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News at Brighter Green

Executive Director Mia MacDonald Quoted in Civil Eats Article 1/26/15

Executive Director Mia MacDonald was quoted in Advisory Board member Anna Lappe's article on Chatham House's recent study on peoples' understanding of climate change and food, particularly meat production. You can view the Civil Eats article here.

New Report Released by Brighter Green and the Global Forest Coalition on the Unsustainable Impacts of Livestock and Soybean Production in Paraguay 1/22/15

Brighter Green and the Global Forest Coalition, published a new report entitled, "Meat from a Landscape Under Threat: Testimonies of the Impacts of Unsustainable Livestock and Soybean Production in Paraguay". You can access the report here.

Brighter Green Featured in NYC Meatless Monday Press Release 1/22/15

Brighter Green and Executive Director Mia MacDonald were featured in NYC City Council Representative Helen Rosenthal's press release on the push for NYC to adopt the Meatless Monday campaign.

Executive Director Mia MacDonald Appears on Our Hen House's Highlight Reel Podcast Episode 1/10/15

Brighter Green Executive Director Mia MacDonald appears on Our Hen House's highlight reel episode on January 10th. The original TV episode can be viewed here.

East African Girls' Leadership Initiative Program Update 1/10/15

Brighter Green and Tribal Link released a January Program Update on the East African Girls' Leadership Initiative. You can access it here.

Brighter Green and Humane Society International Publish COP 20 Policy Recommendations 12/4/14

Brighter Green and Humane Society International published a policy recommendation document on animal agriculture and climate change for the COP 20 meeting in Lima, Peru. You can access the document here.

Brighter Green Releases Summary on Forthcoming Nature's Rights Paper 10/14/14

Brighter Green released a summary of a forthcoming nature's rights paper entitled Nature's Rights: Rivers, Trees, Whales, and Apes.

Jim Harkness Positively Reviews "What's For Dinner?" 10/6/14

Jim Harkness Senior Advisor on China at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy positively reviews "What's For Dinner?" and interviews Executive Director Mia MacDonald.

Brighter Green Associate Interviewed by "Eating Animals" Director, Christopher Quinn 9/29/14

Brighter Green Associate Wanqing Zhou was interviewed by Eating Animals director Christopher Quinn. BG also provided Mr. Quinn Chinese contacts, including What's For Dinner? director Jian Yi, for the film.

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India's Vegetarian Crossroad

January 25, 2013 2:00pm

Indian vegetarian restaurant

India: a vegetarian's mecca. This seems to be the stereotypical image envisioned when thinking of this culturally Hindu society. But are globalization, a growing middle class, and the urge to emulate western ways eroding this traditionally ethical lifestyle?

As people of developing nations ascend the socioeconomic ladder, the tendency is to want what the western world has- name brand clothes, fast food restaurants, big box shopping malls, and meat at every meal.

India's non-veg population is growing rapidly with meat consumption more than doubling over the last decade This trend is namely seen among the urban youth, who regularly frequent one of the many American fast-food chains across India, and who feel eating meat is a modern, contemporary activity. One journalist has even gone as far as describing traditional vegetarians as India's new social "pariah."

But is there more than meets the eye? Underneath the layer of "cosmopolitan" non-veg diners, there seems to be a rapidly growing movement of ethical reconsideration- a reclaimed ahimsa if you will- those questioning not only India's new meat-eating habit, but other forms of animal agriculture as well. From organizations such as India Vegan to the India Vegan Society to vegan potluck groups popping up in cities all over the country, to newly opening vegan restaurants- even Bollywood is joining forces with PETA to create a vegan cookbook . One journalist asserts that veganism has blended seamlessly into India's mainstream lifestyle. And to speak to the movement's success, even those American fast-food chains are curbing to consumer demand for animal-free options- McDonald's and Subway have both opened entirely vegetarian restaurants-both the first in the world. Pizza Hut stands behind its 100 percent veggie pies, and even KFC is jumping on the veg bandwagon and will soon be offering plant-based options.


The world is learning the devastating consequences of diets high in animal products and developing nations are slowly but surely losing their appetite for meat. As the western world reduces its meat demand, and as India's ethical consumers up their plant-based demands, will India's cosmopolitan view of meat be nothing other than a short-lived trend? Will the rising middle class and urban youth, following the ahimsa trail blazed by their nonconformist counterparts, soon be emulating the western world's demand for veg options?

...Which, for India, is nothing less than reclaiming traditional roots.




(Read Brighter Green's India Policy Paper, Veg or Non-Veg: India at the Crossroad, to learn more regarding India's current dietary shifts.)

Photo courtesy of reidmix