War of words over vegan milk: Here is how Amul MD RS Sodhi has replied to PETA India

Amul is an Indian dairy cooperative society managed by the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (Representative image: Reuters)

Amul is an Indian dairy cooperative society managed by the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd. (Representative image: Reuters)

A war of words has begun between Amul and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) over the latter’s advice to make a decision to switch to producing vegan milk.

In a letter to Amul Managing Director RS Sodhi, PETA said the dairy cooperative society should get benefitted from the booming vegan food and milk market.

“I am writing from PETA India to follow up on the letter from our CEO to you dated 17 February 2020. 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 is only growing. Other companies are responding to market changes, and Amul can too,” PETA India said in its letter.

In reply to the reports of PETA’s letter, Sodhi took to Twitter and said, “Peta wants Amul to snatch livelihood of 100 million poor farmers and handover it’s all resources built in 75 years with farmers money to market genetically modified Soya of rich MNC at exorbitant prices, which average lower middle class can’t afford.”

Replying to Sodhi’s tweet, PETA India said, India could be the world leader in the booming vegan food and drink market, says Forbes.

“PETA India says Indian farmers and entrepreneurs can take advantage of this opportunity while helping save animals’ lives,” it said.

Sodhi further asked PETA if it would give livelihood to 100 million dairy farmers, of which 70 percent are landless, “How many can afford expensive lab manufactured factory food made out of chemicals and synthetic vitamins,” he questioned.

On this, the organisation said vegan milk and foods are made of plants found in abundance in India, so “great news for Indian farmers.”

It shared a Forbes’ article titled, “Can India lead the ‘vegan economy’ against future pandemics?” and said it explains that Indian businesses can be “world leaders in responding to the national and global vegan trend.”

PETA’s advice was also questioned by other users. One of those said they can ask for vegan milk as an additional product; they can’t dictate what to drink or eat anyway. PETA is more of an NGO with double standards.

PETA replied to this tweet asking how is letting Amul know about the trend in vegan eating and encouraging them to take advantage of it “dictating”.

“Smart businesses respond to trends, not fight it, like Unilever has just announced its doing with its new vegan meat,” it said.

On this, Ashwini Mahajan, national co-convener of Swadeshi Jagran Manch, alleged PETA India for lobbying only selectively.

“But you lobby only selectively & want dairy farmers, most of whom are landless to stop their bread earning. Have you written to mechanised slaughter houses to stop killing of animals or have agitate against killing of animals in the name of faith. Stop coming in way of ppl living,” said Mahajan.

The verbal war continued and PETA India replied to Mahajan’s tweet sharing its “lifesaving programs run against the use of animals for food, clothing, experimentation, entertainment and other abuses”.

On this, Mahajan asked the organisation to “produce letters sent to slaughter houses and issued to press” as it did with Amul.

Amul is an Indian dairy cooperative society managed by the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd.