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Updated: February 9, 2010 19:22 IST

Promoting vegetarianism

Radhakrishnan Kuttoor
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'Haritha-radhya', a 14-chapter book on vegetarianism by G.K.Nair.
'Haritha-radhya', a 14-chapter book on vegetarianism by G.K.Nair.

“A car engine that is not tuned or not getting the type of fuel it needs simply will not run efficiently, nor ‘live’ for as long as it was intended to. Similarly, the human body needs the right kind of fuel, instead of the high fat meat which is simply not the kind of fuel the human body is intended to use,” says Mr. G.K. Nair in the Malayalam version of his book on vegetarian diet, ‘Haritha-radhya’.

Mr. P. Parameswaran, Bharatiya Vichara Kendram director, has released the book by Mr. Nair, Editorial Consultant of The Hindu Businessline, at the cultural meet held as part of the 98th annual Hindu convention at Cherukolpuzha near Kozhencherry on Tuesday.

The 14-chapter book on vegetarianism extensively deals with the importance of following the vegetarian way of life.

According to Mr. Nair, eating vegetarian food prevents a lot of direct pollution of air and water by animal faeces as well as secondary factors such as fuel, antibiotics, pesticides and herbicides used in meat production.

He says a typical healthy vegetarian diet is high in fibre and low in fat. Vegetarians are at lower risk for developing coronary heart disease, colo-rectal, ovarian and breast cancers, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and so forth.

“Food should nourish and feed the body and leave us energised. When we eat high fat meats, low fibre processed foods and fill our bodies with preservatives and chemicals, we are more prone to high blood pressure, type-II diabetes, high cholesterol and other serious health risks,’’ he says.

Moreover, vast tracts of land are needed to grow animal feed. Not less than 80 per cent of the agricultural land in the Unites States of America is reportedly being used, in one way or the other, to raise animals for slaughter. Moreover, overgrazing leads to the extinction of indigenous plant and animal species, soil erosion, and eventual desertification, he adds.

Various surveys showed that more than one-third of all fossil fuels produced in the U.S. are used to raise animals for food. Energy is used to grow, process and transport animal feed, operate farms and slaughterhouses and to refrigerate and transport the meat.

Mr. Nair says the meat industry not only needs drinking water for the billions of animals raised for slaughter, but also for watering crops for animal feed and for cleaning away the filth in factory farms and slaughterhouses. According to him, nearly half of all the water used in the U.S. goes to raising animals for food.

The book stresses the need to promote vegetarianism the staples of which are fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, seeds and nuts.

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