With an aim to boost immunity and promote sustainable diets, Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO) launched the “eat the plant, not the planet” campaign and teamed-up with actor Mallika Sherawat and rap megastar Baba Sehgal to raise awareness about plant-based diet. Baba Sehgal has created a thematic music video for the campaign that was recently released on social media by FIAPO. The hip-hop appeal of the song, along with a catchy chorus, has made an amusing uproar in the nutrition circles, reminding people of their food choices and the benefits of going plant-based.
In his trademark rhyming style, Sehgal raps about the importance of plant-based diet – “Plant ka khana khakar khelo, ekkiis din ka challenge le lo, duniya hai yahan laga hai mela, chhod doh planet ko akela. kha lo kha lo plant ko tum planet nahi, joh bhi bolta hun dil sey bilkul sahi.”
“We have always known that plant-based diets are better for our health, for the planet and for the animals. Now with Covid-19, we need to focus on boosting our immunity and staying away from animal foods that cause zoonotic diseases, severe environmental damage, and are extremely cruel to animals. Doctors have already told us this, and now we are delighted that some of the top celebrities are lending their voice to advocate for this shift, at such a crucial time. It’s the time for #EatThePlantNotThePlanet”, said Varda Mehrotra, executive director at FIAPO.
B-towners back plant-based foods
Baba Sehgal joins a growing list of celebrities – including Mallika Sherawat, Anushka Sharma, Aparnaa Bajpai, Aadar Malik, Anushka Manchanda, and many others – who have supported FIAPO to promote animal-free diets.
Calling for a plant-based revolution, longtime vegan and supporter of FIAPO, actor Mallika Sherawat said, “I have been on a plant-based diet and lifestyle since 2017. It has been 15 years since I decided to give up dairy totally, and it was not very difficult for me. In fact, I feel more energetic, and my sleep got better too. My message to everyone who has not tried the plant-based diet yet is to become a planet buddy and take up FIAPO’s 21-Day Eat The Plant Challenge”.
As a part of the campaign, FIAPO sent out plant-based food hampers to Bollywood stars, seeking support for the #EatThePlantNotThePlanet celebrations. Leading actor and producer Anushka Sharma expressed her love for plant-based foods upon receiving the hamper by sharing the hamper’s picture on her Instagram Story. The hamper includes shami kebabs from Greenest; a box of craft chocolates from Carra; mozzarella and spicy nagin cheese, and a jar of truffle cheese spread from Soft Spot Foods; jars of cheese spread with chips from Better; veg chicken, soya chikka roganjosh, and soya chop sticks from Vezlay, and a box of fish fingers from Veggie Champ.
Why “eat the plant, not the planet”
Animal-based diet has a severe impact on human health and the environment. Swaths of forestland are cleared to make space for factory farms and pastures upon which animals raised for meat graze – leading to extinction of indigenous plants and animal species as well as soil erosion. Additionally, raising animals for food is a major source of water use. It takes roughly 9,500 liters of water to produce half a kg of meat. Animal-based diets are responsible for more greenhouse gases than the world’s transportation system combined.
Moreover, the negative role of animal-based diets in human health is indisputable. Even in the case of the current pandemic, over 90 percent of the people who died from Covid-19 suffered from one or more pre-existing medical conditions – mostly as a result of a lifetime of poor nutrition. Several studies and mortality reports have confirmed that the Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on people with chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. These conditions are often a result of a diet high in animal-based foods.
Given this, strengthening the immune system and protecting the environment becomes of vital importance, especially to fight off the worst effects of this pandemic. “eat the plant, not the planet” campaign aims to encourage people to change the way they eat as it is an empowering decision to put personal as well as environmental health first. But not knowing the ‘how’ can be a bit demotivating. That’s where FIAPO’s “21-Day #EatThePlantChallenge” comes in. Loaded with breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and desserts, this is an all-inclusive guide to help eat cleaner, lighter, and healthier. The challenge is packed with flavors and nutrients from plants, and offers recipes to cook on one’s schedule and maybe get a friend to join in on this journey.
FIAPO (Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organizations) is India’s leading animal protection body. As a collective voice for the animal protection community in India, FIAPO unites all animal protection organizations nationwide, acting as their resource and information center to exchange ideas, build expertise and take action to strengthen the animal rights movement in the country. FIAPO works with over 160 member organizations, 200 supporter organizations, and over 1000 activists in more than 70 cities across India. They are the largest federation in the country and one of the (two) largest movement-building organizations in the world.