Posing behind a larger-than-life stalk of broccoli, De De Pyaar De and Marjaavaan star Rakul Preet Singh appears in a new campaign for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India that encourages fans to “Try Vegan”. The ad, which debuts just in time for World Environment Day (5 June), was shot by ace photographer Shivangi Kulkarni, with hairstyling by Ashis Bogi, make-up by Salim Sayed, and styling by Nidhi Jeswani.
Singh, who made her mark in both Bollywood and South Indian films, decided to go vegan earlier this year and immediately called it one of the best decisions she’s ever made.
“Rearing [animals for] meat for human consumption uses one-third of the world’s freshwater resources and one-third of global cropland for feed – the same can be used to feed humans directly, which is the first necessity,” says Singh. “Vegan foods are very high in nutrients. Leafy green vegetables are high in protein – broccoli is, too. [Getting] protein through your pulses and beans and other vegetables is best.”
Everyone who follows Singh’s lead and goes vegan dramatically reduces their carbon footprint: according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, animal agriculture is responsible for nearly a fifth of human-induced greenhouse-gas emissions. Going vegan also helps combat the spread of deadly viruses: filthy factory farms and meat markets crammed full of stressed animals are breeding grounds for diseases like bird flu and swine flu.
And of course, vegan meals help animals. As PETA India reveals in its video exposé “Glass Walls”, chickens killed for food are often shackled upside down before their throats are slit. Cows and buffaloes are crammed into vehicles in such large numbers that their bones often break before they’re dragged off to the slaughterhouse, and pigs are stabbed in the heart as they scream. On the decks of fishing boats, fish suffocate or are cut open while they’re still alive.
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview.