What made you start volunteering for animals and their rights and join Animal Nepal?

About a decade ago, I used to eat meat. I had a faint idea about where it came from, but I never really gave any thought to it. One morning, I saw a truck transporting goats, and after seeing their condition and neglect I decided to stop eating meat and start volunteering for them.

The question of the hour! How many pets do you have?

I have five dogs, Tibetan Mastiffs, and seven cats. They have now multiplied. Now they are not domesticated and don’t stay with us. They come and go as they wish. It seems like they have adopted us!

Who is your favorite pet?

It is very difficult to say that. I love all my dogs and cats dearly. They are all rescues, so they hold a special place in my heart.

What inspired you to become a vegan, and how does this apply in your life?

As I mentioned earlier, the above event inspired me to become a vegan. Becoming a vegan is not only about the food, it is about respecting animals in all ways. I don’t have dairy products. All my clothes are organic, and even the makeup I use is animal cruelty free. I don’t use any products that use animal skins like leather products. Anyone can become a vegan; all that they have to do is to commit!

Where do you generally go out to eat?

Most of the times I like to eat at home. I generally go to O2RK. The best thing about eating out in Kathmandu is that the restaurants are very helpful and prepare dishes according to your choice and palate.

You strongly believe in the goddess, Kali, yet you condemn the bloodshed. Could you please elaborate?

Yes, I am a strong believer of Goddess Kali. I feel connected to her. I am always disturbed when they associate sacrificial rituals with the goddess. So I would like to tell people that, follow whichever spiritual presence you choose to, but don’t sacrifice any animals in their name.

What are your thoughts on Kukur Tihar?

I absolutely love celebrating this day with all the dogs; both at home and the shelter. It is said that dogs are supposed to be vehicles of Lord Indra, and they symbolize all their characteristics—loyalty, friendship, and guardianship. They are also said to guide the gates of afterlife. Thus, we should celebrate and thank them.

So how do you celebrate this day?

Every year at the shelter, we have a day where we do all the rituals; the tika, garland, and performing the puja. We welcome everyone to come, especially our four legged friends! We give them gifts based on their likes. At home, I perform the puja with all the enthusiasm, as this day means a lot to me. I can feel this connection right down to my soul. I give the dogs their gifts and spend the entire day celebrating with them.

What is your message to everyone this Tihar?

Firstly, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Tihar! The only message that I would like to spread on this day is that we should not only make all the dogs feel extra special, but make them feel special for the rest of their lives. Offer them some food, water, or even just addressing them nicely will surely make their day!