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You better ask the Vegan.

I have been planning this article since very long and I am glad that finally, I got to do it. This article is for all those who are from India and would like to know how it feels to be an India vegan and what all things one might actually have to go through to adopt veganism. It is better to ask all this to a Vegan.

Saurabh is a vegan whom I know through Instagram. The thing I like most about his vegan food posts is that they are genuine and very practical. You too can follow him on Instagram @vegan_saurabh for more.

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Here are some Interesting Qs and As between me and Saurabh:-

Q.1 Were you a vegetarian or non-vegetarian before adopting veganism? How long have you been a vegan?

A: I have been vegetarian through all my life owing to the lifestyle of my parents and grandparents. I adopted veganism in 2012 which means I am a vegan from past 6 years.

Q.2 Being in Mumbai for 24 years the only lifestyle I have seen around me is… work 9 to 8, travel in local trains, hogg, wear the latest Bollywood fashion. What made you adopt this lifestyle which does not even exist for many?

A: I am a seafarer by profession, In 2012, I was on ship and I came across an article on veal and I got to know that it’s the by-product of dairy industry and this lead me to search more about this topic and then I got to know about the horrors associated with dairy industry and I could never go back to eating dairy products again

Q.3 Veganism means quitting milk and milk products. This list includes bread, chocolates, cakes, butter, ghee, Paneer etc. These are some of the favorite foods of people, what would you like to tell them? And how is the experience of quitting all this?

A: I would be lying if I say that I don’t miss them but knowing that I am not causing any harm and that the food that I am getting is cruelty-free is such a good feeling that it doesn’t bother me at all.

Q.4 Being a vegetarian is enough disturbing when it comes to socializing. People don’t want to hangouts with you just coz they don’t consider you a good company to eat. How difficult was veganism for you?

A: Turning vegan has been nothing short of a nightmare when it comes to being accepted by society, forget about friends and other relatives my parents were so sceptical that they thought something terribly wrong has gone with me and took me to a baba for jhaad phook session and made me sit in front of 2-3 psychologists to cure my veganism fever, when nothing worked they started emotional blackmailing me by crying in front of me I tried my best to spend as much time on ship as I can and slowly but steadily they came to accept my terms and are much better now, though my mother still keeps on asking me to start dairy again but, she knows that it is never happening.

My friends use to make so much fun of me that I have become numb to their jokes and they don’t bug me anymore. Also, Thanks to my profession I learned to like my own company long ago and I still prefer to sit in my house alone and watch a movie or show then going out. 

Q.6 Being an Indian we are so used to take Prasad at temples which are most of the time made from milk or ghee. What do you do in any such case?

A: I am an atheist so I don’t believe in god or power of Prasad. Sorry, I don’t mean to hurt anybody’s sentiments but just telling my views.

Q.7 Milk and honey have a lot of importance in Ayurveda. It seems impossible for veganism to become a trend in India. Any comments?

A: The problem with India is here people are vegetarian by religion and not by their own conscience, I believe vegetarianism should not be confused with religion and people should learn why they are the way they are. 

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Q.8 People are converting the vegetarians into non-vegetarians by saying all the dumb things. They always make fun of vegetarians so I cannot imagine how it would be for you to hang out with such people. How do you manage that?

A: Last I checked I have two ears one to listen and other to let go of all that is not required. My friends do this all the time we are together to agitate me, but I have learned to not respond to such people and slowly but steadily they have considerably reduced making such comments as they were not getting the kind of reaction the expected

Q.9 Has it ever happened that you are hungry and there was no food available other than milk 7 or eggs (This is a stupid question :p but still let me ask you).

A: Yes, this has happened quite a few times, I go to bed and sleep. I can control my hunger.

Q.10 What do you eat if you ever go to any restaurants?

A: I usually opt for south Indian food if I have to eat outside but even then I make sure that no ghee or butter is used because here in north India no dish is completed without same. Or else I eat Chinese.

Q.11 Do you always have to plan the meal?

A: Negative, Mamma cooks very good food i.e chapatti and sabzi. When I am out on the ship I get to eat the same onboard as I usually travel on ships with Indian cooks.

Q.12 Your favorite Vegan dish?

A: Rajma rice

Q.13 Can you tell us some best easily available replacements for milk and milk products?

A: rice milk, coconut milk, almond milk (try roasted almonds milk that’s way better), soya milk.

Q.14 Will you suggest people adopt a vegan diet? If yes, then tell us few things that would really inspire people to adopt it.

A:  Yes I have tried to tell people to try this lifestyle and to see the change themselves. One of my friends tried it but she left after two weeks. I think the vegan food industry needs to get better here in India for people to opt for veganism, if we can get companies like “so delicious” (a U.S brand) and dairy food products (that deals in vegan cheese) if we can bring companies like this to India it will be much easier for us people as we will have plenty of options to explore.

I hope you all will find this useful and inspiring 🙂

All you need is a strong will to do what is right. Take a step and make a conscious choice.

 Also, I take this opportunity to share the link to The Eco Trunk – A cruelty-free Vegan Shop Who has recently launched VEGAN CHEESE. So hurry up Vegans and Non-vegans too and give yourself a nice treat of cheesey delights

– Pooja Navale

 

 

 

 

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My weekend was all about cycling, periods and Shomota Cloth pads.

I got a new set of cloth pads from Shomota  and this is how was my experience was…

This is my 4th month of Zero Waste period and I have been using only cloth pads. I am really happy with this choice and it’s going great. But Before I begin I want to tell you that I already have one set of Cloth pads from the purchase that I had made earlier however, they are less than the required amount and hence, instead of buying the same one I decided to try a new brand this time.

Here is what I got from Shomota:

  1. Kamini Medium plus –  2
  2. Gada Medium – 1
  3. Poddo Heavy – 1
They are not leak proof which means they don’t have PUL (Polyurethane laminate It is a compound fabric made by laminating a cloth fabric to a thin-film of polyurethane) bottom cover, unlike my previous pads. You can go for PUL leak proof pads at Shomota store if you need but as I have tried PUL cloth pads I needed to go for the more sustainable option by going for all natural fabric.
The pads from Shomota come with a lot of different prints and color. What I loved is the design of the Poddo and Gada which has space to put the cloth inserts. It is easy to wash as you can open the entire cloth and change only the cloth instead of the entire pad. Also, if in the future the insertable cloth is required to be changed you can simply buy one new piece of cloth from shomota or you can make one at home and reuse it. No need of throwing the entire pad away.
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Gada Medium Pad

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I opted for Gada medium so that it could last longer and no need of immediate changing of cloth pad and guess what it really worked. On the very first day of my period (which a heavy flow day), I used the Gada medium for entire 7 hours without any leakage. Yes, it is a bit bulky if you compare it with the disposable pads or any other cloth pad brands in the market but it is still very comfortable and super soft.

On the Second day, I decided to go for Kamini medium plus and it too lasted for more than 5 hours and I realized that Kamini light would also have been sufficient for me.

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Kamini Medium Pad

 

The night was tension free, all thanks to the Poddo Heavy pad. It lasted for more than 8 hours which I think is highly efficient. If your flow is medium or light you can choose for Podo medium as well for the night. I was just going for more safe and risk-free option and hence went for heavy but it’s really not required unless you have a really heavy flow.

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Poddo Heavy Pad

 

On the weekends I usually go for cycling with my friends (from past 3 weeks) and  I was a bit afraid of the cloth pads as this time my periods chose to come on Friday. But I decided to clear the doubts myself by trying it. We cycled all the way 13 Kms on Saturday and 13 Kms again on Sunday. Here I am comfortable and stain free. What else you need?. I want to scream right now and tell how the cloth pads are comfortable and risk-free even while cycling (the flow is generally heavy if you do any physical activity). Not even for a minute did I feel anything different about cloth pads while cycling. So all the myths and doubt that cloth pads won’t work while heavy physical activity is busted.

One more thing worth mentioning would be that I use to avoid walking during periods as that used to give rashes due to the rubbing of wings in the thigh areas. Also, the generation of sweat because of non-breathable disposable pads use to make the situation worst. But in this hot and humid weather of Mumbai, I was able to cycle during my periods for 1 hour without stopping and heavily sweating with No signs of rashes. They absorb all the sweat and not leave us with any irritation. I just love cloth pads and you too will.

Also enjoyed a little bit of walk after cycling from Kharghar to the nursery in Belapur, C.B.D. You can see the cloudy weather which made us sweat like anything.

For Kamini Medium I would say all thumbs up as it can last up to 5 hours with the medium flow and the entire 8 hours with light flow.

Coming to the washing part, as usual, you gave to soak them for minimum 20 mins in room temperature water and just give a little washing later with a brush and cloth washing bar. They are really easy to clean especially the Poddo and Gada with the insertable design and it gets really clean with no stains. Even Kamini cloth pads come out very clean after washing with no stain. They also do not shrink or change any shape or get crumpled up but remains good as new.

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The bottom of Shomota Cloth pads.

 

Overall I loved the Shomota pads for its size options, reusable design, and for the ease of cleaning. A good green choice for waste free and healthy periods.

For more on Green periods please check out my previous articles in the Green review section.

-Pooja Navale