A New Leaf
You’ve always been vocal about eliminating food wastage—how did your passion for this come about?
To me, it’s a great sin not to finish our food when there are many in this world who do not have enough food to eat. It doesn’t make sense to have so much edible food being thrown away every second while the other side of the world dies from starvation.
What actually got me to put this out to the public and raise awareness was a random imaginative experience I had during just another lunch at work.The image of a pig’s soul came to me—it was staring at me, drenched in blood, tearing; its pain and devastation almost pierced through me.
“I went through this to become food on your table. Please respect me, be thankful and finish it.
I finished my meal well, probably much cleaner than usual.
Tell us more about your favourite corner at home!
It’s my room: I gave it a total facelift three years ago. It used to be cluttered and dull, with mismatched furniture passed down from my aunt. Using my hard-earned money (which I’m proud to say because my family isn’t financially well-to-do), I changed all the furniture and designed my room the way I wanted it to be, filled with only things that are necessary and make me happy. The colour scheme is white as it resonated with me, especially at the point of time when I decided to revamp the room.
White is clean, bright, and simple. Empty and full. I was at a point of change—from an unhappy and depressed person to someone completely new and liberated. Giving my room—a personal space where I spend so much time in—a full makeover, was naturally a part of this process. When your way of thinking and perspectives change, the external stuff will follow suit.
What are some habits you’ve built up over the past year, especially during the Circuit Breaker period?
Definitely working out at home! I went from someone who completely does not exercise (the last time was in JC years ago) to working out a couple of times a week. I wanted to start lifting my energy levels and ensure better blood circulation for a healthier body.
Share with us more about a personal project you’ve been working on.
Using my camera, I have been trying to raise awareness on the food waste issue locally by joining food rescues and collections, sometimes dumpster-diving, and then taking photos of the rescued food.
The amount of food rescued or collected a night in just one area or from a single bakery can be pretty shocking to anyone who hasn’t seen it before. I hope to bring this to light and get people to start thinking about it.
You’re now vegan—when and why did you decide to take this step?
I believe it was early 2019. I was already a vegetarian at that point and decided to go vegan since being a vegetarian isn’t enough. I decided that I didn’t need to have any living things going through such insanity for me anymore. I do not need to eat meat. I do not wish to consume wrath and agony. Meat turned unappealing.
I had no issues eliminating foods that were once my favourite (e.g. milk and eggs). So the process of switching was easy. However, being vegan, a little fuss here and there is unavoidable when meeting up with people. The good part is that I get to discover many delicacies and learn much more about the foods we’ve been eating but didn’t know much about—such as learning where our food came from and how it travelled.
What are some tips you’d give to people considering a vegan lifestyle?
The key is to be clear of your personal reason for turning vegan.
Vegan food is only expensive when you opt for fancy vegan food such as Impossible meat, organic almond spread, and vegan ice cream, or when you specially patronise vegan restaurants that serve the fancy stuff. These are atas food, and unnecessary.
If you simply stick to the usual vegetables and basic foods that you can get from any wet market and supermarket (like spinach, tofu, carrots, beans, and soy milk), it would cost around the same as a standard diet. My meals are simple—it’s usually a pot of soup filled with some mushrooms, vegetables, and tofu served with rice. Or fried rice with whatever I can find in the fridge.
What are some self-care habits you practice at home?
I ensure I get my breaks—I put down whatever I have on hand and simply spend two to five mins drinking a cup of plain water and spacing out. It could also be enjoying a cup of soy milk over some lo-fi jazzhop. By breaks, I mean just me, without my phone. On weekends, I throw my phone aside for hours.
Some sounds heal—sound healing to me is basically retuning our body and mind using sounds. I have a singing bowl which is meant for that and I play it occasionally before sleeping.
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