Dear Menaka Ji,
I write this open letter with a great purpose behind it.
A bit of a background about me. I’m a techno savvy Indian, Pure Vegetarian since the age of 16. I’m also part of various Animal lover orgs such has Beauty Without Cruelty etc. My Blog “Life of a vegetarian muslim” has been featured in news articles and have attracted many comments.
Coming straight to the point, as you know very clearly millions of capsules are being consumed daily and majority portion of the capsules are not vegetarian. I have read many articles of yours explaining the facts and you and I know very clearly know the situation.
I would like to re-iterate to my readers about this. Millions of capsules consumed daily are made of gelatin which is in-turn made from animal flesh and bones. If you’re young and healthy perhaps you’re not taking a vitamin supplement but your parents or grandparents must be consuming at-least one daily. The most common anti-biotic Amoxicillin comes in a capsule!
Problem statement with some Facts:
- About 40% of Indians are vegetarians and 10% of Indians are Muslims, which makes a total of about 50% Indians. This is a big number.
- Vegetarians don’t eat meat.
- Muslims do but they wont eat just any meat. They would eat only Halal meat.
- Both communities are unknowingly consuming items which they aren’t supposed to.
- Capsules’ gelatin contains unknown source of meat, mostly buffalo meat, but sometimes Pig meat, horse meat, left over chicken etc.
- This is not at all acceptable to both the communities, but the evil is just unknown to common man. It comes in a disguise.
Solution : So what’s the solution ?
Over the last 5-6 years govt is trying to convince the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to move to a veggie solution for capsule, but I feel the stress hasn’t been enough. Its high time when India should move towards 100% veggie capsule and govt could provide support to manufacturers of the same.
Its high time madam that you step in at a full pace towards bringing in an ordinance to put a date limit where by all drug companies would have to move to the vegan capsule for good. There should be NO gelatin based capsules in India for good. This is neither needed or healthy nor in line with our culture as Indians. Some people don’t care as they just don’t know! But with over 50% it does become a concern. There is an explicit need for an ordinance. Without such an ordinance this would not be taken seriously and any other effort would go in vain. Only you would understand this and I can make this sincere request only to you. Lets not feed our parents and younger generations the animals whom we love so much!
PS: I open the contents of all capsule on a paper and put the power in mouth and gulp it with water. Its a pain but that’s how the life of a veterinarian is..