“It’s easier to stay on track with fitness goals since I’m not consuming hormones or animal fat”–Serena Walia, Actor

Indian film and stage actor, Serene Walia’s life took a 360-degree turn when she rescued a dog hit by a car. Read on.

Thinking about this is like holding a shovel and not knowing where to start digging in order to look for the seed that was planted many moons ago. It was the summer of 2017. I wasn’t vegan then. Upon my return, I heard a dog wince in pain. The poor boy had been hit by a car. I called friends, tried to arrange for an ambulance but I just had access to a vet on the phone who prescribed medicine. There was a lady on the street who stopped her car to ask if everything was okay. I was in tears when I told her how helpless I felt. She asked me to hop into her car and we bought the medicine and the ice-cream I had been asked to mix it with. By the time we got back, he’d passed away. I tried everything I could to save him. That’s the day I realized the value of life.

I still didn’t give up eating meat. I ate everything I was eating before the incident, but this time I was aware that I was eating someone rather than something. A week passed by normally and then it just… happened! I started getting nightmares about eating animals. I just had to stop. I expected that to be an end of some sort, but it was a beginning in disguise.

Living In Dubai As A Vegan

Life, after I started eating vegan, changed a lot. I had to live in Dubai for a month so I started learning vegan recipes I’d cook there. That was my introduction to travelling with respect to veganism. I learnt how to navigate socially and order with ease at restaurants. I came back equipped with a new set of habits that served me well.

Back home, the diet change was fine but questions at gatherings took some time to get used to. I started making things I wanted from scratch since there was hardly anyone selling basics like vegan cheese or vegan desserts in the market. My family was quick to adapt to my taste buds that had adapted to my heart.


My heart these days is in my work which makes me travel a bit. I do state my needs to each team I’m working with. I’ve been grateful that people I’ve worked with have understood it or at least tried to. I have switched my make-up to vegan brands. I don’t buy silk or leather. I have realized there are no perfect vegans. You just try to cause the least possible harm you can.

That Gut Feeling

I’m intrigued by vegans who eat raw food so in my journey going forward, there will be a lot more of that. This switch to plants has been good for me in ways I can’t count. I suffered from allergies all my life and for the first time, I felt like I was healing. I rarely get fever now… Touchwood. They say your gut is linked to your mood and I’ve never felt better. It’s easier to stay on track with fitness goals since I’m not consuming hormones or animal fat. My skin is clearer and so is my conscience.

Introduction Of New Section: My Vegan Journey 

Do you have a story? An interesting compassionate experience? How was your vegan journey?

Send in your vegan story (About 500-1000 words) with hi-res image to compassionmag@gmail.com and we will publish it on your website and on social media.


Compassion India Magazine

Compassion India Magazine

Compassion India is India’s official first ever vegan print publication. It aims is to bring the vegan community closer and create awareness about the ethical and health advantages of following this lifestyle. The magazine was launched on 1t November 2019, which was World Vegan Day.

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