An interview with Cowvathi's Shasvathi Siva
Who would have thought that a former copywriter, who didn’t step into the kitchen often, would begin her entrepreneurial journey by cooking up flavorful vegan cheese someday? Well, Shasvathi Siva for one never did, but with the transformation to veganism, she knew she had to change the way people treated cows. With her unending love for animals, She soon began Cowvathi, a startup that aims to bring better diary alternatives. Let us meet and know more about this young and charismatic entrepreneur, who follows the ‘No food with a face’ mantra.
I went vegan 5+ years ago. I was always a vegetarian and believed that I wasn't harming animals. Until one day when I realized that the dairy industry is one of the worst perpetrators of violence and abuse. I just couldn't consume dairy after that. And soon, I became vegan.
Happy. Compassionate. Confused.
Can you tell us a bit about your entrepreneurial journey with Cowvathi?
Sure. Cowvathi started off as a blog + Instagram account one random day when I just happened to be toying around with this cow from a farm set. The page and posts got a really good response and that kept me motivated to keep cooking more and posting more. On the parallel side of things, I was a frustrated copywriter in advertising, with a gnawing pain every day that I wasn't doing my bit for the animals. After I reached a breaking point, I quit my job. I worked at other vegan businesses to gain experience and understood better. I came back to Mumbai and decided to start off with vegan cheese. It took me almost 3-4 months to get the recipe right. And once I did, I did not look back. I took a deep breath and swam right in.
What are some of the questions that people ask you about veganism ‘all the time’?
"But what about protein?" "How come there is a cow on your product when it is vegan?" "But isn't veganism so expensive?" "How are you vegan when you travel?" "What will happen to all the cows if the world goes vegan overnight?"
(Left) Picture Credits: Ramkumar Ramachandran
Your Instagram bio reads ‘Trying to build a sustainable wardrobe’. How is that working out for you?
It's working out okay. Fast fashion is almost like a drug, keeping us addicted. I try to re-purpose as many older clothes as possible and style them differently. If I do buy new clothes, I give away the same number of clothing items to someone in need. I'm consciously buying only from smaller businesses that are working very hard in building a sustainable world.
What do you love about Broke Mate?
I love the fact that you have a conscious heart while making bags so trendy and fashionable. I wholeheartedly wish the entire team of Broke Mate the best of luck with this amazing business.
We believe that a woman as purposeful as Shasvathi is bound to change the way we consume dairy every day.
Get some Cowvathi's Vegan Cheese here: