BENGALURU: A “hard-core non-vegetarian”, Aashti Sindhu grew up eating meat until a stray comment by a friend got her thinking about the suffering animals are put through. “We were having a meal which just happened to be vegan. I was telling her about my love for beef when she asked whether I had looked into the eyes of a cow,” she says. While the question caught her off-guard, she found herself watching a PETA video on a person’s journey to being vegan. One thing led to another and Aashti soon found herself dropping animal-based products from her meals four years ago.
The pilot with Indigo Airlines then started a venture Bella’s Bowls, which focuses on smoothies, during the lockdown, and now plans to donate proceeds to animal-welfare organisations. “The idea behind this venture is to inspire people to eat healthy while knowing they are making making a difference to some of the most overlooked animals in our society,” says Aashti, who has been a pilot for the last 14 years, flying both the domestic and international sectors. In fact, the inspiration behind the idea of Bella’s Bowls was Grace, her pet dog who is no more, it is named after her pup Bella.
Aashti, who has also studied nutrition from Cornell University and AFPA in the USA, operates her venture between Monday and Saturday, 12pm and 5pm, for which she has also hired one staff member to ensure that deliveries carry on even when she’s flying. With seven varieties, some of which includes Apple Pie, Green Ninja, and Lean Green Grape Machine, Aashti uses oat or nut milk sweetened with dates, homemade protein power to make the smoothies nutritionally dense.
Prepared at her residence in Vasanth Nagar, her preparations are available on Swiggy and Zomato and start from `270. “I heard a shocking statistic a few years ago, which has been pivotal in my decision to help farmed animals. Only 10 per cent of donations in the world go to animal welfare. And out of that, a mere 1 per cent goes towards farmed animals. People prefer to contribute towards dogs and cats maybe because they don’t know the plight of these other animals,” she says about her choice to donate to these organisations.