After a 5-year decline, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation issued a warning that avian flu was on the rise again. 30,000 birds were culled in Bangalore after tests showed that birds including turkeys and emus died from the H5N1 strain of virus. The government has issued a ban on the sale of poultry products in and around the affected areas; birds are being culled within a two-mile radius of the infected farms. If spread to human, avian flu can cause fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, eye infections, pneumonia, respiratory disease and even death. As of now there is no vaccine for this mutant strain of influenza.
Perhaps because of this, veganism has been enjoying a much greater share of the spotlight this year. Veganism takes the vegetarian diet to the next level, choosing not only to exclude meat and fish from the diet, but also dairy products like butter and cheese, as well as animal derivatives like eggs and honey.
Vegans choose this lifestyle because of health, environmental or ethical reasons, believing in the doctrine that man should live without exploiting animals altogether.
While popular belief is that vegan food is boring and tasteless, many south-Indian societies have actively embraced this diet choice for years now. Substituting dairy products with coconut milk, and other such inventive swaps, their cuisine is delicious, nutritious, easy to cook and light on the tummy. With promises of such a delightful culinary experience, it won’t be surprising if veganism has many more takers in 2013.