This Veganuary, we are bringing you the stories of ordinary people putting in extraordinary efforts to change the world who share the same goal: Making our planet a kinder place.
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.
What inspired you to turn vegan?
My dog - He was rescued from the dog meat industry in China. I always thought it was barbaric to hurt and eat dogs and cats. One day, I realised 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.
What is the biggest challenge you faced with turning vegan?
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.
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 indeed take care of one, we take care of all. All violence we cause comes back to us in some shape or form, like a 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
What is your favourite dish to cook and could you name your ideal spot to dine 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.
What advice would you give to people embarking on the Vegan lifestyle?
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 this knowledge then can we make a conscious decision and respond appropriately to common objections.
Do you think it’s difficult and expensive to be Vegan in Singapore?
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 about eating our way to a better world here: