The QI Group was one of the main sponsors of the sixth Asian Vegetarian Congress that was held in Malaysia on Oct 4, 2013. The event was hosted by the Malaysian Vegetarian Society and supported by the International Vegetarian Union (IVU) and the Malaysian Ministry of Health.

Appearing as the first keynote speaker at the congress, was QI Executive Chairman Vijay Eswaran, who said that the encouraging resurgence of vegetarianism, especially in Asian countries, is attributed to reasons such as religion, concern for health, the environment and the compassion for animals. Eswaran reinforced the message of the congress – that the global population has the power to help reduce global warming by turning towards a vegetarian diet that would help make a difference to the planet.

Eswaran said limiting or abstaining from meat consumption would consume less of our limited resources on earth. He pointed out that the livestock sector has emerged as a very significant contributor to environmental problems at every scale from local to global, including land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and loss of biodiversity. Hence, he sent out a strong message to stop all killings and to create better public awareness of the importance of consuming more plant-based food.

Having been instilled a deep abhorrence towards violence from young, he stressed: “Let’s not have any more pain in the world. There’s enough pain already,” referring to the slaughter of millions of animals annually around the world.

Vegetarianism is more than just a personal belief for Eswaran. It is part of the corporate philosophy of the QI Group, which he founded with his partner who is also a vegetarian. The QI Group has more than 1000 people in nearly 30 different countries and is a fully vegetarian company. The primary consideration for this, being the four main pillars of vegetarianism, namely environment health, biological and ethical.

“It is a philosophy that we actively propagate internally to our employees, though by no means is anyone forced to convert to vegetarianism. However, the company has embraced this concept since its inception and has continued to take a firm stance on it,” said Eswaran.

“Additionally, Mahatma Gandhi, who is the corporate icon of the QI Group propagated the concept of ahimsa, a Sanskrit term which means non-violence. This translated into the practice of vegetarianism which Gandhi lived by, and propagated vehemently,” he added.

When asked whether vegetarianism is changing the world, Eswaran quickly noted: “Yes, we have more than 1000 vegetarian restaurants in the Klang Valley alone today and it’s a good sign that we don’t pay anything that contributes to killing.”