As city turns vegan, choices flood the market

As city turns vegan, choices flood the market

Organisations like Veganuary aim to change people’s attitude and adopt this lifestyle

In the last couple of years, the vegan community is growing in large numbers. Many are taking the time and effort to learn about veganism and how they can help reduce their carbon footprint on the planet. 

Started by a UK-based charity, Veganuary has become a time for people to try vegan and hopefully las throughout the year. The idea behind the charity was to change the attitudes of people while providing them with all the information and support they need to transition. 

This year too, many in the city are making an attempt to adopt the new lifestyle. Krithika Raghavan, community manager at CoWrks, says that there are more vegan brands coming up this year. 

She turned vegan a couple of years ago and she’s quite happy with her lifestyle. “I spend as much money as everyone else when dining out. I don’t think living a vegan lifestyle is an expensive one. It’s mostly the lack of information that brings about this misconception,” says Krithika. 

She points out that more restaurants are open to altering their food items to suit the customers’ choice.

“Even Dominos delivers pizza without cheese if you ask them,” she adds. And for household items, she says e-commerce apps like BigBasket and Vegandukan provide everything she needs. 

With more alternatives like mock meats, dairy products and even other daily items like vegan silk and plant-based leather, there’s a lot to offer for vegans now. 

Graphic designer Kannan Mehta, who helps organise events for vegan groups in Bengaluru, says that there are many who are willing to change their lifestyle.

“Though there are older people who are also vegans, we have been noticing more younger crowd coming forward. The Netflix show The Game Changer has really changed peoples’ perspective.”

The documentary covered success stories of plant-based athletes, referring to scientific studies and arguments based on the same. 

Kannan clarifies that there’s a difference in being vegan and following a plant-based diet.

“One of a lifestyle where you don’t want to exploit any animal and the latter is a food diet. Many of them think following a plant-based diet automatically makes you a vegan. It does not,” she says. 

Nutritionist Keertana Ramu says that there are more pros than cons of someone turning vegan. However, she argues that vegan food is expensive and everyone may not be able to afford it. 

“Though there are certain nutrients that you will not get with vegan food, there are plenty of supplements available in the market for one to take. Adding that aspect and having to also get alternates for other easily available items like milk and cheese, since brands have to specifically make them, the pricing also goes higher,” says Keertana.

Having said that, there are plenty of Indian dishes that are naturally vegan. Keertana says, “South Indian breakfast is predominantly vegan and so are some North Indian dishes like lentils and other vegetarian dishes. It’s when you want to have dishes like paneer, you won’t find too many options. I recently learnt that there’s a vegan version of ghee available in the market now.” 

In the last year, she has seen many young athletes come to her for advice for turning vegan.

“People want to be more environment-friendly and also improve their lifestyle. With more options available now, it seems like a possibility,” says Keertana. 

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