As reported in the Times of India, Bollywood actor Aamir Khan has gone vegan. Aamir enjoys a massive fan following and is loved for the roles he chooses and the social causes he supports. Some might say Khan is doing this only for publicity, but the fact remains that he will be, simply by promoting a cruelty-free lifestyle, giving veganism exactly the level of publicity it needs in ‘can’t-do-without-dairy’ India.
Khan’s decision (see TOI, 9th March, page 11) seems to have come at the right time, as it has been only a week since beef was banned in the state of Maharashtra, and the debate between Indians over it is still on. Sadly, nobody is ready to accept that consuming dairy is as harmful for us as it is for the animals and the environment, and stupid customs and religious beliefs make people think it is normal and right to eat other beings.
Aamir Khan is a Bollywood heavyweight and his turning vegan will have a huge impact on animal rights awareness. Here’s hoping he uses his popularity to influence everybody to stop paying meat and dairy industries to exploit animals!
NOT FAR FROM the railway station at Andheri is an eatery which serves vegan meals. There isn’t a board that displays this joint’s name (it only says ‘lunch home’) but that doesn’t matter – Aadarsh Lunch Home provides cheap, tasty and possibly the cleanest food you’ll get while eating out in this area. The staff was initially very suspicious because of the questions I threw at them (Was anything cooked in ghee? Did they use butter or serve paneer? Why weren’t they using dairy at all?) and refused to let me take pictures despite my assuring them that I didn’t mean any trouble, but I earned their trust by visiting the place several times and complimenting them on their vegetable gravies each time and even criticizing the dal. Aadarsh Lunch Home serves a thali that will keep you comfortably stuffed for half a day. A few rotis, two vegetable dishes that you won’t find in any multi-cuisine restaurant around (fuck these multi-cuisines and their same old south Indian/Punjabi/Chinese/pav bhaji crap), a boringly plain dal, lots of rice, a fried papad and pickle. I tell them not to give me the fried papad and to give me another helping of a sabzi instead of the tasteless dal, and the veggies change at every meal. I’ve been there for lunch, I’ve been there for dinner, and now they want to know every time how I liked the food. Oh yeah, they say they’ll never use dairy because the meals need to remain affordable for all. If you’re vegan but don’t know it, clap your hands.