New Delhi: Animal rights body PETA has urged IIT-Bombay to consider banning non-vegetarian food items in cafes on its premises, days after the institute clarified that it had not banned such edibles.
In a letter to the institute's director, Devang Vipin Khakhar, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said the IIT "seemed apologetic" in clarifying that it had not banned non-vegetarian food items.
"We read about IIT Bombay's seemingly apologetic clarification that it has not banned non-vegetarian food. But we are writing to ask, why not?" it asked.
The institute, which faced protest from students opposing the "ban" on non-vegetarian food items at the cafe on its premises, clarified Monday "there is no restriction on the sale of non-vegetarian food items in the cafeteria".
"The letter issued to the caterer was in the context of stale food and no cooking allowed in the academic area and the preemptive action was in the interest of health and safety of the users," it had said.
The IIT statement had come less than a month after one of its hostels asked students to use separate tables and plates for non-vegetarian and vegetarian food items at the mess, after receiving complaints from some vegetarian students.
The PETA, however, urged the institute to take lead in banning non-veg food items and not bother about offending "meat addicts".
"The nation needs esteemed institutions like yours to make decisions beneficial to society based on science, even if it generates debates and discussion and even if it would temporarily offend meat addicts," it said.
The animal rights body argued that no positive social change has taken place without causing at least some offence to vested interests. "But the damage caused by meat, egg, and dairy production and consumption should matter far more."
Protecting the health of the public, animals, and the environment is absolutely the right thing to do, the PETA letter said.