With a lifelong journey of change and challenging the norm, Asif Ali Gohar has moved his life to a new country with his family, taken on veganism at a young age, and worked to find a reliable alternative to leather that is eco and vegan friendly.
Today we discuss how he decided to take on this lifestyle and how it shaped his future.
At what age did you know that you wanted to lead a vegan lifestyle?
I decided at age 12 to make the transition to a vegan diet.
I had been thinking about it for a few months before making the choice, and it just felt right to stop eating animals that were so close to us and so involved in our lives.
Do you remember why you made that choice?
I didn’t want to keep eating animals that I saw or consuming these items.
Their lives where being shortened to supply food for people, and that felt uncomfortable to me. I didn’t want to be taking from them when they had no choice, as their lives are valuable too.
When making the change, what thing did you miss the most or have the most trouble moving away from?
Holidays where the hardest as traditional meals where not always vegan, and some could be adapted but others were not. I missed eating all of the foods we had every holiday or celebration without choosing which I could have and which I could not.
Did you choose the vegan lifestyle all at once or did it start with food and dietary restrictions then move to clothing and other items?
I began first with just not eating meats, and dairy and eggs was soon after. When I saw that not eating meat would stop from taking their lives that was better, but then we still took other things from them. I didn’t want to be taking things from other living creatures anymore.
Soon I started learning and realizing more about where other items come from. The leather for shoes and clothes, feathers, and even fur. The more that I saw these items for where they were sourced and how they were made instead of just clothing, I didn’t want to wear them anymore.
Was there resistance from your family?
I think with all families there is resistance to change, especially when a child is making the decision. It can be hard to trust that they know enough to make that choice and change how we do things. Mine weren’t sure that I was old enough to make a permanent decision but would help with meals and even had some vegan meals with me.
Do you think that your life would be the same if you had never made that choice?
Certainly not. I would have continued to look for something that I am good at and could build a career with, but I do not believe that I would have started a company like this or that I would have tried to create new products. There is always a chance that I would have had other original ideas, but certainly not this one.