International Meatless Day: Animal Rights Day

International Meatless Day: Animal Rights Day

The International Meatless Day is celebrated on November 25 every year across the globe. It is also known as the International Vegetarian Day. This day is special in the sense that it marks the birth of Sadhu T.L. Vaswani, who was a great Indian educationist and began the Mira movement for the upliftment of Indian education system. He had also established St. Mira’s School in the city of Hyderabad, Sindh. It is in the year 1986 that the campaign for International Meatless Day was started by the Sadhu Vaswani Mission.

The Sadhu Vaswani Mission is an organization for social service having a spiritual aim to serve mankind, particularly the underprivileged and oppressed section of society. The day also holds importance for the Animal Rights Group.

Sadhu T.L. Vaswani
Sadhu T.L. Vaswani

International Meatless Day: History

The International Meatless Day was proposed on 25 November 1986, the born day of Sadhu Vaswani. The educationist who initiated a mission to adopt the vegetarian living. He strongly urged the masses globally for adopting the vegetarian living. When he started the mission, he gained huge support and reached the big success in his mission.

Everyone accepted with his suggestions and became a volunteer to save and prevent the animals from killing. He makes the peoples understand that the animals and humans beings are equal in birth. Later, all the peoples had sent their vows to support the cause and go meatless on that day. To remember Sadhu T.L. Vaswani’s birthday, every November 25 is celebrated as international meatless day. specifically, Four Indian state governments as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka have issued the notice for shutting down the butchers’ shops on November 25.

International Meatless Day & Sadhu Vaswani

Born on 25 November 1879, in Hyderabad, Sind, Sadhu Vaswani was a contemporary saint who began a career in academia and later turned educator. He founded the Mira Movement, with an aim to empower and educate women. Preaching love and reverence for all, he believed that all living beings carried the breath of life. During his lifetime he founded what is now known as the Sadhu Vaswani Mission, “a non-sectarian, non-profit organization which believes in the unity of all religion and reveres the Great Ones of all Faiths.” The mission seeks to promote the philosophy that there is but one life flowing in all men, birds, animals, things animate and inanimate.

Sadhu Vaswani passed on in 1966, but in 1986, it was proposed by Dada JP Vaswani (the former spiritual head of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission) that November 25, Sadhu Vaswani’s birth anniversary be celebrated as an International Meatless Day. The Meatless Day campaign was initiated to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle in order to save and prevent the killing of animals. The campaign met with considerable success. Many followers and disciples of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission have since pledged to go meatless on this day. In a rare instance, Bengaluru has banned the slaughter and sale of meat to mark the day. Volunteers at the mission continue to spread awareness around the equality of humans and other living beings.

In a famous treatise, titled Why you don’t need meat, Dada JP Vaswani, preached the virtues of going meatless by recounting instances across the Bible, the Quran, the words of Gautam Buddha and the laws of Manu.

“Vegetarianism is not an end in itself. It is only a means to an end. The end, the goal is the Vision of the One-in-all.”

Activities in India:

In India activities are well organised to promote this campaign.

  • Pledge collection, including collection of life time pledges.
  • Peace marches.
  • Presentation of SAK (Stop All Killing) at public functions like World Foundation for Reverence for Life
  • Closure of slaughter houses in 5 states.
  • Celebrities supporting campaign like Hema Malini, Pankaj Udas, Rajiv Khandelwal, Anil Kapoor, Mukesh Khanna
  • Slides in Cinemas.
  • Cable operators telecast the SAK message requesting people to observe November 25 as a meatless day
  • Painting Competitions e.g. in Pune where over 5000 students take part.
  • Street Plays.
  • Veterinary Clinics.
  • Lectures on Vegetarianism are held in Schools and Colleges.
  • Vegetarian Food Festivals are held in various places to applaud the vegetarian life style which is fast gaining popularity today.
  • The above list is impressive showing a well-organised campaign with strong support as shown by the number of pledges collected throughout India. Even more impressive is the closure of several slaughterhouses for the day.

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