Learn to be healthier, make cruelty-free life choices at this festival

Updated: Nov 17, 2016, 16:02 IST | Joanna Lobo |

A day-long festival wants to encourage and teach people to make healthier and cruelty-free lifestyle choices

Animal activist Anand Siva’s daughter’s wedding had garlands made of cloth
Animal activist Anand Siva’s daughter’s wedding had garlands made of cloth

Call it the guide to a good, healthy, vegan lifestyle. This weekend, a day-long festival, The Ahimsa Fest, wants to teach people about the Ahimsa way of life — non-violence in thought, deed and action.

Organic cosmetics
Organic cosmetics

“We want people to come and learn about how t live a cruelty-free life. rough this event, we want to offer those interested, the options and the means to follow this lifestyle,” says Atul Doshi, 54, a retired chartered accountant and member of Ahimsa Parmo Dharma Group, the people behind the festival.

Guests were allowed to bring their pets. Pics courtesy/Frontal Knots
Guests were allowed to bring their pets. Pics courtesy/Frontal Knots

The festival will feature talks, cooking workshops, screenings of hard-hitting documentaries, kitchen and garden DIY techniques, presentations on whole foods plant-based diet for disease reversal and raw plant-based foods for health, and an activity room for kids.

The group has held workshops and talks before promoting this Ahimsa lifestyle. This is their first complete event. “We’ve noticed that veganism and vegetarianism is on the rise, so we thought of talking about ahimsa as another lifestyle option. Besides, this is religion-neutral and is based on compassion to fellow human beings,” adds Doshi.

The Guide’s top picks:

Ahimsa Cafe
You can choose from a variety of live counters offering plant-based food cooked by professional vegan experts. “This will be a vegan, cruelty-free café serving meals, snacks and desserts,” says volunteer Nandita Kapadia. Think dairy-free buttermilk, dahi chaat, cakes, pastries, leafy juices, sugar-free and gluten-free desserts and dairy-free ice creams.

Vegan icecreams
Vegan icecreams

Samir Pasad of the tiffin service Vegan Bites will be dishing up Mexican items like nachos, tacos, burrito bowls, chaat and other snakcs, vegan ice creams along with cakes and pastries. There will also be hand-crafted, gourmet ice creams, which are sugar-free too, like Raw Cacao with Cacao Nibs (in pic), Berry blast, Fig and Walnut ice creams.

Fun ‘n fair
There will be live music performances by vegan and vegetarian artists including the metal band Solar Deity and Raw Stars, an Ahimsa Mall with 50 stalls selling non-leather items, plant-based food products and eco-friendly and organic products. In addition nine Activity Rooms will host interactive sessions and live demos, talks about food and practical advice on turning your health around for the better.

Solar Deity
Solar Deity

Anand Siva, animal activist, vegan advocate and motivational speaker is in charge of the Animal Compassion Room. “Specialists will discuss the need for pets in a child’s life, how to care for strays, adopting animals and why to say no to material like leather and silk,” says Siva.

Fashion show
Vegan designer Monica Chopra has curated a fashion show with sustainable and cruelty-free materials. “This is for people who want alternatives to leather and silk. We have a range of cruelty-free designer products — clothing, bags, shoes and cosmetics — that we will showcase at the show. “We want people to think twice before buying a product; to try and find out what it is made of,” says Chopra, who focuses on vegan bridal wear (in pic).

The show will also feature a video that highlights what goes on in the leather industry and short talks by designers on why they chose this line of business, besides the fashion show.

The vegan wedding
Anand Siva will also give a lecture on Being Vegan & Eco-Friendly Weddings. Here, he will use his daughter’s wedding as an example of how to host a 100 per cent organic, plastic-free and natural wedding. “We used edible and natural cutlery, the food was vegan, there was no silk or leather on display, we had no flowers or thermocol or plastic décor and we chose a place that recycles their water and uses solar energy,” he says.

On: Sunday, 10 am to 10 pm
At: Jashoda Rang Mandir, NM College, Juhu.
Call: 9967723000

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