Monks have extreme dedication to their beliefs and way of life, and a recent story that takes place in the town of Palitana in the state of Gujarat, India proves their sacrifice can bring big progress.

200 monks in the town underwent a hunger strike to push for a citywide ban on animal slaughter. The town is home to one of the holiest sites in Jainism, one of the oldest religions in the world that preaches a path of nonviolence towards all living beings. About 5 million people practice this religion. Many residents of Palitana do not want any kind of killing to happen in their town due to these beliefs. So, the monks threatened to fast until death until the town was declared a 100 percent vegetarian zone. The local town government gave in to their demands and vegetarians are celebrating a victory. Refusing to eat and welcoming death if the demands are not met? Now, that’s dedication!

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Overall, the mandate is awesome news! But not everyone sees it that way. Herein lies the problem of this seemingly good natured declaration:

World Crunch reported that the population of Palitana is 65,000 and about 25 percent of them are Muslim. Local Muslim religious scholar Syed Jehangir Miyan told the news source, “There are so many people living in this city, and the majority of them are non-vegetarian. Stopping them from eating a non-vegetarian diet is a violation of their rights. We have been living in this city for decades. It is wrong to suddenly put a ban on the whole city now.”

Since not everyone is so keen on the idea, the state’s high Court will decide if this declaration can indeed be legal. The vegetarian paradise might still be too good to be true – for now, at least. Monks don’t give up that easily, and we’re grateful for their sacrifice.

So, Green Monsters, what do you think about this news? Is it wrong for a state to control and restrict residents’ diets, especially if the majority of people in that location are meat eaters? Does the end justify the means? Can the plant-based eating message become lost in the process of mandating that people eat that way? Let’s discuss!

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Image source: World Crunch