First female Indian vegan climbs Mt Everest
In May 2022, Prakriti Varshney became the first female Indian vegan (possibly the first female vegan worldwide) to successfully scale Mount Everest. She has since scaled three of the highest mountains in Africa, and aims to climb nine more in various countries this year.
Twenty-six year old Prakriti had been vegan for more than five years before starting this climb. She originally embraced the vegan lifestyle after learning about the impact of the dairy industry on the environment and the animals themselves. She volunteers with an animal rescue nonprofit and uses social media to encourage people to take care of animals. She brought her sustainability concerns with her during her Everest expedition by being very conscious of what she left behind on the mountain. She was shocked by the amount of garbage left behind by other climbers.
Prakriti originally worked as a fashion designer in Dehli, but has since moved to Manali in the western Himalayan mountains, 338 miles northeast of Dehli. She has started a home stay for travelers and tourists so that she can be closer to the mountains she loves. She notes that it takes a lot of strength to be a mountaineer, and so traditionally it has been a male-dominated field. But she has been able to carry more than 15kg of luggage while climbing mountains, despite being only 5ft tall, and all on a vegan diet!