November 1, is celebrated as World Vegan Day. This year, on this occasion global NGO Million Dollar Vegan has marked the occasion by releasing a powerful short film featuring over 40 celebrities, influencers, doctors, athletes, and activists from around the world talking about the different reasons why they chose to go vegan. This information was stated in a press release shared by the Million Dollar Vegan.
The film features Grammy award-winning singer Mya, Buddist Monk and renowned scientist Matthieu Ricard, Angelina Jolie’s breast cancer surgeon Dr Kristi Funk, Indian businessman Raj Kundra, wellness author Kathy Freston, athlete Dominick Thompson, prominent activist Joey Carbstrong and many others. Watching the film, which covers reasons ranging from personal health to ethics, may leave you wondering what your reason might be for going vegan!
Million Dollar Vegan CEO, Naomi Hallum, stated in the press release, “With the world reeling from the devastating impacts of an animal-borne pandemic and the ever-worsening effects of climate change, coupled with the fact that over 80 per cent of Amazon deforestation and at least 23 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture, there has perhaps never been a more important time to think about the impact of what we eat.”
The press release further states that according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage, farming does to the planet, avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce our environmental impact on the planet. As three out of four emerging infectious diseases in humans originate in animals or animal products, moving towards a more plant-based way of eating is also one of the most effective ways to lessen the risk of another pandemic. Nutritionists and doctors are also sharing research that indicates eating plant-based foods may help strengthen our immune systems, enhancing our ability to fight off viral diseases like Covid-19.
Dr T. Colin Campbell, the Centre for Nutritional Studies, says, "A whole foods plant-based diet can prevent, perhaps even reverse, the chronic degenerative diseases which make older individuals more susceptible to COVID-19 while simultaneously increasing immunity by inactivating the COVID-19 itself."
When Covid-19 hit, Million Dollar Vegan began providing nutritious plant-based foods to essential workers and underserved communities around the world, setting themselves on a mission to deliver at least 1 MILLION MEALS by 2022 as part of an ongoing initiative to #TAKE PANDEMICS OFF THE MENU. The initiative, through which the NGO has donated almost 300,000 meals across 15 countries to date, aims to educate people about how changing our diets can benefit our health, our planet, and lower the risk of future pandemics.
Darshana Muzumdar, Manager of Million Dollar Vegan in India says, “We cannot protect against pandemics while continuing to eat meat. Much attention has been paid to wet markets, but factory farms, specifically poultry and egg farms, are a more important breeding ground for pandemics. If we want to take pandemics off the menu, we really must take meat and dairy off our plates. Not only will humankind benefit if we do this, but our planet and the animals we share it with will benefit too. Moreover, veganism is a celebration of our principles of Ahimsa: of compassion and justice for all the beings we coexist with on our planet.”