Our patron Nitin Mehta, founder of The Young Indian Vegetarians, writes:

Tony Benn, one of the UK’s most respected politicians, a passionate campaigner for social justice and compassion to animals, passed away on 14th March 2014, aged 86.

Tony had been a vegetarian for many years and was present at the Vegetarian Rally we held on 22nd.July 1990 in Hyde Park. The event had massive media coverage. Many papers reported the event  under the title ‘ Veggie Benn’. Tony became a vegetarian after his son told him about the colossal use of crops used in feeding animals to produce meat. At the rally Tony said that he felt very healthy as a vegetarian and he opposed animal exploitation as much as he opposed human exploitation.

Tony often mentioned that he had met Mahatma Gandhi when he was a child. Gandhi had made a great impact on young Tony and shaped his concern for social justice and inequality. He was also a passionate campaigner for stopping all wars and advocated pacifism. The following quote from Tony shows his concern for animals:
‘The case for animal testing is now being directly challenged by scientists and doctors and their judgement must be taken seriously’.

Below, Tony Benn at the Vegetarian Rally on July 22 1990.

Nitin is on the left of the photo.

Tony Benn pic


The picture below shows Tony, on June 17 2001, receiving the Lord Parshvanath Award in Trafalgar Square. It is being presented by the late Sudha Mehta and Kumudbhai Mehta.

Nitin is on the left of the photo.