Veganism: Neither cult nor fad, but an imperative of our times

Acharya Prashant
4 min readJul 22, 2020

Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session of Acharya Prashant at IIM Ahmedabad, his alma mater.

Questioner (Q): A very different topic now. So, from the videos that I have watched, I understand you’re a strong veganism promoter. Now, as institutes like IITs and IIMs and institutes which people look up to and get influenced and follow. What do you believe institutes like these should follow and promote? Do you also believe that institutes should promote veganism in your opinion?

Acharya Prashant (AP): No, a technical institution and institution that deals with science and technology or an institution that is devoted to studies in management, obviously cannot have veganism on its agenda. At the same time, we are technocrats and managers later.

First of all, we are living persons, we understand a few things, right? And from that understanding must come our code of ethics. We need not borrow it from somewhere and the code of ethics need not be institutionally enforced; but don’t we understand? Don’t we look around? We know what is happening, we are all pretty literate and sophisticated people, we are conscious of data and if we look at the data it is compelling enough, and from there will come the incentive or the persuasiveness to go vegan and to promote veganism.

It is not a cult, it is not a fad, it is a demand of the times we live in, right? And sooner than later, each one of us will have to ask ourselves, what business do we have exploiting animals?

There was a time, when it was all right for a human being to exploit a human being. Was there not a time, just a couple of centuries back? It was the norm, and nobody questioned it. It was all right. The white man could exploit the black man with impunity, right? And there was a time when it was all right for men to dominate and exploit women, right?

Till recently, there a were a few countries in which women did not have voting rights or equal protection of the law or could not even get driving license, and it was considered acceptable, it was “normal”. So, just because a few things are normal doesn’t mean that they’re all right. They will change, correct?