Women’s day is around the corner and it’s time you made some major lifestyle changes that benefit you and the planet. Veganism is a healthy lifestyle alternative all of us can try and adapt to work towards the betterment of the environment. Aishwariyaa Bhaskaran who essays the character of Akhilandeshwari in Chembarathi is a vegan advocate and her Instagram handle stands proof for her passion. Don’t miss these excerpts from Aishwarya as she gets candid about her transformation into a vegan and the major changes in her lifestyle.
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What made you transform into a Vegan?
I was not always a vegan. I became a vegan overnight. I was into animal rescue, rehabilitation and sterilising strays for a long time. Even with all of these activities towards environmental care, I was a hypocrite at the end of the day because I loved eating all sorts of meat. One day a vegan friend of mine asked me to check out this novel alternative lifestyle. It was difficult for me initially because I grew up having all sorts of dairy. I could give up meat but I couldn’t do without milk and cheese. I was amused to find out that there are vegan alternatives to all the dairy and even meat I like.
Who inspired you to follow the vegan lifestyle?
My friend Meenal Agarwal has been a major inspiration for me. She was a food activist and turned vegan five years ago. She shared with me a documentary on YouTube called Earthlings. I couldn’t watch and it took me around six hours to finish watching it. I stopped and cried at times while watching the documentary. It was a revelation for me!
How did your family react to the sudden transformation? What were the major lifestyle changes?
I didn’t know wearing silk and leather was bad for the environment. I started giving away all the Prada and Lui Vuitton’s from my wardrobe. I entirely transformed leather-free. I remember how my daughter called me for all my leather bags and sarees as I started giving away all my expensive leather bags. She told me not to throw the expensive stuff away and got happy that she could use my accessories. I don’t wear silk sarees anymore or leather bags and I’m glad I gave up all of it.
What were the major learnings you got out of the transformation?
Even when you say that you are working towards a better environment and at the same time you are consuming meat, you are being a hypocrite. It is no different than eating your pet dog or cat because at the end of the day you are eating animals. We continue to tell ourselves these lies like farm-fresh meat and dairy but at the end of the day, we are eating other animals. All of us are in constant denial and we need to change our perspective.
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