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

Acharya Prashant
3 min readAug 4, 2021

Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner: 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?

Acharya Prashant: No, a technical institution, an 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. 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. 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 alright for a human being to exploit a human being. Was there not a time just a couple of centuries back? And it was the norm and nobody questioned it. It was alright.

The white man could exploit the black man with impunity, right? And there was a time when it was alright for men to dominate and exploit women, right? Till recently, there were a few countries in which women did not have voting rights or equal protection of the law. Could not even get a 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.

The rights that gays and transgenders enjoy today were unthinkable just half a century back. So we have had human rights. We have had equal rights to women. We have had equal rights to…

Acharya Prashant