Mahersh & Nishma Shah
Being born into a Jain culture, we had a head start in animal rights and related issues, and were brought up as vegetarians (apart from a brief meat-eating lapse in Mahersh's confused teenage years!).
We are now vegan and try to do what we can for this vital movement of the 21st century. Although we have been members of Animal Aid for several years, it is only in the last two years that we have become more active.
A couple of years ago, we started attending various vegan-related events, including the Christmas Without Cruelty Fayre. Through such events, we met amazing people living cruelty-free and compassionate lives. These included the staff and volunteers of Animal Aid and other campaign groups, those who run animal sanctuaries and others who produce and sell cruelty-free products and food items. Importantly, all these people were united in the common cause of actively pushing the vegan message, inspiring and motivating us to become more active.
One important step forward was joining Animal Aid's excellent school speaker network, through which the organisation trains and supplies us with some brilliant audio-visual materials and factsheets that enable us to deliver informative and effective school talks and cookery demonstrations.
Nishma's cooking skills meant that we could also do our bit through vegan catering, and so we launched Shambhu's Kitchen in October 2005. We have catered at various vegan events since, including the Christmas Without Cruelty Fayre. We also run a vegan lunch delivery service in central London. In case you are wondering, Shambhu's Kitchen is named after our beloved labrador, Shambhu, also practically vegan and very healthy and happy for it!
(To contact Shambhu’s Kitchen mail@ShambhusKitchen.co.uk)