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|