Veganism is a way of life that has continued to grow, but its roots are deeply ingrained and go back almost as far as religion itself. The avoidance of meat has been rooted in more than one belief and the reasons for the decision are varying, but for Asif Ali Gohar it changed not only his life but the lives of those in his family, those he works with in business, and how society is able to make better materials that are safer for the environment.
When asked about how it was to grow up as a vegan in a household that was not vegan, and even in a community that would not have a large portion of the population making that choice, he responded with his own experience. Though the experience of each individual will differ, even when they make the same choices, this will not be how everyone experiences it, but how he did within his own home and family.
Mealtime, especially supper, is when the family would sit and eat together. They would discuss their days, their plans for the coming day or week, and even what they hoped to get out of life as a whole. These discussions were often a time to share things that may not come up in conversation other times. It was here, among his family, that he was safe to voice opinions and feelings and to determine that he will no longer eat meat or animal products. Each meal from then on was altered to fit, and this sometimes meant that the whole family ate a vegan meal or that an alternative was created for him.
Having a supportive family was necessary during this process, and Asif Ali Gohar had that support. They happily ate meals that were adapted for his needs and encouraged him to follow his own beliefs and preferences. Each meal was prepared with love and eaten alongside the family, regardless of it being two different versions or one meal for everyone that was vegan friendly. Packed lunches were made with foods that observed the vegan lifestyle, but other changes were also needed.
By living a vegan lifestyle not only were meat and dairy removed from his diet, but leather, wool, and other clothing items were no longer used. Clothing items needed to be sourced differently, from shoes to pants and everything in between. It resulted in many changes to household items, and choosing to be vegan also affects personal care items and cleaning supplies.
To support him the best they could, his family made all of these changes for his life. However, his family was able to maintain their own lifestyles in many ways, with the most prominent change being food choices and meals. Without changing their own lifestyles completely, they were able to create a balance that met the needs of the entire family and help him to grow in a supportive environment. This is what allowed his discover of rice for a leather like material and encouraged him to follow through with the idea.