Posts Tagged ‘vegans in india

04
Feb
18

Vegan Musicians On Veganism: Shibam Talukdar (Knight)

Shibam Talukdar

Age: 25

Band: Knight (guitar, vocals)

When, how and why did you go vegan?

I went vegan in July, 2017. I don’t remember the exact date, but it was around that time that I quit all non-vegan products. I quit meat first and then gradually decreased the consumption of dairy products till I finally quit them. Giving up meat was not difficult for me. Since childhood, I have seen animals getting butchered in meat shops and I had always felt guilty about eating animals. However, conditioning overpowered any sense of guilt I had and I continued eating meat until one day when I thought that I had had enough and I was not going to have animals killed for my food. When I started reading articles and watching documentaries on veganism, I got to know of the cruel dairy/egg/leather/silk/honey/wool industry practices and I decided that it was time quit all non-vegan products for good.

IMG_2368I went vegan because I felt that it was unjust to exploit, abuse, enslave and murder animals for our interest. I believe that an individual should be accountable to themselves for their actions and choices. Harming sentient beings for our enjoyment is not only unfair, it’s unnecessary. The environmental impact of animal agriculture also added to the many reasons why I turned vegan.

Do you have any nonhuman companions?

No, I don’t.

Do you help animals in any way?

I am not associated with any NGO or animal rescue body, but I try to help animals at an individual level. If I see any animal in trouble, I try to get them out of it.

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

When I was very new to veganism, I did not have any idea about how massive the Indian vegan community was. I got to know of the scale of the vegan movement in India when I joined the ‘Vegans in India’ group on Facebook.

It is true that a majority of Indians are non-vegans. It’s ridiculous that people associate eating animals/dairy products with Indian culture, but sadly that is how it is in most parts of this country. There are also vegetarians who feel morally superior to non-vegetarians, and when you show them what goes on in dairy industries, they make an exhibition of their utter indifference, unaccountability and stupidity.

It’s my belief that most Indians don’t even think that animal exploitation, abuse and murder are serious issues. Most of them go on to make a mockery of themselves by giving ludicrous statements justifying their eating habits with no logical basis whatsoever.

However, from what I have been seeing, veganism is on the rise in India and more people are becoming aware of the vegan lifestyle. Thanks to the many sensitization movements going on in different parts of this county, people are getting educated on veganism and hopefully they will make the right choice at the earliest.

SHIBAM TALUKDARPhysical and mental changes you’ve noticed since going vegan?

I think I am at peace with my conscience now that I’m vegan, and I have much more clarity in thinking and of the general philosophy of life than I used to. Physically, I feel more agile and active than before.

What kind of food do you like and dislike?

I am a sucker for healthy food. I like trying different cuisines and experimenting with my food. Of late, I have developed a distaste for junk food and processed foods and although I do make exceptions from time to time, I try to eat what’s good for my body.

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

I have had many memorable meals and it’s hard to choose the most memorable from amongst them. I would like to visit Carrots (Bangalore), The Vegan Oven (Ludhiana), Bodhi Greens (Dharamshala), Jumping Beans (Bangalore), Vegan Burger Kitchen (Mumbai), Ahimsa – The Vegan Café (Shirdi), etc.

LIST: INDIAN MUSICIANS YOU DIDN’T KNOW WERE VEGAN

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:
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

26
Jan
17

Vegan Musicians on Veganism: Jayaprakash Satyamurthy (Djinn & Miskatonic, Ghost Rockets)

Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

Age: 39

Bands: Djinn & Miskatonic (traditional doom metal), Ghost Rockets (sludge)

When, how and why did you go vegan?

jayaprakashsatyamurthy_jpIn 2011, I watched a few minutes of a documentary by PeTA on the Indian dairy industry. I’d already gone back to ovo-lacto-vegetarianism in 2006, and had been vegan-curious for a while. Just a few visuals of cows attached to milking machines, bull calves marked for slaughter and the conditions in poultry farms pushed me over the edge. I’d been working in animal welfare for a while and it was a matter of becoming completely consistent in my ethical choices.

Do you have any nonhuman companions?

I have a house full of cats and dogs! All rescues.

Do you help animals in any way?

I am the co-founder of an animal welfare NGO called Animal Aid Alliance. We run a home shelter for cats and dogs, help independent rescuers with veterinary bills and coordinate adoptions of rescued animals. We sometimes help owls, crows, goats and even the odd rabbit.

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

jp_jayaprakashVeganism 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.

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

I feel lighter, more agile. I lost a bit of weight, but I was never really big to begin with. Mostly, it’s the peace that comes from living in harmony with my conscience.

What kind of food do you like and dislike?

I love everything that’s bad for me – burgers, pizzas and fries! I also love a good pasta, a traditional South Indian thali meal and did I mention potato chips?

Click here for the link to JP’s book Weird Tales of a Bangalorean

Click here to listen to  Djinn & Miskatonic’s debut, Forever in the Realm

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

ALSO READ: Pakistan’s Hassan Amin (Multinational Corporations, Dead Bhuttos) on veganism




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