Archive for February 1st, 2017

01
Feb
17

Vegan Musicians on Veganism: Neerajan Saha

Neerajan Saha
Age: 25 
Sound engineer, solo composer / arranger , freelance guitar player
When, how and why did you go vegan?
Well, no one in my family has ever been vegetarian. As a child I liked only eggs, avoided eating meat ’cause I read a Buddhist quote somewhere that said killing animals was wrong. Since the 3rd standard, always had a dog by my side all the time, mostly a stray. neerajansahaThe concept of co-existence began to dawn upon me. Then in my adolescence and early adulthood, fitness became a priority and so started eating lots of meat with all the bullshit health and escapist ethics justifications. Heard about Hollywood stars going vegan, thought its an unnecessary action. “Survival of the fittest” etc. Until August 2014, was consuming 6 eggs EVERYDAY and chicken whenever I could. But I’d had enough of my own contradictions and one fine morning went vegetarian. By the end of 2014, became aware of dairy industry cruelty and went fully vegan.
Do you have any nonhuman companions?
Yes, right now I have one adopted labrador, “Ditto” ..who’s called that because he looks exactly like my previous labrador Khushi, who passed away in September 2015. And a rescued Golden Retriever: Mithi. And a goldfish: Tuni
Do you help animals in any way?
I carry drinking water and 3 chapatis daily for the strays in front of my office. And the occasional helping out of injured animals..sending them to shelters etc.
What do you think is the way forward for veganism in India? 
 The ways forward for veganism are: Taking into account that the majority India is only recently starting to eat meat… though we are pretty diverse in food cultures all over India.. animal lovers JUST need to be made aware of the ground cruelties against animals in EVERY industry they are used in. It can be done by i> Hardcore activism, processions, attention grabbing, making people wonder “What the fuck are vegans so pissed about all the time?!” ..and / or ii> established people from all walks of life occasionally putting out statements in defense of animals or saying a word or two about the animal industry cruelties.
Physical and mental changes you’ve noticed since going vegan?
Aware ALL THE TIME that nonhuman earthlings are SHARING the Earth WITH US, they aren’t here FOR us. So, other than helping out obviously “cute” and “sad” looking neerajan_sahaanimals, my treatment of random insects (dangerous or not)  ants, a sudden lizard on the road etc..has totally changed. I make sure I get them away from me without harming them.
Physical changes :- Well FIRSTLY, I haven’t been to the doctor or taken any medicine a SINGLE TIME ever since I went vegan, EXCEPT when I had a motorcycle accident.
I have also bulked up, eating ONLY dal-rice, alu parathas in office and Nutrilite plant protein powder, and tofu paneer twice a month.
What kind of food do you like and dislike?
I dislike slimy Indian preparations of vegetables. Tofu paneer is the shizz.
Tell me about your most memorable meal and restaurants you like to visit.
Veg momos in Bikramgar branch of Denzong Kitchen. AND Mysore Masala Dosa in Acropolis Mall. Tastes like heaven.
01
Feb
17

Vegan Musicians on Veganism: Devesh Dayal (Skyharbor, Goddess Gagged)

Devesh Dayal

Age: 23

Bands: Skyharbor/Goddess Gagged

When, how and why did you go vegan?

I went vegan in October of 2015. It was a combination of a few things converging at the same time. My bandmate Keshav had gone vegan a few months before, but hadn’t been advocating it very hard so nobody really even knew. He’d just quietly mention that he was “off meat and dairy” for the foreseeable future, and would provide some eye opening insight about why he made that decision. He never really used the deveshdayaldreaded V word. At the same time, my girlfriend Selina decided to try eating vegan 6 days a week for dietary/health reasons. That buttered me up and made me realize it’s not that hard to do, and vegan food is delicious. But the real clincher was when I watched the documentary Earthlings, which introduced me to the concept of species-ism for the very first time. Within the first ten minutes of that documentary, I was done. I didn’t want to contribute to that mass suffering just for my own enjoyment. I made a Facebook post announcing my mental shift, and also talking about the guilt I felt for mindlessly engaging in such destructive behavior for 21 years of my life. That Facebook post helped to sort of keep myself accountable for my decision, so I wouldn’t go back on it later. I then went on to binge read Vegan Sidekick comics, and could not believe how illogically I had been living my entire life beforehand.

Do you have any nonhuman companions?

I don’t, but I wish I did!

Do you help animals in any way?

I try to help them by engaging non-vegans in productive discussions about what’s wrong with animal agriculture. Generally advocating veganism as much as possible without being too preachy.

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

The market for fake animal products needs to ramp up. Vegan butter, vegan mayo, vegan cheese, fake meats, etc make being vegan much easier. It would be cool if we started to see vegan versions of beloved Indian food/drink items like lassi, kulfi, paneer, etc. Environmentally, so many people claim to care about water conservation in India, so I think educating the masses about how much water animal agriculture wastes will also be a big step forward. If we could get the whole country to watch Cowspiracy, we’d see some big changes for sure.

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

The physical changes are awesome! I’m much more energetic, I no longer get heartburn, and I stopped feeling uncomfortably full after meals. Mentally, I feel more in tune with devesh_dayalmyself and more conscious of my impact on the earth and it’s inhabitants. But the downside to that is being acutely aware of the mass animal suffering that everyday humans are causing without a second thought. And that can be really depressing. When I went vegan, it was the most surreal experience ever. Overcoming that cognitive dissonance and realizing I lived in a world where the systematic killing of innocent lives for trivial enjoyment was completely normalized…that realization was super trippy.  But it also feels good a lot of the times, when you notice how many people are taking part in the revolution. And it’s growing exponentially stronger everyday!

What kind of food do you like and dislike?

I like most food, and I’ve gotten to a point where I’ll tolerate pretty much anything (apart from animal products of course). I have a theory that it’s an individual’s choice to like or dislike a food item, it’s all in your head and if you open yourself up to something you didn’t enjoy the taste of before, you will tolerate it and eventually come to like it. That being said, my absolute favorite dishes are mushroom risotto, penne arrabiata, and pretty much anything with gratuitous amounts of avocado.

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

It’s really hard to pinpoint one most memorable meal, since going vegan has opened up a whole new world of flavors and foods, and my girlfriend cooks an unfathomably large variety of dishes that are all incredible. But one of my favorite restaurants is called Life Alive in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Their menu is totally focused on organic, fresh ingredients and they create some of the most delicious rice bowls and wraps that I’ve ever eaten in my life. The “Swami bowl” is my go to item there.

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




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