SHARAN Newsletter - Issue #15 - July 2012


• Special Feature: Why Vegan?
• What you can do • Fact or Fiction? • Recipe • News from SHARAN •

Special Feature: Why Vegan?

Why Vegetarian is not enough
Many people are vegetarian because they believe it is a compassionate and healthy choice. However, many are often unaware of the tremendous animal suffering that goes into producing these products. Also, both vegetarians and non vegetarians get the same diseases because dairy and eggs are similar in composition to meat and fish. We must not forget that all animal products have a large environmental impact too.

Animal welfare
The modern production of milk and eggs causes intolerable suffering, an early death for cows and hens, and implies the killing of male calves and chicks.

Consider these facts:
-    In an economically competitive market, egg-laying chickens and dairy cows are artificially stimulated to increase production. High productivity shortens their lifespans. Cows can live up to 20 - 26 years but dairy cows are slaughtered at 5 years. The lifespan of a chicken is 5 - 6 years, but an egg-laying hen is spent after 1.5 years.
-    Like any mammal, cows produce milk only when they give birth. They are artificially inseminated so that they can keep producing milk. Male calves are by-products of the dairy industry and are killed for veal and leather. Rennet from their stomach lining goes to make cheese.
-    Male chicks are also by-products because they cannot produce eggs. Their little bodies are ground up to make meal to feed their sisters.
-    Dairy cows are confined to small spaces, fed hormones and antibiotics to increase their milk production, and hooked up to machines which cause pain to their udders and frequent infections.
-    Hens are confined to dark, crowded cages. They are forced to live in their own filth and their beaks are cut off to prevent them from pecking at each other.

Once we’re aware of these facts, it’s difficult to justify drinking milk and eating eggs especially as it is also bad for our own health and the environment.

To learn more about the poultry industry, visit the following links:
Poultry and Eggs: Industries That Abuse Chickens
India's Chicken Industry

To learn more about the dairy industry, read the following articles:
Cows Used For Their Milk 

Dairy Cows Fact Sheet
To learn more about India's dairy industry, watch this video.


We often think we need animal products for protein. In an affluent society, excess protein causes disease, whereas deficiency is almost unheard of. All animal foods are acid yeilding and high in fat and cholesterol. Milk contains high amounts of antibiotics, hormones and pus, while eggs are often infected with bacteria like salmonella.

Though dairy products are rich in calcium, this calcium is not easily absorbed. Most people with osteoporosis do not recover while consuming dairy because dairy is part of the cause of this problem. Calcium-rich plant foods like dark green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds have extremely high calcium content that is easier for the body to utilise.

It is well known that animal foods contribute to diabetes, cancer, heart disease and obesity, as well as other health ailments and diseases. During SHARAN’s Disease Reversal retreats, participants experienced a significant improvement in their health and well-being by eliminating all animals foods from their diets. The work of medical professionals like Dr Dean Ornish, T. Colin Campbell and Dr Neal Barnard has proven that many diseases can be reversed through a low-fat plant-based diet.

To learn more about the ill effects of milk, visit the Not Milk website.

Milk and egg production has serious environmental impacts. Raising animals is water, land, energy and food intensive, and also contributes to land, water, and air pollution and a high production greenhouse gases.

To learn more about the environmental effects of milk and egg production, visit the following links:
Fouling the Environment
What's the Environmental Impact of Milk?
Locals protest against a chicken farm in India

Make a choice
If you truly care about animals, the environment and your own health, vegetarianism is not enough. Go vegan to make a difference to the way you feel, to the future of planet earth and to the animals.

What you can do

Try vegan for 30 days. It’s easier than you think! There are many alternatives to eggs and dairy available, which make it easy to make the switch. Try it and feel the beneficial effects for yourself. For recipe ideas, visit the SHARAN recipes page.

Educate yourself.  Once you know the facts, you can make an empowered decision. The Try Vegan page provides useful tips and pointers on making a transition to a vegan diet.

Join our seminars or take the advice of our health consultants to reach your highest health potential
. Visit the workshops page on the SHARAN website for more information.

Test the results
. It's a good idea to do a complete blood report including cholesterol, vitamin B12 and D before the 30-day trial to see the positive health changes for yourself.

Fact or Fiction?

Plant foods are not good sources of protein.


It’s easy to meet protein needs on a plant-based diet. Almost all plant foods contain protein, with some of the best sources being beans, greens, nuts and whole grains. While meat, dairy and eggs are also high in protein, they contain unhealthy fats and cholesterol.


Mini Crustless Tofu Quiches

Olive oil spray
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup bell pepper
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives (or one green onion)
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp. dried, crushed)
Black pepper to taste
1 12.3-ounce package lite firm tofu, drained of water 
1/4 cup plain soymilk
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon cornstarch (or arrowroot or potato starch)
1 teaspoon tahini (preferred) or cashew butter
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt

- Preheat the oven to 375 F. Spray 12 regular-sized muffin cups well with non-stick spray. 
- Lightly spray a non-stick skillet with olive oil and sauté the garlic, bell peppers, and mushrooms over medium heat until the mushrooms just begin to exude their juices. Stir in the chives, rosemary, and freshly ground black pepper, and remove from the heat.
- Place the remaining ingredients into a food processor or blender. Process until completely smooth and silky. - Add the tofu mixture to the vegetables and stir to combine. Spoon equally into the 12 muffin cups: it will fill regular muffin cups about halfway.
- Put the muffin pan into the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 350 F. Bake until the tops are golden and a knife inserted into the middle of a quiche comes out clean–about 25-35 minutes depending on your oven and muffin cups (silicone will take longer than metal, so if you’re using a metal pan, check it at 20 minutes).
- Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes. Enjoy! They’re light, so plan on making more of these—or serve hearty side dishes—if you’re serving more than 3 people.

(Recipe and image courtesy of Susan Voisin of FatFree Vegan Kitchen)

News from SHARAN

SHARAN’s Disease Reversal Program
27 participants took part in SHARAN’s Disease Reversal Program from June 3rd to 23rd, at the beautiful SwaSwara resort in Gokarna, Karnataka. The 21-day program included classes on healthy eating, disease prevention, re-conditioning and cooking, as well as yoga and meditation. There were also massages, art classes and nature walks on the beaches and in the surrounding hills and films and entertainment in the evenings. The food served was all whole and plant-based. Detailed medical tests were done at the beginning and end to monitor the changes in their health.

By the end of the program, 13 people were off all their medications while many others were down to only a fraction of their doses. There were also marked improvements in liver function tests, and cholesterol and triglyceride levels for almost all participants. Four participants with hypothyroid problems saw very significant improvements in their levels. Many people lost weight. A full day-by-day report of the Disease Reversal Program is available here.

This is the third Health Retreat conducted by SHARAN. To stay informed of SHARAN’s activities, join our mailing list so that we can keep you informed by email. Send a request to [email protected]

SHARAN’s Training Programs
Following SHARAN’s Doctor’s Training Program in December and Cooking Instructors Training Program in February, a Lifestyle Advisors Training Program was held in Auroville in March. A group of 12 people learned how to offer support to others who would like to make a lifestyle change by adopting a plant-based diet. We are planning more training programs this winter.


SHARAN’s Workshops
Over the past few months, SHARAN’s popular Peas vs Pills workshop was held in Auroville and Bangalore to over 170 participants. The workshop teaches how easy it is to take charge of your own health and make dietary changes which can transform the quality of your health and life.

Next Peas vs Pills workshop: Bangalore on July 14th. For more information, see this page.

Reversing Heart Disease and Hypertension is a workshop which introduces a powerful lifestyle method that reverses most cases of heart disease and high blood pressure. Our focus is on healthful foods, not medications. Participants receive step-by-step guidance on how to make beneficial lifestyle and diet changes which can transform their health.

Next Reversing Heart Disease and Hypertension workshop: Bangalore on July 28th. For more information, see this page. 

A special week-long retreat in Auroville. The Nourish Retreat is intended to connect you back to your natural state of health, happiness and wisdom. There will be time for inner reflection, connecting with nature and soaking in the beautiful energy of Auroville. For more information, see this page.

Check the events page on SHARAN’s website to keep informed of our workshops and events or join our mailing list by sending an email to [email protected]

FIAPO's Indian For Animals 2012 Conference
The Federation of Animal Protection Organisations is bringing animal protection organisations together to connect, build and learn from each other. Organisations and activists working on animal protection from across India will meet at the India for Animals 2012 Conference in Goa from 16 to 18 November 2012. 

SHARAN will be presenting two special events during the conference: Peas vs Pills by Dr Nandita Shah on November 19th and a workshop on the Art of Dynamic Presentation for Animal Advocates by Nandini Gulati on the 20th and 21st.

For more information on the FIAPO Conference and SHARAN’s Fringe Events, see this page.

Join a vegan potluck in your area
Would you like to meet vegans living in your area and share tips and recipes? Or are you considering a lifestyle change and would like to learn more about veganism? Vegan potlucks are held in cities across India and are open to everyone: vegans, aspiring vegans, vegetarians or anyone interested in learning more about veganism. To find out about a vegan potluck in your area, get in touch with the vegan group in the following cities: Bangalore / Mumbai / Delhi
Chennai / Ahmedabad / Hyderabad / Pune

The SHARAN photo album features pictures of all our past events. Those who have attended our events may enjoy seeing pictures of themselves and the group. (Click on the image to get an enlarged version.)

Did you miss past issues of this newsletter? Have a look at the SHARAN newsletter archives.

The Reversing Diabetes Facebook Group is for people who would like to learn about and exchange information on how a healthy plant-based whole foods diet can help reverse diabetes. Members share tips and their own experiences of how they have been able to control and reverse diabetes through the food they eat. Click here to join the group.

Join SHARAN India on Facebook to find out about upcoming events, join in discussions and share experiences, and meet other like-minded people!

SHARAN India is now on Twitter. Click here to follow us!

What is SHARAN?

We are a non-profit organization with the goals of spreading holistic health awareness, and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle. We believe that all life on the planet is interconnected. By reconnecting we can heal ourselves and our earth.

Visit our website:
Contact us: [email protected]

© 2012 SHARAN