Actor and long-time vegetarian Amitabh Bachchan has just received an unusual birthday gift from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and Animal Rahat: a formerly oppressed and now liberated bullock has been named Vijay in honour of the actor. Bachchan – who has portrayed characters named Vijay in some 20-odd films – celebrates his 70th birthday this year. He was also named PETA’s Hottest Vegetarian Celebrity three years in a row.
|AMITABH BACHCHANS BIRTHDAY GIFT|
‘Mr Bachchan and Vijay the bullock have something in common: they are both very handsome fellows,’ says PETA India CEO Poorva Joshipura. ‘The gift of a namesake is also fitting because, as a vegetarian, Mr. Bachchan saves animals’ lives by not eating them. Vijay the bullock has been given a new lease of life – the heavy loads that he once pulled have been lifted from his shoulders for good.’
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A bullock trudging along in the heat and straining under a heavy yoke to pull an overloaded cart is an all-too-common sight in India. These gentle animals often suffer from dehydration, untreated sores, muscle strain, depression and beatings. Vijay had been severely overworked and was very weak when Animal Rahat rescued him. He was also suffering from a tick infestation and anemia and was in a lot of distress. Animal Rahat veterinarians treated him and gave him nutritious food, and he is making a fast recovery.