Singer and actress Sophia Latjuba is among a small number of Indonesian celebrities who are committed to a vegan lifestyle.
During a recent interview with The Jakarta Post at Gran Melia Jakarta, the 47-year-old shared that although she had only been a vegan for less than year, following encouragement from her daughter, Eva Celia, she already enjoyed many real health benefits.
“I feel that I have better digestion — so much better. And have more energy,” said Sophia. “I used to have acne, but not anymore. [I also feel that] I have more balanced hormones; no more PMS. I no longer feel bloated, suffer cramps or headaches. All is well and [my menstruation] cycle is regular.”
Sophia said that she also became more aware of what she utilized related to lifestyle, especially since animal cruelty was the main reason that motivated her to become a vegan. “Buying makeup, for example. Now I will check first, whether it’s vegan-friendly. If it’s not, I won’t buy it. I also avoid big-chain fashion brands.”
“If I’m purchasing something, I will avoid the use of plastic bags; I will bring my own bag instead. [And I will ask] where do you dump this? What cleaning [brand] do you use? It affects my lifestyle in general,” she added.
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Regarding vegan restaurants, Sophia said not many were available in Jakarta.
“North and West Jakarta are perhaps exceptions, as the Buddhist community is quite numerous there,” she said, adding that the lack of options required her to bring her own food. “Or I can always eat gado-gado [Indonesian salad], or tempeh.”
Having another family member who is also a vegan helps a lot in strengthening commitment, said Sophia, who has earned a yoga instructor license and is set to open a yoga studio in Jakarta. “I have Eva for that; which makes it a lot easier,” she said, adding that Eva was currently dating someone who is also a vegan.
“It would be quite difficult if we had a partner who was not a vegan; it could trigger arguments. I call her ‘vegan ally’.”