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, saddening 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 pride 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.
Physical 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!
OTHER VEGAN MUSICIANS