Potlucks Stir The Change For Ethical Lifestyles

UFC organizes potlucks to help build stronger communities of conscientious vegans who care about animals, the environment and the planet as well.
  • Cheese Pizza
  • Chaas (Buttermilk)
  • Cold Coffee
  • Chocolate Cake
  • Chocolate Ice-Cream
  • Tofu Curry
  • Chicken Biryani
  • Toasted Butter Sandwiches
  • Chocolates
All the enlisted dishes were made without the use of dairy or meat! These are only a preview of some of the tempting dishes on the dinner table at an open-house event held at Andheri West, Mumbai, this Sunday on 8 April 2019. The potluck was organized by United By Compassion, which is a group of vegans across Mumbai. But, these vegans do a lot more than just eliminate dairy and meat from their lifestyles. They walk their talk as well. They organise street activism, talks & seminars, workshops and chalkathons. The aim of the event is to enable the rapidly growing community of conscious activists to create  awareness of animal cruelty across the world and encourage  others to make better food choices.

Why Potlucks

The focus of the potluck, was of course, the food. “There is a huge lacuna in the information available out there about how farm animals are treated,” stated Shweta Savla, head of UFC. “Most non-vegetarians, animal lovers or even the vegetarians who consume milk and other dairy products are not aware about how animals are tortured in the farms and the inhumane practices meted out towards them. And it all starts with the food. This way, people realize that ethical foods are delicious as well.”   The potluck was an open event, inviting all vegans and activists to join the meet-up and bring along one vegan dish and bring their non-vegan friends and relatives. The idea is to expose all to dairy-free foods that are so yummy, that often new comers cannot believe that the dishes like cakes, gulab jambuns, cheesecakes brought by other members excludes dairy.  

People Speak

  Manan Desai, who joined the potluck for the first time said, “The food was just amazing and very delicious. I was surprised to find vegan versions of dairy and non-veg items like vegan chaas, cake, chocolate, vegan chicken biryani.”.   He continued, “I met some amazing vegan activists involved with United for compassion who are spreading the cause of Veganism through their outreaches, seminars and other activities.” Sumedha, another new-comer, had turned vegetarian a few months ago. She was interested in knowing how dairy-free curds and buttermilk could be made home for her family.

More Than Just About The Food

  “Such events are very effective for community building,” stated Mohit Shah, A UFC core-member. “When people taste such foods, they realise that they do not need to consume milk or meat. People have started realizing that even though they may not be killing the animals themselves, they pay for the milk or eggs they buy and are directly responsible for the animals’ welfare as well.”   UFC organizes a range of events every month. Join the WhatsApp group for stay tuned to the website for forthcoming event details.

An Unequal Movement

The early February (3 February 2019) morning was a perfect winter Sunday for Equal Street in Linking Road, Bandra. The weather was cool, not nippy, the lush neighbourhood green trees swayed in the quiet breeze. One of the highlights was a small table set-up that featured delicious foodstuffs made by professionals.

UFC and The Save Movement join forces at Equal Street, Mumbai on 3 February 2019.
An activist sharing information about factory farming.

The outreach witnessed a crowd of youngsters and children who were shocked when they learned about the cruelty of animal agriculture and other forms of animal abuse. Many of them were completely unaware of the cruel practices prevalent in the Indian diary industry like the forcible artificial insemination of cows, the killing of infant male calves and so on. Some Equal Street participants also agreed to drop meat and dairy, and join UFC movement in the future.

Home-made Cheesy Dips by Mayavi Khandelwal, Tofu by Shilpa Gupta and buttermilk shots helped drive home the point that dairy-free foods are delicious and healthy.

Volunteers showed videos of the cruelty meted out to farm animals and appealed to them to eliminate animal products from their diet and lifestyle. “But if we leave milk, we will miss cheese!” exclaimed a horrified onlooker who was immediate guided to a food table laden with home-made cheesy vegetable dip and a shot of buttermilk. Most onlookers’ reaction ranged from pleasant surprise to awe to know that such ethical food options can easily be made at home. This dynamic group of people included diverse professionals and students who have been walking the talk by living ethically for many years. This time, part of the 20+ strong team was UFC.

All UFC members are vegans and their primary goal is to encourage others to drop animal products like dairy, eggs, honey and meat from their diet and silk, leather and down based apparels from their lifestyle as well.

Equipped with nothing but mobiles and tabs, we share well-researched information backed by videos and appeal to viewers to educate themselves and rethink their lifestyle choices.

Shweta Savla, Co-Founder UFC

Also joining forces with UFC was The Save Movement, an international awareness group, organized by David Andrew Ramsden and Anni Lankinen (in lead image) who are in Mumbai to lend their support to the rapidly growing vegan movement. During their visit to the city, they conducted vigils across the suburban dairy farms and local slaughterhouses to witness the proceeding and share the details with people as a part of their ongoing awareness campaigns.

Food Champions, Shilpa Gupta and Mayavi Khandelwal with some of their tasters at Equal Street. Their dairy-free goodies left children and adults both, begging for more.

Other members of the movement whose contributions made an indelible impression were Ruchika Chitrabhanu, Co-Founder of India’s largest compassion-based event, One Earth Festival in Mumbai; Mayavi Khandelwal, Founder of My Pure Path and Shilpa Gupta.