This one’s very important to all vegans and animal lovers.
What follows is an interview with Robin Singh, the co-founder at Peepal Farm a stray animal rescue and rehab centre in a remote village in Himachal Pradesh, India. These amazing champions not only work with rescued animals, trying to save them from life-threatening injuries and hopefully find them a home but also at the same time are supported by the farm stay program and vegan organic goodies grown and sold to fund the animal centre.
Robin is an ardent believer of zero waste lifestyle and in believing that every action for survival has a suffering footprint, especially an act of consumption. So, he suggests mindful consumption and making our survival purposeful by doing good work, which for him is alleviating physical pain.
How did you get into zero waste lifestyle?
I was conventionally successful, and at a point where I did not have to work for my lifestyle which was about comfort, convenience and pleasure. Having that kind of time on my hands made me realize the meaninglessness of it all, and I started analyzing the world and the way I moved through it, and my impact on it. Although I was already vegan at the point and bought used clothes, books and furniture, I realized that anything I consumed pretty much had caused someone to suffer at some point of the production process. Of course, we can’t give up consuming if we want to live, so that’s when I started moving towards lowering my consumption and thus lowering my suffering footprint. For me, waste is not just limited generating trash, but I see any unnecessary consumption as waste.
How has it affected your life?
For me, it put me on a path that changed how I live my life. I realized that even my low impact lifestyle still has an impact, and for what? I always thought I “need” to live, but I was just living as I was born. Living required consumption, which had a suffering footprint. So I made a choice to live deliberately and make my life count. I exited my company and I started a small farm, where I live and run an animal rescue.
Why do you think zero waste lifestyle is so important?
If you are utterly hedonistic Donald Trump and believe that life is for taking, taking, taking, then it’s not important, but if you lean more towards that life is for helping, then we can start helping by reducing the harm we cause and the reducing waste, and consecutively reducing your consumption is a great step towards it.
What do you think is the hardest/most challenging part about introducing zero waste living?
Growing up in a modern framework, most of us are so used to convenience, that we see it as a “need”. It’s hard to break out of that mould.
What is your biggest advice to someone trying to adopt a zero waste lifestyle?
Modern society will have you believe that the cost of something is just the amount of money you hand over for it, whereas the true cost is born by all the human and non-human animals who get impacted by the methods of production and disposal. So before you buy something, consider its true cost.