“Become what you see in the world.” As a crusader for veganism and animal rights, Keval has a great belief that this is the way to go to counter climate change and carbon footprint.
The adage best personifies this guest for this episode.
Keval Shah joined the practice in 2010. He graduated from Guy’s King’s and Thomas’ Dental Institute in 2006 and worked in practice for a year before working as a Senior House Officer in Lincoln and Kettering in the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery department.
This was followed by a year of training in Special care Dentistry in Northampton, where he treated patients with special needs and dental phobia. He went to work in a village in rural India, helping people with their dental problems. He has a particular interest in minimally invasive dentistry and cosmetic treatment and hopes to train further in providing simple orthodontic treatment.
When out of work, he reads extensively about nutrition and its healing potential. He is a consistent crusader for animal rights and helps organise events related to environmental conservation. Swimming and keeping fit, and spending time with loved ones are what he enjoys the most.
Join Keval as he gets passionate about his own beliefs and preference about veganism and animal rights.
Learn why there is this burning desire in him about delivering his message for everyone to go vegan and respecting animal rights.
Keval gets his message across, especially in how being vegan has given him optimal results in his health issues.
He discusses how this lifestyle translates to saving the world. For him, veganism will save us from water shortage and hunger.
It is his life-long mission for everyone to be made aware that veganism saves the world from climate change.
Let’s dive deep into the conversation.
It is about going on the journey and realizing that there is so much we can do to change. Taking those steps, you are becoming part of a healing planet. Because we have burned it a lot and it’s time to start healing again by finding our way back to living simply. – Keval Shah
What you will discover from this episode
04:08 Keval’s simple childhood years, family background, and life in Kenya
06:49 What is the principles and history of Jainism
07:44 How he was brought up to be vegetarian
15:27 Why he stopped eating meat and started being vegetarian again
23:09 The inconvenient truth about the free-range animals, and humane killing of animals
37:55 Can going vegan cut off your carbon footprint
42:21 How does he combine his veganism belief and dental practice
45:48 Will going vegan prevents climate change
48:43 What pushes him to become a vegan crusader
50:36 How can we urge dentists fight to reduce the carbon footprint
01:05:18 How to start transitioning to a vegan diet
Connect With Keval Shah
Connect with Prav and Payman:
Prav Solanki: Hey guys and welcome to the Dental Leaders Podcast. Today we have the pleasure of interviewing Keval Shah. What a guy? I’ve been a vegetarian myself, having been brought up as a vegetarian, then switching to becoming a meat-eater and then recently going vegetarian again. I had lots and lots and lots in common with this guy. But more importantly, he teaches so much and he had so many strong arguments for his vegan movement, his Save The Planet movement. And what was really, really clear to me from meeting him in person was the energy. I mean, he brought his chickens along to the interview, Rubi and Rata and we are all going to learn something about what we put in our mouths and just being mindful of where that’s come from, how it’s been treated and since … The interview bit, me think about what goes on my plate, where it comes from and these strong arguments behind it and Pay you’re the meat eater that I know, right?
Payman: Am I?
Prav Solanki: Yeah, you are the meat-eater, right? So just tell me from your perspective.
Payman: Yeah. It certainly made you look at yourself a little bit. I mean, it’s funny just as I said to him on the conversation that I didn’t know some of the stuff about the way meats made, produced and slaughterhouses and all that. And you’re right, when I look at my plate now, particularly lamb is beginning to bother me. Strangely, it’s my favourite meat as well, and eggs. I never thought there was any problems with eggs. And that question of, “Am I now going to go vegan?” The share price of several restaurants in London will go down if I do that. But it’s one of those things now where before I used to actually think there was something wrong with going vegan or vegetarian. Now, it’s the same thing I think about exercise. I would love to do more of it and I would love to be a vegan. Am I going to be? Not sure-
Prav Solanki: I don’t think so. But I think just more mindful about what goes on your plate. The other evening I was speaking to my brother-in-law, there’s a dead chicken sitting on your plate, cut in pieces, right? And he accepts that and understands that we all do, right? But what he felt most guilty about was when he throws the excess away. Whatever suffering has gone on has then happened to go in the bin. Anyway, listen, we’re getting, we’re digressing here. There’s lots to learn from here.
Payman: Yeah, super lovely guy as well.
Prav Solanki: Enjoy guys.
Payman: Enjoy guys.
Keval Shah: Honey is essentially bee vomit.
Prav Solanki: I don’t eat any sugar at the moment. But, the fact that you’ve just described honey as bee vomit …
Keval Shah: It wouldn’t sell. It wouldn’t sell if it was advertised as bee vomit, that’s the thing.
Voiceover: This is Dental Leaders the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry, your host Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.
Prav Solanki: Keval, welcome to the Dental Leaders Podcast. This is one of the podcasts I’ve probably been most excited about simply because the lot of the messages that you put out on social media really do resonate with me and a lot of my beliefs and the way revolving around veganism in your diet and also educating the public about how animals are treated as part of the processing, creating food. And I’m sure we’re going to go a lot deeper in that and understand and learn more about your philosophy behind that and your beliefs. But just like to kick things off and learn a little bit more about your background. Just tell us where you were born, where you were brought up and then schooling and education. If you just give us the little bit of background on your backstory, Keval.
Keval Shah: Thank you Prav, I was actually born in London and then within the first year we all moved to Nairobi in Kenya where my dad and mom actually grew up. My grandparents were there, so we all were living together there. But I spent the first 15 years living there, studying there. And it was amazing because we had these community schools that, and then we all went to together and nursery primary, secondary is all just and I’m very easy to get into. Education was amazing, totally in a world class. And we were doing the old GCSE system on the O-levels. By the time that we decided to come back here for A-levels, the level of mathematics and sciences and things that we had done helped me a lot too just basically excel at A-levels as well and then get into dentistry.
Keval Shah: But the life in Kenya was very interesting but very enjoyable as well. At that time things were stable. Obviously there was a lot of corruption, a lot of poverty and that never went away. But we’d see a lot of street kids just trying to find enough food to survive, a lot of orphans, HIV was on the rise. We always used to see the discrepancy between the rich and the poor is a massive we had the multimillionaires on one side and the extremely poor and the other on.
Prav Solanki: Where did you sit in that mix? What was going on at that particular time?
Keval Shah: Middle class. Dad was an accountant. Mom used to do voluntary work for the community. So, we were fortunate. I mean, we had a house, we had water and electricity, car, family unit. Anything that you could ask for we had it. But in terms of wildlife in Kenya, it’s a massive tourism industry. And even at that time with all the protection they had, there was a lot of poaching going on as well. A lot of elephants dying because of the ivory. And I remember one time when the President himself ordered the burning, all the tusks that confiscated from the poachers. These are some of these defining moments that I remember in Kenya. People suffering, animals suffering. My friends and I, we had this mission of trying to conserve wildlife in raising awareness for them and to try and make the world a better place by reducing suffering for everyone.
Payman: As a child?
Keval Shah: Yeah. And they carried on and I think being brought up in a Jain household as well where nonviolence was the main thing. Non-possessiveness, truth and sticking with that and just being raised with those principles helped a lot.
Prav Solanki: Keval just for the listeners here who don’t know what that means, being brought up in a Jain household, can you just expand on that and just give us a bit more insight into that please.
Keval Shah: Jainism is a philosophy, it’s a way of life, which I’d say started off by a person called Mahavira, Lord Mahavira. His story was very similar to the Budha, he renounced his wealth and everything he had because he couldn’t see a way out. He saw suffering everywhere and you wanted to find an answer to that. Where are we going? What’s our purpose? And through years of meditation and deep introspection, he found out that living by these principles of truth, [inaudible] and non possessiveness, [inaudible] nonviolence, you can slowly begin to know who you are and find your purpose and know that we’re not material physical bodies, but actually souls who are here on a journey, on a mission to find ourselves. That’s all it is. And that’s what Jainism is about pretty much. It’s about simplicity and just being there for everyone, looking after others.
Prav Solanki: And from a dietary perspective, were you brought as a vegetarian? What’s the diet that you’ve followed since from a young age?
Keval Shah: Vegetarian was it we, we had to be vegetarian. I didn’t know anything else then, but when it came to dairy and eggs, for some reason that was part of our diet as well my mom or my grandparents didn’t have any of that, but my dad and my uncles and myself and my sister, we all had eggs and milk and everything. That we thought, okay, that’s it we’re living the path of nonviolence when it came to animals and carried on and we didn’t know any different. But unfortunately when I came here, moved here, when I went to university, I kind of started eating meat, not because I was curious about the taste or anything, but I was told consistently that I needed it and I needed it for my health. And if I wanted to put on muscle that was the way forward and that you open up all these men sales magazines and the first thing they were doing than is just meat, chicken, turkey all of that stuff.
Keval Shah: And not many people know about that unfortunately. I’m just putting it out there.
Prav Solanki: Nice to hear. Because I was brought up as a vegetarian as well. And my first piece of meat, so to speak, was at university as well. And I started training in a bodybuilding gym. I met a guy called Jason Greenslate. Jason, if you listening, you remember this time and the first thing he did is we, we bought some meat from Tescos or whatever it was chicken, put some lemon on it, chucked it under the grill. And I threw up, I ate it and I threw up and I ate again and I threw up. But I knew I had to keep forcing myself to do this if I wanted to stack on some muscle it was a very defining moment. And then he told me to a place called Bodrums, which was like a Kebab place, and it went down like a treat.
Prav Solanki: It was softer, it was better cooked, it was tastier, whatever, right? And so that’s where my journey began. Tell me through the first time you put a piece of meat in your mouth and how it felt with the principles that you’ve been brought upon. Was it heart racing? Did it feel wrong? And can you remember that first bite where it was?
Keval Shah: It was probably at the worst place you could try meet and that was McDonald’s chicken nuggets and can remember the exact moment. But I knew I didn’t like the taste of it, but I had to just do it and just go through all of that. The whole box of it, just to get the protein that everyone’s talking about. But that’s, I can’t remember the exact moment, but I remember not ever enjoying the taste of it. It was more because, yeah, I thought it was necessary.
Prav Solanki: The quest for body beautiful.
Payman: Prav, did you get into it after that?
Prav Solanki: Chicken Marsala loved it, fish, sea bass, I’ve never tried red meat in my whole life.
Prav Solanki: Ever. Never. Chicken was a means to an end. And we found ways to flavour it or spice it or eat it in a way that would make it more palatable. Fish, yeah, I admit, I openly, I enjoyed eating fish in the way it was cooked and stuff. And when I met my wife and she’s more creative in the kitchen, she made more chicken and fish dishes and stuff like that. Amazing, loved it, prawns, that stuff. But if I was to sit down and go out for a meal, I would still always choose the vegetarian options as my favourite choice.
Payman: Did you feel guilty Prav?
Prav Solanki: Yeah, in a way. Because I wouldn’t say that I was overly religious, but we were brought up in a household, first of all, that was always vegetarian. And the teachings from our religion there’s that belief that the soul travels from body to body and your body is a carcass and the belief in reincarnation. And so if you do have any beliefs that are along those lines, then what you’re doing you’re destroying someone else’s carcass just to feel… And we don’t need it to survive. And so there were always those constant battles in my head, but the quest for muscle was always stronger and my ego and being man and the definition of being a man and being brainwashed into that, actually you can’t get here without meat because that’s what all my buddies were doing. And so it became the norm.
Payman: Kevin, when you have that big bag, were you having the similar betraying your parents?
Keval Shah: Well, I haven’t told them.
Payman: Until now.
Keval Shah: I think the main, because it didn’t sit right with me. I wanted to find out more about it. And I remember talking to one of the consultants in one of the lecturers that we had, and I asked them straight up, I said, “Do we actually need me to survive and be healthy?” And both of them said, “No, you don’t need it.” So then I thought, okay, so that’s great. I don’t need it. I’m going to find plant based sources of protein and go down their route, but then I still didn’t stop and I carried on because it was normal. Everyone was eating it.
Prav Solanki: Did you diversify from McDonald’s?
Keval Shah: To sometimes fish?
Keval Shah: But that was pretty much it.
Prav Solanki: When you were eating meat over what period of time was it? Two years, three years? How many times a week?
Keval Shah: Probably about, I’d say on and off for about a year. Probably about maybe twice a month as I wasn’t much at all, but I was having a lot of dairy. I was gulping down a gallon of full fat and milk almost every day, having lots and lots of baby bell cheeses, a six egg omelettes. It was horrendous. And what I’d suffered from when I was 16, I’d suffered from acne a lot. And unfortunately what happened in university actually became far worse, really bad. And to the point where I used to walk around with my head down because it was debilitating I hated myself. I didn’t want to look into the mirror, didn’t want to go out. Every time there was invites for going clubbing or whatever, I just used to stay in the library and that was it.
Keval Shah: And if anyone works how we say, “I wish I was 18 again, wish I was at uni again.” I don’t want to go back just for that. I just hated myself at that time. Unfortunately, that carried on for years and years. I know people go through acne pretty common. It goes away but mine went on for eight to 10 years since I was 16 and eating all of this stuff actually made it far worse than but I didn’t know. I thought, okay I’m working out a lot and whatever, there’s a lot of stress in my body. Maybe that’s why, but I didn’t see a way out of it because everyone was eating, like I said I just carried on. I thought it was normal, but then I thought, okay, well we were all to campaigning to save the tiger and the elephant we had these little boards and tables and stuffing and giving out leaflets and someone came up to me and they said that, “I’ve just seen you walk into McDonald’s and eat chicken nuggets and now you’re campaigning to save the elephant. How does that work?”
Keval Shah: You’ve taken a life and you’re trying to save another one, the balance is zero or it’s almost going into negative.” And that made me think, and I thought, now hang on, you know what chickens. They’re not like elephants they don’t feel pain. They don’t have families they’re just objects they just lowest of the low say it’s fine, it doesn’t matter. But that rationalisation didn’t sit right with me. I thought in a while I need to find out more about what’s going on now. Went on the Internet and at this time, there was a lot of undercover videos out there of what happened, the slaughter houses and know all these meat farms and stuff and I remember watching one of them and it was about a chicken slaughter house and what you see it stays with you for the rest of your life because I was just sitting there in the library watching it and you see all these babies, they’re not even fully grown babies going down this assembly line and all of them are crying out, right? They’re not stupid. They’re crying out. You could see it in their eyes.
Keval Shah: They’re absolutely terrified and they’re screaming, they’re terrified. And then they just get pulled up by the legs and just hung upside down and just stabbed in the neck. And even then they don’t die. They’re just still struggling with all his blood flowing out of them. And their death it took a few minutes for them to die, because there’s just following them in the line and it was horrible watching it. I mean, at that time I didn’t know what the depth of emotions that they actually possess, but the physicality of the pain, the suffering that they went through was enough for me to think, “Okay you know what? I can’t do this anymore.” That made me stop having meat.
Prav Solanki: That video in the library, was at your defining moment?
Keval Shah: I think it started as journey for me.
Prav Solanki: Did you eat any chicken after that?
Keval Shah: No. That was it.
Prav Solanki: That was it?
Payman: Kevil, you allude to this hierarchy of pain in a way. Would you think? I don’t know, eating insects is less of a problem than eating chicken?
Keval Shah: I think the question should be is it necessary? And the fact that how many of us as humans would be willing to eat insects as a delicacy? I know it’s a cultural thing. There’s many countries where they eat insects, lots and lots of them. But I feel that if something is not necessary and if it involves killing of sentient beings that would otherwise have communities and kingdoms. And like especially if you just take the bee for example how they live and how they sacrifice their lives for each other and they really protect each other. And if bees can do that, have we actually learned enough about the insect kingdom to know that we don’t need to kill them, we don’t need to, let them be free and be happy and be doing whatever they’re doing. I think, that’s probably the question for me, is it necessary to do it?
Prav Solanki: Just while we’re on the topic of bees, and I know I’m digressing from our main topic of conversation I’ve heard various things through conversations and online that so is honey vegan?
Keval Shah: Honey is essentially bee vomit. What bees do, they take in nectar and then they make honey, which is actually made for their children in times when they cannot get enough food, enough for them to grow so they actually deposited for their kids, for their babies. It was never meant for us and the fact that to obtain it and you literally have to enslave the queen bee in a hive, keep her tied down there so she can breed and create all these colonies and produce honey and then in the end we don’t even let them have the honey. We take it away from them. A whole process of enslavement and exploitation and then eventually killing them when they’re no longer necessary. I think for those reasons, I would not consider that vegan at all.
Prav Solanki: I am so glad I’m on a ketogenic diet right now.
Keval Shah: I don’t even know what that means.
Prav Solanki: I don’t eat any sugar at the moment. The fact that you’ve just described honey as bee vomit.
Keval Shah: It wouldn’t sell it. You know what it wouldn’t sell if it was advertised as bee vomit. That’s the thing.
Prav Solanki: The way you’ve just articulated that I’m going to stay on my keto diet.
Keval Shah: We have agave now, which is if you want to go back to sugar tastes very much like honey. It’s made from our cactus, it’s so good.
Prav Solanki: What about avocado?
Keval Shah: Yeah. I don’t know if it’s sweet.
Prav Solanki: No, is that Vegan? I’ve heard various things that avocado isn’t, I might be wrong. Maybe I’ve-
Keval Shah: I think I’ve read something online. It’s the point of importing it from other countries and in a vast plantations are, which again, I don’t have an issue with. It’s thought that’s the economic system where it’s grown in other countries and imported here. There’s no direct harm or suffering to others and I think that would be like the main measurement for defining something as Vegan or not.
Payman: For me. I understand. I do understand that but in some of what you say, it seems like that anthropomorphism that put human emotions into animals. You know what I mean? The enslavement of the bee. I get what you’re saying, I do get what you’re say, but if we’re talking pain and suffering, the avocado could be causing more pain and suffering because of the way it’s grown. And because of the way the market is exploited. The coffee, there’s no animal is being eaten when I drink my coffee. But whole communities are being enslaved because of it. And so how far do you take it? Do you look at that, every move you’re making. Are you looking at the whole supply chain of that? This microphone we’re talking into the results of the mined, you know what I’m talking about?
Keval Shah: You’re absolutely right.
Payman: It’s a difficult one. I guess we all make our lines somewhere, right?
Keval Shah: I think it’s about living consciously because unfortunately the society we’ve created, we don’t even have to touch the animals to abuse them now. The fact that our we live in these artificial constructs where we have anything that you see around you is made from nature they were communities in kingdoms destroyed just to create what’s in front of you. And it’s the society we’ve created. We have gone all the way on the other side where we don’t even know that we are nature. We’ve isolated ourselves in four walls when we actually are in nature, we are part of that community outside. You’re absolutely right. Everything that we use, there’s going to be abuse, but it’s about minimising that as much as possible. The fact that we exist as humans right now in the cities and towns that we have, that’s a burden on the planet in itself, especially when our numbers are reaching 7.5 billion, right?
Keval Shah: Now, when we start living consciously, and I feel that veganism is just the first stage, it’s not the end. It’s just the first stage of thinking, “Okay, what’s on my plate? what can I do to reduce the direct suffering of others? How can I be healthy? Not for myself as just for myself but for the planet because now we know that our food is one of the biggest carbon energy footprints out there right now in terms of damage to the world that we live in. But also extending that to human communities where there’s fair trade or not our children being used for cocoa maybe in communities where there are people who are being exploited for mining the funds that we have. Where does this come from? My phone’s about three, four years old now. I haven’t changed it but I know people who keep changing every six to eight months to a year. So it’s about going on that journey and realising that there’s so much we can do to change. And just in taking those steps, you’re actually becoming part of a healing planet. Because we have burned it a lot and it’s time to start healing again. Just by finding our way back and living simply. And I feel like even living simply not only releases our footprint in terms of our himself footprint, but also it releases diamond energy and money that we could be using to other things. Helping others who are not as fortunate as us or giving land back to the ones that we’ve taken that taken it from the other species that we share this planet with so they can heal themselves as well. And it’s so powerful and it’s just knowing that there’s another way we don’t have to live like other people living in our society we don’t have to live in that materialistic way anymore.
Prav Solanki: Do you believe, and I know I already know the answer, but I’m asking this question from the perspective of a meat eater, okay? Free-Range animals, humane killing of animals. And do you believe there is a humane way to kill animals for our consumption? And what’s your take on say, free range hens, chickens, eggs? Just give me your thoughts on that. I’ve seen some stuff that you’ve shared online. So I just like to know what your thoughts are because I know there’ll be a lot of people listening to this who will be thinking guy’s off his rocker, yeah. Space Cadet. I honestly do. And back in the day me being meat-eating bodybuilder would have probably thought the same, right? And people, we all go through these different phases. You’re an ex meet eater yourself-
Keval Shah: I’ve been through it as well.
Prav Solanki: You’ve been through it as well, right? I just want to get your take on what humane killing means if exists and the whole free range argument and the fact that these animals were never brought or bread or barn to be free and wild. They have been nurtured and developed over years and years and thousands of years to be food for us, right? So isn’t that okay?
Keval Shah: Okay. So I think it’s important to understand where these animals came from to start with. Now, if we just take chickens, for example, about 10,000 years ago, they used to live as free beings in the jungles of Southeast Asia. They could fly they had their nest in the trees. They would do it like any other bird that we would just be in wonderment of right now. But we brought them down from the trees and we basically beat them into submission and genetically and hormonally and physically manipulated them to such an extent that they don’t look anything like what they’re used to. Just over a period of 10,000 years, right? To the point where now, because of the hormones that we give them and the way we breed them, their bodies are just being pushed to just push out the eggs and just become big really fast, right? So that’s the system we’ve created. But the reason why they even exist in the first place is because we forcibly impregnate the females to create a new generation of whatever you want to call them. So that’s the only reason why it exist because a lot of people think that if he stopped eating them, they’re going to overpopulate the planet. But that’s not the case because the only reason they’re there is because we forcibly do it. Every year or every few months, artificial, we call it artificial insemination. If we did the same thing to a human, it would be called something else. So I’ll just give you an example of what free range eggs means to the hens and what really happens to them. So free range just means that they have a little bit more space, right? That’s all it means.
Keval Shah: They have maybe a little bit of time on the grass, a little bit more space, but the actual process of producing eggs remains the same. Now the process is get a bunch of females when they’re really young, yeah. Confine them because if they weren’t confined, that’d be free and go away. So you have to confine them and then you start injecting them with hormones to make them mature faster. When that happens, what they do is just like a woman would produce unfertilized eggs and get rid of it from her body every month, they would do the same thing. So in artificial, an unfertilized egg is just a period. Now, naturally these chickens would produce 12 to 15 unfertilized eggs every year. Humans would call them periods. But on these farms are pushed so hard that they produce an egg a day. And that is not only painful, it’s extremely debilitating for them.
Keval Shah: So the pushing out an egg a day, an egg a day, an egg a day and after about 18 months, the owner thinks, okay what? I’m not getting an egg a day. I’m getting one egg every two days. It’s time for them to go. I’m not making enough money from this. So just before he sends them to the slaughter house, he says, “Okay, I want a new line of production now of female egg laying hens.” Right? So he forcefully impregnates them again, extremely painful. And they know that they’ve got babies inside of them now. But when the egg comes out of them with the baby’s inside, it’s taken away from them. So this time, I mean, whoever’s seen these kinds of footage that you’ll know how much they actually cry out. And the eggs roll away and then they get hatched in another place. And as we all know, half, there’s a chance that it could be a boy, it could be a girl, right? All of us, when we have kids. Now when the eggs actually, when the eggs hatch and then you get chickens coming out, what they do is they check each one of them and if it’s a baby boy is thrown straight into a mass rater, crimes him off straight away, right? Or stuffed into bags with lots of them cross-
Keval Shah: Or, sorry-
Payman: Just killed there and then?
Keval Shah: Yeah, newborn babies, yeah. Because males don’t have any use to them. A male body cannot be exploited as much as a female body can.
Prav Solanki: Could they not fatten up as a chicken and then and then eat it later? Or-
Keval Shah: Again, it’s no different for the chicken itself isn’t that but most because there are so many being produced. I’m talking about trillions here. They’re just fast, it’s baby. It’s actually made into baby soup. So the muscle rooted into that in a consistent in making baby soup. Now half of them, obviously girls, so they are confined just like their mothers pushed to produce eggs again at the age of 18 months, they all go to the slaughter house. So that’s a free range for us. Right now I can’t see anything free about that. But the industry is so clever. It uses all these terms like free range, grass fed, organic, family owned humane slaughter and you get fooled by it. I was fooled by it. I stopped buying these battery caged eggs and went onto free range when I was eating them thinking, “You know what, this is better for them.” And it says on it happy eggs. Literally says happy eggs. And I got fooled by it. But anyone who goes through any happy egg farm or a family owned farm or whatever farm, you go to an egg farm, we’ll see the reality.
Keval Shah: Because if you actually look after animals, it’s not called a farm. It’s called a sanctuary, right? There’s a clear distinction here.
Payman: Yeah. We don’t mention you brought your chicken with you because the story of these chickens-
Keval Shah: Next to me is Rata and Ruby they were actually rescued an egg farm about five to six years ago and they had another companion, but her name was Ronnie. And when we actually brought them home, now that the story was that we had a garden space and I told my dad, “Look, you know what? We’ve got this space. Let’s try and help someone.” And initially we thought, okay, cat, dog the normal thing. And then I thought what, I’ve thought of all the animals we have on this earth, who was the most abused, who’s the most forgotten was the most vulnerable? We realised chickens, right? So when we brought them home, they didn’t have much feathers on them at all. They were completely battered, depressed, afraid of us because their whole life, the 18 months that they were alive, they were kicked around, pushed around by people just like me, right? So they did not want to be near me at all. But slowly they came around we fed them, we showed them love we kept them warm and then they just brightened up, the feathers, came back and they found their personalities. And all three of them have amazing different personalities. One was the leader, Ronnie unfortunately passed away. But Ruby here, she’s just a hyper chicken who loves talking all the time. We have Rata whose opposite, she’s extremely calm. She doesn’t say much, but the thing that united them, the bond that they formed, these are sisters, if you imagine they’ve lost their families, they’ve lost their children, they’re survivors. They bonded and they used to look after each other to the point where if I put food out and if all three of them are not there, the chicken would go and call the other two and made sure that they were all feeding, eating together. They would sun based together they would do everything together. Unfortunately, Ronnie passed away about four years ago and the reason was an egg got stuck inside of her because even when we rescued them, they were still laying eggs every single day. Now because their reproductive systems are so exploited they can’t push the egg out. So the egg actually burst inside of her, she got [inaudible] she started throwing up and she passed away.
Keval Shah: So we run to the vet and we said, “Look, we can’t have this happening.” So she actually put hormonal implants inside of them and shut down their lane. Just like how we have implants for human females, right? Same way they don’t produce eggs anymore. They’d been with us for five to six years now and they’re absolutely happy.
Prav Solanki: Just talk us through what’s the lifespan of-
Keval Shah: Eight to 10 years.
Prav Solanki: Eight to 10 years-
Keval Shah: Yeah. But what really surprised me was not the physical side of things, but the emotional side of things. Because when Ronnie passed away, these two went into this depression for two weeks where they stopped eating as much as they did. They went around the garden every single day calling out for her, obviously couldn’t find her, they couldn’t sleep well. And thankfully they recovered. But even now I find them going back to the same spot they run, used to sit in and just see there through their eyes. And it amazes me how much they have a memory of, I don’t know what it is by find them doing all these things and their depth of emotion for something that I never actually valued or even thought about growing up. The other day, just last week there was a pigeon that actually went into their run and these two just thought, “Okay, we are going to have to kick him out.” So they started stamping on him. So I went out, rescue the pigeon and I told these guys off. Yeah, I really shouted at them. And then for five hours, it didn’t speak to me. They didn’t respond to me. They just thought, “Nah, I don’t want to speak to him.” But they’re all, they do all these kinds of funny things-
Prav Solanki: Do they understand you?
Keval Shah: They understand the [inaudible] as well now. So things like time to eat, to go to bed, come on in, just get out of your house or time to get into the garden or here’s some food. I mean just they recognise faces as well. So when they see me coming to the kitchen a hundred yards away, they start jumping straight away because they know I’m here, I’m going to let them out, we’re going to spend some time with them.
Prav Solanki: Where do they live?
Keval Shah: They live in a six metre by two metre run. Put them in the garden and they have a little coup in there as well. But when I come home from work, I let them out to the gardens. There’s so, yeah. And then just in terms of how they look after each other. And like I mentioned, it’s amazing. But the other thing that I noticed, my wife was in the inside and I was with them outside at night and I was just feeding them for a little bit. And then all of a sudden they just became like statues. They just stopped. And I’m thinking, “What’s going on here?” And I didn’t realise what was going on. I went back in about 10 minutes later and my wife said there was a fox in the other garden that I’d never heard about or heard off. But these lot have a better sense of hearing than I do. Probably even a better sense of smell. And that actually made me think, if they can perceive better than I can imagine their perception of been. If their neurons can detect things more than I can imagine if they’re paying their sensitivity to it would be even more than mine. And that just blew my mind away. Imagine if that was possible. And the fact that we killed one point 7 trillion of them every year-
Keval Shah: Trillion is absolutely devastating.
Prav Solanki: The fact that it happens and it’s going to continue happening if people support that, right?
Keval Shah: Yep.
Prav Solanki: Is there a more humane way of doing it than current? Would you advocate that over current methods?
Keval Shah: I don’t know if I can think of a humane way to exploit someone and their bodies and separate their families and kill the children. Even the concept of humane slaughter, and I think about this humane means to look after, right? Slaughter means to murder. To bring those two words together and make it a normal thing. That’s how much we’ve been fooled into thinking, “Yeah, humane slaughter exists.” But there are three ways that animals are killed on farms. There are the boiled alive or they’re starved to death, or they’re electrocuted or put in gas chambers and exerting-
Prav Solanki: And that’s not vegan propaganda, right? That’s how it goes down.
Keval Shah: Yep. That we’ve been individuals who’ve been to slaughterhouses, stood outside there, their screams, yeah. It stays with you.
Prav Solanki: I tried veganism for about six and it was after watching and you’ve probably seen the Netflix documentary, What The Health and the whole family did it. Yeah. We were all after this, boom, we’re going Vegan. There is no way we can drink milk or eat, what did they call cheese? They referred to cheeses as coagulated pus.
Keval Shah: Yeah.
Prav Solanki: Yeah. That was a bit like your bee vomit. So we were like, “No way.” We struggled, we struggled and struggled and then went back to being vegetarian, right? For whatever reason but then you come to read reviews about it and learned that a good chunk of that programme had a very vegan biassed on it and there was a bit of propaganda behind it. And I’m sure there’s a huge element of it that was very true and direct and everything and certain elements of it were probably embellished because the whole programme and the doctors and stuff on there were vegans as well, right? What your thoughts on that and the sceptics out there, I’ll think that actually a lot of the stuff out there, it’s just being peddled by tree-huggers or whatever phrase you want to put behind it. What’s your thoughts on that in terms of like sometimes you think you see these videos and you think of people just start embellishing this to be more than what it is or is that the truth? Animals are being boiled alive, electrocuted.
Payman: Electrocuted for sure. That’s, I thought that was the humane way of doing it. But boiled alive really?
Keval Shah: Yeah. Pigs are boil their life just to get rid of their hair in the skin. But just going back to the question, I personally haven’t seen What The Health.
Prav Solanki: You haven’t?
Keval Shah: No.
Prav Solanki: Oh, right? Okay.
Keval Shah: But I’ve got a book called How Not To Die. It’s written by a guy called Dr. Michael Greger-
Prav Solanki: Got the same book.
Keval Shah: You have? Okay good and I think you don’t really have to watch the documentary to make your own conclusions and decisions. You just have to first ask yourself, what are you trying to get from these animal products? You’re trying to get calcium or protein or iron. Well, what are you trying to get. And then realising that all nutrients come from plants. Where do animals get their nutrients from? Right? Directly from the plants.
Keval Shah: But even if we didn’t care about the animals, right? Even if you didn’t care about our health, do we care about the future? Do we care about the planet we’re leaving behind for our kids? Do we care about hungry people? Because for the last three, if we want to make a change there and help the last three things, the planet, our children and hungry people on the plan right now going plan based is the way forward. Just in terms of resource use. So I’ll give you an example to create, to just produce one pound of beef, you need 2,500 gallons of water, right? That’s the equivalent of having showers for like two months, right? And then on the flip side, you have a billion people going hungry and thirsty and dying it from not having it. Cheese, 900 gallons for one pound of cheese, soy milk, or one of these plant milks, 30 to 60 gallons. So just by shifting from an omnivore vegetarian down to vegan, you’ve literally saved 1100 gallons of water in a day per person. Multiply that by a few billion water shortage would not be a problem for us, right? Think about fossil fuels. We have wars going on for oil right now, right? And one of the… to run an industry that exploits and kills over a trillion beings every year. You need energy, you need machines, you need slaughterhouses, you need trucks to grow their food. And all of that requires fossil fuels. And we’re running out of an energy source that our children could benefit from everything around us is made from fossil fuels. We can’t be wasting it away on things that are not even necessary for our survival, right?
Keval Shah: Going on to hungry people now, 80% of all the food that we grow on this planet is given to animals to feed and fatten and kill while a billion humans go hungry. 82% of starving children live in countries where animals get the food and these animals are shipped to western countries for us to eat, to the point where chronic hunger is not even on the news anymore. We’ve normalised an atrocity just in the same way we’re normalising the violence against animals and nature. Everything has become just the norm. It doesn’t even hit the news anymore, but just by reducing our demand on animal products, we can release resources for the poorest people to get food.
Keval Shah: Now imagine the demand for 80% of food going to animals, right? The price would increase straight away. So you literally, not only are we physically taking the food away from the poorest, the prices would go up and they can’t even afford to buy it, right? And having to see your own kids die in front of you, which still happens today. It’s just not on the news is one of the worst things we could go through. Literally tears communities and countries apart. So hunger is should be on one of the main things on our agenda chronic human hunger and reducing and abolishing the suffering of animals when both of those things are not even necessary. Gandhiji was under the first guy who actually described hunger as violence. It’s not even a bad luck or lack of resources. It’s actually distribution of resources. When a person takes more than a fair share of earth we have enough food to feed 10 billion people happily healthily. But when people take more than their fair share and start consuming things that are wasting resources, that’s when hunger starts. That’s when climate change starts. That’s when the environment gets destroyed.
Keval Shah: So I would say for those guys who think that that not documentaries obviously as a waste of time try and look at the other things watch Cowspiracy. That’s a powerful Netflix documentary that goes into the environmental side of things and how what we eat affects the planet. Watch that, watch Earthlings, watch Minions, see what it’s like to be in their place. And if it’s not necessary, why do it?
Payman: I see. I went onto your feed, right? I went on your Facebook feed and it was only animals. What I saw. There was one comedy thing. Well, the rest were animals. Do you bring it to dentistry? Do you talk to your patients about this or not?
Keval Shah: Well, I do ask them where do you get your calcium from?
Payman: Do you?
Keval Shah: Yeah, let’s try them. And then obviously the normal answer is milk. And then I see, look, calcium comes from the ground. It’s taken up by grass. Cows eat the grass. That’s how they get the calcium from. Do you want recycled calcium to another being or do you want the fresh, healthy, powerful stuff straight from the vegetables? So green vegetables, nuts, seeds, oranges, so many. And we have soy milk and almond milk now. And I never told him about what really happens to the cows. I just told them about calcium. I tell them about B12, which is something that none of us can ever get just by eating what we do. We need supplements for B12 we have to be realistic. The society and the way we live right now, we don’t live out there in nature.
Keval Shah: Gorillas get their B12 biting soil, we wash everything away. So instead of eating soil, best way to get is by supplement, right? So just health information I do give to them and the rest of them is up to them to do what they want with.
Prav Solanki: It’s that part of your checkup process?
Keval Shah: It’s part of a casual conversation, prevention. I think as an health professionals for us to be just focusing on teeth alone. I think we’re trying ourselves short here we know a lot more about the body and I feel that if we do know we have a duty to educate people. I mean, to the point where I know people in my family been diagnosed with cancer and the first thing that consultants said is stop having dairy products. This was eight years ago and I’m thinking, why don’t I know this? Why have you not been told that? And then I found out about the growth hormones that you can’t filter away even if you buy semi-skimmed milk, whatever. The natural growth hormones that are actually there, the Casein, the puss, all of that stuff it’s not good for the human body. right? Same thing with eggs, cholesterol, animal protein in a saturated fat and fishes. A lot of people believe fishes are so healthy and that’s why we got to eat them. But if you think about where fishes live right now, they live in the dirtiest place on the planet, the oceans. Every plastic that we produce ends up there, breaks up into micro plastic fishes breathe water, just like we’d be there. And unfortunately all of that stuff goes into them. Micro plastics gets stuck in and when we eat and we eat our own plastics, same thing that mercury, lead, heavy metals.
Keval Shah: And I was reading just two days ago about something men’s, I don’t know about increasing your sperm count or something. And one of the things I was yeah, eat low mercury fish and I’m thinking why eat any fish at all? It’s going to be low amounts of mercury in it. Why eat any at all? You don’t need it. We eat fishes. We used to eat fish because of Omega 3, right? Now Omega 3 are actually produced by algae that live in the ocean plants. If you get enough flaxseed, Omega 3 is done without any of the mercury or emptying of the oceans. Because we all love whales and dolphins we go on holidays to see them, but we don’t realise the same net that catches the fish that we love to taste catches them as well. And yeah, that’s why the oceans, by 2048 the oceans are going to be empty. That’s less than 30 years from now. So there’s a lot that we need to do, I feel.
Payman: Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the way the planet is going? Because for me, I’m a meat eater by the way.
Keval Shah: Yeah.
Payman: For me, the move to vegetarianism and veganism, there’s definitely something going on in the last year or two. And I don’t think you probably know the stats better than me, but it feels like a loader. People are becoming vegetarian and Vegan now. Does that make you feel like we’re at a point at a turning point of, personally I get all of the facts but I just love meat and that you must come across that you feel like we’re in a trajectory now that that’s a hopeful one or do you feel pessimistic?
Keval Shah: I’d say a bit of both. Looking at what’s happened over the last four to five years in terms of how much is available, vegan options, plan based options is amazing. It’s actually exploded, right? And over here in the States, Europe, Berlin, amazing. But I still feel looking at the stats in a long way to go we have people who know this need to be active. That’s the missing link right now. Because people know what the consequences are, what’s available. But a lot of the people that know about it are quiet. And there’s a saying that all it takes for evil to flourish is for good men to stay silent, right? When it comes to timelines, we have less than 10 to 12 years before the climate just becomes utterly uninhabitable and unsustainable and causing all sorts of issues for most of us. Right now people already suffering because of the climate change and it’s not just climate change, climate breakdown to the point where some countries there are, I mean even ours we imagine the weather we are having, it’s changed forever. We can’t go back. All we have to do and try and salvage what we have, right? We’re returning what was taken.
Keval Shah: But timeline wise, all rainforest will be gone in 29 years time, 30 years time, oceans we’ll be dead. Those two things are the lungs of our planet. They produce oxygen that we’re breathing in right now. One fifth of the oxygen we’re breathing in right now, it comes from the Amazon. Oceans, Phytoplankton produce 50% of the other oxygen and both of them are dying out. So we have to really step up if you are to have any hope for the future. Otherwise it’s going to be like how we have Madmax and on those films or post apocalyptic incidents and where people are just fighting for scraps and the remaining starving animals are going to be killed anyway, right? We don’t want to reach that stage-
Payman: Do you feel like, I hear you, do you feel like relying on people to make a change themselves is never going to work and the way they look at me? I understand all the arguments, but I love meat, overwrite all those arguments for me right now. If we’re being hopeful, if I’m being hopeful about the future. For me it would be something around the solution would have to be so profitable that resource goes into research and some things brought out that that fixes some of these issues and really went through a lot of issues, right? Whereas if we tell everyone to recycle, okay, everyone can recycle or everyone can go vegan on their own bag. Not everyone’s going to do it. What is it about you that sort of makes you want to be the crusader for? Is it what you just said, is it there were literally at a point where it’s, if what’s going on and you’re not speaking, then you’re being negligent, sort of thing. Is that where you’re at?
Keval Shah: Unfortunately we’ve come to that stage where we can’t be passive anymore. It’s literally make or break. And the reason why governments don’t talk about it is because it’s so scary. No one wants to create chaos and panic in our society, right? We always hear news last the truth always comes out last, right? And we’ve overcome a lot, don’t get me wrong as humans we’ve overcome a lot. But there comes a point when our spaceship earth starts running out of resources there’s no docking station where we’re going to refuel. It’s just us on this little planet, right? And there comes a point when things do diminish. And that’s why I feel that things like this should be part of our normal conversation. We do a lot of socialising and this and then staff, people know more about avengers and what’s going on out there in their own world.
Keval Shah: So has to be part of active conversation or a social media all the ways that we interact with other people because this is, you’re absolutely right. We can’t do this on our own. We can be individuals and trying to make change. We all have to work together. We have to use our individual skills to get the message out in a compassionate way. No one wants to argue or fight, in a compassionate where we support each other. That’s the only way we’re going to get through.
Prav Solanki: How do you feel about the recent demonstrations?
Keval Shah: Well I thought hi time finally and it took kids to realise this? That’s it had to happen one day or the other. And I’m so glad that people like Greta came forward and the way she’s speaking up without any fear or any hesitation, she’s just saying it like it is.
Keval Shah: I’m glad, but I don’t know how much that will change because governments usually wait for that energy to pass and then they just go back to what they’re doing. So it has to be a down-up approach from the people changing the way they live, but also from a top down as well, where we get more ministers coming on board in thinking, “You know what? Hang on, what’s going on here? We need to change something.”
Payman: With regards to dentistry, what can dentists do to reduce the practise footprint?
Keval Shah: Well, I think dentists are leaders in a way in their own field, in their own communities that were really respected thankfully where we are. Some being an example of living compassionately and being there if we did at each other. Not just in a way we interact outside but also on our plates seeing peace and justice on our plates when we go. Because we have families as well we are dentists, but we’re also husbands, sons whatever we do in our own communities, that’s a one stage firstly to be the example become what you want to see in the world. And that alone is pretty powerful. But also as dentists think about the health side of things, and when I say health, I don’t mean just individual health because if the planet is not healthy, there’s no point being the fittest bodybuilder in the room. That’s not going to save you.
Keval Shah: It doesn’t matter how rich you are, poor you are, we’re all going to be victims of it. And I think how we have conferences for dentists as well we have all this energy going into CPDs and all this money and everyone’s wanting to do the best composite they can. Maybe include something like this in it as well have a stand there have a little five, 10 minute talk of it. Just things like that. Just raise awareness in that way. I think that would help to start. But I think social media is a way forward-
Payman: Someone just started a group. Have seen that?
Keval Shah: About reducing waste or something?
Payman: Yeah, Luke Fully about how to practise more environmentally friendly. It’s something people have been telling us about. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen our kits lots of plastic. In the kits. And we get the question sometimes in a why is it so much plastic in the kits? And I get it. I do get it as a profession what you’re saying, I’m very interested in what you’re saying about talking to your patients about their diet in a Vegan, vegetarian way, because that’s good health advice. I don’t think really that connections being made out there as a public that being vegetarian or Vegan could for your health. Good for the planet itself that’s coming out these days. But good for your health? Not really. In popular culture did that, by the way, is that the case?
Keval Shah: You know what? Funny enough milk, dairy companies can’t even say anymore that they’re here for calcium now.
Payman: That’s true, milk has got a bad rep, you’re right.
Payman: But do you hear where I’m coming from?
Prav Solanki: I do. And certainly for me, right? And anecdotally and equals one in my own situation, since going from being a meat eater to vegetarian, I feel a lot better. My skin’s a lot better, right? I’m still eating eggs, cheese, milk, okay. I actually found when I went vegan, I ended up putting on more weight because I ate more. I’m very carb sensitive, right? So I eat more things that contain sugar and bread and things and I’m just incredibly sensitive to that. But I certainly do feel a lot more definitely a lot more healthier from not eating meat, not eating fish-
Payman: But you’re no meat, no sugar.
Prav Solanki: Yeah, of course. But before I went, no sugar, I was just no me, it felt better and I felt better for sure. Right? And equals one for me, but the trigger, right? So I started eating meat to become a bodybuilder, so to speak. And then for many, many years carried on. And you knew me as a meat eater from day one, right?
Prav Solanki: Sure. And my daughter came home from school one day and said, Daddy, I want to be a vegetarian. And so I said, which one of you mates is vegetarian? Yeah, because I thought, here we go again. Get on the bandwagon. So none of them, but these are my reasons why. And she gave me such a logical reason, an explanation. I said, we will support you. But then in a matter of six months, we all became vegetarian because in the back of my mind, like me and my wife had had discussions and for the last year, although we carried on eating, we were both having that conversation saying it’s easier to eat meat because we caught more choice, but it definitely doesn’t feel right. We made that transition-
Payman: Feel right psychological not physically, right?
Prav Solanki: psychologically, it just did not feel right. And when you actually consciously sit down and think about what you’re consuming, it was that it was that process right and it didn’t feel right. And having been brought up as a vegetarian with our belief systems, we made the switch.
Payman: I think what you said, what Keval said about the non connection to nature. That’s very true. That’s very true. I mean if everyone who ate meats had to kill the meat, it would change the game a bit. I definitely would change the game.
Keval Shah: I would encourage all new teachers to go to a sanctuary and just spend the day with the animals and just see how amazing and friendly there are. And they will make you think, definitely. And the other thing is spend time with them when they were alive and then see what happens to them when they have to be killed. I think those two things, bringing them together is a really powerful day of just making you think why are we doing this? Because when we think about cats and dogs, right? We’d never think about harming them. But China is just fine. It’s normal for them. It’s part of their culture. And the same thing in India you’d try killing in some parts cows and chickens, you’d be crucified for that. So eating it was not even a necessity. It’s actually a cultural thing. It’s a story that we’ve been told as growing up. You need this it’s fine. It’s normal. It’s necessary.
Keval Shah: If you take a child like as a three year old child who’s not been brainwashed by society yet, you put a goat or fish, chicken in our calf, a little baby turkey in front of the kid. Who she going to eat? No one. It just doesn’t come by instinct. We have to, it’s almost like we’re brainwashed and forced into it without even thinking about it. When children actually ask their parents why are we – because animals are our friends once upon a time we used to talk like them and make all sorts of sounds we wanted to be with them. And if someone saw someone kicking a dog as something far away, we’d scream our head off, right?
Keval Shah: And we’d say, “Nah, stop.” But they came a point when that meat or that dairy or the eggs were just put in front of us and we, I’m sure we thought about it and thought, “Why?” This is my friend on the plate. But then all of these messages start coming in saying the three ends of justification. It’s necessary for you, it’s normal and it’s absolutely natural. But when we see past those three justifications realise it’s neither one of them. And it’s just a story we’ve been told we don’t need it. It’s like seeing them going out of the matrix and seeing what really happens and why do we want to fund terrorism of sorts to beings. We just want to be free and with their families. We think about terrorism and countries, but our terrorism happens every single day in our own countries and we don’t even know about it because it’s all closed walls. We think about the holocaust, right? Went on for years, the whole population was supporting it, but the brainwashing and the propaganda that happened with it allowed it to happen for that long slavery. Hundreds of years went on. It was absolutely normal until someone thought, “No, this is necessarily, is this normal? People are suffering.” And then took 400 years to get rid of that. But right now it’s still going on. It’s just another being in the picture.
Payman: Yeah. I like that. The, I agree with that, that the evolution of humanity, the way you outlined the absolutely right.
Prav Solanki: I often have conversations with my wife and we just sort of joke around the dinner table and say, “Do you think one day everyone will just look back in time and say, “Can you believe we used to eat chickens and animals?””
Payman: Yeah. That’ll happen. For me if you had an artificial steak I’d be well up for that. If it tasted right-
Keval Shah: Well they’ve already started it.
Payman: They started and I reckon give it another 15 years, artificial steak will be tastier than real steak because taste is a brain thing, not tongue thing, so they’ll figure it out.
Keval Shah: Well, I think when it comes to taste, if you want to get over something, if you abstain from it for three to four weeks, your tongue will start to forget what it tastes like. That’s one thing. And secondly, we don’t have time to wait 15 years artificial meat to through because if we carry on eating the normal meat until then, there’s not going to be much of a world left.
Payman: Do you not think a thousand years ago someone was saying something similar about population and-
Keval Shah: Thousand years ago?
Payman: Yeah like when there was 1 billion people on the planet, people thought, “Oh the planet can’t make food for 2 billion.” And then-
Keval Shah: Well it was actually 1973 that one to one ratio started going downhill. So by that I mean our are our overshoot, it takes an earth one earth to sustain us. That was in 1973 sustain what we are taking in, what we are doing to the planet. Since then, we now we need two to three full earths to sustain what we’re taking and doing to our planet. So there’s problem of all population-
Payman: What do you mean by that?
Keval Shah: Well, when we’re living that where we’re consuming, right?
Payman: As an earth that we would be destroying.
Keval Shah: The amount of resources that are left on us before Earth can heal itself, right? We’ve, we’ve gone past that stage, right? So 1973 that’s very, very recent, right? The earth has been around for four and a half billion years. Life came on it three billion years. We separated from hominids about 4 million years ago. We became homo sapiens 200,000 years ago. It was only 10,000 years ago animal agriculture started, right? Since then, that’s when the downhill path started.
Keval Shah: I was actually talking to [inaudible] just two weeks ago and he’d read something similar and he was doing all the calculation stuff. He’s like, “Yeah, that’s,” We were actually nomad, we were nomadic humans living on the equator in the Savannah in wonderment of what’s around us plant foraging humans, right? And then when we discovered that we can actually do this confined beings and you can use them. 10,000 years ago it was 1% humans when it came to land biomass and 99% of wild animals. You just have to look out your window to see an elephant. That was it. That’s how amazing it was. Now it’s 1% of wild animals, 20% humans and so 78% domesticated animals, but 60% are birds being chickens right? Now since that current state was not something that happened a thousand years ago. It’s very, very recent and it’s exponential. It’s doesn’t, there’s not a linear relationship here. It just goes up straight. Do how many humans are born everyday?
Keval Shah: Take a guess. After debts, it’s about 240,000-
Payman: Born a day.
Keval Shah: Every day. Each one of them will need schools, hospitals, houses, cars, roads where we’re going to get it from. So I feel that the other important thing after going plan B is to think about the size of the family that you want to have. Having one less child, one child per couple, it makes it actually better for your child there’s less competition for everything. Think about how hard it is to get a university in schools today than it was 20 years ago. How long you have to wait in A&E to get treatment cancer waiting list three months?
Keval Shah: So I think being aware and living consciously and knowing the answers there, specific answers, there’s nothing complicated about what’s happening, specific answers. If we know that it can make a change. Most of the time of my life I was confused. I wanted to make a change on thinking now I’m going to keep out some difference to this and it’s never enough. We’re just scratching the surface.
Prav Solanki: Just quick question about your personal life. Kind of your wife is Vegan also?
Keval Shah: Yeah.
Prav Solanki: I make the assumption.
Payman: I should hope so man.
Keval Shah: So thankfully she was vegan when I met her.
Prav Solanki: She was Vegan. That was the next question I was going to ask.
Keval Shah: Yeah, yeah.
Prav Solanki: And did you meet through that connection? Community-
Keval Shah: No she’s a dentist.
Prav Solanki: Okay.
Keval Shah: And we actually met through a doctor, one of the oral surgeons that we knew from North Hampton and he kind of brought us together and connected us. But-
Prav Solanki: What did he say? I know-
Keval Shah: My wife does a lot of charity work. And I tend to go to other countries once a year in to try and do dental service. We go to India every year to do that. And I used to go to Tanzania and I just learn. So he knew about that and my wife did similar things so he just put us together and we do it together now.
Prav Solanki: Nice. Awesome.
Keval Shah: She was Vegan for health reasons-
Prav Solanki: Oh really?
Keval Shah: But when she found out about what happens to animals, it was a no brainer. That was it. So, yeah, Rata than Ruby part of the family. And we would love each other and trying get along. And it’s really good. We were hopefully trying rescue more chickens this year to try and give them a home. And I know people say what’s rescuing two going to do? But for them it’s the whole universe that you’ll see for them.
Prav Solanki: Let’s imagine it’s your last day on this planet and you have three pieces of advice to leave the world. What will those be?
Keval Shah: Obviously number one, would be to go vegan.
Prav Solanki: Go vegan.
Keval Shah: Yeah. Secondly to not get distracted by Netflix and all the other shows that are on TV and social media just focus on what you have in front of you.
Keval Shah: Don’t get sucked into any of that. Just focus on what you have. Because that’s another black hole.
Prav Solanki: Don’t believe the hype.
Keval Shah: And thirdly, I think just live more consciously. Think about what we were doing every day when you wake up, think about what going to do, what’s your plan and how are you going to interact with people are you going to help someone actively? We just going to wait for things to pass by and things won’t change that way. Just be an active person, be an active member of society. So that change ripples out because the alternative is something that I don’t want to think of.
Prav Solanki: Brilliant. Thank you. Thanks very much. That’s been just been really insightful and I’m sure we’ll have a lot of listeners who’ve got a lot of questions.
Keval Shah: I’m sure and-
Prav Solanki: Am sure they’ll learn a lot as well. I mean, I’ve certainly learned a lot today, Pay?
Keval Shah: I’ll leave some links with you as well, some evidence based off-
Payman: Before we finish, what would be the best thing for someone like me who understands, who wants to stop but hasn’t yet, can’t, would be the best move. What would you say?
Keval Shah: I think-
Payman: You just get conscious. Okay.
Keval Shah: Yeah.
Payman: But that steak’s calling my name like, well what should I watch?
Payman: Like you watched, what was it called?
Prav Solanki: What The Health.
Prav Solanki: What The Health.
Keval Shah: So the one film that opened my mind up and just blew my mind completely was Earthlings.
Payman: Earthlings I’ve heard of Earthlings.
Keval Shah: Earthlings and the newest one is Dominion. If you could watch either one of them from start to finish and that’s a challenge. If you can do that, that’ll change the way you think-
Payman: Another friend of mine became Vegan after Earthlings as well.
Prav Solanki: Was that Netflix thing or?
Keval Shah: No, it was just free on the Internet. This was before Netflix even begun.
Prav Solanki: Okay. YouTube?
Keval Shah: Yeah. YouTube, or they have their own website as well, earthlings.com and you can find there. And then just faced it. Just be open to the truth. Don’t shy away from it and go to Vegan restaurants. There are so many now.
Payman: You know what it is? I know I should get up every morning and go for a run. I know that’s the right thing, but I don’t, so the challenge isn’t an information challenge. It’s acting on it, acting on the information challenge. Totally different. You can put out whatever you want. I know I should eat well, sleep well, all of that, but I don’t it.
Prav Solanki: And I think to me, you’ve got to want to do it, right? It’s got be the right moment in your life or the right time. There was a point, Keval, in your life where you thought what? Go into McDonald’s and eating chicken mcnuggets is not the right thing to do. There was a point in my time when I realised if I don’t prioritise my health every day, I’m actively killing myself.
Prav Solanki: Yeah. I decided to take an action and before that happened, I was quite happily stuffing my face with pizzas every day whatever and just not looking after myself and not exercising. I think sometimes it takes a transition or a shock or an event that makes you want to say, “You know what? I’m going to turn my life around.” And it could be that one trigger that goes off and says ” You know what, today’s the first day I’m going to start living a different way.” Whether that’s health, whether that’s making the choices of no longer eating meat, fish and dairy anymore I truly do believe that. As Payman sat there saying, “I don’t go for a run. I know I should, I smoke every day. I know I shouldn’t.”
Payman: Do you mate? But you see on thing, it’s about information.
Prav Solanki: No, no. It’s not an information you shouldn’t smoke, right? Yeah.
Keval Shah: You’re absolutely right. Yeah. You have to want to do it. And for most of us, it usually takes the death of someone close to us to really shake us up when we lose someone we love and we just think, “Okay, how many days do I have now? What should I be doing?”-
Payman: You know what happens? When that happens, can I have more fun? Like honestly that I do-
Prav Solanki: Total opposite.
Payman: We’re all at the age where people have died in our lives, right? When someone really close to me dies, go dive deeper into all the things that are wrong.
Prav Solanki: Self-destruct mode?
Payman: You know what I mean I started saying, “Hey man, I’m going to go to Ibiza now, time’s running out.”
Payman: He’s looking at me with eyes of pity.
Keval Shah: Or you can look at your children and say what do I want to leave for them? And you want the best for your kids, right? So I think it’s about the reasons you just look at any of the reasons that connect with you and just follow it up with that. But I really urge people who know now it’s time to act.
Keval Shah: Time to tell others about it. And now that we know we can do something about it. And I just want people to get more active, including myself as a message to myself as well. I can be, a lot more than what I’m doing.
Payman: I’m going to the family is going to sit down and watch Earthlings together. We’ll start there-
Keval Shah: And then let me know how it goes.
Prav Solanki: Yeah. And then I’ll meet you for a soya burger buddy.
Keval Shah: I saw that today. Did you like it?
Prav Solanki: It’s really nice. Really Nice.
Payman: Dude is really difficult. He’s vegetarian and keto. And Camden’s full of like vegan places. Because like everything’s going to be just fine. Took them to all these vegan places. Couldn’t eat-
Keval Shah: It’s the sugar isn’ it.
Payman: A lot of it’s bread, that sort of thing, potatoes.
Prav Solanki: The worst nightmare I left for, to be catered for, right? So there’s no carbs, no bread, no rice, no potatoes, no sugar.
Keval Shah: But when did carbs get a bad name?
Prav Solanki: When did they get a good name?
Keval Shah: Complex carbohydrates were fine for us, aint they?
Prav Solanki: Depends what school of thought you believe as well. I don’t think carbs are particularly bad or dangerous or whatever. I know I’m very sensitive to carbs. I know I respond very well on a ketogenic diet. I know I’m more mentally focused when my body’s in ketosis than when it’s relying on fueling it, right? So I personally know how my body works, but I’m definitely not evangelical about like go keto, right? But we all know that I think there’s a lot of evidence that points to the fact that things like diabetes and the main cardiac diseases to actually come down to a insulin resistance rather than too much fat in your diet.
Keval Shah: So I think sugar got a lot to blame there, but I’m doing it partially for health reasons, but more so for, I know I can accelerate weight loss really, really quickly by fasting and keto. Doing keto as a meat eater, is a walk in the park. Doing Keto as a vegetarian.
Payman: Tough man. Bloody hard.
Prav Solanki: Really hard.
Payman: I mean, if you were Vegan and keto, you will have literally very little to eat.
Keval Shah: Yep. Brilliant.
Prav Solanki: But you still got soya used, they would be eating-
Prav Solanki: It will be tough.
Keval Shah: Yeah. Lentils, beans. But [crosstalk] the monk is good.
Prav Solanki: Yeah. But this carbs and so I on a ketogenic diet, you’ve got to keep your total carb intake. Net carb intake. That means you take your carbs and you minus the fibre in the food less than 20 grammes a day.
Prav Solanki: That’s what I’m doing at the moment. Bloody hard.
Payman: And if you fall off out of it, how long does it take to get back into-
Prav Solanki: For different people, right? But I personally know I can get straight back in 48 hours.
Payman: So you can go for a Big mac right now.
Prav Solanki: But I choose not to-
Payman: No but I’m saying 48 hours you can get back onto-
Prav Solanki: Back into ketosis. Because I know what I need to do exercise wise to deplete my glycogen.
Payman: Oh, it’s just what you eat?
Prav Solanki: Well, there is that and also like I can go home and do a glycogen depletion workout today.
Payman: What’s that?
Prav Solanki: And just blast my liver.
Payman: Is that lifting heavy weights?
Prav Solanki: So I’d go high rep range, full body workout, followed by a hit workout, 10 minute hit workout. And I know I deplete my muscle stroke, liver glycogen stores. And then I’d been in process where I’m not eating any more sugar at fast for a day. Boom. 48 hours I’m back to ketosis. No problem.
Payman: How’d you test it?
Prav Solanki: Blood.
Payman: Oh you do?
Prav Solanki: Yeah. Really quick.
Payman: It’s high level man.
Prav Solanki: Anyway, I diverse.
Payman: Thanks for coming in. Thanks for bringing the Chickens in. It’s the first-
Prav Solanki: Finish, a huge education. I’d love to get a selfie with them.
Keval Shah: I really appreciate you guys having me here as well because it means a lot.
Payman: We didn’t really talk teeth much, but that’s the point of the podcast.
Prav Solanki: Yeah. And it’s more understanding the depth of it, your motivation, your mission, your crusade, what you’re trying to do. I think it’s brilliant. I think it’s really very good and everything that we put out there we’re going to try and push whosever voice is for the people learn more about you and we grow your voice, right? As everyone so we really appreciate you giving up your afternoon, to come here and subsequently educate us all.
Keval Shah: Well, thank you. And just to add I feel that there’s a lot of people out there want to do a lot of good, but sometimes people just don’t know that they can do things that they would create massive change. And I think putting that out there will really help.
Prav Solanki: Sometimes people just need a little bit of direction.
Keval Shah: Exactly.
Prav Solanki: Yeah. Don’t know where to start and what to do, don’t know what tiny things they can do to make a little change.
Keval Shah: Thank you.
Voiceover: This is Dental Leaders the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry, your host Payman Langroudi and Prav Solanki.
Prav Solanki: Thank you for tuning in guys to the Dental Leaders Podcast. Just got little requests to make. If you’ve got a suggestion of somebody else who we should be interviewing or somebody who’s got a really strong story, powerful story to share with us, please send us a message and help us connect with that individual so we can bring their stories to the surface.
Payman: Thank you so much for taking the time, guys. And if you’ve got some value out of it, think about sharing it with your friends and subscribing to the channel.