Bollywood Star Richa Chadha on Why She Switched to a Vegan Diet
Bollywood movie star Richa Chadha is a vocal advocate for veganism after transitioning to a fully plant-based diet two years ago. In an interview with VeganFirstDaily, the celebrity, originally from Dehli, opens up about the inspiration behind her decision and her tips for success.
Chadha, a life-long vegetarian, decided to finally quit all animal products after she "realized the dairy industry functions very differently from when our parents were consuming dairy and poultry products – in terms of mass production and numbers."
She came to this decision after watching several documentaries and researching the devastating effects that animal agriculture has on the earth's environment. Although she says that she had difficulty forgoing cheese and butter in her day-to-day life, she swapped out cow's milk for almond milk in her tea and began to notice that going without these products made a positive difference in her skin and hair.
Although Chadha admits on her Instagram posts that she doesn't care for cooking, while on set, she always comes armed with a few prepared snacks in case craft services doesn't have anything vegan. Her go-to foods are nuts and protein bars, for any moment where she's in a pinch and can't find a dish without meat or dairy. Besides staying prepared for situations where you might not be able to find vegan options, here are Richa's advice for people who may be thinking about going vegan:
1. Use your Logic: "We are human beings – we are not meant to consume milk from another mammal. We are not built to digest something that’s so heavy on the body. And with growing research, we notice that today so many people are lactose intolerant."
2. Why not give it a try: "It’s very difficult to convince your moms and dads that ghee, butter and paneer have to go - but once you choose that option and see how light it is on your system, I don’t think there’ll be any going back!"
3. Going plant-based is better for your long-term health: "It’s a myth that you won’t get calcium if you don’t drink milk. We don’t even know the quality of the dairy products we are consuming today – because cattle are pumped with steroids and hormones to keep them pregnant and lactating. These are things one MUST know. We end up consuming all kinds of chemicals and steroids for the sake of having milk. It’s part of the package because it’s already in the cow’s body."
Chadha closed the interview by imploring more people in her home country of India to give veganism a try. She notes that there are only about fifteen or twenty thousand vegans, despite there being an estimated 400 million vegetarians in the country. She advises other Indians to try the lifestyle "without punishing yourself if you can manage to stay true to the cause and stay dairy-free in the long run, it has amazing health benefits."
Read the full interview with VeganFirstDaily here.