Our 2017 Vegan of the Year is Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed!
Congratulations to Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed for promoting a vegan lifestyle and environmental awareness!
Our first Vegan of the Year Award went to Pamela Anderson in 2015. Next, was our very own CEO and founder Katarina Van Derham. Who won our coveted award this year? 2017 Vegan of the Year goes to none other than Saudi Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed!
You might be asking yourself, “Who is Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed?” He is a Saudi Prince who is known for being vegan and an environmental trailblazer. He is the son of Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud. And as one can expect, he has lived a life of luxury and opulence. Certainly he could live a life of great excess. Yet, he does not. In fact, he is instead known for finding alternatives to fossil fuels by promoting solar energy.
How did the Prince become vegan? He went on a hunting trip to kill exotic game. He was so disgusted by the experience that he went vegan. This also prompted him to re-think his lifestyle on the whole. Not only did he adapt a plant-based diet, he also began to study his country’s effect on climate change.
So far, he has invested millions into an industrial solar panel factory. By doing this, he is hoping to replace fossil fuels with a cleaner energy alternative. He views this as intrinsically linked to his vegan lifestyle. He said, “Animal welfare, factory farming, the environment — usually they’re solvable if we look at things in an economic way, a humane way and a practical way rather than a greedy way.”
He also campaigns for animal rights and has worked with organizations like Mercy for Animals. He even uses social media to ask if eating meat and owning purses made of crocodile are worth the suffering that the animals had to go through. He has been a 100% clean vegan for over 5 years now and has also invested in plant-based restaurants in the Middle East.
And the influence Prince Khaled has recently rubbed off on other family members as his father also became vegan! And in regards to others going vegan in the Middle East, he told the National Observer, “I always prefer to look at the positive things and the goodness in people. I’ll give you the weakest example: I thought that I would be the only vegan in Saudi, because I’ve never heard of a vegan in Saudi. It was miserable, socially. But then I started posting on Instagram and social media, and then I started meeting so many vegans — vegans in Riyadh, vegans in Jeddah, vegans in Dubai. It’s a beautiful thing, everyone coming together, not necessarily pushing the agenda of veganism, but pushing the agenda of animal rights, human health to the public. I’m really optimistic about the trend I’m seeing here and in the world in general. I’m not going to lie and say I don’t get other people’s points, but I have to choose to be optimistic because at the end of the day, I’m here temporarily. I’ve got two daughters and I need to leave something positive for them. Only having a negative outlook on the world will rub off on them, and that’s another reason why I have to be optimistic.”
‘Congratulations’ and ‘Thank You’ to Saudi Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed for his innovative, progressive thinking and for setting such an incredibly positive example for others in the Middle East and around the world!
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