Sophie starts off by saying, “I went vegan to lose weight for my surgery. I am a transwoman and had surgery in 2019. I started looking around for the fastest way to lose weight and then when I dug further I realised I should have been vegan long ago.”
For someone who had to rebel against a lot of social conditioning and social rules, Sophie is very clear when she says, “I have always been a fighter for the truth, someone who wanted to get to the bottom of things.”
Curiosity sparks off many a change and Indira Gandhi is quoted as saying ‘the power to question is the basis of all human progress’.
SOPHIE STARTS QUESTIONING NORMS
Growing up, “I always questioned and challenged social conditions including religion and my gender identity,” she says. Sophie has taken to a sect of Islam to guide her life.
The first time her dad took her to a butcher shop, she saw a hen being slaughtered. “I couldn’t eat meat after that,” she quips.
That was probably her introduction to questioning why we were eating animals.
“I could have lived by what society dictated based on my gender or my family, but when I stumbled upon veganism, that was the first time I realised how people control other people from a very young age,” says Sophie.
“I never had a craving for meat but I understand why people do. Only an educated and an informed mind can distinguish and question this,” she says. She further explains that if we were born in a tribal family that hunts animals, we wouldn’t question it.
“The day I got to know about veganism, that was the day I turned vegan. I researched it thoroughly,” she says.
“There has to be another side to everything people think is right.”
She adds, “If you’re only consuming animals for taste, then there are other ways to get that taste via mock meat. Some people say I eat animals for my survival, but if you have the options to choose to be compassionate, then why not?”
A HEALTHY VEGAN JOURNEY
My skin is glowing, I used to have bad skin before, now my skin is so much better.” Her face was earlier ridden with pimples but now she has people commenting on her skin. “I can see a change in my energy too,” she adds.
“Spiritually I feel I am cleaning myself because I am eating clean food.”
“People say ‘plants have feelings’ but it does not suffer as animals do. You cannot compare a plant and a sheep.”
Sophie also undertakes water fasts regularly to detox herself and also experimented with being on a raw vegan diet.
She finds herself eating healthy vegan food including a lot of salads. “If I eat a lot of vegan junk, I immediately see the aftereffects on my skin.”
Sophie considers everything as part of a journey of learning and growing.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS
When Sophie chose the path of veganism it was hard for her to hang out with some of her friends because many of them were not respectful of her choices and made fun of her. “I had to cut out a lot of friendships because they were making fun of me. I was not being respected,” she says.
As for her family, she faces some flack from them because they believe God has allowed for humans to eat animals as per their religion, but Sophie comes from a place of compassion and refuses to let it go “because when we can choose compassion, then why not?!”
She tried introducing them to mock meat in a bid to get them off animal meat, but they did not take to it.
As a part-time animal advocate and activist, Sophie often finds herself holding placards on the street trying to show people the truth behind the meat and dairy industry. She believes we can’t actively make people stop torturing animals but is hopeful that the future holds many possibilities for a kinder future.
God talks about veganism even in the Quran according to Sophie. She says, “He has named 6 chapters in the Quaran He describes how humans are the caretakers of the earth.”
Sophie says, “There’s a lot of cognitive dissonances around and we can find it in so many facets of life. People keep dogs at home and eat animals on their plates for lunch, people call themselves environmentalists but don’t think they need to stop supporting animal agriculture.”
A teacher based in Bengaluru, Sophie has the power to elicit this change she has been through and she doesn’t really have to do much other than tell her story- one filled with the determination to get to the bottom of things.
“You always have a choice to right your wrongs.”