An angel for animals

Mahima in the poster brought out by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Mahima in the poster brought out by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.  

THIS GORGEOUS damsel walking in the clouds, holding a basket of flowers and fruit with the tagline, "Be an Angel ... Go Vegetarian," is the vivacious Bollywood actress Mahima Chaudhary. She is the "celestial being" deployed for a cause by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Mahima, whose entry into Bollywood was marked by Pardes, has since appeared in Dil Kya Kare and acted alongside vegetarian Amitabh Bachchan in Baagban. "Be angels by adopting a vegetarian diet," seems to be her message for her fans. "By being vegetarian, I feel better physically. But more importantly, I feel better spiritually, knowing that I haven't needlessly taken a life," says Mahima. "Billions of animals are slaughtered for food worldwide, and I shudder to think of how they are treated in farms. What better way to celebrate this festival season than by being an angel for animals and putting compassion on your plate?"

The designer of the outfit that Mahima wears in the advertisement is Hemant Trivedi, who is also a vegetarian. "I respect our planet too much to eat animals or use their skins in my creations," says Hemant, who was a finalist in PETA's annual "Hottest Vegetarian" contest.

And why do animals raised and killed for food need the angels?

Chicken, sheep and other animals raised in farms are treated badly. They spend their brief lives in conditions so cramped that many are unable even to turn around, PETA says.

Eating meat takes its toll on the earth too. According to an article in The Guardian, governments around the world may soon "have to persuade people to eat less meat because of increasing demand for water, according to agricultural scientists investigating how the world can best feed itself." The reason is the huge quantity of water needed to grow fodder, which can be used to grow foodgrains. Fodder agriculture is the world's leading cause of water pollution and one of the chief causes of land degradation, the article says.

"I urge everyone to discover the pleasures of a sensible and delicious vegetarian diet," says Mahima.

By Vidyashree Amaresh

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