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Vegetarians in conversion mode

With reports that people are steering clear of chicken, vegetarians in Mumbai are closing in for the kill, report Arlene Chang and Manish Pachouly.

india Updated: Feb 21, 2006 03:20 IST

Vegetarians in the city have smelt blood, and are closing in for the kill.

On Monday, with reports that people were steering clear of chicken, vegetarians egged non-vegetarians to go the whole hog: Turn vegetarian.

SMSs saying: ‘We told you so, first the mad cow disease, now bird flu. Become a vegetarian NOW’, flew fast and furious among friends and colleagues. “As promoters of vegetarianism, this is a crucial time for us. Many non-vegetarians have started eating greens because of the scare of the virus, and to keep them hooked we need to spread awareness about the rewards of being a vegetarian,” said Jasubhai Shah of the Vegetarian Society of Mumbai.

Anuradha Sawhney of PETA agreed. “We have always maintained that going vegetarian is the only way to save the world. Now that bird flu has hit us, we hope many others will understand this. It is the demand for non-vegetarian fare that has pushed poultry suppliers to resort to all types of mismanagement of livestock. It is their poor living conditions that causes the outbreak of such diseases.”

The Bombay Humanitarian League is also working towards getting more people to turn vegetarian. “This is a good time to shake people out of their meat eating habit,” said Rasik Doshi, the League’s president.

“Bird flu is a lesson to human beings,” said Vimalsagarji Maharaj, a Jain religious orator.

So, will chicken eaters turn to chickpeas now? Time will tell.