Archive for January, 2017

29
Jan
17

Vegan Musicians on Veganism: Keshav Dhar (Skyharbor, White Moth Black Butterfly)

Keshav Dhar 

Age: 29 
Bands: Skyharbor, White Moth Black Butterfly
When, how and why did you go vegan?
August of 2015, after several personal experiences that led me to make a drastic change in my lifestyle.
Do you have any nonhuman companions?
No.
Do you help animals in any way?
keshavdhar

Photo credit: Akshat Nauriyal

I feed any animals I can, other than that I help them by leaving them alone and not involving them or their byproducts in my lifestyle whatsoever.

What do you think is the way forward for veganism in India? 
Education.
Physical and mental changes you’ve noticed since going vegan?
More vitality, less stress, healthy weight loss, much greater peace of mind overall.
What kind of food do you like and dislike?
I’m not picky at all. We eat to live, not live to eat, and I enjoy almost anything you put in front of me.
Tell me about your most memorable meal and restaurants you like to visit.
Momofuku in New York is certainly at or near the very top of the list. I was apprehensive about what vegan options would be available at a place so renowned for it’s non-vegetarian food, but I was absolutely blown away by that meal. I don’t think any of us in the group that was eating together, spoke a single word from the moment our food arrived to the moment the plates were polished clean.
29
Jan
17

Vegan Musicians on Veganism: Arjun Iyer (Eatshootleave, Gumbal, Barty’s Path)

Arjun Iyer

Age: 29

Bands: Eatshootleave (folk/punk rock), Gumbal (space/alternative rock), Barty’s Path (World Music/Orchestral solo project)

When, how and why did you go vegan? 

I’d always felt guilty whenever I’d consumed eggs and dairy having seen Earthlings a few years ago. And yet I’d be the first one to call people out on any form of animal cruelty. One day, last May, I decided I’d have to stop  being a hypocrite and went vegan overnight.

Do you have any nonhuman companions? 

arjuniyerMy sisters (both vegans) and I have adopted/rescued two stray cats back in my house in Navi Mumbai. I live alone in Khar in a tiny studio apartment and run an erratic work schedule, so I don’t have any companions IN the place, but I have adopted a few strays on the street, two of whom (Galileo and Jean-Pierre) I brought along from my previous rented place.

What do you think is the way forward for veganism in India? 

Veganism, as a concept, is still extremely new in the country. With all our regional cuisines being rich in milk or ghee or curd, it’s unfathomable to the common man, along with the misinformation that people receive since childhood about milk being healthy. With the whole ‘cows are sacred’ notion, people even believe that dairy cows in India are treated very well, dismissing videos from western countries as being limited to their land. Video outreaches can go a long way in dispelling that myth, as will talking about it and spreading awareness. It has seen a sudden spurt in interest, though, with newspaper articles on the subject and new restaurants devoting sections on their menu to vegan dishes, and all of this bodes really well for the future of animal liberation awareness in India.

Physical and mental changes you’ve noticed since going vegan? 

Physically, I haven’t noticed much, because of all the vegan junk food I consume, living alone (my first 7-8 months of veganism were spent in a flat without a kitchen). Mentally, I feel free and unburdened of the guilt that used to prick me everytime I’d dig into a dish an animal had to suffer for. I do realize though, that the fight isn’t over and it still hurts me to see the casual violence we inflict upon them without a second thought.

What kind of food do you like and dislike?

arjuniyer1I really love homemade food (especially my mum’s south Indian stuff) and now that I have a kitchen, I experiment with a whole bunch of cuisines. I love cooking! The only cuisine that really doesn’t go well with my system is Chinese food. I’ve pretty much gotten over them.

Tell me about your most memorable meal and restaurants you like to visit.

The Khow Suey at Eat Thai is absolutely amazing! They have a whole bunch of vegan dishes, all delicious. Some other great places (apart from the yum tiny local places that are easily veganisable) I’d recommend are Lemon Leaf, The Yoga House and Smokehouse Deli (which has a dedicated vegan section). Oh, and if you’re in Goa, Bean Me Up is an all vegan restaurant with a great selection of dishes.

Check out Arjun’s bands: Eatshootleave | Gumbal | Barty’s Path

LIST: 13 Indian Musicians You Didn’t Know Were Vegan

OTHER VEGAN MUSICIANS:
28
Jan
17

Vegan Musicians on Veganism: Kush Mishra (Arthashastra)

Kush Mishra

Age: 20 years 

Band: Arthashastra

When, how and why did you go vegan?

kushmishraBeing born in a Brahmin family I was vegetarian already. I was raised in the best way by my parents – they made me value every life present on earth. But I was not vegan till the time I watched this video by PETA on cows, pigs and poultry birds… that’s when I decided to go vegan!

Do you have any animal companions?

I adopted two German Shepherds – Hitler and Eva. Before them I was having a female Pomeranian named Toffee.

Do you help animals in any way?

In my previous years i wanted to become a doctor and that too a veterinary one! I used to take care of all the stray dogs in my society and I always keep water and bajra seeds on terrace for birds.

What do you think is the way forward for veganism in India?

I think the best way to promote veganism is to make people realize that we have plenty of options in vegetables and fruits to eat from rather than to kill and satisfy our hunger and please taste buds temporarily! This earth is not only a place for humans but every other organism!

How has veganism changed you?

kushmishra_drummerAfter going vegan i felt that I become more polite and caring towards human and animals and more healthier obviously… my body is free from any kind of toxic substances.

What kind of food do you like?

I am actually a foodie and i love eating stuff which is free from any kind of animal products! I love momos, dosas, pav bhaji, cutlets… I will never eat any non-vegan food!

Tell me where you’ve had a dish you can’t forget.

I remember going to this restaurant mall called Captain’s Cavalry where I had the best vegan spring rolls ever!

LIST: 13 Indian Musicians You Didn’t Know Were Vegan

OTHER VEGAN MUSICIANS:
27
Jan
17

Vegan Musicians on Veganism: Shashwat Gupta (Narsil, IIIrd Sovereign, Undying Inc.)

Shashwat Gupta
Bands: Narsil (2004-2010) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmNBNhfA-Gk 
IIIrd Sovereign (2009)
Undying Inc. (2004)
Oritus (2005)
 
I am a dietary vegan and I became one for health reasons. However with that being said, I do not use dead animal skin, so my shoes, wallet, belt are all ‘pu’. I like it, I feel great and why not. I lost 30 kgs by eating more than I ever have. I have clarity in my life and work that I have never had before. I am patient and my temperament and stamina is better.
 
shashhwatguptaSo I became a vegan because I shifted to a house near a badminton club which has 8 badminton courts, I made some friends who played badminton there and after a few days of playing with them I realized, I can’t run, I can’t hit, I can’t move and basically I cannot play. I was about 122 kgs of no skill or stamina. Either I give up of improve myself were the only two choices. In the past having tried and miserably failing on a high protein, high fat, low carb vegetarian diet post which I only got bigger, I was determined to find a solution to this problem. I had three criterias that I knew needed to be met if I was to do another diet.
 
1. I will not stay hungry – This also meant I will restrict on type of food but not on quantity. Anyways staying hungry has always been illogical to me.
 
2. I exercise when I can exercise – I got other things to do sometimes, man.
 
3. Eat anytime I want/can – “You must have breakfast before 10 and lunch by 2 and dinner before 6pm”. I understand the merits of this and intermittent fasting but I am a regular international traveler, I am busy with things besides eating and I need to eat when I am hungry. 
 
Becoming a vegan solved these for me and now although still overweight at 90 kgs, I am slowly shaping up more. The badminton is now great!
 
shashwatgupta_vegantransformation

Before & After

The kind of food he likes and dislikes
I love all fruits especially watermelons. I  usually have a high carb potato rice diet. I try and avoid oils and soy products.
There is very little in the vegan world I dislike – I guess I am not a big fan of green tea.
 
Restaurants he visits
Brownice (Singapore)
NSEW Fusion Cafe (Singapore)
nomVnom (Singapore)
Udipi (Singapore)
SoupSpoon (Singapore)
The best dish he has had

Vege Curry rice @ NSEW fusion cafe. (Once a week for sure!)

LIST: 13 Indian Musicians You Didn’t Know Were Vegan

OTHER VEGAN MUSICIANS:
27
Jan
17

Vegans Musicians on Veganism: Prateek Gautam (Severed)

Prateek Gautam

Age: 23, born 13th April 1993, Maharajganj, Basti, UP

Band: Severed (modern thrash metal)

When, how and why did you go vegan?

At a very young age of 8 my father took me to a meat shop. That’s where I saw the truth for the first time, and fell sick for 3 days, I became vegetarian. Before watching Gary’s video on YouTube and following you on Facebook, I followed PETA on social network and in real life. Many animal activist criticize the way PETA tries to bring any issue to the light, that PETA is all about money, that they exploit one species to save the other (showing naked women to grab attention) which I also feel is true, but in last 36 years they have done some really good work. After watching those horrific, prateekgauutam_severedbandsaddening videos taken from farms, slaughter houses made by Peta during their investigation, operations etc. I quit all leather/wool/fur products.

I came to know about veganism through one of their campaigns. I felt it was ridiculous, and that taking milk from animals does not do any harm to them, strong bhakt like individual, “gai hamari mata hai” and all those stuffs. After having a lot of debates with non- vegetarians, where they constantly pointed out that milk products are no different than any other animal product, I started digging about veganism again. Honestly, I was not ready to give up milk, cheese, yogurt, and any products related to dairy, I did not had the courage to go vegan. Meanwhile I adopted a kitten, she must have been around 3 weeks old. So cute, so adorable. I had no idea of how to take care of a kitten, gave her some really heavy cat food, which I think she couldn’t digest, and fell sick. The local veterinary doctor couldn’t diagnose the problem and made her condition worse. She died 3 days later.

That’s where I decided to go vegan, to speak about animal cruelty and their rights, January 2014. Followed many people, watched many videos, two and a half years now. It was not that hard as I thought it would be.

Do you have any nonhuman companions?

I have two adopted dogs, both crossbred. Johnny – around 9 years, and Rocky – around 4 years.

I had a deer named Jackie – saved and adopted by my family. Some local villagers stole him and killed him for his leather and body parts.

Do you help animals in any way?

Mostly I go to whenever I get chance to go to Krupa Animal Shelter in Kengeri, Bangalore.

What do you think is the way forward for veganism in India?

Education. I must say that most Indians are arrogant, stupid, and very annoying. We take prateekgautam_severedbandpride in really stupid and silly things. The religion we belong to, the caste we belong to, the language we speak, the money we have in our accounts etc. Most of the people who know about veganism in India take it as a threat to their community, religion, to their business and so most of the time we don’t get the response we want. People have been brain washed really bad on the name of religion, for profit, for exploiting our fellow beings.

Mass brainwashing has helped these animal industries to grow to a huge level. Today these industries contribute to the country’s GDP, have heavily subsidised the products which is why poor class, and middle class society of India are dependent on them. These powerful, multi-billion dollar industries have severely affected our education system as well. Government doesn’t give a fuck about it, because profit values comes before moral values.

Banning products won’t help veganism to grow in any way, instead will have a negative impact. We must focus on our education system if we really want veganism to flourish not just in India but anywhere.

prateekgautamPhysical or mental changes you’ve noticed since going vegan.

I was very addicted to tea. Whenever I missed morning tea, my whole day went bad because of headache and tiredness. No more headaches now, not dependent on tea anymore and also I feel much better than before.

What kind of food do you like?

Anything hot and spicy! My favourite is soy biryani, which I make whenever I’m home, and I love french beans also – I fry them with a lot of spices!

Where have you had your most memorable meal?

New Arya Bhawan on M.G. Road, Bangalore, serves the best chhole and aloo paratha! Momo stalls and restaurants in Durgakund, Varanasi opposite Sunbeam School have the best vegan momos. I think these stalls and restaurants serve the best momos in the country. Also, fried idli stalls in the same area. Masala dosa and idlis with chutney and sambhar are all-time favourites, and I also love dal khichadi and am a huge fan of mushrooms!

LIST: 13 Indian Musicians You Didn’t Know Were Vegan

OTHER VEGAN MUSICIANS

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy | Hassan Amin | Debarati Das | Shakti Singh

26
Jan
17

Vegan Musicians on Veganism: Debarati Das (Sephiroth)

Debarati Das

Age: 23

Band: Sephiroth (thrash metal), Vinaash Kaal (black metal)

When, how and why did you go vegan?

I come from a non-vegan family and was raised that way. However, I remember that as a kid I always felt sad about fish in aquariums or animals in zoos. Sadly, I stopped thinking about it when I grew up and continued eating non-vegan food. In 2014, I saw a video on debaratidascruelty meted out to animals, which totally shattered me. It was then that I decided to turn vegan. I have had nutrient deficiencies since my teenage years, so I wanted to switch to being vegan gradually. I was vegetarian for a year and stopped using other animal products like leather or wool. After a year of being vegetarian, when I got used to the diet, I turned vegan. The only thing I regret about turning vegan is that, I should’ve turned vegan much earlier in life.  I read and watched videos about the extreme cruelty meted out to animals by the dairy, poultry and meat industry- besides incessant killings, baby calves are separated from their mothers, animals are subjected to severe health hazards and endless exploitation and torture. I need to have a clean conscience and not have an exploited, brutalized and killed sentient being on my plate.

Do you have any nonhuman companions?

No.

What do you think is the way forward for veganism in India? 

Veganism is, slowly but surely, going ahead in India. Change pertaining to veganism cannot happen radically. Since the time that I started following veganism in India, I have come to realize that it is slowly proceeding from a primary stage. There are grass root level demonstrations being conducted to expose people to the realities of the dairy and meat debaratiindustry. However, there sure remains lack of information. For people away from the internet, there is barely any tool of awareness about the cruelty meted out to animals, alternative healthy and inexpensive diet options, health benefits, etc. More information, demonstration and convincing persuasion at all levels (from personal to mass) based on facts is a way forward for veganism in India.

Physical and mental changes you’ve noticed since going vegan?

Since I was already suffering from deficiencies at the time of turning vegan, I had to choose my diet wisely. A vegan diet can be healthy or unhealthy, just like any other diet, depending on what one eats. I have noticed positive changes in my health on consuming vegan food rich in Vitamin C and fibre content, having less saturated fat and vegan alternatives for protein and calcium. Mental changes, well, my conscience is what matters to me at the end of the day and I am happy I turned vegan.

Click here to go to Sephiroth’s Facebook page

LIST: 13 Indian Musicians You Didn’t Know Were Vegan

MORE VEGAN MUSICIANS: Jayaprakash Satyamurthy | Hassan Amin | Shakti Singh

26
Jan
17

Vegan Musicians on Veganism: Shakti Singh (1833 AD, Artillerie)

Shakti Singh

Age:  Turning 31 this year

Bands: Artillerie (progressive thrash metal) and 1833 Ad (black metal)

When, how and why did you go vegan?

sshaktisingh2I became a vegan a few months back. One year back I left non veg completely, then i started with this experiment that on every wednesday i will just have vegan diet and slowly i will include thursdays and fridays as well until i become full vegan. This experiment didnt work and i started realizing that it wont help. So, I started with giving up on dairy products in a phased manner. First phase included giving up on paneer, ghee, butter etc. Second phase included slowly cutting down on cheese, tea and coffee with milk. This time it worked and now no animals are harmed for my meal. I have never been a fan of honey, silk and leather, so it was easy and moreover easier availablity of products from vicco and medimix helped a lot. Once i watched 15 mins of earthlings, i turned it off and thats when i gave up on all sorts of meat and vowed that i will go vegan no matter what and realized, till now what torture i was giving to animals.

Awesome! Do you have any animal companions? 

Yes, 3 years back my girlfriend gifted me a beautiful labrador named Floyd. Life has changed since he became part of our family. My mother feeds him everyday with her hands or else he wont eat, haha. Its like a new baby has come in our family and theres always some sort of positivity because of him.

Do you help animals in any way? 

Every month i go to a local animal NGO called SPCA for volunteer work and regularly feed and take care of strays in my area. Once i saw an accidental puppy on road so i took him to vet. Basically i participate everywhere, where i can possibly help animals though i am looking for indulging into more active and regular participation.

Have you noticed any physical or mental changes since having gone vegan?

Mentally i have become very happy and content that i am having best food and no animals harmed for it. i feel light, and energetic, that lethargicness is gone…..one more thing shaktisingh1though i have no scientic proof to prove it, but since i started veganism, i noticed a considerable shutdown in bacterial infections like cold and viral fever….this whole year i was affected by cold only twice and that too got over in one day…no viral fever at all… i believe there is an increase in my immunity… its just my personal observation, but its great

That’s amazing! Is there any food you like or dislike?

Since i became vegan i started liking karela as well and i dont know why. I love veggies, like a big bowl of veggies. I like chinese and south indian food a lot because i am assured that these cuisines dont use ghee and butter as water, they mention if they are using dairy in any food and both of em are tasty as hell. In my vegan options i havent found any food which i dislike, but yes am not a big fan of fruits.

Tell me about your most memorable meal and restaurants you like to visit.

Once i had sambar-rice khichdi at sarvana bhawan. Damn, i have never eaten something like that in my entire life. It was spicy, delicious and it had that homely feel that you can just make it at home.
Sarvana bhawan, naivdyam, 4s, costa coffee (they give tea in soya milk), china bowl and moets.

Click here to listen to 1833 AD

Click here to listen to Artillerie

LIST: 13 Indian Musicians You Didn’t Know Were Vegan

MORE VEGAN MUSICIANS: Jayaprakash Satyamurthy | Hassan Amin




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