Stay away from products that test on animals, in conversation with Divya Nichani, practising raw vegan and founder of PurawVida.
November is the World Vegan Month, and we grab the opportunity to talk to the beautiful Divya Nichani. Divya is the founder of PurawVida which promotes pure living. Divya practises Raw Veganism and is also a gourmet Vegan chef. She has collaborated with several brands and organisations to explore a clean living based on natural energy, Vedic truths, Yoga and Veganism.
1. When did you turn vegan what was the trigger/inspiration?
I have been a yoga practitioner right from my childhood, so becoming vegetarian as a teenager was just the natural way. However I started inching towards Veganism slowly, but after the birth of my child in 2007 I got pushed further towards it, and in 2008 after watching a few documentaries on veganism I completely became a vegan, and I’m happy with my decision.
2. What is raw veganism, how difficult is it to adopt/maintain as a lifestyle?
Raw vegan food is fresh organic vegetables and fruits and nuts, which are not processed, and a complete avoidance of dairy products. Also, the food is not heated over 118 degrees so as to preserve the nutrients.
I think just like we adapt to everything; it’s such an easy adaptation once you get the hang of it. With a keen interest in a healthy lifestyle, I also completed the Raw Vegan Associate Chef program from the world’s premier Raw Culinary School: Living Light, in California.
I am also certified in the science of raw food nutrition. In my journey of teaching yoga, I realised that yoga and a combination of raw/ vegan foods & plant-based foods could help people to heal emotionally and physically.
3. What are the effects of a vegan lifestyle on health and well-being?
Someone once said,” Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” It is true, our bodies require energy, and what you put into to your system, defines what kind of energy you will have like if you eat raw fresh food, you will have a higher lighter energy all day. A great body gives rise to a great mind and hence a great spirit.
4. Is Vegan a fad?
When the West turned mostly to vegetarianism, everyone believed it was a passing fad, but is that true? No, veganism is here to stay our ancient wise men advocated it, and I guess people are slow to accept change, but once you take to it, there’s no looking back.
5. What are the challenges of being vegan in India?
There are a few issues with being vegan in India, cause primarily we are a dairy-rich culture one of the main principle food types to avoid. Also, people are slow to the awareness and benefits of being vegan. It’s difficult to go to social gatherings cause family and friends find it awkward. However it is catching up, we have practising communities and FB groups of vegans, who chat and share recipes. I have travelled the globe, and it’s easy to get vegan food in the West vis a vis India.
6. Your POV on the use of animal fats and animal testing. How do you ensure your products are cruelty-free?
The most reliable way to know your goods are genuine, 100% cruelty-free is to search individual brands on the Leaping Bunny and PETA databases. Companies must comply with rigorous standards to get these certifications, which confirm that neither they nor their suppliers, use animal-tested ingredients in any stage of product development. They also pledge to never conduct any animal testing in the future.
In my point of view being a vegan you naturally stay away from animal fats, also I make sure I check with the PETA list and other lists which state the products are cruelty-free. I stay away from silks, leathers, honey and anything which would hurt an animal in any way. I think we are here to share and care for everyone on this planet, and animals for sure.