Hindus have welcomed McDonald’s plans to open some vegetarian only restaurants in India, which are said to be its first vegetarian outlets.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that “it was a step in the right direction” and urged McDonald’s to open some such restaurants in other parts of the world also and called on other international restaurant chains also to launch some meat-free outlets. It would be a contribution to a healthier world and helping the environment, Zed added.
According to reports, McDonald’s plans to open these vegetarian only outlets in India near Golden Temple (Amritsar, Punjab) and near Vaishno Devi shrine (Jammu-Kashmir). In its other outlets in India, its menu is said to be about 50% vegetarian.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted that Hinduism promoted strict vegetarianism insisting on ahimsa (not harming living creatures) and non-killing, and renouncing animal slaughter and meat eating. It suggested taking of sattvik (vegetables, fruits, etc.) and avoiding rajasik (eggs, etc.) and tamasik (meat, intoxicants, etc.) foods.
Rajan Zed argued that there was extensive protection of life in Hinduism and ahimsa was a command. All the major religions of the world were opposed to killing, he added.
Zed pointed out that many Hollywood and other celebrities were flocking to vegetarianism for health and ethical reasons, besides reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Oscar nominated Natalie Portman (Closer) is said to be vegetarian for about 22 years and Beatle Sir Paul McCartney has put his weight behind Meat-Free Monday movement.
McDonald’s, headquartered in Oak Brook (Illinois, USA) and whose history goes back to 1940, has over 33,500 restaurants in 119 countries. Don Thompson is President.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.