Hyderabad – Smiling and holding a cricket bat next to the words "I Am VVS Laxman, and I Am a Vegetarian", legendary cricketer Vangipurapu Venkata Sai Laxman (popularly known as VVS Laxman) – who has been honoured with Padma Shri and Arjuna awards – stars in a brand-new ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India during Vegetarian Awareness Month (October).
The stunning ad was shot by ace photographer YSN Murthy, and Laxman's hair and make-up were done by Mask Raju.
The ad can be viewed and downloaded here, while a video interview with VVS Laxman can be viewed here.
"Being vegetarian gives me energy, and helps me stay sharp and strong. It has many benefits, and I believe that everyone should be vegetarian for a long and healthy life", says Laxman. "I urge all my fans to turn into a vegetarian. I've enjoyed vegetarian food, even though I was playing active professional cricket, more than 20 years. More importantly, you are not killing the innocent animals."
Susan Levin, a specialist in sports dietetics and director of nutrition education for Washington, DC–based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, explains, "A vegan diet is the perfect combination. It brings you healthy complex carbohydrate, healthy protein, and the vitamins and minerals you need, but avoids the saturated fat and cholesterol that interfere with health and athletic performance." According to a paper on vegetarian dietary practices and endurance performance published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a plant-based diet is an optimal sports diet.
The consumption of meat and other animal products has also been conclusively linked to heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer and obesity – all of which are major health problems in India. And the meat industry is responsible for the daily suffering and terrifying deaths of billions of animals each year.
Raising animals for food is one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide and the single largest source of both methane and nitrous-oxide emissions – all of which have been linked to the negative effects of climate change. Also, raising animals for food uses vast quantities of water, placing a serious strain on water resources.