POOJA SUNDRANI

The Karnataka-born, Mumbai-based traveler has been a nature and animal lover since the age of 17. Coming from a typical Sindhi family, her diet consisted of dairy products and meat. However, since her 2019 trek in the Hampta Pass area, her ever-growing love for animals has driven her to further her research into the vegan lifestyle.

How and when did your journey to veganism begin?

It was an ordinary Monday afternoon, June 13, 2020. I was watching an Ed Winters TedTalk – Every argument against veganism – where he said, “Basically, I called myself an animal lover, but I paid for animals to suffer and die in my name. Through all the excuses I used to make, I realized that my values ​​contradicted my actions, and deep down I couldn’t find any real justification. That was it. I became vegan that minute. If you love animals, the first thing to do is stop hurting them in any way. It was as simple as that. I didn’t know what the journey of veganism would be like, but I knew that I never wanted to consume anything that could harm animals in any way. It’s been a year and a half since I became a vegan and there are still days when my friends and family can’t understand the decision, but I know in my heart that going vegan was definitely the best and most selfless decision. of my life.

DAISY MAY QUEEN

Daisy from Rishikesh is an example how meticulous a person can be about the change you want to see around you. She turned towards a vegetarian lifestyle at the age of 17 and used to go to a temple belonging to an Indian Hindu institution named Vaishnav International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in Belgrano, Buenos Aires, Argentina. From an early age, she was interested in Indian philosophy. She was also influenced by the activities in the temple and the vegetarian prsade (food offering) which was served here. Later, when she joined an NGO and discovered the suffering of cows and calves during the milking process, she was drawn to veganism.

What does a vegan trip look like? When you find it difficult, what are your hacks?

At first, vegan travelers used to face many difficulties. People didn’t recognize what you were talking about when I asked if they had vegan food. Nowadays it is much easier in many countries. My favorite hack back then was mixing different elements from different dishes. For example, if I found dishes such as “sausage with roasted potatoes”, “beef with seasonal vegetable salad” and “rice with chicken” on the menu, I would ask for rice, potatoes and salad together. So basically the restaurant had no trouble putting together a different dish from the menu.

Did you find it difficult to get vegan food on the road?

The worst country in terms of vegan food for me was the Maldives. I was not in a 5 star hotel but on a local island and no one knew what veganism was. Also, the Maldives had very few options consisting of vegetables and fruits – foods they have to buy from abroad (they don’t grow them on their islands). So, I ate rice and dark chocolate.

KUNTAL JOISHER

The first vegan and second Indian civilian to climb Mount Manaslu at 8163 meters, Kuntal has been a vegan for over 19 years now, even when summiting Mount Everest. Raised in a home where he was taught, “Animals are sentient and emotional beings with individual characters, and have as much right to live freely and happily as we do,” Kuntal spent many sleepless nights thinking people are so oblivious to the environmental benefits of being vegan.

Why do you think veganism needs to be promoted more?

For me, veganism is about freeing animals and saving animal lives. It’s before all. Animals are here to share the planet with us, not to be used by us. At the same time, understanding the fact that animal agriculture is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, consumes the largest portions of food grains on the planet, leading to land conversion forests into farmland to produce food for animals, huge amounts of biodiversity and rainforest loss, huge amounts of stress on the planet’s water supplies, it just makes perfect sense to go vegan both for animals and the planet. We, as consumers, have the power to change the world. What we ask for will be produced.

Also Read: A Conversation with Aashti Sindhu – Pilot and Vegan Activist

Amelie WIN

Amélie became a vegan around 2010. It started with her training for a half marathon where she realized her body worked better and had more energy without meat. She started noting his eating habits. Soon, she disassociated herself from activities that required the exploitation of animals, in particular for consumption.

Could you share some memorable stories about trying to access vegan meals while travelling?

In 2018 I went on an organized fundraising bike tour from Poland to Germany and I didn’t mention to the organizer that I was vegan because I just assumed there would be vegan options. So I cycled 400 km and ate nothing but potatoes for three days.

How was your journey as a vegan traveler?

Things have changed a lot since I became a vegan over ten years ago. In 2014, I took a one-way trip to Southeast Asia and started a blog to document my journey as a vegan in that part of the world. In some countries it was difficult, because the understanding of veganism differs greatly from country to country. The language barrier also made it difficult in some cases. But for the most part, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it can be to travel as a vegan. For example, all Buddhist countries have great vegan offerings, as the monks are vegan. The most difficult for me was rural Bulgaria.

ADITI NANAVATY

Aditi thinks traveling as a vegan takes a bit of research and preparation. Its not always easy. Depending on the location, people may not understand your needs or be confused by your requests. She had been a vegetarian all her life and had watched a lot of PETA videos out of love for animals. In 2017, she finally took the plunge and decided to become vegan. As a foodie herself, she recommends searching “vegan + city name” or the HappyCow app to find great vegan food anywhere.

What have been the main challenges you face as a vegan traveler?

People don’t understand what we don’t consume even after listing everything; saying there’s “only a little egg/milk” in the article! Some aren’t willing to make the effort to omit an item and simply refuse to provide a vegan meal. But in most places, people are very open and understanding – especially given the rise of allergies across the world, it would be the loss of the restaurant to refuse to accommodate.

What was your most memorable vegan meal during your trip and where?

My most memorable meal was in Lisbon, Portugal. It was a butter ravioli and it was incredibly delicious. In India, it would be delicious vegan food prepared especially for me at the Oberoi Sukhvilas in Chandigarh. We were there in winter and all of sarson ka saag at makke ki roti was made vegan.

KEAN LEWIS

From going vegan due to skin allergies to transporting emergency vegan food internationally for professional football matches while representing Bengaluru FC, Kean has risen to every challenge as a learning curve and is an inspired vegan since 2015. As a footballer, he can’t just eat unhealthy. vegan foods like french fries and mentions that everyone should treat their food like medicine for their body and eat well.

What would be the lessons you learned by traveling dairy-free?

Sometimes, even after explaining that you want to eat without bread or cream or less oil, you always get exactly what you didn’t order. In such cases, I simply separate it from the dish on another plate or ask for a replacement, but most likely they go inside and separate it themselves and do not make the dish from scratch.

Any advice for travelers who would like to try veganism?

For anyone starting or trying veganism, I recommend the same. Be sure to do your research on the foods and places you go. List the restaurants and what they serve. If you want to go further, contact them and ask if they can meet your preferences. These days, the menu is available on food aggregation apps. Thus, you can easily consult the menu and also find out about restaurants near your place of stay. Try going vegan before you travel so you know what works best for your body, what you like and what you don’t. Now you can pack foods such as oats, nuts, seeds, fruits. Plan ahead so you know what and where you can buy groceries if your trip is long or your hotel doesn’t have too many options.