If not for that goat milk, Gandhi would have been vegan. Yes, that’s how close India is to having a patent on one of the biggest global fads of recent times. ‘Fad’ or ‘trend’ perhaps would be a wrong word for something that comes out of a deeper philosophy. Veganism, after all, rests on the idea that humans are compassionate beings and it is in their nature to choose kindness over killing—or that such a state must be aspired to and can be taught or inculcated. Those who turn vegans see it as a life-changing transformation free of any religion, propaganda, violence, lies, guilt, cruelty, rules, agenda, guru or a guidebook. A lot of that can be admired, a lot of it can also be submitted to a careful, respectful and sceptical analysis. But whichever side of that cheese omelette or chocolate sundae (or smoked pork) you stand, there are things here that we can learn from and apply—for the sake of the planet.