My name is Rutwij Vaidya I’m an actor, director, scriptwriter, and painter. I was born and brought up in Bhopal, (Madhya Pradesh) in a Maharashtrian Brahmin family. Despite being born in a Brahmin family, I ate non-vegetarian food (eggs, chicken, goat meat, and fish) since childhood. The reason being my father, who was a non-vegetarian himself. He used to take me to the chicken, meat, and fish shops. I witnessed all the cruelty taking place there–from hens being picked up and killed based on the requested needs of customers such as big or small size and then, getting slaughtered right in front of my eyes, for me, it kind of got normal that time to witness such animal killing and at a few places, I also saw how the butcher would make a small cut on chickens’ throat to let the blood come out till the bird is squirming and trying to breathe and live. But she died in a painful way.
I grew up witnessing the slaughtering ever since I was just 4 years old. At the age of 22, I pursued MBA in Pune and there my consumption of non-vegetarian increased from having it once a week to 5 days a week. But my soul was evolving and I always had the guilt of eating non-vegetarian food, knowing that an innocent animal was killed for it, so for the sake of “Ahimsa” I decided to quit eating flesh which I did, but it only lasted for 2 months and then I again tried eating non-vegetarian but kept struggling. This happened for 4 different times where I would quit eating non-veg but end up eating again. My temperament was too hot since childhood and I got involved in too many fights–it came in such extend that I no longer believed in goodness and this phrase lasted for 4 years. Though in my entire life till this date I never have hurt anyone intentionally and rescued many sentient beings such as snakes, lizards, rats, and others, whenever I saw them drowning or in agony.
Managing Food Transitions
Then at the age of 24, I moved to Mumbai and started working in a firm as a marketing professional. Little did I know that I will be having a turning point there. Almost after 2 years in Mumbai when I was 26 or 27, one day I came across a graphic video where an American reporter’s head was being chopped off by a Taliban terrorist. I was shocked to watch such a video and was immensely taken aback. I was shaken to the core, and the video helped me understand the pain of animals who are slaughtered in such a horrendous way. After a few weeks I quit non-vegetarian permanently, but then later in the year 2011 I began to eat eggs to gain some weight so hence from a non-vegetarian I became an eggetarian. Which was a progressive change.
In 2014, I got married, and both, my wife and I were eggetarians. My wife is an animal worker–she had saved 100s of lives and easily spent lakhs of rupees to treat animals who require medical aid. Eventually, after a while we moved one step ahead by coming to the realization that we are still paying towards the cruelty and suffering of animals but this time it was by purchasing animal-based products such as using leather, consuming dairy and poultry, and slowly by the year of 2015, both of us finally turned vegan by even removing everything which comes from animals. Though 100% veganism isn’t possible as without our knowledge we might be using few products which can be having animal elements, but we can easily stop purchasing those products which we know it already has. My wife even stopped purchasing makeup that comes from animals.
The biggest benefit of becoming a vegan is that I was able to have self-control, few might say this is a small benefit, but no, it’s huge. For example, all the wrong happenings in the world such as fighting with loved ones, aggressive behavior, lack of understanding, killing, terrorism, scamming, or anything from minor to major, is triggered due to our anger and the lack of self-control.
Becoming More Accountable
Veganism makes our nature calm and pure. Non-veg increases the acidity in the body, which results in heat, other than causing damage to your heart, kidney, stomach, brain, and liver it also triggers a hot temper. Just imagine how your mood gets impulsive and irritating when the weather temperature is too hot… and just imagine how you get so happy when the weather is cool. Just think about how your reaction to things around you changes in different weather conditions. Non-veg generates excessive heat in the body, which makes a person restless, impulsive, hot-tempered. This automatically results in a much shorter reaction time in everything one does. Getting angry fast, or sad, getting depressed or getting, which in result makes one commit mistakes over mistakes in the day-to-day life–in all the relationships and activities and in fewer cases it leads to crime.
By changing your food choices, you can not only improve and change yourself but even your surroundings. So why not do it? I have become accountable for my actions and am not impulsive and can better manage my feelings. The journey towards compassion is endless but all we can do is walk a step ahead at a time and never look back.