Tony Benn – The Vegetarian
24 March 2014
Nitin Mehta, Gandhi Foundation – TRANSCEND Media Service
Tony receiving the Lord Parshvanath Award at Trafalgar Square from the late Sudha Mehta and Kumudbhai Mehta
Tony Benn passed away on 14th March 2014 aged 86. Tony had been a vegetarian for many years and was present at the Vegetarian rally held on 22nd July 1990 in Hyde Park. The event had massive media coverage. Many newspapers reported the event titled,’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 opposes 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, which 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.’
Nitin Mehta is the founder of the Indian Cultural Centre in Croydon and of the Indian Vegetarian Society.