The animal rights organisation, PETA has asked all airlines to stop serving non-vegetarian food items on board for flyers. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wrote to all airlines explaining to them the effects of foods like meat, eggs and dairy products on the climate, PTI reported. The organisation’s request comes shortly after national carrier Air India announced that it would serve only vegetarian meals in the economy class to cut costs. PETA issued a statement saying that climate change is the leading cause of India’s current drought and heatwave situations. Animal based diet produces 51 per cent of greenhouse gas worldwide, and animal farming uses excessive resources like water, land and food, the statement said. PETA CEO Manilal Valliyate told the agency, “Balancing an airline’s carbon footprint can start with putting meat and dairy products on the no-fly list. PETA is encouraging all Indian airlines to follow Air India’s lead and serve exclusively healthy, humane and eco-friendly vegan meals on all flights.”
PETA also said that about 194 million people in India were malnourished while about 50 per cent of the world’s grain supply is being fed to the animals as farm feed. Heart-related diseases, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and cancer are also linked with consumption of eggs, meat and dairy products, according to PETA.
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Air India, on the decision to serve non-vegetarian, had earlier told IANS, “The initial estimates with us show that around Rs 8-10 crore can be saved through this move. This is also consistent with our earlier move to stop serving non-veg meals on flights with a duration of less than 90 minutes. The benefits of the move vary from the fact that it improves on board catering services and reduces food wastage.” PETA has banked on this move and is now urging other airlines to follow suit as it would be more environment-friendly.