Posts Tagged ‘famous vegans

09
Feb
17

Vegan Musicians on Veganism: Dr K Varadarangan (Karnatic Vocalist, Creator of SRI Mrudanga)

Dr K. Varadarangan

Age: 58 years

Karnatic vocalist, musicologist and creator of the S.R.I Mrudanga – a fiberglass Mridangam with synthetic drumheads

When, how and why did you go vegan?

I became vegan during March 2010. I was a born vegetarian and was always deeply disturbed by the cruelty to animals and wanted to help them in some way. Before I went vegan I had not realized the abuse and cruelty to cows in the dairy industry that involved artificial insemination, separation of newly born male calves from their mothers, administration of harmones and injections to cows to increase milk production and the slaughter of male calves and the mother cows once the milk production stopped. When I happened to read about the abusive practices of the Dairy Industry I decided to become a vegan immediately and thus me and my wife Veena both became vegans then on. We became vegans purely for ethical reasons. Six months from that time both my children also became vegan.

Do you have any nonhuman companions?

We have ndr_k_varadarangan_iyengar_vegan_synthetic_mridangamot kept any pets at home but we take care of several of the community dogs.

Do you help animals in any way?

Yes we do. We take care of 5-6 community dogs in our neighborhood by providing them food and water everyday. We have kept a large bowl of water outside our house gate so that animals that pass by have access to drinking water. We have got some of these dogs spayed and neutered. Puppies born to these dogs have been taken to adoption camps where they got adopted. We always talk about veganism with people to spread the awareness. We also do lot of AR campaigns through social networking sites such as Facebook. Perhaps most importantly, I have created a vegan Mridangam after 6 years of research (South Indian classical percussion instrument) and my company “Karunya Musicals” manufactures and markets these vegan Mridangams. The vegan mridangam replaces animal skins by synthetic materials and the wood used for the shell is replaced by fiberglass.

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

Massive campaigns for spreading awareness through talks,and audio/video presentations is the need of the hour. Also vegans must get united burying their ideological differences and keep only the liberation of animals in mind. Availability of affordable vegan products as alternatives to animal products is also going to be very helpful.

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

Certainly better health overall after turning vegan. My migraine headaches have stopped and energy levels have increased. I am definitely more active now than before (when I was not a vegan). Most importantly a mind that is guilt free.

What kind of food do you like and dislike?

I generally like home cooked food, the regular type of meals and breakfast of a typical South Indian family I like a lot of cooked vegetables. i also relish eating raw vegetables and fruits. I dislike too oily or spicy stuff.

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

As I mentioned I like home cooked food the most. My wife Veena prepares excellent food with a lot of variety. However, we do go to outside restaurants once in a while along with family. Our most memorable restaurant meal was at “Paradigm Shift” in Bangalore where we ate vegan cake and ice cream after a long gap. Recently we have been enjoying the vegan ice cream by white cub which has now become available in Bangalore. We have a restaurant called “Rasoi” in Kasthurinagar Bangalore which is quite vegan-friendly.

LIST: Indian Musicians You Didn’t Know Were Vegan

04
Feb
17

LIST: Indian Musicians You Didn’t Know Were Vegan

K VARADARANGAN 

dr_k_varadarangan_iyengar

Massive campaigns for spreading awareness through talks,and audio/video presentations is the need of the hour. Also vegans must get united burying their ideological differences and keep only the liberation of animals in mind. Availability of affordable vegan products as alternatives to animal products is also going to be very helpful.

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JAYAPRAKASH SATYAMURTHY

jayaprakash_satyamurthy

Veganism has to be delinked from religion. Jains and brahmins don’t have some hotline to virtue. Muslims are not evil monsters. Veganism is the philosophy of a British man who joined the dots and made an ethical connection our ancient philosophers and demagogues did not. Instead, we need to show how veganism intersects with other movements for social justice and is not just an elite fad. Especially in India, anyone can go vegan and live a healthy life without any extra expense. The ethical dimension is primary, but the linkage to religion and class has to be shattered.

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KESHAV DHAR

keshav_dhar

I help animals by leaving them alone and not involving them or their byproducts in my lifestyle whatsoever. I now enjoy more vitality, less stress, healthy weight loss, and much greater peace of mind overall. 

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VIVEK MANI

vivekmani_nihilanth

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.

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ARJUN IYER

arjun_iyer

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.

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HASSAN AMIN (BONUS ENTRY FROM PAKISTAN)

hassan_amin

I started out by trying out being vegan for a week in the beginning of the year, quitting dairy food as well, as well as slowly removing myself from clothes etc made from animals. Halfway through that week I took the plunge. There was no second thoughts about it once I figured out that it was not hard at all to sustain a cruelty-free existence if one tried.

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SHASHWAT GUPTA

shashwatgupta_vegantransformation

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.

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DEBARATI DAS

debaratidas

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.

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SHAKTI SINGH

shakti_singh

I watched 15 mins of Earthlings, I turned it off and that’s when I gave up all sorts of meat and vowed that I will go vegan no matter what as realized the kind of torture I was giving to animals.

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PRATEEK GAUTAM

prateekgautam

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.

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DEVESH DAYAL

devesh_dayalThe 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. I then went on to binge read Vegan Sidekick comics, and could not believe how illogically I had been living my entire life beforehand. 

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JIGMET WANGCHOK

jigmetwangchokLike most people, I was raised to ignore the “animalness” of the animals I was eating. To victimize another being for pleasure is not something I’ve ever been able to live with. When I realized that by eating meat I was causing pain and suffering to other beings who were, in their capacity for suffering, more like me than unlike me, I could no longer justify that decision to myself anymore. And I found out that I didn’t even need animal flesh to be healthy. It is important to me to feel that I’m being true to my own sense of ethics, and veganism does that for me.

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NEERAJAN SAHA

neerajan_saha

I am now 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 animals, 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.

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KUSH MISHRA

kushmishra

Being 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!

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ADITYA MEHTA

adityamehta_solardeityI AM VEGAN because I am awake to the suffering of nonhuman animals caused by humans and wish to be no part of it. There’s no way I’d harm an animal for my food or clothing or for anything at all, so there’s no way in hell I’m going to pay other humans to do it.

EVERY MEMBER OF THE ANIMAL KINGDOM wants and deserves our friendship, love and respect as much as the animals a lot of us live with, and I feel a very deep connection with all of them and the earth.

I WILL NEVER stop talking about veganism because what others think of as their personal choice is affecting not only animals who suffer only because they were not born human but also the condition of our planet and the present and future of humans as well.

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FOOD REVIEW: EVERY NON-VEGAN RESTAURANT 

04
Feb
17

Vegan Musicians on Veganism: Aditya Mehta

Aditya Mehta

Age: 35

Bands: Angry Dwarf & The Toxic Family, Solar Deity, Bludgeoned Sociopath, Heretic Magus and Exhumation

aditya_mehtaI AM VEGAN because I am awake to the suffering of nonhuman animals caused by humans and wish to be no part of it. There’s no way I’d harm an animal for my food or clothing or for anything at all, so there’s no way in hell I’m going to pay other humans to do it.

EVERY MEMBER OF THE ANIMAL KINGDOM wants and deserves our friendship, love and respect as much as the animals a lot of us live with, and I feel a very deep connection with all of them and the earth.

I WILL NEVER stop talking about veganism because what others think of as their personal choice is affecting not only animals who suffer only because they were not born human but also the condition of our planet and the present and future of humans as well.

I SPEAK UP for the animals and tell people how animal products affect human health as well inform them about the impact animal agriculture has on the environment.

THAT WE ARE FRUGIVORES becomes the most obvious thing to everybody who does a short raw vegan cleanse or even uses their common sense, and I feel it every time I eat a fruit-based meal, and I feel it even more when I eat any other type of ‘food’. Fruit is natural human food, and anything else is less than optimal.

adityamehtaWHAT THIS WORLD NEEDS is a lot more of us to accept responsibility for what we’re causing and take charge of the situation. I fail to understand why humans who are so particular about getting exactly what they want settle for garbage as food. Their ‘choices’ are governed by what they’ve been taught, the ads they see on TV and everywhere else, and what others are ingesting. Food is what sustains us – it’s stuff that’s supposed to give us energy and make us healthy, not send us to a doctor who knows nothing about nutrition and will give us pills to swallow every day. It’s terrible to have no control over what’s going in your mouth, passing through your digestive system, reaching every cell and becoming you, and coming out of your ass. These people don’t even have an answer as to why they’re continuing to fund industries that are hell on earth for animals despite having all the mock meats and dairy substitutes around and they feel bad when vegans tell them the truth.

CROCODILES HAVE ALWAYS fascinated me and now I find every bird, animal, insect and everything about nature captivating. I’ve lived with rabbits, now am ruled by cats, and I live to eat – as everybody on Facebook and Instagram already knows.

FOR THE ANIMALS, FOR THE PLANET AND FOR OUR HEALTH:

GO VEGAN AND MAKE OTHERS GO VEGAN 

Links to the music: Solar Deity | Exhumation 

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

03
Feb
17

Vegan Musicians on Veganism: Jigmet Wangchok (Bonefvcked, Sodh)

Jigmet Wangchok 
Age: 23
Bands: Bonefvcker, Sodh
When, how and why did you go vegan? 
I went vegan because of my dog. I’d always been the sort of person who considered himself to be compassionate to animals. But, like most people, I was raised to ignore the jigmet_wangchok“animalness” of the animals I was eating. To victimize another being for pleasure is not something I’ve ever been able to live with. When I realized that by eating meat I was causing pain and suffering to other beings who were, in their capacity for suffering, more like me than unlike me, I could no longer justify that decision to myself anymore. And I found out that I didn’t even need animal flesh to be healthy. It is important to me to feel that I’m being true to my own sense of ethics, and veganism does that for me.
Do you have any nonhuman companions? 
Yep, I live with my dog.
Do you help animals in any way?
Yes! Mostly stray dogs.
What do you think is the way forward for veganism in India?
I went vegan because of music. I was so inspired by straightedge hardcore bands. It is always better to connect with like minded people.
jigmetPhysical and mental changes you’ve noticed since going vegan?
Physically –  I lost some extra weight and started feeling really good, and then I cut out packaged foods and refined sugar and started feeling even better! I joined a gym and lost another eight kilos, and working out and veganism have given me crazy stamina! I seem to never get tired!  Mentally, I  feel much more relaxed that my diet is not causing any harm to innocent animals.
What kind of food do you like and dislike? Tell me about your most memorable meal and restaurants you like to visit.
I don’t really like eating out that much. I do all kinds of experiments at home. Vegan smoothies are my favorites.
03
Feb
17

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

 

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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