Please check back here regularly for more updates on speakers who will be coming from around the globe to join local speakers and vegan activists from Nepal at the Himalayan Vegan Festival. “Some of the fantastic speakers include:”
KEEGAN KUHN (USA)
(Award Winning Documentary Filmmaker)
Keegan Kuhn is the award-winning co-director and producer of the highly acclaimed documentary feature films Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio) and What the Health (executive produced by Joaquin Phoenix). Both movies are considered among the most influential vegan films ever made. Kuhn also recently directed They're Trying To Kill Us (executive produced by Chris Paul and Billie Eilish) and Running for Good: The Fiona Oakes Documentary (executive produced by James Cromwell). As the owner and operator of the digital film production company First Spark Media, he has dedicated his life to producing films addressing social justice issues.
MANEKA SANJAY GANDHI (India)
(Founder People for Animals, Indian Parliamentarian, Animal Rights Activist)
Maneka Sanjay Gandhi is the Founder and Chairperson of People For Animals (PFA), India’s largest animal welfare organization with 250,000 members, which runs 34 charitable veterinary hospitals and veterinary ambulances throughout India. It also runs India’s only wildlife hospital in Bangalore. She’s also an eight-term Member of Parliament, and has done many notable works for animals: she created the Animal Welfare Ministry as Minister for Animal Welfare, and she initiated and piloted legislation in the Parliament of India on the Wildlife Protection Act as Minister for Environment and Forests, etc. She is also the author of over 20 books on plants, environment, vegetarianism, animals, and etymology including Animal Laws of India which is taught in Universities and is used as the only guide for courts on the subject of animal welfare. For her work for animals, she has received numerous awards from distinguished platforms: Rukmini Dev Arundale Animal Welfare Award (2011), Lord Erskine Award from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1992), Jeanne Marchig Animal Welfare Prize (1997), Venu Menon Animal Allies Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award (1999), and many more.
FIONA OAKES (UK)
(Global Vegan Marathon Runner and Animal Sanctuary Founder)
Fiona Oakes is a longtime vegan and a 4-time world record marathon runner. She was the subject of Running for Good, a documentary feature film by award-winning director Keegan Kuhn. The film documents her attempt to set a new global record in competitive endurance racing in the Marathon Des Sables, a 250km race through the Sahara Desert. She holds several records, including being the fastest female in elapsed time to complete a marathon on each continent and the North Pole. Oakes operates Tower Stables Animal Sanctuary, which cares for more than 450 rescued animals daily. Her mission is to promote a compassionate way of living while breaking vegan stereotypes.
DR. SUSIANTO TSENG (Indonesia)
(World Vegan Organisation Founder and Doctor in Nutrition)
An icon among Asia’s vegan activists, Dr. Susianto is the president of the World Vegan Organisation. He is a doctor in Nutrition from the Faculty of Public Health, University of Indonesia (Summa Cum Laude). Dr. Tseng is a world-renowned expert on tempeh, having authored several books on the fermented soybean food including The Miracle of Tempeh and Tempted by Tempeh, earning him the nickname, the King of Tempeh. His other literary works include The Miracle of Vegan, Vegan Nutrition for Pregnancy, and Vegan Nutrition for Children. Dr. Tseng is an activist and global speaker and has held leadership positions in various international vegan organizations.
KUNTAL JOISHER (India)
(Vegan Mountaineer and Two-time Everest Summitter)
Kuntal Joisher is the first vegan to climb to the top of Mount Everest, which he incredibly did not do just once, but twice! Through his trekking, he works to dispel myths about nutrition and a plant-based diet. He is equally passionate about raising awareness about the health benefits of veganism for both people and the planet. As a respected photographer, Joisher’s work has been published in National Geographic, BBC Earth, The Outdoor Journal, Himalayan Journal, and many other magazines globally. He is the winner of the prestigious Kutch Shakti, Kutch Ratna, and Kutch Kohinoor Awards in India.
SETH TIBBOTT (USA)
(Founder of Tofurky and Turtle Island Foods - the world’s pioneer in vegan food products, and Tempeh Expert)
Seth Tibbott is Founder of the world famous Tofurky and Turtle Island Foods company, which he built and grew over almost 40 years from a $2,500 startup into a family-owned global brand worth over $100 million. A pioneer in the meatless food industry, Seth developed his company keeping true to his environmental and animal advocacy beliefs. The Tofurky brand includes over 40 different vegan, cruelty-free food products from the ever-famous Tofurky and vegan sausages, to vegan sandwich slices, vegan ham and non-dairy cheeses, which are sold in 27,000+ stores worldwide. As a family-owned company, Seth has enabled Tofurky to continue its original vision and commitment to “purpose over profit” supporting animal rescues, sanctuaries, and environmental organizations, and maintaining a business that contributes to society rather than takes from it. A master tempeh maker, enthusiast and advocate, Seth has also been making his own tempeh from scratch since 1980 and looks forward to sharing his knowledge and love for tempeh with others attending the festival.
KEN SPECTOR (USA)
(Principal Marketing and Ideas Man, HappyCow.net)
Ken Spector is the marketing, ideas man and a key principal at HappyCow. An award-winning online platform, HappyCow was founded in 1999 to help people everywhere to find vegan, vegetarian, and healthy food around the world. Winner of eleven Veggie Awards in the USA, HappyCow currently lists over 50,000 businesses in more than 175 countries serving millions of online viewers each month. Spector has consulted or worked in upper management for numerous companies including Microsoft, Hollywood.com, Eco Vision Packaging, and LivingECO.com. He is dedicated to living a vegan, holistic, sustainable lifestyle and currently lives in Los Angeles.
SHANKAR NARAYAN (India)
(Founder Satvik Vegan Society, Former International Councillor and Regional Coordinator of IVU )
Mr. Shankar Narayan is a passionate Indian vegan who became vegan 21 years ago and founded Satvik Vegan Society (formerly Indian Vegan Society) in 2004. He was the International Councillor and Regional Coordinator of IVU (a global federation of veg organizations) for India and South West Asia from 2006 to 2016. He lives in a self-made forest called Sthitaprajna since 2009 and organizes Satvik Vegan Festival every year. He is a board member of FSSAI’s (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) Task Force on Vegan Foods which looks into guidelines/ provisions for vegan foods in the country.
SAENGDUEAN LEK CHAILERT (Thailand)
(Founder at Save Elephant Foundation, Elephant Conservationist)
Lek is an award-winning conservationist who has been working for over two decades to improve the lives of elephants in Asia and advance their welfare. Her work has received international acclaim and has been documented by National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, the BBC, DW, and CNN as well as in print media around the world, including The Guardian, USA Today, and Forbes. She has received widespread recognition for her work protecting elephants, including being honored as one of six Women Heroes of Global Conservation in 2010 by Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, one of TIME Magazine’s Heroes of Asia in 2005, the Ford Foundation’s Hero of the Planet in 2001, and with the Genesis Award from the Humane Society of the United States in 2003 and 2019.
DR. ZEESHAN ALI, Phd. (USA)
(Specialist at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine)
Dr. Zeeshan Ali is a program specialist at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, founded by Dr. Neal Bernard, one of the foremost medical doctors advocating for a vegan diet. Dr. Ali uses his knowledge of chronic disease, nutrition, and Indian culture to develop their 21-day kick-start India program. He also writes scientific reviews and articles on non-animal-based research methods. He received his doctorate degree from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University (Germany), and a postdoctoral fellowship at University Piemonte Orientale (Italy). Dr. Ali’s work focuses on reaching physicians, healthcare professionals, and researchers, and advocating for policy changes to prevent chronic diseases through plant-based nutrition.
DR. SAILESH RAO, PH. D. (USA)
(Founder of Climate Healers, Human, Earth & Animal Liberation Activist)
Dr. Sailesh Rao has over three decades of professional experience and is the Founder and Executive Director of Climate Healers, a non-profit dedicated towards healing the Earth’s climate. A systems specialist with a Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, Dr. Rao worked on the internet communications infrastructure for twenty years after graduation. During this period, he led the transformation of early analog internet connections to more robust digital connections that also ran ten times faster. In 2006, he switched careers and became deeply immersed, full time, in solving the environmental crises affecting humanity. Dr. Rao is the author of two books, Carbon Dharma: The Occupation of Butterflies and Carbon Yoga: The Vegan Metamorphosis, and has been involved with numerous documentaries tackling climate change. Dr. Rao is a Human, Earth and Animal Liberation (HEAL) activist, husband, dad, and since 2010, a star-struck grandfather. He is currently working tirelessly on behalf of his generation to fulfill a pinky promise to his granddaughter, Kimaya (seen in the photo), and her generation that the world will be largely Vegan and well on the way towards a sustainable, thriving future before she turns 16 in 2026.
EILEEN WEINTRAUB (USA)
(Founding Director, Help Animals India)
Eileen Weintraub is a lifelong animal advocate/rescuer and a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner who has studied with many of the greatest Lamas of the tradition and made three trips to Tibet in the 1980s from the USA. She has always advocated for a veg diet within the Buddhist tradition often going against the prevailing practices. In 1998, Eileen began supporting animal protection groups in India and later Nepal. During her many trips to these countries, Eileen discovered groups which, despite little financial support, were helping animals in extremely difficult conditions and against all odds. Deeply impressed by how these dedicated groups and individuals were making such a big difference for the animals, Eileen was inspired to found Help Animals India in 2008 to advise groups like these and facilitate the flow of support from donors in USA and worldwide. Her work has been recognized by the Pollination Project with the Unsung Vegan Hero award.
RENEE KING-SONNEN (USA)
(Rowdy Girl Sanctuary Founder, Rancher Advocacy Program, and Advocate for Compassionate Farming)
Renee is the founder of Rowdy Girl Sanctuary and Rancher’s Advocacy Program, which she founded after witnessing the cruelty of ranching at her husband’s ranch. She has appeared on various TV channels including CBS, ABC, RFD, and Animal Planet explaining how she turned the former beef cattle ranch into a sanctuary. Renee has inspired and coached many American rancher families in the move to sustainable ranching models that are good for the planet, animals, and farmers, and free from killing. Renee formerly worked as a professional musician and owned a wellness spa, where she was a certified yoga instructor and Ayurveda practitioner.
DR. NANDITA SHAH (India)
(Author, Vegan activist, Founder Director of Sharan)
Dr. Nandita Shah believes that we can be our own best doctors most of the time. She is the founder of Sharan, an Indian Vegan organization devoted to building a culture of health and disease reversal through food. She received the Nari Shakti Award 2016 in recognition of her work in the field of health and nutrition and is the author of Reversing Diabetes in 21 Days, an Amazon India #1 bestseller in endocrinology.
DR MYTHRI SHANKAR (USA)
(Lifestyle Medicine Physician, Author, Environmentalist & Health activist)
Dr Mythri Shankar is a nuclear medicine specialist in Bangalore with over 25 years of clinical experience and expertise in her niche field, across USA and India. What sets her apart is her patient-friendly focus in the delivery of healthcare, with the belief that every human has a chance at disease reversal or mitigation through a multipronged approach that involves, among other things, the right food as medicine. She works in her highly specialised niche of nuclear medicine, spanning nuclear cardiology, nuclear oncology, theranostics, radioisotope therapies and osteoporosis. Dr Shankar wears many hats – she’s an author, TEDx speaker, and a national-award-winning organic gardener. Dr Shankar, in the last decade of working with cancer patients, and listening to them, started observing how a lot of cancers pointed to lifestyle issues. She herself had been deeply interested and involved in an alternate approach to lifestyle, without even realising it – she was growing her own organic vegetables, had turned an ethical vegan, and is a culinary medicine enthusiast, basing her knowledge on ancient handed-down wisdom and her research. She is also actively involved in academic activities and several research projects across many points of interest that stand at the intersection of medicine, science, lifestyle diseases, and food.
Dr. VYTHILINGAM PILLAY (Malaysia)
(Physician Doctor, Vegan Motivator)
Dr. Vythilingam Pillay is a medical practitioner. Apart from practising allopathic medicine, his interest is in plant-based nutrition. He is a plant-based lifestyle advocate, changing the mindset of patients away from allopathic medicine to no medicine and advocating balanced plant-based food to keep our body and mind balanced. He is a vegetarian since 1984 and vegan since 2008.
(Chef, Director of Plant-Based Innovation for Tesco PLC, Chef / Co-Founder of Wicked Kitchen)
Globally recognized for his innovative approach to bold-flavored, chef-driven plant-based cuisine, Derek helps lead Tesco’s team and the initiative to bring delicious, unpretentious vegan/plant-based foods to the mainstream market. Prior to Tesco, Derek served as the Senior Global Executive Chef for Whole Foods Market, where he oversaw global recipe development for the company’s healthy eating initiative, worked with suppliers and leadership to develop and promote plant-based foods across the organization, and served as Culinary Director for the Whole Foods Academy for Conscious Leadership. Derek is a serial entrepreneur, founding several award-winning restaurants and food service companies in the United States.
ZACHARY LOVAS (USA)
(Vegan Travel Program & Project Coordinator)
Zac is the co-founder of VegVoyages Vegan Adventure Tours and the VegVoyages Foundation. He spends his time sharing his passion for animals, traveling, local vegan food, and bringing people together by bridging cultural gaps throughout the 8 different countries VegVoyages trips go to every year. In 1990, Zac left America to work on a film in Asia where he has been living and working ever since. Based out of Jakarta (Indonesia), Zac spends most of the year living out of his suitcase exploring local vegan cuisines while coordinating vegan cultural exchange groups and promoting vegan activism across the continent, his home for the past 3 decades.
DR. MUHAMMAD UMAIR ARSHAD (Pakistan)
(Vegan Advocate & Nutrition Expert)
Dr. Muhammad Umair Arshad is the Founder and Director of Food Science and Nutrition at the Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan, and is a passionate advocate for a plant-based diet. His area of expertise includes the functional role of plant-based food components in the management of appetite control and diabetes. He also serves in Pakistan’s regulatory scientific authority panel, and is actively involved in the formulation, and execution of food standards and regulations promoting plant-based diets for better nutrition. As a leading voice of the vegan community in his country, Dr. Arshad is the World Vegan Organization’s Chair for Pakistan where he actively works with student groups and entrepreneurs, to expand vegan ideology for a better human ecosystem in Pakistan.
SHIVYA NATH (India)
(Author of The Shooting Star, Vegan Travel Writer)
Shivya Nath is the author of the bestselling travel memoir The Shooting Star. The book charts her adventures from a steady 9-to-5 job to a nomadic vegan life, living with indigenous communities worldwide. In 2013, Shivya gave up her apartment, sold most of her belongings, and has since been living out of two bags. She documents her journey on her award-winning travel blog, and is a leading advocate for offbeat, vegan, and sustainable travel. She has appeared on the cover of National Geographic Traveller Magazine India, and has been featured by The Washington Post among travel influencers changing how we think about the world.
ABHISHEK SINHA (India)
(CEO of GoodDot, India’s leading homegrown mock meat brand)
As co-founder and CEO of GoodDot, one of India’s largest homegrown mock meat brands, Abhishek Sinha focuses on making vegan meat affordable to the general public through shelf-stable mock meats, vegan food trucks, and fast food outlets. Sinha’s mission is firmly rooted in the Indian concept of ahimsa (non-violence), and he seeks to provide ethical, healthier, and environmentally friendly alternatives to meat that does not compromise on taste. GoodDot has won several prestigious awards for providing healthy, affordable and cruelty-free vegan food products, including PETA India’s Trailblazing Business Award in 2017.
JESSIKA AVA, MS, MPA (USA)
(Grants Program Director, ProVeg International)
Jessika is Director of Grants Program at ProVeg International where her work expands global vegan advocacy efforts through grantmaking and strategic capacity-building efforts. To date, her work with ProVeg has strengthened and expanded the advocacy of nearly 200 organizations in over 60 countries. Jessika’s niche lies in coordinating global projects, quantitative evaluation, and guiding philanthropic support. Her notable experience includes NGO management, international grantmaking, biostatistics, and Asian street animal welfare. She holds an MS in Biostatistics, an MPA in Nonprofit Management and Program Evaluation, and a BS in Biology.
DOLLY VYAS-AHUJA (USA)
(Animal Activist and Vegan Documentary Producer)
Dolly Vyas-Ahuja is an animal activist, public speaker, and vegan documentary producer. Her upcoming feature film, The Land of Ahimsa, encourages Indians to adopt the vegan way of life. One of Vyas-Ahuja’s goals is to encourage India’s temples to become cruelty- free and ban the use of dairy products. She has spoken at a variety of venues and events around the world, including the World Vegan Conference in New Delhi, Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, LA Reggae Veg Fest, Vegan Radio, Rice University, and the Consulate of India in New York.
EMILIA ANANDA LEESE (Italy)
(Co-founder of Birchfield Highlands Forest Rewilding and Natural Capital Laboratory, Lawyer, Animal Rights activist, Author: Think Like Vegan)
Emilia Ananda Leese, writes essays on life, travel and veganism for a variety of online publications and is closely involved in a long-term forest rewilding project in the Scottish Highlands. She regularly hosts benefit supper clubs and is a speaker on vegan ethics at a variety of events. She also developed life skills and ethics workshops for underserved youth. She has been a corporate finance lawyer for over twenty years. She and her husband Roger, who is also vegan, live in London and the Highlands. Follow her work on Emisgoodeating.com and BirchfieldHighlands.org
PAUL EYERS (UK)
(Vegan Travel Writer & Luxury Hotel Vegan Consultant)
Paul is co-founder of Vegan Food Quest and a long time contributor to A Luxury Travel Blog. Based in Siem Reap, Cambodia he has visited and written about more than 130 luxury hotels and resorts throughout the region in an effort to raise awareness and increase plant-based food options at luxury hotels. His vegan-friendly luxury hotel and resort reviews on Vegan Food Quest are very popular and the largest of its kind. He consults and offers training to F&B teams, and menu consultancy regarding vegan diets. He has helped hotels, resorts and restaurants understand and meet the demand from the ever-growing number of vegan travellers. In collaboration with the WVO Vegan Sister City hospitality industry workshop series at The Himalayan Vegan Festival, Paul looks forward to helping hospitality managers in Nepal and Bhutan make their luxury hotels, resorts and restaurants more vegan-friendly, and more marketable, for the growing number of vegan travelers.
ELLY NAKAJIMA (Japan)
(Director, Co-founder at Animal Alliance Asia)
Born and raised in Japan, Elly is dedicated to building a more inclusive and effective animal justice movement across Asia. She is one of the first Japanese language educational content providers for vegan advocates in Japan. She read BSc Psychology and MA Filmmaking in the UK, and worked in media for 10 years prior to founding Animal Alliance Asia.
GAURI MAULEKHI (India)
(Animal Rights Advocate, Trustee for People for Animals)
Gauri Maulekhi is a leading animal welfare advocate in India with over two decades of work experience in the field. She has built an illustrious career as a subject matter expert in animal protection laws. She serves as a resource person and trainer for the purpose of building the capacities of law enforcement agencies in animal law. Upon invitations from the National Judicial Academy, several State Judicial Academies & State Police in more than 10 States of India, Gauri has conducted sensitization workshops for Judges, prosecutors, police and veterinary officers.
JAYALAXMI RAI (India)
(Founder of Granny’s Bowl, Health Save Movement Organizer, Product & Recipe Developer)
Jayalaxmi is a vegan food consultant and product developer, with a passion for veganising the most challenging of recipes. In 2016, she started Granny’s Bowl, dedicated to her grandmother who was a symbol of silent strength and a master chef. Granny’s Bowl is an online/cloud kitchen vegan food delivery service delivering fresh homemade vegan meals daily to people across Pune, India. They have earned a reputation for customising meals to suit their customers needs and being able to veganise almost everything. Some of her signature dishes and customer favourites include Mock Meat Biryani, Raw Vegan Tiramisu, Vegan Mac n Cheese and the Tofu Zinger Burger among others. Jayalaxmi also specialises in dishing out raw vegan starters, mains and desserts, raw vegan cakes, oil-free meals as well as multi-cuisine vegan catering.
Dr. IAN SINGLETON (UK)
(Wildlife Conservationist & Zoologist)
Awarded the Officer of the Most Excellent Order (OBE) of the British Empire for his services to the environment and conservation, Dr. Singleton is the world’s foremost expert on the Sumatran Orangutan and is leading the fight to save them and their habitat. A zoologist, he joined with the Swiss-based PanEco Foundation and Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari in 2001 to establish the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP). As director of the SOCP, he, and 90+ local staff, rescue captive orangutans and return them to life in the wild, conduct field research, monitor closely the last remaining Sumatran orangutan populations in an effort to protect their habitat, and have developed the incredible Orangutan Haven sanctuary. The Haven is a solution for orangutans that can’t be returned to the wild due to health reasons where they can live out their days, and be ambassadors for improving people’s perceptions of nature, promote animal welfare, and raise awareness to the public on the impact of their decisions on the environment. Dr. Singleton is looking forward to sharing with local conservationists his experiences on protecting endangered species and their habitats.
VINITA CONTRACTOR (India)
(Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach)
Vinita Contractor is a holistic nutrition and lifestyle coach. She is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist from American Fitness Professionals & Associates, USA and has completed the Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from eCornell and T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, New York. She has been featured several times in publications such as Mumbai Mirror, Mid-Day, Asian Age, The Hindu, Hindustan Times, Live Mint, VeganFirst, LBB etc. Vinita offers nutrition and lifestyle coaching programs which focus on various aspects of health such as providing a sound health & nutritional foundation, on-going support to her clients and has worked with people with cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, PCOS and thyroid issues. She has founded The Leaf E-academy to make healthy cooking and eating accessible for everyone. She has conducted over 125 in-person and online workshops and demos in cities in India, Indonesia, Singapore and the UK. Vinita’s specialties include vegan Satvic food and Fermented Foods – which she looks forward to sharing with everyone at the festival.
AAKASH RANISON (India)
(Climate Change Activist, Author, Artist, Documentary Filmmaker, and a Sustainability Influencer)
Awarded Climate Warrior Of The Year 2022 (Editor Choice) by Cosmopolitan Magazine & Sustainable Changemaker Of The Year 2022 (Popular Choice) by Exhibit Magazine. He creates quality content to simplify climate change and sustainability. In 2020 Aakash launched his first book on climate change and is currently writing his second book. He has created 3 Climate Art Installations, covered by over 230 national and international media publications, and he is looking forward to bringing out his 4th Art Installation by the end of the year. Aakash also works on different projects with UNDP [United Nations Development Programme], IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change], and PETA [People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals].
Dr. HARSHA ATMAKURI (India)
(Documentary Filmmaker, Vegan & Animal Rights Activist)
Dr. Harsha Atmakuri left his job as Drug Safety Physician and Medical Writer back in May 2018 to become a full-time independent animal rights activist to fight oppression done to the most innocent victims in the world – animals. He raises awareness about the violence that humans inflict on other sentient beings as part of our social condition through our lifestyle, primarily through our dietary habits. He does various forms of awareness campaigns on veganism and animal rights. In addition to producing, directing and editing short documentaries regarding veganism and animal rights, he also promotes animal rights and veganism through public outreaches, lectures in colleges and institutions, designing digital outreach posters, providing research and analysis, writing articles and conducting interviews. Harsha's upcoming feature documentary film on animal rights will be premiered at The Himalayan Vegan Festival. He's also the founder of the photoblog - Vegans of India.
VARDA MEHROTRA (India)
(Animal advocate, Founder Samayu)
Varda Mehrotra is an animal advocate and movement builder, exploring intersectional solutions. She is the co-founder of A Just World (US), and Samayu (India), both organisations which undertake intersectional work and apply a systems approach for issues surrounding justice and animals. Under her decade-long leadership, FIAPO - India’s federation for animal organisations - was recognised as one of the most effective animal charities. She has spearheaded several large-scale undercover investigations, campaigns for farmed animals and was the architect of India’s largest plant-based advocacy network – Living Free, which has created many animal advocate leaders in the country.
AILYA KHAN (Pakistan)
(Strategy Lead, Pakistan Representative at Animal Alliance Asia)
Ailya is a grass-root animal rights activist in Pakistan. She has worked in association with animal rights activists, and has an informal shelter for strays. She has been working on building awareness for animal rights in urban centers, rehoming lost and abandoned pets and fostering stray kittens for almost 5 years.
MANI KANDAN MS (India)
(Emotional Wellbeing Mentor, Author)
Mani Kandan MS (Mani) is an Emotional Wellbeing Mentor and his passion is to help Youngsters develop a positive mindset and also become emotionally strong, so that they can have a happy , meaningful and fulfilled life. He is Author of the Amazon best seller “ Be Emotionally Fit to lead a fulfilled life “ and also host of the popular weekly podcast “The Emotional People“. In his book he shares about 3 Practices / Processes / Paths To lead a fulfilled life which includes simple and easy ways that one can adopt in life like Being Grateful , Practice Visualisations, Going Vegan etc... to lead a meaningful life in this planet. Mani is a Vegan and associated with Indian first Vegan restaurant - Carrots based out of Bangalore. Additionally in the niche that he helps people with he is certified and qualified in the area of Emotional Intelligence and Parenting coaching. Mani has received various recognitions in this area of expertise and shares his knowledge & thoughts via social media channels, group coaching programs, morning practices, 1-1 coachings , online webinars and workshops. He has also been invited as guest speaker in several talk shows - To be honest with DK, Talk n Rock show, Stories of Hope ,Brain Citi, Dubai, Stories that Impact, Dream Talk show etc.
DRS. TIM REYSOO (Netherlands)
(Philosopher, Animal Rights Advocate, Public speaker, Vipassana Meditator)
Drs. Reysoo studied Philosophy (Research Master) and International Development Studies (MA) at the University of Amsterdam. He conducted his graduate fieldwork in Ghana on the role of social movements in Leaving Fossil Fuels Underground. His philosophy thesis develops the concept and social category of “species privilege” and “human innocence”. Similar to how other privileges unjustly advantage some at the expense of others (e.g. male, class, race, or caste privilege), Reysoo argues to extend the notion of social privilege to make sense of the enormous power differential between humans and animals in society. Drs. Reysoo takes a strong abolitionist approach when it comes to animal rights. Arguing for animal welfare improvements only leads astray from the goal of animal liberation. In addition to this, he has extensive experience running animal rights campaigns, doing vegan street outreach, and holding public lectures on the issue of animal oppression. His main academic interests are; Critical Animal Studies, Social and Political Philosophy, Critical Social Theory (Frankfurter School), Aesthetics, Buddhist philosophy.
PAUL PORNTHEP SRINARULA (Thailand)
(Vegan Activist & Motivational Speaker)
Paul Pornthep SriNarula is the founding president of BIVA (Bangkok International Vegan Alliance), a holistic health and vegan educator, motivational speaker and digital talk show host. A vegan for the past 35 years, Mr. SriNarula has been instrumental in growing the vegan movement in Bangkok and regularly undertakes vegan educational and outreach programmes in institutions and communities through not only the city of Bangkok, but also throughout Thailand and Southeast Asia.
EIKO AZUMANO (Japan)
(Polyglot interpreter, Director - Japan Vegetarian Society, Author of “A Little Book of Zen”)
Vegetarian since 1999, Eiko is a polyglot simultaneous interpreter (she speaks Japanese, English, Spanish, French, Brazilian Portuguese and little Romanian) and a tour guide in Kyoto, Japan. She wrote her first book “A Little Book of Zen” in 2020. In her seminar, she will share with you the wonderful world and history of Japanese Zen, Cha-No-Yu tea ceremony, Shojin-Ryouri Zen Vegan foods since 13th century, Zazen Zen meditation, Karesansui Zen garden, and an amazing connection with Tibetan buddhism. Eiko will bring a peace of Zen from Japan and hoping that the participants shall enjoy and learn about Zen teachings accompanied with the finest incense and Gyokuro green tea from Uji, Kyoto!
PRADAINI SURVA (India)
(Certified Yoga Instructor, Content Creator)
Pradaini Surva is a yoga practitioner, certified yoga instructor and a self love coach from Chennai, Tamilnadu, India. She works as content creator in Instagram promoting a plant based lifestyle and mindful living.
UPASANA BIJOOR (India)
(Plant-based Nutritionist & Holistic Health Coach, Founder of Nourish with Upasana Bijoor)
Upasana Bijoor is a plant-based nutritionist and a holistic health coach. She truly believes that nature has given us everything we need to thrive, in the form of plant foods. She switched to a plant-based diet after her health struggle and saw the immense benefits it brought to her life and made it her mission to learn more about the plant-based lifestyle. She completed the e-Cornell Plant Based Nutrition Certificate course from center for nutrition studies by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and a yearlong diploma at Institute of Integrative Nutrition NYC where she studied holistic healing modalities. She is currently pursuing functional medicine nutrition studies and believes that education should always be part of one’s growth. She has helped many clients switch to nutritious whole food plant-based lifestyle where she draws the focus on unprocessed plant foods and their healing properties. She has played a vital role in reversing diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, migraines, autoimmune conditions like psoriasis, hormonal imbalances, and other chronic lifestyle conditions, in several clients across the globe. Her dream is to see a world without suffering and people living long, healthy, medicine-free lives.
YUKARI IWAMOTO (Japan)
(Yoga & Sound Healing Artist, Designer, Co-founder of Tokyo Vegan)
Yukari Iwamoto is a certified Zuddha Yoga teacher and sound healing artist whose passion is to promote an ethical, mindful and creative way of living in harmony with nature. She takes people on a journey to a deeper meditation through her holistic approach of pranayama breathing, inspiring yoga asanas and healing sounds with a Tibetan singing bowl and a hang drum. She is also a co-founder of Tokyo Vegan, a not-for-profit organization that supports the vegan community to grow through holding social events and participating in vegan-related policy meetings with the Ministries of Japan and the All-party Parliamentary Group "Veggie Giren" / Vege Council. She holds a master's degree from Royal College of Art in UK.
KARIN OLSEN (USA)
(Holistic Health Consultant member of Natural Healers)
Karin Olsen is the founder of Plant Power Productions, a company focused on promoting a whole-food/plant-based/vegan lifestyle. Karin believes food is medicine and is passionate about helping people heal through plants-not-pills. She is a freelance writer and reviewer, and consults with VegWorld Magazine in editorial, marketing and sales. She is a certified health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and continues her studies in functional health coaching. She also teaches cooking classes, and is earning culinary certifications through Rouxbe’s Professional Plant-Based Certification Course and Matthew Kenney’s Food Future Institute. She has practised Bikram Yoga for 30 years and is a certified yoga teacher.
JENNIFER GEORGE (USA)
(Founder and president of Magic Mable Foundation)
Jennifer George is the founder and president of Magic Marble Foundation, a US-based NGO created in 2020 to advance human and non-human welfare through education, animal rescue, and environmental activism. Despite its founding at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Jennifer has built an alliance of activists spanning 7 countries and 4 continents, with projects ranging from vegan feeding programs for Covid relief, educational access for underserved communities, a humane and environmental awareness curriculum, public education campaigns for animal welfare, and free veterinary care to help reduce the suffering of homeless animals in Costa Rica and Nepal. By fostering our innate connections and empowering change at the individual level, she hopes to help create a more compassionate world.
NIDHI JAGETIA (India)
(Holistic Health Consultant member of Natural Healers)
Nidhi is a Holistic Health Consultant working on – Nutritional, Physical & Spiritual health. She is author of the book Holy Flavours. She studied & researched in Food as Medicine and mastered the tools of Iridology & Sclerology for analysing whole-body health from Sydney. She is also a member of a well-known organization of Natural Healers in Australia which gives her concrete experience and diversity to her work. She is a graduate in electronic engineering and holds a masters in business management.
PRIYANKA NAITHINI (USA)
(Food security and climate justice advocate, Content Contributor at JIVINITI Research Program)
A graduate from Clark University with a degree in International Development and Political Science, Priyanka has experience working on both national and grassroots levels to address complex global issues such as climate change, food insecurity, and racial injustice. In the field of data-driven storytelling and communications, she has worked with The World Food Prize, Harvard Medical School, the United States Department of Agriculture, and The Hunger Project. Her current role as the Communications Manager at The Virsa Foundation and JIVINITI Research Program works to uplift historically marginalized voices through advocating for plant-forward public policy, intersectional veganism, and public and planetary health. Guided by her multi-cultural roots in India and Ecuador, Priyanka believes in re-indigenizing food and lifestyle choices to connect back to the earth.
ULLA BERNHOLDT (Denmark)
(Mohanji Acharya, Mohanji Foundation)
Ulla Bernholdt is a representative of Mohanji in Nepal. She shares Mohanji’s message of positivity and unconditional love towards all beings to help create a community of compassionate and empowered people. Being a vegan is a natural choice that comes from the awareness that peace starts within us. She supports initiatives such as vegan annadan, food distributed by volunteers in Nepal and worldwide through the platform ACT4Hunger which serves food beyond species, cast, creed, country and colors. Another involvement is the Fruit tree plantation drive, a project that ensures food for future generations be it humans or animals
CHAI LAI SIONG (Malaysia)
(Mohanji Acharya, Mohanji Foundation)
Chai Lai Siong, represents Mohanji Foundation. Vegan is her lifestyle. Living in Mohanji’s teaching of kindness, compassion and unconditional love as benchmark. She supports non-violence as religion which brings different awareness level and lead her to higher consciousness of lives. Chai shares her experiences through conscious dancing, conscious walking, meditations and conscious talks of veganism. Currently Chai works with ACT 4 Ukraine, living at the the border of Romania, serving the displaced, not only humans and displaced animals
ENRIC NOGUERA (Spain)
(Global Coordinator for the NARD (National Animal Rights Day) events, Europe Coordinator for CAFT (Coalition for the Abolition for the Fur Trade))
Enric is a young animal rights activist focusing on climate and animal rights activism through grassroots organizations such as Anonymous for the Voiceless and Animal Rebellion. At a professional level, he worked at Global Animal Law - GAL Association, an organization dedicated to implement innovative legal strategies to advance animal protection at an international level. I was directly involved with the UNCAHP project (United Nations Convention on Animal Health and Protection). This treaty is a unique legal instrument that would establish uniform protection standards around the globe within the UN framework. The document is based on the principle of One Health/One Welfare, meaning that the health of animals, planet and humans are interlinked and therefore, protecting one means protecting all. At the beginning of 2022, he started working at Our Planet. Theirs Too. taking on his new role as the Global Coordinator for the NARD (National Animal Rights Day) events. He is also the Europe Coordinator for CAFT (Coalition for the Abolition for the Fur Trade), a grassroot organization that intends to end the sales and trade of fur through direct and disruptive action.
(Co-founder of Vijay Sweets)
Rhea is a passionate artist, photographer, and recipe expert who is vegan and co-founder of Vijay Sweets with the aim of crafting a new sweets with the same love, culture, and texture but with a vegan twist.
EMILY OSTLER (China)
(Research and Program Officer at the Good Food Fund, partner of China Vegan Society)
Emily Ostler is a Research and Program Officer at the Good Food Fund (良食基金), a China Vegan Society (华茻会) partner. Prior to joining the Good Food Fund, Emily worked with various international development and environmental conservation programs in the United States, Tanzania, Myanmar, and China. While living in Kunming, China, in 2019, Emily noticed the ways that traditional Chinese culinary and agricultural practices, as well as Buddhist, Confucian, and Daoist environmental ethics, offered to nourish human and planetary wellbeing. This led her pursue graduate studies in environmental ethics at Harvard Divinity School, from where she graduated in 2022. While at Harvard Divinity School, Emily ran the campus garden, initiated and co-led the Indigenous Knowledge Seminar Series, and was a member of Harvard’s Council of Student Sustainability Leaders
DASH MEIZLER (Uganda)
(Founder of the Podrska Foundation and animal liberation activist)
Dash Meizler is an accomplished humanitarian and founder of the Podrska Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to creating a world of equity, compassion, and justice by supporting vulnerable people and improving their day-to-day lives. His projects address immediate needs and have the long-term goal of enabling participants to become economically and educationally independent enough to live in harmony with others – not only with other human beings but also with non-human animals. He has a longstanding vision of multispecies justice, which is informed by his deep commitment to human and animal rights. In addition to his humanitarianism, Dash is also known for his effective and efficient animal activism throughout Uganda. His love for non-human animals inspired him to incorporate friendly, inspiring methodologies to spread veganism all over his country. He’s currently using his untiring commitment, drive, and leadership skills to bring more dignity and autonomy to both human and non-human beings in Africa — and looks forward to bringing these same values to regions all over the world.
(CEO of Vijay Sweets)
Aravind is an vegan foodie, and the CEO of India’s first vegan sweets firm. Vijay Sweets, with a family history and 30 years of expertise in the sweets sector, was able to create a multitude of entirely vegan delights that have been tried and ‘tasted’ and have commonly been labeled as ‘Scarily Vegan’ after founding his firm. Aravind and his crew specialize in producing classic sweets and savory dishes without compromising the taste by introducing vegan substitutes. He founded his own firm with the goal of being an accessible and inexpensive brand that is liked by both vegans and non-vegans!!
APRAJITA ASHISH (India)
(Social Worker, Country Liaison of India, Animal Save Movement)
Aprajita Ashish is a social worker. She completed Masters in Social Work and Counseling, and graduated with a Bachelor in Science. At present, she is working with Animal Save Movement as Country Liaison of India and Regional Liaison of Asia. She will be highlighting on the Plant-Based Treaty as well as covering aspects of effective activism and communicate about 'Animal Save Movement' on the upcoming Himalayan Vegan Festival event.
PAREEN SACHDEVA (India)
(Human, Earth and Animal Liberation (HEAL) Activist)
Pareen Sachdeva is a Ph.D. Scholar at TISS, Mumbai, who lives with a passion to protect Animals and the Environment. She is India Lead with Climate Healers and a Global Climate Reality Leader, trained by former USA Vice President Al Gore and his team. As a Human, Earth and Animal Liberation (HEAL) Activist, she runs Pareen’s Plant-Based Living (PPBL) to guide and encourage youth to make conscious compassionate choices. In 2019, PPBL organised the 14-city Compassion-in-Action Tour of India Dr. Sailesh Rao and director, Thomas W. Jackson for their award-winning documentary, A Prayer for Compassion and is bringing The Land of Ahimsa on tour to India in Aug-Sep 2022
Professor Dr. C. V. JAYANTHY (India)
(Council Member of International Vegetarian Union (IVU), Secretary of International Vegan Alliance (IVA) and Yogic Early Education Service Trust, Founder of Manushi Yoga Research Foundation)
Professor Dr. C. V. Jayanthy is the Council Member of International Vegetarian Union (IVU). She is also the Secretary of International Vegan Alliance (IVA) and Yogic Early Education Service Trust. She is the Founder of Manushi Yoga Research Foundation, Former Yoga faculty – Annamalai University India and Abroad Associate Professor in VELS University, Guiding the Ph.D Research Scholar 20 years yoga Facilitator at Manushi School Of Yoga In coordination with Yoga Alliance for Yoga TTC and International Association of Yoga Therapist - IAYT(USA). Dr. C. V. Jayanthy have framed a Curriculum for Diploma in Plant based Nutrition for Annamalai University to prevent and handle lifestyle diseases and the main vision is to make everyone healthy, happy, and enjoy their living in this universe very peacefully.
NAYAN AGARWAL (India)
(Climate & Animal Rights activist at Animal and Climate Save Movement India)
Nayan is a Climate and Animal Rights activist hailing from Delhi. She has been involved with the Animal and Climate Save Movement India since the past 2 years as a campaigner and organizer. She holds a bachelor’s degree in History from Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi. She is currently doing a Master’s in Animal Protection Laws from the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) University, Hyderabad. Her passion is steering her to new directions and explorations from the perspective of Animal Law, and diverse areas.
RAHUL NARWANE (India)
(Artist, Filmmaker - Urvarasa)
Rahul Narwane is a Pune- based artist & independent filmmaker. He is also a director of Drishyam Communications- an advertising and film production company. His passion for art and culture drives his relentless pursuit of discovering new horizons in various art forms. He has received many prestigeous awards for his artwork. He has made 2 short films and 1 documentary film which were globally acclaimed; he was invited to talk about the documentary by The Archeological Channel in the U.S . His strong inclination towards the natural world, especially animals, made him go vegan 3 years ago. He was inspired to go vegan at the Pune Health and Sustainability Conference (which took place in 2019) where he led the digital documentation. He eagerly participates in vegan activities happening across the city of Pune with Jeeva Bhavana. Rahul strongly believes that nature gives us everything we need in order to prosper in the form of plant-based foods and lifestyles. His upcoming documentary "Urvarasa" ( a joint venture with Jeeva Bhavana) will be premiered at The Himalayan Vegan Festival.
(CEO Of White Cub -india’s First Dedicated Vegan Foods Brand)
Sonal started India's first fully vegan Ice Creams over eight years ago to address a crucial gap in the Indian food market-vegan alternatives to dairy. The foundation of the company was preceded by over a decade and a half of intensive research in vegan nutrition and vegan advocacy .Over the years, her endeavor has bagged several awards and recently she has been Awarded D2C Icon of the Year 2022. Her efforts have also helped her brand win PETA Vegan Foods Awards over two successive years. As a businesswoman, she is the proud alumni of Nexus, an Innovation Hub and Business Incubator powered by the US Embassy and ACIR. Under her leadership, the brand has successfully launched many innovative products like vegan butter, buttermilk, lassi in both sweet and sugar-free versions, curds made from different plant-based milks, and yogurts. Having been the initiator of the plant-based food ecosystem in India, and by now having come this far, she is certain of the boost international vegan festivals as this one shall further provide to the global vegan space.
RAJESHWAR SINGH MAINI (India)
(Organiser, Mumbai Animal Save)
Rajeshwar Singh Maini is a civil engineer. He works for a multinational company in Mumbai. Since past many years, he has been volunteering for several vegan organizations. At present, he is one of the organizers of Mumbai Animal Save.
AVANTIKA MATHUR (India)
(Animal Rights and Climate Activist)
Avantika Mathur is an Animal Right's and climate activist from Uttar Pradesh, but currently residing in Delhi. She acquires Master Degree in Disaster Management and Climate Sustainability from Jamia Millia Islamia. At present, she is pursuing a PG Diploma in Environment Protection Law. She has been working as a campaigner for Animal Save and Climate Save Movement Delhi for the past 2 years now.
(Writer, Engineer with Post Graduat Diploma in Environmental Policy)
Rucha is an engineer with a Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Policy and Law from National Law University, Delhi. By profession she is a writer and helps sustainability focused start-ups with communication and branding. She also has her own public page on social media where she tries to educate people about transitioning to a more sustainable lifestyle, focusing on our relationship with food. Rucha strongly agrees that climate education is of the most importance at the moment, and hopes that more people get motivated to fight for their right to a peaceful, healthier bodies, and cleaner skies.
ALDEN DAZE (Indonesia)
(Animal Rights Activist, Vice-Chair of World Vegan Organisation Indonesia)
Alden Daze is an animal rights activist based in Bali. As vice-chair of WVO Indonesia, he is currently an organiser for the Ubud International Vegan Festival 2022. To raise awareness about the oppression of non-human animals, he has spent years doing vegan street outreach, giving talks on ethics at public events, organising social activities, undertaking vegan outreach programmes in community centres, launching investigations, as well as rescuing and fostering street dogs in Bali. He has used his skills and occupations to promote veganism, including through photography, food production and social media marketing.
MS. NABI (Venezuela/Lebanon)
(A Yoga Instructor- 200-hour Certification In Hata Yoga And 50-hours In Yin Yoga)
Yoga can be the easiest thing to practice and the hardest to master. Therefore, Ms. Nabi's style of asana practice is loving kindness. She encourages those who would like to share the practice with her to listen to their bodies, to breath and to be gentle with themselves. Although we gather to practice together, we should be able to respect ourselves and others. It's not a competition, it's a gradual process to know ourselves. Nabi's favorite style of practice is Yang/Yin simply because it brings about balance, which should be our natural state, and sometimes it just feels right to give our body a break. Whatever style you want to practice, just remember to do it with loving kindness, respect, patience, and continuity. That's all it takes. Anybody can breathe. Therefore, anybody can practice yoga.
AJIT THAPA (Nepal)
(General Secretary WVO Nepal, Scholar-PhD Candidate in Sociology, Conservationist, Human Resources Expert, Former Director of Recruitment & Retired Brigadier General, Nepal Army)
Ajit is a dynamic Human Resources professional with 35 years of military experience providing guidance on human resources operational topics and challenges. Ajit’s love of wildlife and animals grew immensely during his duty in Nepal’s national parks, and he is now an avid promoter of veganism for animals, the environment, and health. Ajit has years of experience and extensive skills in HR administration, UN Peacekeeping missions and teaching both in the military as well as civil colleges. He is a Professional National Park Conservationist winning the Nancy Abraham Conservation International Award (Individual) and IUCN commendation for the Security Duty in National Parks in 2006.
Dr. GOVINDA TANDON (Nepal)
(Nepalese History, Culture and Archaeology Expert)
Dr. Tandon did his PhD on ‘Cultural study of Pashupati Area’ through Tribhuvan University and is considered an expert on Nepalese history, culture and archaeology, and is also founding member of SPCA Nepal (Society of People Against Cruelty Towards Animals). He has been awarded different royal awards in addition to SAARC medal, JhapatSingh Prize, Gunaraj Prize, BhupalManSingh Prize etc. He observes Sattvic diet lifestyle and is against oppression and superstition. He believes in positively uplifting humanity through a plant based and violence free lifestyle, and considers animal sacrifice a evil. Recognizing the existence of animals and accepting that the world is also for them, he looks forward to build a violence free society while making the most out of plant based lifestyle in order to preserve health, environment, etc
SURESH P. SHARMA (Nepal)
(Vegan Activist, WVO Chair Nepal, and Director of VegVoyages Himalayas Vegan Tours)
Suresh is the Nepal chair of the World Vegan Organisation and co-founder of the Nepal Vegetarian Association. As the director of Himalayan Operations at VegVoyages Vegan Adventures, he organized and led the first international vegan tour group in the country. Suresh has travelled extensively in the region, leading hundreds of holistic tours. He holds a master’s in Sanskrit and Oriental Philosophy. Suresh dreams of building a peaceful society in Nepal by promoting veganism and hopes to make Nepal the world’s best vegan destination.
SHRISTI SINGH SHRESTHA (Nepal)
(Animal Rights Advocate, Vegan Activist and Vice-President, Animal Nepal)
Shristi is a key animal welfare campaigner at the community and policy level for several leading animal rights organizations in Nepal. Her journey began when an abandoned calf died in her arms, which made her become vegan. Shristi’s goal is to create a country where all living beings are treated with respect, kindness, and granted their freedom. She is currently involved in an initiative to ban elephant riding and exploitation in Nepal permanently. Shristi is also Vice-President of Animal Nepal, which works through interventions, animal rescue, research, education, campaigns, and advocacy to create protective rights for animals.
RAMJI ADHIKARI (Nepal)
(Founder of Manavsewa Ashram, Social Vegan Activist & Youth Mobilizer)
Ramji Adhikari is the founder of Manavsewa Ashram – a non-profit motive social organization which has been conducting Humanity Amplification Movement all over the nation by providing service of food, shelter, medication, skill development, and family rehabilitation to the needy, homeless, physically and mentally challenged people who are not recognized by the society too. Till the date, Mr. Adhikari has been facilitating thousands of youth on positive living and leadership development. He is a many in one package as youth mentor, life coach, social activist, career planner etc. He has been honored by Janasewa Shree Padak – 2075 by Honorable President of Nepal along with dozens of other recognitions. Besides the active involvement in Manavsewa Ashram, he is also involved in Thoughts for Super Living as a founder secretary, Lions Club of Intellectual as a founder member etc.
BEENA PANTA (Nepal)
(SPCA Nepal General Secretary, Animal Rights Activists and Vegan Advocates)
Beena Panta is a compassionate animal rights activist who oversees coordinating food supplies, logistics, volunteers, and rescue efforts throughout the city for the SPCA Nepal. A passionate animal lover, Beena Panta can’t pass a dog without getting it food, accompanied by lots of attention and hugs. Beena Panta already busy coordinating the large-scale spay/neuter program that the entire team, along with other activists, will be organizing post-lockdown.
BABITA SHRESTHA (Nepal)
(Plant-based chef, photographer, graphic designer, and filmmaker)
Babita Shrestha is the creative mind behind Vegan Nepal (vegannepal.net). She is a plantbased chef, photographer, graphic designer, and filmmaker. She enjoys creating new unique flavors in all of her endeavors. Babita is the author of the upcoming cookbook “Plant-based Himalaya”. Every recipe, photo, illustration, and even the layout are of her own fabrication. She is an advocate for living a self sustainable and healthy lifestyle with a focus on Ayurvedic practices.
SNEHA SHRESTHA (Nepal)
(Vegan & Animal Rights Activist & Founder of Sneha’s Care)
Sneha Shrestha is a vegan animal rights' activist and founder of Sneha’s Care. Sneha Care is involved in rescuing injured dogs, providing shelter to disabled dogs, adopting abandon pets, and providing animal birth control and humane education. Her organization works to provide a warm and comfortable home to unwanted, abused and stray animals in a loving and caring environment, including opening a special animal shelter that accommodates more than 300 dogs. Her organization so far has rescued more than 10,000 injured dogs and vaccinated more than 12,000 street dogs. As one of Nepal’s most vocal animal rights advocates, Sneha also conducts awareness programs for animal welfare throughout the country where she has successfully campaigned the government to adopt the country’s first animal protection law, as well as set new standards covering buffaloes in transport coming from the India-Nepal border.
VIKSHU ANG PHURI SHERPA (Nepal)
(Plant-based Health Advocate & Vegan Monk)
After getting a Bachelor’s in Education Science and a Master in Business Administration, Vikshu taught science at school before working in various international development organizations. But his true calling didn’t come until he began following a path he had started as a child, studying Buddhist Dharma. Realizing this, he gave up his job and became a monk at the age of 40, dedicating his life to serving others, where he received a “Lama” title from His Holiness Penor Rinpoche. A strict vegetarian for 22 years and recently turned raw foodist, Vikshu advocates the wonderful health benefits from following a plant-based diet and passionately promotes a vegetarian lifestyle to be embraced within Buddhist communities. He has distributed millions of vegetarian leaflets and videos in Nepal and India with the help of other vegetarian activists. He is promoting plant-based awareness through Buddhist teachings in communities, and participates with many animal rights and vegetarian/vegan related organizations and religious groups. He is also the author of “Vegetarian Virtuous Food” book, which is published in both English and Nepali.
SURAJAN SHRESTHA (Nepal)
(Co-founder of Animal Rights Club (ARC) and a founding member of World Vegan Organisation Nepal (WVON)
Witnessing the cruel practice of animal sacrifice in various festivals for a long time, he shifted himself towards living a compassionate life when he was 10 years old. He always wanted to help the animals. That’s why he co-founded ARC to advocate for animal welfare/rights issues in his community. Since founding ARC in 2012, Shrestha has directed the organization’s growth into a leading force in the prevention of cruelty to animals and promotion of compassionate food choices. A recognized speaker on animal advocacy, wildlife, and environment conservation, Shrestha has presented at schools and many other forums. Through his work with ARC, Shrestha has been an outspoken advocate for animal rights.
BINDU BHANDARI (Nepal)
(Climate Change Communicator, Outreach and Engagement Manager at Climate Interactive)
Bindu Bhandari is a climate change campaigner turned communicator from Nepal. Over the last eight years, she has worked in different capacities with a wide range of institutions to deliver climate change training and workshops for youth networks, educators and business groups around the globe. Currently, she works with a not-for-profit think tank called Climate Interactive. Her work focuses on using interactive climate tools to deliver system insights that are policy-relevant for mitigating climate change with equitable policies. Ms Bhandari was a Chevening scholar and holds a masters degree in Climate Change Science and Policy from the University of Bristol.
MOHAN KHAREL (Nepal)
(Vegan Activist and Ph. D. holder in Animal Genetics)
Mohan Kharel is a vegan and vegetarian activist as well as the Chairman of the Sanatan Study and Research Academy in Nepal since 2020. Mohan Kharel is a retired professor at Kathmandu, Nepal's Tribhuvan University. He used to teach M.Sc. Biotechnology students about cell biology, animal genetics, and research methodology. After receiving initiation from Supreme Master Ching Hai, he involved himself in the theory and practice of Quan-Yin meditation. Also self-studied eastern and western religions and philosophies.
DIPAK RAJ JOSHI (Nepal)
Deepak Raj Joshi is a Telecommunication Engineer by Profession. He is currently the Managing Director of New Millennium College. He practices minimalism and is a vegan. He practices living a holistic lifestyle and is an optimistic person. He loves what he does and is quite passionate about it. He practices on experiencing the joy of living a healthy and balanced life by synthesizing and restoring the balance between body, mind, soul, and spirit to live a more successful and meaningful life.
Dr. HARI PRASAD POKHAREL (Nepal)
(Patron of Sarvodaya Sewashram)
Dr. Hari Prasad Pokharel is the co-ordinator of Community Medicine Auxiliary in Mature-Cure(CMA-N). He is Expert in Stress Management by Yoga and Naturopathy. He is the Director of Effect Of Yoga on Hypertension. He has written many books. He has received many awards like Noorganga Prativa Puraskar Guthi Nepal,Basudev Dhakal Borakhyanath Samman and many more. He is a member of Sundar Charpate Club.
PRAMADA SHAH (Nepal)
(Social Activist and Animal Lover)
Pramada is an ardent animal lover and tirelessly advocates for animal welfare. She is a social activist who co-founded Animal Nepal as an NGO in 2009. She is one of the founders of Saathi which is a pioneering NGO to break the silence on domestic violence against women and children. She is also the founder of Burns Violence Survivors Nepal which is an NGO supporting acid and burn violence survivors. She is married and has one son, she has a large family consisting of a Tibetan Mastiff, 8 Tibetan Spaniels and 3 rescued strays.
SAMU YONZON (Nepal)
(Vegan, Founder of Loving Heart Vegan Restaurant)
Samu Yonzon is the founder and owner of Nepal's first vegan restaurant. She started Loving Heart Vegan Restaurant in 2014 after recognizing the lack of vegan food options while traveling. Her restaurant is a safe space for all vegan travelers who are looking for local and clean foods. Samu has been vegan for over 22 years. She started the restaurant at the time when veganism was still unknown in Nepal and being a women-led restaurant she has become an inspiration to many throughout the years.
NIRMALA GURUNG (Nepal)
(Vegan and co-founder of C-YA Vegan Restaurant)
Nirmala Gurung is the co-founder of C-YA Vegan Restaurant located in Jhamsikhel,Lalitpur has been serving 100% vegan foods and drinks since 2019. The above-named company has successfully completed all the requirements of the vegan certificate process and maintains the standard and guidelines established and set by the World Vega Organization.They provide a variety of authentic vegan food including Seitan(Vegan meat, made from grains, mushrooms and plants). She is also an animal activist and supports animal rights.
DHANANJAYA REGMI (Nepal)
CEO Nepal Tourism Board
MONK SUMANGALU (Nepal)
SHIV RAJ BHATTA (Nepal)
(Conservation Program Director in WWF Nepal)
Shiv Raj Bhatta's career in conservation dates back 1989 when he started as an Assistant Warden for Royal Chitwan National Park. Mr. Bhatta served as Warden/Chief Warden of Rara, Langtang, Bardia and Chitwan National Parks. He completed his Master of Science in Natural Resources Management and Sustainable Agriculture from Agricultural University of Norway with his thesis on the “Beginning of Buffer Zone management”. His primary role to the Government was to manage park and buffer zone. He also conducted study on Human-elephant conflict in Nepal and was directly involved in managing human-wildlife conflict in these PAs. In 2010 ,after over two decades of service with the Government of Nepal in various roles, he Joined WWF Nepal as a coordinator of Terai Arc Landscape. He served as deputy director, Director and currently as Conservation Program Director in WWF Nepal. In this role, WWF being a close conservation partner of the Government of Nepal, he is involved in leading and facilitating different preventive and curative measures of Human-wildlife conflict management including other aspects of biodiversity conservation and community development.