Animal agriculture, even on a small scale, is economically non-viable for most farmers. Many of them, if they were not given subsidies (monetary or in kind), would not be able to continue farming. As well, the environmental cost of raising animals is huge, and in no way sustainable. Jeeva Bhavana’s primary objective is to educate the Indian public of the true environmental costs of animal-based agriculture, and to provide farmers with viable and sustainable plant-based alternatives. Concurrently, organic, and better yet veganic farming must replace conventional chemical farming to ensure human and environmental health.
Likewise, using education and outreach, Jeeva Bhavana actively promotes consuming plants (grains, seeds, pulses, vegetables, fruits, etc) and plant-based foods for our entire population as the very best way to achieve and maintain optimal health and well-being, and to ward off a host of debilitating and deadly chronic diseases (not to mention zoonotic diseases like Covid-19 that emerge from not respecting species distancing) that are currently plaguing us nationally and internationally. Instigating and promoting the shift toward plant-based diets will ensure that demand follows supply, and prompt a positive feedback loop for farmers, encouraging other farmers to follow suit.
The decline of animal agriculture will free up a tremendous amount of land. Jeeva Bhavana proposes to help implement programmes aimed at rewilding and reforestation (with an accent on food forests) in order to restore and rejuvenate soils, increase biodiversity, act as a carbon-sink and, in the case of food forests, create food sovereignty especially in communities that are the most vulnerable to famine and malnutrition. This greening of India will coincide with programmes aimed at creating sustainable and pollution- and toxin-free environments.
It is our firm belief that a healthy and vibrant India can only come to fruition when animals are no longer bred into existence only to be enslaved, exploited and slaughtered. Therefore Jeeva Bhavana partners with groups that do active outreach to educate and promote animal liberation: the right of animals not to be considered as property and the right to live their lives without human interference.
We at Jeeva Bhavana believe that as we “do unto” animals, so shall we “do unto” our fellow human-beings. Health, dignity and security: we maintain that these inalienable rights must be shared by all individuals – animals and humans alike – to achieve a healthy, dignified and safe land for future generations. These ideals can only be achieved when we replace competition with cooperation, consumerism with service, fear with trust, and discrimination with tolerance and acceptance of the myriad differences that instead of separating us, should make us celebrate the diversity of nature and of culture.
Julie Wayne was born in the US, lives in France and has worked in India for more than twenty years. She is an economist by education, a photographer by profession and an environmental and vegan activist by passion. She is also a writer, and has composed most of the text on this website. She is an antispeciesist xenophile, meaning that while celebrating the distinctions between individuals of different species and rejoicing in the wide-palette of cultural differences worldwide, she embraces the commonalities of nearly every sentient being on Earth, most notably the desire to live free from harm, to love abundantly and to thrive without harming others.
Madhavi Kolte is a law graduate but a sculptor by profession who had a very successful career both in India and abroad, until she learned about the escalation of the environmental crises. Though she treated her artwork as a dialogue with Mother Earth and always invited viewers into the conversation, in order to reach a wider public she decided to take a hiatus from her studio work and devote her energies full-time to environmental activism. Since then she has volunteered with different environmental organisations while pursuing the diploma course with Ecological Society in Pune. After becoming a certified Climate Healer, she co-organised the Pune Health and Sustainability Conference in 2019. The motivation to create Jeeva Bhavana was a direct result of the conference’s success, when Madhavi, Sanjeev and Julie (the conference’s other organiser) understood the necessity of a grass-roots, India-centered organization that seeks a paradigm transformation for the betterment of all.
Sanjeev Naik, an engineer by education, worked for over 25 years in the IT Software Industry. For the last 3 years, he has devoted his time exclusively to various environmental activities. Volunteering with organisations in the field of environmental waste awareness campaigns and river rejuvenation programs led him to delve more into environmental issues and sustainability solutions and to complete the Ecological Society (Pune) course in Nature Conservation and Sustainable Management of Natural Resources. His passion for the natural world and birds (and birdwatching) has led him to complete courses in Ornithology, Avian Conservation, Arthropods and Limnology, the knowledge of which has been instrumental in his understanding of conservation and biodiversity issues.
Saumya Jain is Jeeva Bhavana’s research assistant. She has recently completed her Bachelor of Commerce degree with honours in Banking and Finance at Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce in Pune and is currently obtaining a Master of Arts in Climate Change and Sustainability at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. She is an engaged environmentalist and a climate change activist who envisions a cruelty free and just world.
Shweta Chaudhary is Jeeva Bhavana’s graphic designer. After obtaining a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering and working for a few years in industry, she decided to return to her first love: graphic design. She is the founder and director of Meraki Designs, a studio that creates event graphics, logos and digital media marketing. She is a health enthusiast, and her love of nature and animals incites her to do whatever she can to help protect and nurture them.