Unnatural Times

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

When I was a young girl there were hardly any restaurants in India. Refrigerators were uncommon. Plastic was not even available. Milk in Mumbai was available at ration booths and was limited. Cheese was unknown except to people who had travelled abroad. The food at home was delicious, and women knew how to cook. How things have changed!

Today pesticides and fertilisers are sold to farmers as ‘medicines for plants’. Plastics are everywhere causing hormonal havoc resulting in fertility clinics flourishing. Processed foods, fast foods and packaged foods are the urban norm. Infectious diseases have been largely replaced by lifestyle diseases like diabetes, hypertension, hypothyroid, polycystic ovaries, kidney failure and cancer. Now there is yet a new threat looming in India, GMO’s. Its important to understand what this is all about before it becomes irreversible. Many countries have banned them. India’s destiny is in our hands now.

Joyce Cardozo shares how she thought of herself as a Nazi, changed her diet gradually, and how she silently and beautifully works on enlightening others…

It were my 2 young Catholic neighbours (vegans) aged 10 and 13 way back in 1999 who spoke to me about Veganism.  I was quite shocked and my first query to them was "How can you celebrate Christmas and Easter without non-veg?"  They laughed at me and asked me if I would like to read the book "Heads and Tails" by Maneka Gandhi.  Being fond of reading I said yes and that book turned my life upside down.  I read it in just 9 days and wept at the end of it.  On the 10th day i.e. 10th Feb. 1999 I said goodbye to meat.

What a storm I faced in the house.  I refused to cook mutton, veal, beef and pork for my family from that day. I showed them the book and 2 PETA videos showing animal cruelty in abbatoirs.  They were not moved at all.  I never stopped praying for my family.

I continued to eat fish and dairy products because I found it very difficult to give up these.  But in November 2000 I said enough and made the decision to become vegan.  My family was shocked at my decision and felt I would go back as  I was a die  hard eater of veal. I wept when I read the chapter on veal in the book and couldn’t sleep for days after that as I considered  myself a NAZI.

My next mission was to spread the message.  I carried PETA handouts in English and Hindi  about cruelty and would give them out to people everywhere I met them after opening up a casual talk. I would push PETA handouts under doors of people who I  came to know were large meat eaters.  They did not know who was doing it but they would read the handout and gradually the number of persons buying meat from the butcher who I used to frequent dropped.  One fine day I met the butcher and he asked me why I wasn’t coming anymore.  I told him what I had learned and that I wanted to spread awareness among people.  Months later when I met him, he mentioned that his customers had dropped and then one fine day the shop closed!!  I never failed to pray for the butcher and the customers.   God answers prayers!!!!!

Then I approached a shop selling live chickens and gave him the handout in Hindi.  He looked at me as though I had come from MARS.  He wanted me to tell him how he would support his family without this business.  I told him that there are alternatives and you cannot earn by killing  the defenceless.  Both he and his wife would continue to give me stares each time I passed his shop.  I would cross the  road when I reached his shop and hold my nose and say a prayer for him and his customers.  Today that shop has also closed down.  Whenever I pass a shop selling chicken or a cold storage shop, I say a prayer for them.  It takes time but it works!!!!!!!!       
I leave PETA handouts  at doctor’s clinics and places where I know people will pick up  and the word spreads.   I make sure that I tell people in and around that I am a vegan and hence do not eat whatever is offered.  Many Catholics are surprised but then some come back  and ask for the reason and want to listen.
Two months ago when my son turned vegetarian and I could not believe my ears.  How I thanked God that my prayers were finally heard.!!!!

Food for Mind

‘Unless we change our food choices, nothing else matters. Because it is meat that is destroying most of our forests. It is meat that pollutes the waters. It is meat that is creating disease which leads to all our money being diverted to hospitals. So it’s the first choice for anybody who wants to save the Earth.’ – Maneka Gandhi

A Power-packed Burger!


Check out SHARAN expert Bhavna Kapoor showing you how to whip up an absolutely healthy, oil-free burger with no bread and home-made mayonnaise!


If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. We offer 3 possibilities from 1st Jan 2016.

1. SHARAN India This is SHARAN’s main Facebook page which you can like and follow for getting useful daily updates and news from the plant based health world. You will also get news about the latest SHARAN events, see testimonials, and more

2. SHARAN’s Vegan Support Group This is an open support group to know more about vegan/plant-based lifestyle. Here you can ask questions and share inspiring stories, tips, recipes, etc.

3. SHARAN’s Plant Powered Health This is the new group only for the past attendees of SHARAN’s events: seminars, cooking classes, retreats or longer programs.

All our doctors and presenters will be here to answer your questions and give you tips. If you have attended our events join this group to be a part of our family.

Please like the main SHARAN page and join the group(s) applicable to you.


GMO Gol Maal

As most of you are aware, there’s a huge lobby trying to get GMO foods introduced into India. The current wave is of GM Mustard.

GMOs are basically Genetically Modified Organisms, which have been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering. In this way we can actually create artificial fruits and vegetables. This is clearly playing around with nature. How can artificial replace the natural?

Find out 5 reasons to avoid GMO foods:

1. GMOs are unhealthy

Studies show how GM foods leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long term problems. Numerous health problems like food allergies, Autism, reproductive disorders and digestive problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996.

2. GMOs contaminate

3. GMOs increase herbicides use

4. GMOs harm the environment

GM crops and the associate herbicides harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems and soil organisms. They also reduce bio-diversity and pollute water resources.

5. Genetic engineering creates dangerous side-effects

Mixing genes from unrelated species unleashes a host of unrelated side-effects, such as producing new toxins, allergens, carcinogens and nutritional deficiencies.


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This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Associate Reyna K Rupani, who is based in Mumbai. She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health & Weight loss program and also conducts Health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more. Find out how she has benefited in so many ways by going on a whole plant-based diet here

Sanctuary for Health and Reconnection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN) is a non-profit organisation with the goal of spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle.

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