Vegan Musicians on Veganism: Vivek Mani (Nihilanth)

Vivek Mani

Age: 28

Band: Nihilanth (technical death metal)

When, how and why did you go vegan?

My path towards being vegan began with ‘the best speech you will ever hear’ by Gary Yourofsky which I came across when it was incidentally shared by you on your Mehta Kya Kehta FB page. I watched it because I had nothing else to do, and it ended up changing my whole life. Before this the only thing I knew about vegans was that they avoided all animal products. That’s it. I didn’t know or understand the reason behind the abstainment, I just presumed it’s a puritanical way of living…something I would never subscribe to. But the video made vivekmani_nihilanthme quit meat that instant. Dairy and eggs took a while, and Peta’s documentary on the Indian diary industry, and Earthlings and my own reasoning helped me take the final step.

Do you have any nonhuman companions?

Yup, a dog – his name is Shadow. He has been a part of my life for the last 9 years, and his level of perception surprises me to this day. It’s my observation that humans are the most isolated creatures on this planet. We share our planet with at least 10 million different species of which we are one. How many of these do we interact with? NONE. The apathy that we observe by our fellow humans towards animals is based on this disconnect. There has to be animal human interaction. It would have been very difficult for me to go vegan if it wasn’t for Shadow.

Do you help animals in any way? 

Yes, many a times, helping animals in need is the least we can do. We have many NGOs working for animal welfare. SPCA Thane is one of them. They are very efficient, they have a functioning animal ambulance during the day and their shelter/hospital is open to serve 24*7 .

My most recent encounter was with a pigeon suffering from avian pox. This unfortunate little one was blinded and unable to fly. I still remember the moment I held him. They feel pain, they feel fear, and the least we can do is help.

Also a big shout out to  Animal Ark run by none other than Prakash Baba Amte, the son of Baba Amte. I will be grateful even if I achieve a tenth of what he has in my lifetime.

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

The way forward is interaction, every medium is relevant every small action, even if it is a ‘like’ or a ‘share’ on Facebook. Take part in debates put forth your points but don’t get carried away. Arguing with incomplete, incorrect information hurts the cause more than helping it. Shun beliefs – they are the bane of mankind.

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

A lot of mental changes, much calmer and composed than before.

What kind of food do you like and dislike?vivekmaninihilanth

I am a South Indian and I am a fan of South Indian food. I can thrive on idlis and dosas for eternity. My favorite of the lot is a vat of olan – pumpkin cooked in a broth of coconut milk with green chillies. You can have it as it is or with steamed rice YUMM!

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

Most memorable meal: Hands down, the yellow sauce pasta at Bagel House. Blew my mind. Honorary mentions: the rasam vada i had today at Ramashraya in Matunga. #rasamlife lol

Link to my band’s music: https://soundcloud.com/nihilanth-india

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


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