Veganism Catches Fancy Of Health-Conscious Indians
New Delhi: Meenu Nageshwaran, 53, felt she had been handed a life sentence when she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2012. What followed was never-ending appointments with doctors and a long list of prohibited foods. The grave malady left her anguished - and that is when she discovered the power of veganism.
"My reason to turn vegan was purely by choice. I was very scared when I heard the news. This is when I decided to make lifestyle changes to improve my health. So I took to meditation, ayurveda and exercise and slowly shifted to a vegan diet," Nageshwaran, who works as a pranic healer, told IANS.
"It wasn't easy. But with dedication and determination, I was able to control diabetes. You won't believe: today I am off insulin," she added.
Like Nageshwaran, there are many who are turning to veganism - a practice that is very common in the western world - and is now catching up in India albeit with those who need a healthy diet after suffering from a lifestyle disease or as a precautionary measure.
Veganism simply means abstaining from animal and diary products like milk, cheese and curd in addition to meats and fish.
For vegans, it is inculcating a healthy way of living, concern for environment and to stop cruelty towards animals.
Explaining the concept, Nageshwaran, who has now become a known vegan chef, the difference between a vegetarian and a vegan lies in the use of the dairy products.
For vegans, separating a cow from her calves to produce milk for human consumption is an act of cruelty and they thus abstain from all dairy products.
Spearheading this programme in India is SHARAN (Sanctuary For Health and Reconnection to Animals and Nature) whose goal is to spread holistic health awareness and promote an ecologically sustainable lifestyle.
It runs various programmes on health, including 21-day disease-reversal retreat that has helped people reduce their medication by 70 percent.
"Today, medicine has become an industry but if the diet is wrong, medicine cannot cure and if the diet is right, medicine is not needed at all. So we help people become their own doctors and look after their bodies as every other species does," Nandita Shah, a doctor and founder of SHARAN, told IANS.