Being Vegan, Vegan Being: Divina Rattan – Inspiring Others to Live a Compassionate, Healthy and Happy Life!

My name is Divina and I’m from North Vancouver, BC. I’m a Human Resources professional, animal activist, and fitness enthusiast!

What was the moment you realize that you wanted to go vegan?

The moment I realized I needed to go vegan was when I realized that all animals feel pain, fear, and suffering. I always knew I was a compassionate person, but I always blocked out the fact that animals suffered every time I ate animals or consumed animal products. Although it took me 25 years to make the connection, once I made it, I went vegan overnight!

How long have you been Vegan?

I have been vegan since March 2017.

Why is being Vegan important to you?

Being vegan is important to me because I believe I have a duty to act and share the knowledge I have acquired about the ethical, environmental and health implications of animal agriculture and other forms of animal exploitation. I feel like it is my responsibility to be a voice for all animals – those who used for food, entertainment or in any other exploitative nature. If I was in their position, I would want someone to speak up for me too.

Any recommended Vegan books?

I haven’t read any vegan books yet but I’ve heard How Not to Die and Eating Animals are highly recommended by others!

Any recommended social sites, Facebook Groups or other?

I love vegan activist pages like those of @JamesAspey and @EarthlingEd because they motivate me to stay active as an activist. I also love @incogneato_vegan because he posts a lot of awesome vegan memes and fitness information. @plantbasedlogic is great too because I feel like I relate to everything that he posts!

Do you actively promote veganism? How? Please share any stories you would like.

Yes, I try and be as active as I can in terms of vegan outreach. Every Saturday, I attend a local chicken vigil (@vancouverchickensave) and bear witness to chickens being sent to slaughter. We hold signs outside the slaughterhouse to promote veganism and spread awareness about animal suffering. I try and attend other animal activism events that come up in my area as well such as zoo protests or video outreach. I also use my vegan Instagram account to spread the vegan message and inspire others to live a compassionate, healthy and happy life!

What is the vegan stereotype you hear the most and how do you respond to it?

The most common vegan stereotype that I hear is that vegan food is gross. I answer this by telling people about all the foods that I get to eat and sharing my story of how I went to the pickiest eater to a complete foodie since becoming vegan! I hope my Instagram page shows people how vibrant and delicious a vegan diet can really be.

What’s your favorite Vegan restaurant?

There are some amazing restaurants in Vancouver that I love including Buddhaful and Virtuous Pie. My favorite vegan restaurant ever is probably Golden Era Vegan Restaurant in San Fran. So good!

Please share your favorite vegan recipe?

I love making vegan channa masala with brown rice. All you need is chickpeas, onions, ginger, garlic (optional), tomato, cilantro, salt, channa masala, turmeric, hot chilies and brown rice!

Some encouraging words for new Vegans?

Find a reason you want to go vegan and really believe in it! So many people will stop being vegan because they weren’t passionate enough about why they went vegan. It doesn’t matter if it’s for your health, the environment, for the animals or for all of those reasons! Once you become educated and passionate about your “why” there’s no looking back. Don’t get discouraged in the beginning when you are overcoming the learning curve. A couple of weeks into veganism, and it becomes second nature to you. Just hang in there and enjoy the ride!

What does living cruelty-free mean to you?

Living cruelty-free to me is not about being perfect, it’s about trying to cause the least amount of harm possible. It’s about eating food that hasn’t caused suffering to others and choosing products like clothing and cosmetics that haven’t caused harm either. Being cruelty-free is about not being selfish. Yes, there are foods out there that taste good and are convenient, and there are clothes that look good, but if you really take a step back and realize there are alternatives that don’t cause harm..why not go with those choices? Being cruelty-free is about being aware and conscious of how you as an individual, can help make the world a better place.

What are you favorite Vegan non-food products or companies?

I love Tarte and Kat Von D cosmetic products. They are cruelty-free and vegan!

What is the toughest Vegan item to find that you need?

Honestly, I can’t think of anything.

Talk about a time when you struggled with your Veganism?

I think I struggled in the beginning with dealing with how to respond to negative comments about veganism. I would get really upset and angry when people would make jokes about animal suffering or about veganism in general but I’ve learned over time to stay positive at all times and use any conversation as an education tool. I have also connected with other vegans and am lucky to have a great group of vegan friends who I can lean on when I need support or am feeling negative for any reason.

What is one question you would ask other Vegans? Please answer it.

What’s the silliest argument a non-vegan has said to you against veganism?

My answer: The world wouldn’t have enough space to grow plant-based food for everyone if we all went vegan.

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