This Veganuary, we are bringing you the stories of ordinary people putting in extraordinary efforts to change to the world. Some are students, some are working adults, some are business owners, but they all commonly share the passion to make our Earth a kinder place.
Activist and Speaker: Rebecca Cappelli
Our first interview is with activist and TEDx speaker Rebecca Cappelli. Rebecca's mission is to promote the message of kindness to Earth with the vegan lifestyle. She is now running a non-profit concept based in Asia, Let Us Be Heroes. As a public speaker, she delivers talks on a non-profit basis to help people adopt a healthy and responsible lifestyle. Real life proof that one person can make a huge difference!
1. What inspired you to turn vegan?
My dog. He was rescued from dog meat in China, and I always thought it was barbaric to hurt and eat dogs and cats. One day, I realized I was eating other animals who can feel pain just the same, that I was just like the people who could have eaten my dog and I made the decision to become vegan. There is also too much violence in this world and I don’t want to be a part of it.
2. What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Some friends and family members were very rude and attacked my decision right away. But I can handle it so it’s ok. Then they got over it, some even became vegan.
3. What is your message and how do you promote it?
We all want to be healthy, happy, take care of the planet and be kind. My message is everything is connected: our health, our home planet and our human values. When we truly take care of one, we take care of all. All violence we cause comes back to us in some shape of form, like disease, mental illness and environmental destruction. I promote my message by focusing on the world we want to live in compared to how we live now, and how we can bridge the gap.
I give talks for free to people in their workplace or school, to educate people on the impact of our food choices. Of course veganism is much more than what we eat, but when someone goes vegan everything changes. We can all contribute significantly to a better world by changing our lifestyle and listening to what’s in our heart. For more, follow @letusbeheroes on instagram and facebook.
4. What is your favourite food to make and/or favourite place to eat out?
I love tempeh, potatoes, guacamole and lentils. I like to make large mixed salads with tons of baked potato fries on the side, or cook with mushrooms. My husband is Italian so we have a range of veganized Italian dish.
I eat very little processed foods as I don’t enjoy it anymore. In Singapore, I enjoy Real Food, because they go an extra mile to guarantee no GMO, clean food practices down to the oil they use. In Hong Kong, I love Grassroots Pantry because their comfort food is creative and they practice zero waste.
5. What is the most important tip that you will recommend/advice for new vegans?
The most important tip for someone transitioning their diet is to enjoy their food and find recipes they love. Focus on better, not perfect. I also think it’s important to listen to your heart and not do anything (although there are exceptions) to please people.
Everyone needs to learn about nutrition (I recommend nutritionfacts.org for unbiased data studies), about the environmental impact of our food choices, and watch videos of animals in factory farms. Then, empowered with knowledge we can make a conscious decision and respond appropriately to common objections.
6. Do you think it’s difficult and expensive to be vegan where you live?
Compared to how I used to eat, my grocery list is much cheaper, but it still is more expensive to buy clean products here in Singapore compared to most countries in Europe.
It certainly costs a lot less water, land and forest, and no lives are taken for our meals, which for me is the cost I cannot afford. As a bonus, we seldom get sick anymore.
Watch Rebecca's TEDx talk to eating our way to a better world here: