I grew up eating meat even though my folks were vegetarians. While growing up it somehow became the “cool” thing to do. In the schools and colleges I went to, meat-eating was a way of breaking the status quo, especially since 30-40% of Indians were vegetarian and probably more in the institutions I was a part of largely because of social/religious reasons. Having spent most of my life in Dubai and Chennai, both of which are vegetarian-friendly, I decided to turn vegan in Southern Virginia while studying at Virginia Tech. For me turning vegan was about the politics of it. I realized that I could face and address racism, sexism, and speciesism three times a day with every meal of mine. That was in 2007 and I have been vegan for four years since then.
~ Mathivanan Rajendran (November 30, 2011)