One may think that being plant-based requires lots of time and money. However, many Singaporean schooling students are exploring the plant-based/vegan lifestyle, on a tight budget while juggling their exams. We caught up with Teng Chu Yu, an 18-year-old Singaporean girl currently awaiting her A-level results.
Chu Yu loves spreading awareness about many causes close to her heart, in the hope that she can make this world a better place. She currently blogs at Conscious Cookie.
What inspired you to turn plant-based?
It started off as a curiosity as to why my high school ex-classmate was vegan, and why people in general turn vegan/vegetarian. Aforementioned led me to a spontaneous research spree and chanced upon the Cowspiracy film, and changed me to who I currently am now. I think that making an effort is better than not trying at all.
What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Trying to reason with my parents and get them to respect my choice. It was hard as they were initially upset and blocked off all of my attempts to try to get them to read through my reasoning on my blog. They were also unwilling to listen to the key factors behind my decision with a more open mind, due to their belief in the 'necessity' of eating meat & animal-based products. Now, they've become more accepting towards my decision, after I showed them that I was to some extent capable of taking care of my nutritional needs (and that I wasn't going to change my decisions however much they dislike them).
How do you act on your beliefs?
Starting up and periodically updating my blog. I also send multiple emails and Facebook messages to various companies proposing on reducing their use of disposables as well as, extending their menu to incorporate more vegan options.
I am also trying to get more involved in various advocacy projects concerning food waste and environmental issues. Aforementioned includes NVPC x *Scape's Groundup Sandbox programme, Bukit Panjang Community Club – Youth Club's Environmental Issues Interest Group, Olio.
What advice would you give to people embarking on the Vegan lifestyle
Stay true to your beliefs, stay open-minded and remember why you made the change when things get tough. Also, reach out to fellow people in this lovely community; don't fight your battles alone!