Encouraging Vegan Eating Is Not a Crime, but Assaulting Women Is
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
September 2014

The women had planned to engage in a dialogue with passers-by on a subject everyone should be able to embrace or at least listen to with interest: how vegan foods can improve their health, protect the planet and save animals’ lives. Meat consumption is not required by any major religion, and killing animals outside of a licensed slaughterhouse is illegal in India, so vegan foods can be a good alternative for all.

PETA vegan Muslim EidOn September 22, before their peaceful awareness programme to promote vegan eating and the giving of vegetables, fruits, bread or pulses to people and animals in need for the upcoming Bakrid even began, a female Muslim PETA India staff member and other young female participants were assaulted by a mob of hundreds of men in Bhopal.

The mob threw stones at them, loudly threatened them with being stripped and killed, hit them with shoes and other objects, pulled their hair, punched them and otherwise intimidated them.

The women had planned to engage in a dialogue with passers-by on a subject everyone should be able to embrace or at least listen to with interest: how vegan foods can improve their health, protect the planet and save animals’ lives.

Meat consumption is not required by any major religion, and killing animals outside of a licensed slaughterhouse is illegal in India, so vegan foods can be a good alternative for all.

PETA vegan Muslim EidPETA India has held awareness programmes for Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Janmashtami and other holidays as well as Eid. We celebrated one Eid festival by having goats for dinner – not as the meal but as guests of honour so that they might fill their empty stomachs on the feast we provided.

However, the matter is no longer about vegan foods or animal protection but about violence against women in a country which is rapidly becoming infamous internationally as a hotbed of rape, murder and other barbaric behaviour against women. While the PETA India staff members have received an outpouring of support from Muslims and non-Muslims alike within India and around the world, what’s disturbing is there are some people, including members of the media, who seem to feel that the women deserved to be assaulted for daring to suggest that people might want to consider donating vegetables and fruit instead of meat or simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time–not too different from the woman-blaming that surrounds rape victims who “should have known better” than to be “provocative”in whatever situation they were in.

Isn’t it high time we became a society that permits women to be on their own during the daytime and to share their views without fear of reprisal? What happened to these PETA India staffers could happen to any woman sharing a message that some people disagree with, simply because she is a woman and because people feel they can get away with it. But we have a democratic right to share our views and to distribute information, and those who do not wish to entertain the suggestions can simply say, “No, thank you”.

Assembling to share literature on the benefits of plant-based foods is not a crime. Assaulting women is. Let’s rise up in protest against a society that protects mob rule and fails to defend compassionate people who espouse non-violence towards all.


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