Bangu Vegan’s cruelty-free treats makes going meatless a treat
As a meat-loving nation with traditions like mezbaan and cultural cuisines like shatkora beef and varieties of shutki woven into our identity, veganism might seem like an alien concept. The hipster movement’s love for the lifestyle has also given it the unfortunate reputation of being a pastime for the privileged. Animal rights activist Rubaiya Ahmed has found a rather delicious way to change your mind.
The founder of Obhoyaronno Bangladesh Animal Welfare Foundation has been meatless for the past eight years. The choice came about as a result of her activism, which exposed her to how needless it is to kill animals for food. Realising that going off meat was not just humane but healthy in the long run, she embraced veganism.
The idea that was seeded sometime in 2014, began as a campaign to promote veganism. Rubaiya began giving speeches at schools and other institutions to spread awareness about animal welfare and the benefits of avoiding meat. While the response was generally positive, Rubaiya made another realization: the notion of veganism being viewed as a privilege persists because of the lack of options available here in Bangladesh. And that is when Bangu Vegan as a business idea was born.
“Bangu vegan is not a cafe, not a retailer, not a restaurant, we are a little bit of everything. We are trying to create a platform where people become aware of the importance of veganism and they also have access to all kind of vegan products,” says Rubaiya Ahmad while describing Bangu Vegan. The company was registered only a month ago, and as yet doesn’t have an outlet, but caters during small-scale events.
At present, they have set up a smoothie station in Yoganika because the owner wanted healthy smoothies and snacks for the people after yoga sessions. “It wasn’t really a part of our plan but we thought this is a good opportunity to pass across our words and to get people familiar with Bangu Vegan ” said Rubaiya. Soon they will open their kitchen in Shahzadpur from where it will be easier for everyone to get the hold of all kinds of vegan food.
Rubaiya thinks that despite being a tropical country, we really don’t use our seasonal fruits and vegetables which are present in abundance and readily available in our country. That is why Bangu Vegan wants to promote vegan food and change the notion that it is difficult to make the switch.
Rubaiya Ahmad has been trained in vegan cooking in India, which forms the basis for her understanding of vegan food. She also obsessively binges on Youtube tutorials and foreign cooking shows to improve and expand her expertise. Bangu Vegan’s current offerings include delicious smoothies and ‘bliss balls’, which are raw dessert items free of sugar and preservatives. You don’t have to be vegan to find these utterly delicious.
Bangu Vegan’s main aim is to promote food that is healthy, humane, cruelty-free and environment-friendly. Their packaging is also plastic-free and eco-friendly. They wish to create a truly healthy, humane green brand which is sorely lacking in Bangladesh.