LOK SABHA ELECTIONS 2019: INDIA DECIDES

These Vegans ‘plant’ an idea

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | IKYATHA YERASALA
Published Apr 16, 2017, 12:00 am IST
Updated Apr 16, 2017, 3:56 am IST
Healthy choices are a fad, and these zealous entrepreneurs in the city are giving veganism a shot in the arm with their diverse products.
Anushree Kamath, who has launched her own brand
 Anushree Kamath, who has launched her own brand

They’re young and tremendously zealous about the cause that they deeply care about — veganism. Meet these youngsters with an entrepreneurial streak, who’ve taken their passion a step further by launching brands that are providing exclusive vegan food products to Bengalureans. For Anushree Kamath, turning vegan was unexpected, as she was a devout meat-eater, thanks to her Goan and Mangalurean roots.  “One day, I saw a video of a leopard being burnt alive. I cried the whole night and realised that despite being an animal lover, I was eating meat — that didn’t make sense anymore.  So, I turned vegetarian overnight,” reveals Anushree. After a while, she saw someone talking about veganism and turned vegan.

“It was going to be difficult as I loved ice-cream and curd rice. I also read up about the cruelty in the dairy industry,” she says. Having quit her full-time job to take up activism, this environmentalist recently launched her brand The Happy Calf. “I used to earn well, so the decision wasn’t easy. I now want to tell people how food can be the ultimate medicine. We should pay more to the farmer than to the doctor. I’m now working on a marathon where I’ll be providing ragi mylk. I also make herb and garlic almond cheese, coconut mylk etc,” she adds.
Another fervent vegan entrepreneur is 20-year-old Abhay Rangan, who manages to juggle university and his company together.  A telecommunications student from CMRIT, this fiery lad has been an animal and human rights activist for over four years now. “I founded the Society for Animal Rights and Veganism (SARV) when I was 16. When I was 18, I started Veganarke, because I wanted to make plant-based alternatives accessible to everyone. Most vegan products here were priced much higher than their animal-product counterparts. I decided to do something about it. We manufacture peanut curd and almond milk, currently,” he reveals.

 

After Abhay’s parents turned vegan seven years ago on their wedding anniversary, he and his sister decided to do the same. “Animals deserve to live free from human-induced suffering — and the least we could do is to stop financing animal abusers,” he says. Coco Truce is another start-up that’s tempting the taste-buds of city peeps with their vegan mayonnaise and cashew cheese. They’re currently selling from home on weekends. Akriti, one of the founders, says, “I was motivated by my concerns for the environment and an e-mail I got explaining veganism to me. I researched to see if a vegan diet is enough health-wise and learned that it was.” After attending a vegan potluck, her love for plant-based cooking increased. “We started putting posts on Instagram and then created a Facebook page to sell healthy and environment-friendly alternatives. We also want to support movements and people doing good work. In this manner, we will donate a part of our earnings every month to one organisation raising funds for a good cause,” she reveals.

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