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  Life   More Features  01 Nov 2018  The journey of a vegan crusader

The journey of a vegan crusader

THE ASIAN AGE. | SASHIDHAR ADIVI
Published : Nov 1, 2018, 3:57 am IST
Updated : Nov 1, 2018, 3:57 am IST

Harvard psychologist Dr Melanie Joy, who’s on her first visit to India, has been propagating vegetarianism and veganism for the past 25 years.

Dr Melanie Joy
 Dr Melanie Joy

Harvard-educated psychologist and celebrated speaker Dr Melanie Joy has been an activist for veganism for the past several years. She was in Hyderabad to speak at the national conference organised by the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisation (FIAPO), and she wonders why she hasn’t visited India sooner.

“I have been planning to come to India for the past last three years, and I am glad that I am finally here,” Melanie says, adding, “One of the best aspects of the country is the warmth that I have received and the fact that people are increasingly adopting veganism. I am also impressed with the work done by activists and organisations towards the protection of animal rights.”

Over the past 25 years, Melanie has done some extensive work to propagate the philosophies of vegetarianism and veganism, and it’s been a journey of personal growth for her. Talking about what she’s learnt along the way, she says, “My journey has completely changed my perception towards life. I have become more empathetic and compassionate towards people. It is an invisible belief system that conditions people to eat certain animals, but people are transforming themselves, and it is my endeavour to empower concerned citizens and advocates of veganism through education and activism.”

After having travelled to 45 countries, the celebrated speaker and author of the award-winning book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows believes that people across the globe are all very similar in terms of their basic natures. “People share the same ideologies and philosophies when it comes to their way of living and looking at life. People may differ culturally, but they still have similar thought processes, and this reinstates the fact that compassion and hope bring people together.”

Ask her about the impact that she has been able to create over the past two decades and she says, “People write to me and my organisation (Beyond Carnism) about how touched they are by our work. That gives us the fillip to further strengthen our efforts.”

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