Going Vegetarian- Compassion towards animals
They claim their move to vegetarianism in 20089 came from a realisation that most meat-based food items are processed and a growing awareness of "how the livestock industry operated".
"As we progressed, we discovered so many different plant-based food sources which we would not have if not for turning vegetarian. Also, our understanding of the ethical considerations extended to the dairy industry, which could very well be worse than the livestock industry, and we decided to stop consuming dairy products as well," reveals Mr Gangasudhan who turned vegan in January 2010.
As their search for vegetarian nutrition didn't throw up satisfactory results, they launched a free online magazine on the topic in August 2009. A year later, demand was so high that they started printing it. Today, 3000 copies of VegVibe are distributed free from over 80 locations across Singapore.
The best argument for vegetarianism, says Mr Gangasudhan, is the fact that there is no longer a need to argue for it. "Many people are already aware of the benefits at the casual level and make a conscious effort to reduce meat and increase plant-based food in their diet anyway," he says.
For Singaporean yoga teacher Balakrishnan Matchap, it was a routine incident at work that inspired a turnaround in his dietary preference. While working at the Singapore Zoo as a zookeeper, he saw an injured racehorse being put to sleep with a captive bolt gun.
"With complete trust, it meekly followed its handler to its own demise. Watching this made me realise how we humans use and abuse animals for our own vanity, without proper understanding of the pain these sentient beings go through every day for our sake," he says, in support of his decision.
But was the changeover difficult? Not at all, says Mr Balakrishnan who during the initial stages read up on nutrition and carefully observed his body's response to the change in diet. He has been vegan for 16 years now and feels mock meat varieties available in many restaurants across the island help vegetarians and Non-vegetarians Bridge the "divide" and dine together.
In Mr Balakrishnan's words, vegetarianism is not just about dietary preference. It is about compassion living and treading lightly on this planet, sharing resources by taking not more than needed. And the powerful thought that three times every day when you sit to eat, you’re making a positive impact both socially and environmentally.