PETA India recently named Acharya Prashant the “Most Influential Vegan” of 2022. As a teacher of Vedanta—the pinnacle of Indian “wisdom literature,” rooted in self-awareness and liberation—Prashant cares deeply about ending speciesism. His passion is on display in a new video in which he sits down for an interview with PETA India founder and PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, delving into his outreach efforts; the concept of ahimsa, a core tenet of many Eastern religions that means not causing harm to any sentient being; and his many accomplishments. The two animal rights icons also discuss effective ways to persuade others to go vegan.
Watch the Interview Below: Meet the ‘Most Influential Vegan’ of 2022
As the discussion progresses between these two luminaries, central vegan concepts emerge with further clarity: the gift of consciousness; the human responsibility to make kind choices; the respect and consideration all animals deserve; why every sentient being is an individual person; how being vegan also means being against all forms of supremacy, violence, and prejudice; why killing an animal is like killing a part of oneself; how problematic it is that many Indians want to adopt destructive consumption patterns from the West, often involving speciesism; why feeling compassion should outweigh the pull of popular culture; and why we must actively share what we know.
How Prashant Earned the Title ‘Most Influential Vegan’
Prashant—the founder and CEO of the PrashantAdvait Foundation—campaigns against superstition and strongly advocates for female empowerment, protection of the natural world, compassion for animals, Vedantic wisdom, living “rightly,” and living a life of compassion and honesty. He explains in person and on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram how being vegan is an essential part of true humanity.
Prashant’s compassion shines through his work to spare the lives of cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys, fish, and other animals exploited by the meat, egg, and dairy industries. His award from PETA India spotlights how he encourages everyone to live a conscious, nonviolent life and respect all sentient beings by going vegan.
He has consistently advocated against the mistreatment of animals used for food and made millions of humans aware of the perils of consuming them and “products” stolen from them, highlighting how vegan living linked to true spirituality is a solution to the global crises of poor health and environmental damage.
Teaching Vedanta pairs perfectly with raising awareness of animal liberation. Ahimsa is at the heart of this spiritual practice, so Prashant speaks often about it.
Ahimsa is deep understanding. Without that understanding, whatever one does is violence. Veganism is nothing but the logical culmination of vegetarianism. Where does vegetarianism come from? The feeling that I will not kill the animal—I don’t want to harm the animal. That same feeling finds its final expression in veganism.
How to Inhabit Your Inherent Ahimsa and Become an Influential Vegan Yourself
Going vegan shows compassion for animals; reduces your own risk of suffering from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity; helps fight the climate catastrophe by reducing greenhouse gas emissions; and can even help prevent future pandemics since COVID-19, SARS, swine flu, and bird flu have all been linked to confining and killing animals for food.
Ready to blossom? Cultivate ahimsa: