After her shocking discovery on the amount of chemicals and harmful ingredients used in commercial baking, renowned actress Aishwariyaa Bhaskaran took it upon herself to start baking healthy products. She was even more shocked to learn about the chemicals in the cosmetic industry and that piqued her interest in making soaps free of animal cruelty issues and chemicals. This gave rise to a passionate hobby which soon turned into orders from friends and family who started loving her products.
Born to actress Lakshmi, Aishwariyaa had an upbringing with dogs, plants and vegetarian food. It was only after her marriage in a Muslim household that she tried her hand at full-fledged cooking and started eating non-veg. But her life took a U-turn when a friend sent her a documentary Food Inc, about agribusiness that produces unhealthy food that is environmentally harmful and abusive of both animals and employees.
“Thanks to my daughter Anaina, I was already environment conscious and practised a lot of reuse, reduce and recycle. But I had no idea about how the food and cosmetic industry was also harming humans and animals”, she says. Passionate about animal rescue and an avid supporter of animal adoption, Aishwariyaa has always been in the midst of dogs and cats who, she says, dictate her life.
Certain life changing incidents with animals had already made her give up mutton and chicken, but she truly turned a vegan after she saw the American documentary film Earthlings about humankind’s total dependence on animals for economic purposes. Today, Aishwariyaa not only practises vegan baking and food habits but this has translated into all area of her life. “No leather products or pattu sarees for me either”, she says. “We humans have destroyed mother earth to the max so wherever I can, I try to do my bit to make a difference”, says Aishwariyaa, who collects plastic from her apartment residents and reuses them for packing her products.
Apart from baking and soap making, the actress also dabbles at stained glass painting. “My daughter has been the one who introduced me to these arts”, she says fondly. Aishwariyaa is all for advocating compassion and kindness towards living beings and spreads this message wherever she goes. “Death will take everything away one day, but we can make sure that at least when we are alive, we can make a small difference in the world and the environment in our own way”, she says....