In conversation with Assile Beydoun, founder of Dubai Vegan Community

In conversation with Assile Beydoun, founder of Dubai Vegan Community

Published: Fri 19 Jul 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 19 Jul 2019, 2:00 AM

The number one item on your wish list.
Easy - that every slaughterhouse in the world shuts down! We have more than enough land and crop to end world hunger if we all move towards a plant-based diet. This is how we can change the world.
Describe your work in a sentence.
Dubai Vegan Community is an active support group in Dubai that aims to spread awareness about healthier life choices, establishing and protecting the rights of all animals, and building a sustainable planet.
The biggest learning point or experience in your life.
I spent the majority of my life believing that nothing about my life was special. Three years ago, I met someone who taught me that, in our own ways, we are all extraordinary. If we believe we can contribute to the world, we will. With the right mindset, we all have what it takes to be remarkable, to matter, to make a difference.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
Definitely the people I get to meet. The vegan community is thriving in Dubai and every single person you meet has such an inspirational story. Spending time with them and hearing their stories is truly the greatest blessing.
What advice would you give your younger self, if you could?
You are just one little speck in the vast canvas of the universe. Be grateful to be alive and appreciate your role in this planet. The world is too big to be revolving around you, so be humble and accept that every person is on their own journey and has their own story. Have the courage to take a step back and make room for others around you to follow their paths too.
If you could move to any place in the world, what place would that be?
It would have to be the Amazon rainforest. Unfortunately, this biodiverse sanctuary is slowly disappearing, and changing the course of the planet with it. Statistics peg 91% of the destruction of the Amazon rainforest on animal agriculture, so the only way to stop the escalation of the damage caused is by dramatically cutting down, if not completely eliminating, meat consumption. Until then, we need to savour the Amazon before it is completely destroyed - or saved.
Favourite fictional character of all time - and why?
Definitely Sherlock Holmes. I love how he is portrayed as being intelligent yet quirky. With his invaluable contribution to society, he's somehow still a misunderstood outcast. It's hard to fit in, but it's even harder to stand out!
The best thing you've ever bought yourself - and why?
A ticket. I was going through a personal struggle that had consumed me and spontaneously bought a plane ticket to Bali to 'get away'. Little did I know I was not running away from something but walking into a whole new world. I spent 10 days on a fast, learning about meditation and breath-work. It was a major turning point for me and the start of my journey towards a vegan lifestyle.
A superpower you wish you had.
Being able to magically heal other creatures, both humans and animals. To either cure them physically from any illness, or mentally and spiritually by letting them overcome the pain, let go of it and move on.
If you were the head of your country, what is the first thing you would do?
I would make it illegal to cause any pain or suffering to any of the country's creatures. Animals would be treated as friends - not food. They should be acknowledged for the sentient beings that they are.
- Staff reporter

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