Image Credits: PTI/ Twitter - @PetaIndia/@ValamjiRHumbal
Update: PETA India's CEO and Veterinarian Dr Manilal Valliyate has issued a statement, saying: "Amul has shown itself to be a bully, unable to appreciate the public’s concern for animals, and a business that apparently cannot change despite changing consumer trends. But no amount of bullying is going to change the fact: vegan eating is taking the world by storm. Consumers are opting for plant milks and other vegan foods because they do not support cruelties like male calves routinely being abandoned or killed since they cannot produce milk, want to experience better health, and are concerned about dairy’s contribution to greenhouse gas, water wastage and other environmental concerns. Other meat and dairy businesses know that vegans mean good business for them and farmers, and are investing in and creating vegan foods. India is a nation of animal lovers, and now we can be a world leader in compassionate vegan foods too."
Amid its face-off with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Indian dairy major Amul on Tuesday pushed for action. Amul vice-chairman Valamji Humbal urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban the NGO and said that it was attempting to ruin the livelihood of people. In addition, Humbal also said that PETA's actions tarnish the image of the Indian Dairy Sector.
In a release, Himbal asserted that the dairy sector is a crucial contributor to the GDP of India. However, the GDP can be affected he 'adversely' by misinformation, he added. Humbal further alleged a conspiracy against the milk industry of India. Citing milk producers of Gujarat, Humbal further requested PM Modi to initiate action and ban organisations that 'tarnish the image of the dairy industry'.
“Dairy sector is an important contributor to the GDP of India but the GDP can be affected adversely by misinformation spread by opportunistic elements like this NGO. Organisations like this are part of the conspiracy to render unemployed the milk producers of India,” Humbal said in a release on Tuesday.
“To ensure that such organisations stop their activities in India, milk producers of Gujarat urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate necessary action to impose a ban on organisations which are engaged in condemnable activity of tarnishing the image of dairy industry through misinformation campaign and then harm them by encouraging plants of multination companies producing synthetic milk,” he added.
Humbal also slashed rumors of animal cruelty and said that people in India raise milch animals as a member of the family. Maintaining that PETA's demand is a part of the misinformation campaign, Humbal added that it is an attempt to break the Indian dairy industry which saves the country from importing milk and milk products. He expressed that the move was prompted by foreign companies.
“Indian culture positions livestock as part of their family and raise them as a member of the family. Therefore, the question of cruelty does not arise at all… This entire episode is a misinformation campaign and an attempt to break the Indian dairy industry, which is self-sufficient and thereby saves the country from the trouble of importing milk and milk products, and render unemployed 10 crore people who are relying on it. The move appears to have been prompted by various foreign companies,” he added.
Both sides have been at loggerheads since PETA asked Amul to use its position to switch to producing vegan milk. The non-profit organisation asked Amul to benefit from the booming vegan food and milk market. PETA stated that the demand for plant-based products is growing.
"We would again like to encourage Amul to benefit from the booming vegan food and milk market, instead of wasting resources trying to fight the demand for plant-based products that are only growing. Other companies are responding to market changes, and Amul can too,” PETA India said