed foods with preservatives or thickeners. Earlier in the year, Id go to bed patting a stomach full of French fries and beer, thinking to myself Well done, still safe.Theres nothing wrong with consuming French fries and beer in moderation, at least but doing so to make up for a meatless lifestyle can be a slippery slope if youre not careful. The key for me has been keeping such simple pleasures sporadic and special. During the rest of the week, my diet trends boring. I like edamame, brown rice, pesto pasta. Peanut butter on an apple really gets me going.

In line with this philosophy, I should add, eating alternative meats every single night probably isnt a good idea. The reason theyre so tasty owes to the super-sized sodium levels. Look no further than their biggest partnerships (Burger King, Qdoba, Subway, KFC). Meatless meats dont carry the cancer risks of red meat, but theyre laden with empty caloriesand can pack four times as much salt as standard ground beef. Theyre also high in saturated fat. Youll get some nutritional value from the blends (black bean burgers have zinc and iron), but at the end of the day it should be considered a reminder of the old a comfort food, not an everyday choice. It carries the plant-based diet tag (really, a plant-based burger might as well be the movements mascot), but it has little to do with a more natural, whole-food plant-based diet.

Be prepared for the Spanish Inquisition: Why? How long have you been doing this? Is this who you are now? So what do you do if, like, youre at someone elses house for a BBQ? Doesnt plant-based meat have estrogen that makes men grow boobs? Do you think Im a monster for eating this burger right now? What kind of meat do you miss the most? Is it really that bad for the environment? Can you even build muscle anymore? Should I try it? Do you have to be an amazing cook? Does that actually taste like meat?

Just try to keep your cool. I truly do not mind fielding questions about a life without meat. Though occasionally misguided or misinformed, these questions are generally a sign of a populace in dietary flux, as millions of Americans have come to reconsider the impact their food choices have on their afternoon, their heart and the planet. Curiosity is a necessary, inevitable first step. In the last 12 months, two people I am quite close with also gave up meat. Others who I have lived with this year have made a conscious decision to eat less meat, as unofficial observers of the nations growing flexitarian movement.

Ive appreciated the solidarity, and I can only imagine what it was like for vegetarians decades ago, who had no Beyond or Impossible Burgers to tide their cravings. Ultimately, though, this is a personal choice, a decision made alone, one made again and again, every night, as I open the fridge and decide whats for dinner.

Whats my biggest takeaway after these 12 months? Its been a long year. Ive felt stomped-over, cramped, lost, confused and forgotten in 2020. But this decision, the reasons I did it and my resolve to stick with it even in the face of marbled Wagyu have all filled me with pride.

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Originally posted here:
I Went a Year Without Meat. Here's What I Learned. - InsideHook

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Taking ‘Achija’, the legacy of Indian fast-food to Toronto and New York – NewsPatrolling

When at Achija Youre Here, Youre Home stands justified as it has been a part of daily life for more than three decades to its clients and has held their utmost loyalty.

Achija is a chain of fast-food restaurants, established in the year 1987 in a Central Suburb of Mumbai by Lakhamshi Vershi Mange. Since their journey began, they have grown to eight successful restaurants spread across Mumbai & have also carved a strong foothold in the Indian fast-food segment, establishing themselves as solid partners for its management with renowned chains for 21 restaurants in Mumbai and Dubai & now are a legacy in itself.

Stepping into the hospitality industry in the year 2010 Tapan Mange (grandson of the founder), now a successful restaurateur & an entrepreneur started with Achijas first grandeur remote expansion. In the coming two years his execution and efforts gave a standardized business module to Achija, which for decades had practiced traditional business patterns. Mr. Mange then off his international exposure & experience in Dubai, created a vision to take the brand global.

Theres a great appreciation to the vegetarian franchises in an international market is a proven thing which now is even better known for good in today as the world is now preferring veganism or vegetarianism giving up or lowering on meat, which also aids in justifying your quality/flavour, to legitimize yourself & narrow down your competition as youre literally just competing off 100s being a vegetarian franchise than in 1000s like others then followed by a larger/loyal audience to be served. If youre passionate about serving the best and sustaining quality more than anything, your franchise would sure be gold & prime and would be admired anywhere in the world. Just be wise & loyal on your pick! is Tapan Manges mantra. With New York and Canada being the pick for Achija, he plans to take the legacy to the Big Apple, with a twist.

To give a further glimpse of the brand, its potential/positioning & its expansion Mr. Mange planning is to pilot Achijas new version of QSRs & Cloud Kitchens. Giving a new face to the Indian fast-food, Batata Vadas to its mouth-watering Bhaji in pocket bread, grilled potatoes with Bhaji, Pav-Bhaji Pizzas to a fun-filled wide array of Sandwiches & Rolls. Standards & Packaging to its best, handy & convenient to be consumed anytime & anywhere Aiming to serve Achijas best on/off-premises, Mr. Tapan mange while focusing on New Jersey, New York City and Toronto to cover it all within the first 12 months of its pilot launched. Sure good news for Gujaratis based in America.

Achija stands for its scrumptious Pav-Bhaji & its Mumbai Fast-Food diners step in for authentic Indian fast food while enjoys a kinder fusion of Modern Indo-western cuisine, pleasing palates across all ages. Their promise to taste and health has stayed true from the time it was established 30 years ago in a small joint to the eight self-owned outlets today. This shows it has the best potential from all perspectives be it the quality of its food, the utmost loyal decades-old customer base, its hygiene practices, or its traditional hospitality! Being a QSR it always has proven to be most efficiently managed and consistently been outstanding with regards to its market position, quality, customer satisfaction/loyalty with the limited available resources.

Over the last 30 years, Achija has successfully always been into top favorites amongst in the related localities and its competitions and so has been efficacious throughout and created a high & ever-growing loyal customer base. Also, it is highly recommended amongst Gujaratis which holds a strong presence in America, hence Achija is already being welcomed in the USA and Canada & goodwill held by the brand itself pre promises exposure to a colossal and loyal customer base.

Motivated by the success and growing demand for vegetarianism, Mr. Mange and his team have envisioned and embarked to set up a vegetarian legacy in the global market. Achija has always held an ever-growing Brand Loyal Customers who are frequent and enthusiastic visitors in Mumbai and its recalling and recognition would provide a firm base to Achija to cultivate the Brand Loyalty in the United States & Canada again which is the ultimate reward for successful marketers since Achijas customers are far less likely to be enticed to switch to other brands compared to non-loyal customers, says Tapan Mange, Entrepreneur- Restaurateur, Achija.

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Taking 'Achija', the legacy of Indian fast-food to Toronto and New York - NewsPatrolling

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

OPINION: Flexitarian choices give the best of both worlds –

This week the authors of the 52 Weeks Climate Action Challenge are again encouraging you to think about what you're eating

This regular column on tips to live more sustainably comes from the52 Weeks Climate Action Challenge. The challenge was created by Laurel Hood and Sherri Jackson. Hood is a retired Collingwood Collegiate Institute teacher, and Jackson is a writer and speaker, and ran as the Green Partys candidate for the area in the last federal election. Both are climate activists.


I know you eagerly invested some time last week into researching vegetarian meals you might want to spring on your family. If you have picky or unadventurous eaters (or if its you), you may have to diplomatically broach this subject. The good news is, there are lots more options out there than simply veggie sticks and hummus. Not knocking hummus. But, you get what I mean.

You may recently have heard the term flexitarian.I personally like it, because it doesnt lump you into a category of any kind. You can eat whatever you want, but, you eat with a conscious understanding of what youre eating, where it came from, and its effect on the environment.

It encourages mostly plant-based proteins, but doesnt exclude animal products. Its more of a lifestyle than a diet, and here are the basics:

Flexitarian is basically what were suggesting, with sliding scales of animal products in your diet. If you are planning to go vegetarian/vegan or you already are, then youre already ahead of us!

Using the recipes and the groceries you bought last week, this week youre making a vegetarian mealthat you can share (or not) with your family.

As weve said before, if youve substituted meat for an all Doritos diet, vegetarianism isnt making you healthier. But, if youre eating balanced meals, and ensuring you're getting your daily intake of vitamins and nutrients, vegetarianism can provide many health benefits like improved heart health, reduced cancer risk, prevention of Type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure, decreased asthma symptoms, weight loss, slowing the aging process and improved bone health.

Often I hear from people that going vegetarian was their childs initiative, and they just followed along. Our kids are recognizing things that we havent that sometimes you have to change things up if you want anything to change!

If, on the other hand, your kids have built-in kale detectors, you can try some of these tips.

In your research last week, you will have more than likely discovered that vegetarian options can be easy, filling, and delicious. It doesnt have to be a hardship to choose a vegetarian/vegan option. It can be a highlight.

Eat vegan or vegetarian because you have discovered some great vegan or vegetarian meals, and youll get the added bonus of improved health, and saving the planet. Wow! All in one veggie chili. Imagine!


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OPINION: Flexitarian choices give the best of both worlds -

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Senior Living: To meat or not to meat? – The Kingston Whig-Standard

I get it, the whole not wanting to eat anything-with-a-face movement. Cows are cute. So are lambs. And piglets. And rabbits. And, sometimes, even chickens.

But and Lord, here comes the lightning bolt they also taste good.

I eat meat. Almost every day. I fry it, roast it, Panko-coat it, broil it and barbecue it. Beef, pork, chicken and lamb. And seafood. Oh, seafood.

Before you blow up my inbox with outrage and vitriol, yes, I am aware there can be mistreatment in the animal husbandry industry and, yes, I know that meat is murder and Earths good nature is often jeopardized in our quest to set the table.

So, spare me the lectures. And dont bother sending me photos of butchered calves or cooped-up chickens. I get it. I am not a monster. I, too, support the humane treatment of animals that are farmed for our dinner plates.

And I respect anyone who has courage of conviction whatever that may look like about the food they put in their bodies, and wouldnt dream of imposing my views on their choices.

Sometimes I wish I didnt eat meat, that I didnt have a lifelong gastronomic devotion to animal flesh, a culinary history that charts nearly seven decades of meat consumption and is clearly the legacy of choice and of having been raised in the mid-20th century when Sunday roast dinners were standard, and delicious, fare.

Sometimes, I even question how I can so cavalierly tempt coronary fate, for this is something often pondered by those of us in our late 60s, where ones health and acute sense of mortality are increasingly top of mind.

But, still, I eat meat.

Veganism isnt a new thing, of course. While the word itself is only about as old as the average baby boomer, vegetarianism (its less-restrictive cousin) can be traced to ancient cultures.

And right here in Canada, two decades ago, chef Yves Potvin created Yves Veggie Cuisine, a faux meat product offered up in burger, hotdog, deli and sausage form.

What is new, though, is the self-righteous army of the meatless that seems determined to shame the planetary masses, most of whom you guessed it eat meat.

Anyway, we can argue about who is more superior another time but, meantime, heres my question:

Why do vegans who hit maximum ire at the mere mention of a rare rib-eye want to eat things that arent meat but look, smell and taste like meat?

Exhibit A: The Impossible Burger.

Great name, and premise a plant-based meat patty that looks, cooks and smells like real hamburger and has the consistency and taste of real hamburger.

The Impossible Burger debuted in the U.S. in 2016 and was a huge hit, showing up on restaurant menus throughout the U.S. and Asia and, finally, last September in selected Canadian restaurants. Creative chefs have gone all Wolfgang Puck on the trend, even incorporating it on charcuterie menus.

And when youre riding an old wave to new heights, as Impossible Burger now is, you have to be clever. Which is why the Impossible Foods company recently released a fake meat patty that wait for it bleeds.

Just. Like. Real. Hamburger.

It is with this development that my aging protein-fuelled brain has a bone to pick. (Sorry.) Because, dear vegans, if you hate meat and feel the need to publicly excoriate those who farm meat, sell meat, cook meat and eat meat why, oh why, do you want to eat something that is meant to replicate real meat?

That bleeds like real meat?

When I ask this question of vegans, who are otherwise rather lovely and mostly tolerant of an old carnivore set in her ways, there are usually two eye-rolling answers: One, sometimes its just easier to blend into a meat-eating world.

Two, they used to eat meat and, dare we say, miss it.

I dont get it. Tofurky your heart out, but maybe pick a lane.

Shelley Fralic writes the Life in the 60s column.

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Senior Living: To meat or not to meat? - The Kingston Whig-Standard

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

The Turkey & Thanksgiving Myth – India Currents

The history of Thanksgiving has become a hotly contested topic. Many believe the heartwarming story of European settlers and natives celebrating their successful harvest, immortalized in American myths for generations, never happened. Some Native American tribes like the United American Indians of New England see Thanksgiving as a day of mourning for the genocide of natives.

Hundreds of years later, by continuing to celebrate Thanksgiving by slaughtering turkeys when we dont even know for sure if those birds were on the menu in the first Thanksgiving dinner, we are perpetuating a culture of violence and validating the bloodshed that has marred the history of Native Americans.

Thanksgiving turkeys the 46 million of them that arent lucky enough to be pardoned by the President are forced to live in cramped cages that are too small to even flap their wings, their toes and beaks are cut off without painkillers, and they are killed in the most inhumane manner imaginable as a PETA investigation reveals. This is unfortunate, but not surprising because there are not even minimum federal standards governing how turkeys live or die, as turkeys are exempt from the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act.

While we turn a blind eye to the abuse of animals in slaughterhouses, as a society we have been very vocal in condemning those accused of animal abuse outside the slaughterhouse.

Football player Michael Vick continues to be hated to this day for engaging in illegal dog fighting.

The reaction to these animal abuses is understandable and laudable, but how are those of us who condoned the abuse of our Thanksgiving turkeys any different?

There is no morally coherent difference between the dog who was kicked and the chicken, pig, cow or turkey that most people will eat today. How is it that Americans, so solicitous of the animals they keep as pets, are so indifferent toward the ones they cook for dinner?

Norm Phelps, in his book Changing the Game: Why The Battle For Animal Liberation Is So Hard And How It Can Be Won notes that our paradoxical values about killing animals for food can be explained through the principle of bounded ethicality.When a belief conflicts with a behavior that people are motivated to maintain due to self interest, cultural norms and so forth, most individuals will find a way to convince themselves that their ethical principles do not apply to their own behavior.

Perhaps this is why stories about dog meat market in China and slaughtering dolphins in Japan lead to overwhelming outrage in the social media, mostly in the form of comments calling those people barbaric by those who have dont bat an eyelid towards the inhumane treatment of animals culturally deemed worthy of consumption.

It is time for us to examine our fundamental views about animal ethics, to look at ourselves in the mirror and ask, are we really less barbaric than those people who kill dolphins or eat dogs?

Many omnivores vehemently defend their choice to eat meat by rhetorically asking why we should worry about animals when so many people are starving . Ironically, human starvation is just another reason to reconsider raising animals for food. Every year about 760 million tons of food is fed to farm animals. Of this enormous quantity, only a fraction of calories is consumed as meat, while about 40 million tons of food grains can end the most extreme cases of human starvation.

Vegetarianism is on the rise. A study profiled in a recent New York Times piece finds that 12% of Millennials have now embraced a vegetarian lifestyle, as compared to 4% Gen Xers, and 1% of Baby Boomers.

We should embrace the anti-animal cruelty movement. Continuing to perpetuate the violence, abuse and bloodshed that marred our history 400 year ago seems unimaginative, medieval and frankly not in line with a progressive society we aspire to become. Lets not force turkeys to live a short, cruel and thankless life and instead endeavor to create new traditions based on thoughtful reflection, reasoning and compassion.

Spending a minute to ask ourselves what the turkeys have to be thankful for on Thanksgiving is not too much to do for the sake of the bird youll be carving up for dinner.

Ashwin Murthy is a freelance writer and a Silicon Valley based software engineer.

Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of India Currents and India Currents does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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The Turkey & Thanksgiving Myth - India Currents

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Kickstart your week with this healthy vegan meal plan recommended by a registered dietician – Insider – INSIDER

According to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, well-planned vegan diets are healthy for people at all stages of life, including children and pregnant women.

"I recommend vegan or plant-based diets for anyone who wants to prevent or manage lifestyle diseases or who wants to optimize health," says Sujatha Rajaram, PhD, a professor with the Center for Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyle and Disease Prevention at Loma Linda University.

So if you're curious about going vegan, here's a 7-day meal plan as well as more information on what to know about the vegan diet both its benefits and downsides.

"B12 and vitamin D," are common nutritional concerns on a vegan diet, says Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN, who is a dietitian in private practice, author of "The Plant Powered Diet" and a vegan herself.

"The key to a healthy vegan diet is variety and balance," says Palmer. As a general rule, Palmer suggests the following foods to eat and drink on a vegan diet:

Eat often:

Eat in moderation:

Eat less often:

According to Palmer, here is an example of a healthy 7-day vegan meal plan. Adjust portion size to what best fits your daily caloric needs. A typical 2,000 calorie diet might include three full meals that are each 600 calories, and two snacks that are 100 calories each.

Day 1

Chickpea soup packs a flavorful protein punch and is a great option for dinner or lunch. Ben Monk/ Getty Images

Breakfast: Protein-rich, plant-based plain yogurt, such as those from Forager, Kite Hill and So Delicious, with berries and walnuts

Lunch: Tofu-kale-quinoa salad with vinaigrette

Dinner: Vegetable and chickpea stew with whole grain bread

Mid-morning snack: Fruit and nuts

Mid-afternoon snack: Vegetable-based smoothie, such as pumpkin or cucumber

Day 2

Avocado toast with tempeh is a quick and easy vegan lunch option for those on the go. Alexander Spatari/ Getty Images

Breakfast: Whole-wheat toast with mashed avocado and tempeh slices

Lunch: Greek vegetable salad topped with white beans and vinaigrette

Dinner: Seitan vegetable stir-fry with brown rice

Mid-morning snack: Whole grain flatbread with nut butter

Mid-afternoon snack: Fruit slices with nuts

Day 3

Tofu is a great substitute for eggs in the morning, especially in the form of a tasty scramble. Harald Walker / EyeEm/ Getty Images

Breakfast: Tofu scramble with spinach, tomato, and whole wheat bread

Lunch: Pasta cooked with bean, artichokes, kalamata olives, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, and herbs

Dinner: Chana masala with brown rice

Mid-morning snack: Plant-based yogurt and fruit

Mid-afternoon snack: Fruit with nuts

Day 4

Veggie burgers are a filling and healthy choice to satisfy your cravings for a juicy burger. istetiana/ Getty Images

Breakfast: Whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, orange wedges

Lunch: Power bowl with quinoa, vegetables, edamame, and almonds

Dinner: Veggie burger with whole grain bun, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, condiments

Mid-morning snack: Hummus with vegetables

Mid-afternoon snack: Fruit slices with nuts

Day 5

Smoothies are a great way to get lots of fruits and veggies into your diet. Add a nut butter for extra protein. Julia Murray / EyeEm/ Getty Images

Breakfast: Protein-rich plant-based yogurt with banana and sliced almonds

Lunch: Vegetable chili with whole-grain crackers

Dinner: Vegan chickpea vegetable paella

Mid-morning snack: Fruit and nut smoothie

Mid-afternoon snack: Apple slices with tahini

Day 6

Bananas and peanut butter are a filling snack. Peanut butter provides a lot of protein to keep you full longer. HelpingHandPhotos/ Getty Images

Breakfast: Breakfast burrito with corn tortilla, black beans, and sauted vegetables

Lunch: Greek pita with white beans and cucumber-tomato salad

Dinner: Thai tofu vegetable stir-fry with brown rice

Mid-morning snack: Peanut butter with banana

Mid-afternoon snack: Whole grain flatbread and pumpkin or sunflower seeds

Day 7

Oatmeal topped with nuts and fruit is another filling and satisfying dish. Oats are a great complex carb and the addition of nuts adds protein. Arx0nt/ Getty Images

Breakfast: Steel-cut oats with fruit, plant-based milk, and walnuts

Lunch: Black bean tacos with a side of roasted broccoli

Dinner: Polenta topped with roasted eggplant, mushroom, beans, and red pepper ragout

Mid-morning snack: Fruit and nut butter smoothie

Mid-afternoon snack: Trail mix

While they may seem similar, there are some key differences between the terms vegan, vegetarian, and plant-based:

The vegan diet is actually based from vegetarianism, which became popular amongst a large percentage of Hindus during India's Vedic period (c. 1500 c. 500 BCE). Then in the 1940s, a modified version of the diet was created by a group of non-dairy vegetarians, and the term "vegan" was coined.

The main dietary difference between vegetarians and vegans is the latter eat no animal products, including dairy, eggs, honey, and gelatin. Many vegans also avoid animal products to take a stand against animal cruelty and exploitation.

Rajaram says that many studies show that vegan and plant-based eating can improve health. Major health benefits include:

Weight control: The types of foods that vegans eat, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes, are high in fiber and health-protective phytonutrients. Rajaram says eating plant foods that are nutrient-dense can help increase satiety or fullness and can even lead to weight loss. A 2013 study found that a group following a vegan diet for 18 weeks lost about 9.5 pounds whereas the control group lost less than a pound. Research also shows that plant-based diets help prevent and help manage type 2 diabetes.

Lower cholesterol and blood pressure: If your cholesterol or blood pressure is too high, you may be at risk for heart disease . Studies show that a vegan diet could help. A 2017 review analyzed 49 studies comparing plant-based diets with omnivorous diets to test their effects on blood cholesterol. While vegetarian diets lowered total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL levels compared to omnivorous diets, those who followed vegan diets saw the greatest reduction in lipid levels. In addition, a 2020 analysis of studies found that plant-based diets lower blood pressure.

Longevity: All of the health benefits of a vegan diet, including weight control and lower cholesterol and blood pressure, also lead to a lower risk of dying from heart disease, according to a 2019 study. Research has also shown that vegan diets may even lead to a reduction in the risk of getting cancer.

"There are two ways that a vegan diet can be unhealthy," says Rajaram. "One way is by eating processed foods, like potato chips and soda. They are plant-based but are not 'whole foods,' which make up a healthy vegan diet. The second way a vegan diet can be unhealthy is to not get the appropriate nutrients your body needs, even if you're eating a whole-food-based vegan diet."

The best way to tackle these challenges is to work with a registered dietitian, says Rajaram, especially if you've never eaten a primarily plant-based diet.

Here are some ways Palmer helps clients incorporate important nutrients like B12 and vitamin D into their meal plans:

While people new to a vegan diet are often concerned about whether or not they'll get enough protein, Palmer says (and research confirms) that a well-planned vegan diet provides adequate protein.

"If you have severe food allergies, such as to soy, tree nuts, or gluten, you may have difficulty following a vegan diet," says Palmer. Similarly, she says, if you have digestive conditions that are triggered by high fiber consumption, you may have difficulty with a plant-based diet.

On a practical level, you may experience some difficulties making vegan food.

Yet finding vegan ingredients is easier than ever. "We're so lucky that today you can find vegan food alternatives, like veggie burgers, vegan butter, and plant-based milks, at your local supermarket," says Palmer. Many items require little or no cooking or additional preparation, she says.

For a family that doesn't embrace vegan eating, "try modifying family favorite recipes, like lasagna, or start meatless Mondays and make a veggie pizza," says Palmer. Not all of Palmer's family members are vegan, and sometimes they grill their own piece of fish or chicken to accompany plant-based foods.

Choosing a vegan diet is a great way to maximize your chances of leading a long and healthy life. Today you can often find vegan foods and alternatives at your local supermarket.

A great way to start is to try eating a healthy, fulfilling vegan diet for one week. Try following a vegan meal plan that offers plenty of plant proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fortified plant-based milk.

"If you're not ready to become a vegan, taking even small steps toward whole plant-food eating is beneficial," says Rajaram. "Even just deciding not to eat red or processed meat will help you begin to see more health benefits."

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Kickstart your week with this healthy vegan meal plan recommended by a registered dietician - Insider - INSIDER

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Vegetarian and healthy – Economic Times


We live in an age where eating non-vegetarian food is considered to be the ultimate gastronomic delight: trendy, exotic and energising. How can we live without meat? is the cry heard from many, even those born into vegetarian families. Despite being aware that meat-eating has been proved to be injurious to health, they continue to eat meat.

Research has proved that animal fats raise the cholesterol level of blood, while certain vegetables actually lower it. Further, the amounts of toxic wastes present in the flesh of a dead animal are very high. Thus, when we eat the flesh of animals, we are not only consuming the so-called nutritive portions but also poisonous waste products. It is not possible for the body to eliminate the poisons immediately and effectively. Vegetarianism is perhaps one of the most misunderstood concepts of our times. Grass eaters, salad eaters, cranks and herbivores are some of the terms used with derision and in jest to refer to vegetarians.

A vegetarian diet is simple and nutritious; it gives adequate energy and is easily digested. It is wholesome and non-toxic. It affords immense variety and is also pleasing to the eye and palate. Vegetarianism could extend your life by several years, as well as lower your risk of heart disease, cancer and dementia. It is better for the planet, reducing water usage and global warming gases. And, it certainly is good for the cow, pig, lamb or chicken that you would have otherwise devoured. Giving up meat is a humane and healthy choice.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.

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Vegetarian and healthy - Economic Times

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