Friday, September 7, 2012

My Wishlist for a Vegan India

What I would love, love, love to see here in a vegan India (Chennai, for starters)! This is like my little manifesto:

  • More convenience products that are locally made, healthy, and all natural. For instance, India has granola bars... but they contain high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives and a lot of other junk. They're also imported from one of the largest companies in the States. I do notice a few ready-made packs of curry from local companies with innocuous ingredients, which warms my heart.
  • Thriving bazaars with vendors selling great vegan products like salad dressings, spreads, desserts, and freshly-bottled juices.
  • Restaurants dedicated to selling organic, vegan dishes.
  • A community center where people can gather to learn more about nutrition, holistic living, vegan cooking, and animal welfare.  
  • Monthly vegan potlucks and movie nights
  • An organic co-op that delivers boxes of fresh produce directly to your door. Even better if said box comes with recipe ideas, since I have no idea how to cook, say, bottle gourd (yet!)
  • An online marketplace where people can sell these goods to other like-minded vegans.
  • An online forum where people can exchange ideas, plan events, and garner support for causes.
  • A volunteer website that bridges all NGOs working on vegan-related causes (animal welfare, natural living, organic farming) with vegans wanting to know how they can help out. 
  • Maybe even form a vegan NGO here that comes up with weekly activist events, such as rounding up stray pets to be neutered/spayed, or to hand out vegan leaflets outside stores. I don't know. 
  • A vegan Facebook/LinkdIn for networking purposes (like, "I'd love to do a presentation on veganism at a university. It looks like a vegan named Prashanth is a professor there, so maybe he could get me in touch with the right people.")

I know there's some of these activities going on already. Like, there's ReStore which has a bi-weekly bazaar emphasizing millets, and there's a Facebook group of vegans in Chennai. I think it's possible to link these similar interests into something larger, especially given that there are relatively few vegans.

And while I call this my wishlist, I actually see it more as my "to do" list. Here's to hoping for a more vegan-friendly India in the coming years!

From my window


  1. Hello Catherine

    I stumbled upon ur blog looking for loquat. Thanks for the info. I live in Hyderabad having moved here recently from Michigan. I had the fruit at my cousins house in Texas. Can't find it here in India. Can u help me source the fruit and tree here in Hyde or chennai...

    812 517 1077

    1. Hi Rachita! Hyderabad is quite the difference from Michigan--hope the move has gone well for you. =) I wish I could give a direct answer about where to find the fruits, but I have no such specific info about which--if any--nurseries harbor the fruit in those areas.

      The good news about Loquat is that it's coming into season these days, so hopefully you can find the fruit and therefore the seeds. Unfortunately, you'd be waiting for three years for the tree to bear fruit from its seedling form.

      The trees might be hard to find in the mentioned cities because they're definitely not grown in Chennai proper (too hot and humid, I think), though nurseries in the Nilgiri Hills are your best bet within Tamil Nadu. Delhi nurseries should have them as well.

      Good luck, and I wish I could be of greater help!

  2. vegan with occasional curdApril 22, 2016 at 4:39 AM

    saplings of loquat is available in the nilgiris