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Teenager to go without food, water or sleep for 36 hours outside Hong Kong mall to promote veganism

Daghan Dalgic set to carry out stunt at Stanley Plaza to raise awareness of factory farming

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 June, 2016, 6:03pm
UPDATED : Friday, 02 December, 2016, 3:25pm

A teenager will go a day and a half without food, drink and sleep outside a Hong Kong shopping centre this weekend to promote veganism.

Daghan Dalgic will carry out the stunt at Stanley Plaza, he said, to raise awareness of the animal cruelty and environmental damage involved in factory farming.

The 17-year-old Hong Kong International School student invited anyone interested in learning about veganism to visit him from 7am on Saturday until 7pm on Sunday.

He will give out veganism brochures in Chinese and English.

He said he chose 36 hours because that is the average time it takes to transport an animal from farm to slaughterhouse, during which they are often denied food and water.

Describing his conversion to veganism, Dalgic said: “About two years ago, I woke up one morning and had the urge to find out more. I read a lot of research papers. I felt ignorant and ashamed that I had been eating meat.”

Dalgic said he turned to veganism after finding out about the animal cruelty associated with factory farming.

“It is one of the worst contributors to climate change and deforestation. I want people to understand the connection. It is no longer a personal choice what you eat,” he said.

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The young filmmaker, who is originally from Turkey but moved to Tai Tam, Stanley, in July last year, persuaded his parents to turn vegan just a few months after his own conversion.

He said he planned to keep himself awake by reading and listening to music, taking short bathroom breaks when necessary.

“This is one of my passions so I think it will go beyond physiology,” he said.

Dalgic is holding his fasting event as he launches his non-profit organisation Love for Gaia, which he said was “dedicated to increasing spirituality and promoting cruelty-free lifestyles.”

“I want people to see that this cruelty-free lifestyle is the best way and better for health,” he said.

“There is a big vegan and vegetarian community in Hong Kong. I think the city is definitely making improvements. I think there is just still that belief around the world that we accept things the way they are.”

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Dalgic has produced a video, shared on YouTube, to promote his fast.

In it, he says: “What is the cost of a meal? Nowadays, we accept everything around us as normal and we don’t question things enough. I think it’s a part of human nature to accept the things around us.

“When we see a piece of steak, we see it as food, and not cow flesh. Not enough people know the truth about factory farming.”

Hong Kong continues to import most of its meat from mainland China.

It has seen a dramatic decrease in the number of livestock farms since the 1990s after an outbreak of bird flu in 1997.

The government subsequently put greater restrictions on the number of chicken farms specifically, as well as a voluntary licence surrender scheme for pig farms, to reduce environmental pollution and improve public health.