A very common saying is “We are what we eat”! And it is as true as it gets, especially when you start to observe your life closely. As I make my way towards living a completely natural, organic, chemical free and most importantly cruelty free (Vegan) life, I will share my experiences, experiments with new recipes, what works and what doesn’t and most importantly the effects I felt on my body and my life! So far, I’m sailing on an updraft, which is what inspired me to write about the Vegan way of life.

So, why Vegan? It was a spontaneous change for me after I saw footage exposing the horrors and cruelty, inflicted on farm animals. Why should animals be treated like objects without feelings? From our own experiences, we know how beautiful are birds and animals. They too feel hunger, pain and love. They spend time looking after their babies just as we humans do. But sadly, the entire fabric of their lifestyle, their family, their babies has been altered to suit the need and greed of humans. The dairy industry is a cruel and vile creation of man, where cows are artificially impregnated, fed genetically modified feed, injected with hormones to produce monstrous quantities of milk, fed a cocktail of antibiotics (which by the way makes its way to the milk it produces and its flesh). Upon delivery of their babies, they are not allowed to bond with the new born calves who are torn away from the mothers at birth.The horror does not stop there. The male calves are considered a useless by-product. So they are sent away to die a slow death and their flesh is sold as veal (which is considered a delicacy)! Do ascertain the truth of what I have stated from the web. Plenty of material is available on line.

Such cruelty is not limited to the dairy industry but it spans across to all the living beings that man has power over. And we have not even touched upon the horrors of slaughterhouses, which is the final destination for these dairy cows. These animals do not have a voice of their own and they cannot tell us how they suffer. But we have eyes to see and must decide for ourselves that enough is enough! That’s the decision I took and I immediately left dairy products. Yes, no milk, no cheese, no yogurt, no sweets made from dairy, no ghee, no butter. And I have never felt better. One of the most important changes you will feel is in your digestive system — no more bloating and uneasiness.

I took a good couple of months doing my research on nutrition supplements to find vegetables, fruits and nuts to replace any lost nutrition as I replaced dairy and other products derived from insects, birds and animals. Today, I will talk about Vegan Milk. I tried several new brands available in the market and finally chanced upon Rude Health Almond Milk and Brown Rice Milk. This works well for me. Their almond milk goes very well with coffee and the brown rice milk is great with tea. But you could make your own too! I have also used Ecomil Almond milk and that works well too.

Recipe: Almond Milk

Take a cup of almonds and soak them overnight. Next morning, blend the almonds with a little water, a pinch of salt and one pitted date (for sweetness), till its turns into a fine paste. Top up with about 500-600 ml of water. The water quantity can be adjusted as per you liking — use less water if you want thicker milk. Next, strain the blended mix into a bowl using a muslin cloth. Voila! Your milk is ready. This can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can add this to cereal or simply enjoy it as it is. A word of caution though. Alternative milks don’t always blend with tea and coffee and you may see the milk separating in your drink. That is why, for drinks, I use Rude Health Almond milk as its consistency is just right and the milk never separates. In my next article, I shall share my Vegan nutrition chart and some recipes for cleansing the body.

Ms Aditi Pathak is based in Singapore. Widely travelled and from a Services background, cooking is one of her many passions.

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