BY- JAYA CHOUDHARY
A verbal spat has erupted between Amul and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) over the latter’s recommendation to convert to producing vegan milk. PETA wrote to Amul Managing Director R S Sodhi, urging the dairy cooperative organization to capitalize on the rapidly growing vegan food and milk sector. Amul is an Indian dairy cooperative organization administered by the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd, a pioneer in the dairy business in India.
PETA highlighted a 2018 research by a multinational food organization named Cargill in its letter to Sodhi, claiming that demand for dairy products throughout the world is declining because dairy is no longer regarded as a necessary element in a diet. According to PETA, multinational dairy businesses such as Nestle and Danone are acquiring holdings in nondairy milk manufacturing, thus Amul should consider expanding into vegan goods as well.
According to PETA, multinational dairy businesses such as Nestle and Danone are acquiring holdings in nondairy milk manufacturing, thus Amul should consider expanding into vegan goods as well.
What do many dairy firms including Nestlé, Epigamia, Chobani, Danone, and Yoplait have in common? They recognize vegan eating is here to stay, and are now investing in non-dairy options. Smart businesses respond to trends, not fight them. #PETA @Amul_Coop https://t.co/vbJF13BNHv
— PETA India (@PetaIndia) May 28, 2021
PETA’s idea, on the other hand, did not sit well with Amul. Responding to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals India’s call to produce vegan milk, Amul Managing Director RS Sodhi showed concern about the jobs of the 10 crore farmers who rely on the cooperative dairy industry for a living.
“PETA wants Amul to grab the livelihood of 100 million poor farmers and hand over all resources developed in 75 years with farmers’ money to market genetically modified soya of rich MNC at exorbitant costs, which the common lower middle class cannot afford,” RS Sodhi stated. He further argued that plant-based milk is made from vegetable oil, to which chemicals such as stabilizers and emulsifiers are added. The vitamins in these products are also added in the form of chemicals.
Peta wants Amul to snatch livelihood of 100 mill poor farmers and handover it's all resources built in 75 years with farmers money to market genetically modified Soya of rich MNC at exhorbitant prices ,which average lower middle class can't afford https://t.co/FaJmnCAxdO
— R S Sodhi (@Rssamul) May 28, 2021
Sodhi also posted a tweet from Ashwini Mahajan, national co-convener of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, in which she stated that these ideas might harm dairy farmers’ main source of income. Mahajan went on to say that eating is a personal choice for people, whether they choose to be vegan or continue using typical milk products. He also stated that PETA should first target meat-eaters.
Now, Amul’s vice-chairman, Valamji Humbal, has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to impose a ban on the NGO, claiming a variety of grounds ranging from it being “an attempt to undermine the Indian dairy sector,” which contributes significantly to GDP, to synthetic milk being a “foreign plot.”
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It is important to note that PETA is a foreign non-governmental group that speaks out against animal cruelty in all other countries other than India. However, as soon as it enters India, both its attitude and goals take a swift turn. The latest dairy sector proposals are a prime example of this.
This hypocrisy is being cited because the organization openly provided suggestions to the milk business but remained silent on the issue of closing slaughterhouses. In 2017, eminent actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra, who received the ‘Hero to Animals’ award from PETA India, could be seen on YouTube cooking a Roast Turkey meal. It is this double standard that has been the cause of PETA’s disrepute in India for a long time.