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News at Brighter Green

Brighter Green's film What's For Dinner? to be featured in the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital 3/21/14

Brighter Green's short film What's For Dinner? was recently selected to appear in the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. It appeared on March 19th at 12PM in the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, along with a discussion partnering with the China Environment Forum.

Associate Sangamithra Iyer Publishes eBook 3/5/14

Brighter Green Associate Sangamithra Iyer publishes an eBook entitled The Lines We Draw distributed by Hen Press, the publishing arm of Our Hen House. The book explores the boundaries — physical, biological, and ethical — evolved out of a conversation with the late Dr. Alfred Prince, a hepatitis researcher, about the use of chimpanzees in medical research, and is expanded into a larger discussion about ethics.

Brighter Green Releases New Policy Paper on Industrialized Dairy in Asia 2/20/14

Brighter Green releases their newest policy paper Beyond the Pail: the Emergence of Industrialized Dairy Systems in Asia exploring the trend toward increased dairy consumption and production in Asia and argues that the growth of industrial systems results in severe consequences for the environment, public health, animal welfare, and rural economies. You may access the paper here.

Brighter Green Presents at the Ivy League Vegan Conference 2/7/14

Brighter Green Executive Director Mia MacDonald and Associate Sangamithra Iyer present a session entitled "The Global Diet & Sustainability: Multi-country Perspectives" at the Ivy League Vegan Conference at Princeton University. The conference is in its third year and is dedicated to exploring veganism and bioethics.

Brighter Green Documentary What's For Dinner? Launches Chinese Website 1/1/14

Brighter Green documentary What's For Dinner? launches Chinese website. This will increase awareness of the issues raised in What's For Dinner? and allow individuals in China to learn more about the film.

Brighter Green Documentary What's For Dinner? Signs Distribution Deal 12/20/13

Brighter Green documentary What's For Dinner? signs with Icarus Films, a well known
independent film distributor, to help ensure that What's For Dinner? is screened widely.

Brighter Green End-of-Year Newsletter 12/19/13

Take a look at our most recent Brighter Green newsletter where we announce some of our recent accomplishments as well as what we have planned for 2014. You can read the newsletter here.

Executive Director Mia MacDonald on Katerva Awards Panel 12/6/13

Brighter Green Executive Director Mia MacDonald participated on the Food Security Impact panel as a part of the Katerva Awards.

At COP 19, Global Landscapes Forum Calls for Change 11/27/13

COP 19's Global Landscapes Forum, where Brighter Green co-sponsored a side event, released a statement calling for a new approach to tackling climate change, food insecurity, and poverty saying that "fragmentation is our enemy". The statement calls for the need to "work together across landscapes".

Brighter Green Submits Policy Recommendations at Global Landscapes Forum 11/18/13

Brighter Green submits policy recommendations with Global Forest Coalition after the networking panel session "Land, landscapes, livestock, and farms". For more information please read about Brighter Green's involvement in COP 19 here.

Brighter Green in Outreach Magazine at COP 19 11/15/13

Brighter Green publishes an article entitled "Industrial animal agriculture: acknowledging industrial livestock production as a driver of forest loss" in Outreach, a multi-stakeholder magazine on climate change and sustainable development distributed at COP 19. The article is based on a project addressing livestock production as a driver of deforestation between Brighter Green and the Global Forest Coalition.

Brighter Green Cosponsors a Panel at the Global Landscapes Forum at COP 19 11/14/13

Brighter Green is cosponsoring a panel at the Global Landscapes Forum in Warsaw at COP 19. The forum, with exhibitions and panels, will focus on environmental change and development, linking farming, forestry, and other land uses. Geoffrey Evans from Humane Society International [HSI] will be speaking for Brighter Green, HSI, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals. The forum will take place from November 16-17, 2013 in Warsaw.

Brighter Green Produces Policy Document with Human Society International and the World Society for the Protection of Animals 11/11/13

Brighter Green, Humane Society International, and the World Society for the Protection of Animals, produced a policy document making a case for why the Conference of Parties (COP 19) should address animal agriculture and the global climate crisis. The document will be distributed at the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP 19) in Warsaw, Poland from November 11-22, 2013.

BG and the Global Forest Coalition Expand Biodiversity Laws in Joint Paper 10/28/13

Brighter Green and the Global Forest Coalition expand biodiversity laws on their joint paper: Industrial Agriculture, Livestock Farming, and Climate Change: Global Social, Cultural, Ecological, and Ethical Impacts of an Unsustainable Industry.

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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