Well this is the most asked question that we get from people when inquiring about us. And the simple answer is: because there was a need for it. How do we know? Because we ourselves being vegetarians experienced the necessity to have one.
And here is where we can tell you about our story and who we are…
We are a half Canadian and half Chilean family. Me (Sebastian), and my wife (Lila), got married in Chile in 2005, and then started our journey, going first to Canada and having 3 of our babies: Shyama a girl, then Chandra a boy and Kalavati a girl. Then, when our baby Kalavati was just born, in 2010, we decided to move to India as we wanted to do some studies and live in a Hare Krishna community. Later we had our fourth child, Subal. From India we would come every year on Holydays to Krabi for few weeks. And then was when we had our first experience as vegetarians that there was a need for a vegetarian restaurant in Ao Nang. At that time, we either had to go every day to Krabi town for food or cook in our rooms in a rice cooker. Not the most convenient thing to do as you can imagine.
And why not eat some vegetarian option from any restaurant? Well usually for many of us strict vegetarians, eating in a place where they are cooking meat and using non vegetarian sauces is not so appealing, therefore we prefer to eat at a vegetarian place better.
Hence, after coming for 5 years every summer to Ao Nang, and hearing from our friends here that there were many people under a similar difficulty, we decided that we should start something here. Moreover, we already had some experience from before, having a successful restaurant in Chile for 4 years. And that’s how we became determined to the idea of starting a vegetarian restaurant here in Ao Nang.
Ok, then the next question is, why be a vegetarian in the first place?
Well to be honest there are many reasons why someone would change his/her diet to a vegetarian one, and here I will provide you with some reasons that may be interesting for the reader:
- It makes economic sense: A vegetarian diet is not only good for one’s personal health; it’s also good for any nation’s economy. Five diet-related chronic diseases cost the U.S. economy a staggering $1 trillion each year! This is an estimate of direct medical costs and the indirect impact of productivity losses due to illness and premature death associated with chronic heart disease and stroke, obesity, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Diet-related diseases are costly and preventable, so the message is clear. Eat healthier now or pay later for increased health care costs.
- Help end World Hunger: On average, 40% of global grain production is used to feed livestock, although in richer countries the proportion of grain used for animal feed is around 70%. “If all food crops grown globally were fed directly to humans instead of animals, around 70% more food would be added to the world’s supply, which would be enough to feed 4 billion additional people. Rather than cycle crops through livestock, that sudden surplus alone would be enough food to feed over half the humans on earth, let alone the 795 million who face hunger every day.”
- Is good for your Health: Vegetarian diets tend to be naturally lower in saturated fat and cholesterol and have a higher intake of plant nutrients than most meat-based diets. Vegetarians have been shown to have a 24% lower risk of dying of heart disease than non-vegetarians. Also there is evidence that vegetarians tend to have a lower overall rate of cancer compared to the general population. Furthermore, flesh foods can harbour contaminants such as hormones, herbicides and pesticides, and antibiotics. As these toxins are all fat-soluble, they concentrate in the fatty flesh of the animals. Not to mention the viruses, bacteria and parasites such as salmonella, trichinella and other worms, and toxoplasmosis parasites.
A 12-year Oxford study published in the British Medical Journal found that vegetarians outlive meat eaters by six years. Plant-based diets are generally rich in fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which in turn strengthens the immune system and slows down the aging process. Additionally, a vegetarian diet can prevent and reverse certain chronic diseases so it makes sense that vegetarians have a longer life span!
- Have compassion for animals: Animals on today’s factory farms have no legal protection from cruelty that would be illegal if it were inflicted on dogs or cats. Yet farmed animals are no less intelligent or capable of feeling pain than are the dogs and cats we cherish as companions. A vegetarian lifestyle awakens our spirit of compassion and guides us towards a kinder, gentler society in which we exercise a moral choice to protect animals—not exploit them.
- The spiritual reason: For those that are following the spiritual path, a diet is something that reflects your state of awareness, as unnecessary violence is not a helper in the uplifting of our consciousness. Therefore, many saints and renowned philosophers advocate for a vegetarian diet, like: Buddha, Saint Francis of Assisi, Pythagoras, Socrates, Leonardo Da Vinci, Isaac Newton, Einstein, Tesla and many others.
Indeed, the concept that God has created this world for our pleasure is erroneous and the source of most of our current problems in the modern world. This world was created for the service of God, and we are part of it, with higher power and therefore higher responsibilities to care for the rest of the creation, or our world. Not to exploit it for our own sense gratification.
And taking care, of our perhaps less intelligent little brothers animals, is our duty as responsible humans. It doesn’t matter from which religion we belong to; this is just simple common sense. God doesn’t like to see humans exploiting animals because they are less intelligent, or cannot communicate their thoughts. And I am certain that there is no religion or spiritual path that would oppose a vegetarian diet. Therefore, a diet free from animal products is the most suitable for a merciful and responsible human being.
Finally, I must say that due to the influence of internet, and its overwhelming source of information, more and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of the vegetarian lifestyle, and thus is a growing trend in our modern world. Of course this is a good thing for my business, but more importantly, is a good thing for the whole world, and we invite all of you to try it and discover by yourself the benefits of it, and how it feels to be part of the solution to many of the problems of our current world.