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  • Writer's pictureMarika

Achieving the Peak: Going Vegan on Everest with Mountaineer Kuntal Joisher

Navigating your way up Mount Everest is one Herculean task. Now, imagine doing it while maintaining a vegan diet and using only vegan gear. This is the story of Kuntal Joisher, a dedicated vegan mountain climber, who has redefined what it means to conquer challenges.

Journey to the Summit

Mountaineer Juntal Joisher on a Mountain in a yellow vegan coat
Kuntal Joisher

The narrative of Kuntal Joisher's trek to the top of Mount Everest has fundamentally affected perspectives on veganism and athleticism. Combining his passion for mountaineering with his commitment to his vegan lifestyle, Joisher highlights how it is entirely possible to consume adequate protein, maintain physical strength, and pursue extreme athletics, all while adhering to a plant-based diet.

Debunking the Myths

Besides reaching the peak of the world's highest mountain, Joisher also spends a significant amount of time debunking common misconceptions about veganism and athleticism. He outlines how many athletes who have made the transition to a vegan diet have been successful and have even seen a positive change in their performance. He emphasizes that regardless of their dietary preference, athletes can maintain and build muscle mass as long as they consume adequate, diverse sources of protein.

Moreover, he enjoys debunking beliefs surrounding vegan nutrition, which claim that it's not possible for laypeople or elite athletes to meet their nutritional needs through a vegan diet. Joisher stresses that a well-rounded vegan diet, supplemented as necessary, can support healthy living across all life stages.

Three Steps Towards Being Vegan Athletes

The transition to a vegan diet for athletes can appear daunting but may be more straightforward than we think. Joisher asserts that athletes already focus significantly on their protein intake, making the shift align well with their usual nutritional focus. He recommends that athletes ensure they are eating enough protein, supplementing with vitamins B12 and D3 where necessary, and increasing their vegetable and fruit intake.

Challenges and Successes of Vegan Mountaineering

In today's health-conscious society, vegan alternatives exist for almost every product that was once derived from animals. These developing markets have made it easier for Joisher, and others like him, to stay dedicated to their vegan lifestyles, even when traditional gear presents challenges.

The idea of eliminating animal products from his mountaineering gear initially faced pushback from skeptics. Nevertheless, Joisher proved it feasible. He shares his innovative approach in creating vegan mittens and a down suit, outlining the ethical importance of avoiding animal products, even in high-performance gear used in extreme climates. This triumph only solidifies the fact that ethical choices need not compromise human achievement and exploration.

Think Like a Vegan- Cover of book

Building Vegan Connections and Communities

The growth and prominence of vegan athletes is not just happening on an individual level. Joisher encourages individuals interested in connecting with fellow vegan athletes to explore resources such as Great Vegan Athletes, access informative books like 'Think Like a Vegan', or reach out to

vegan influencers in their particular sport.

Making Veganism Accessible

Ultimately, the essence of Joisher's narrative lies in making veganism accessible and achievable for everyone. His journey inspires others, demonstrating that being a vegan does not limit an individual's ability to reach the pinnacle of physical achievement. It emphasizes that the adoption of a vegan lifestyle need not be an all or nothing approach but rather a progressive journey of incorporating more whole, plant-based foods into your diet.

Kuntal Joisher's story is a testament to commitment, tenacity, and compassion. His transition to vegan lifestyle on and off the mountain is proof that we can all make decisions that contribute positively to our health, performance, and the health of the planet. Perhaps, his narrative prompts us to consider a new question – if we can accomplish the extraordinary without causing harm to other sentient beings, why wouldn't we?

(This blog post was based on an AI generated script and edited by me for accuracy and additional information)

Show Notes:

"I'm going to climb mountains as a vegan or I'm not going to do it at all. So that's very clear in my mind.   I know vegans can get enough protein.  I had been a vegan for eight years already by then." - Kuntal Joisher

 Episode 5 of Series 9: Unveiling Vegan Culture Transcript

Our guest, an Indian vegan mountaineer and nutrition coach, shatters the stereotype that peak physical performance requires animal-based nutrition.  Joisher myth busts and inspires throughout this episode with his knowledge and experience as a mountaineer and a personal trainer to those on a vegan journey.

Cover of the book No Shortcuts to The Top A person on in a red climbing suit on top of a mountain

Guest: Kuntal Joisher is the first Indian Vegan mountaineer, hailing from Mumbai, India. His expeditions to some of the world’s most dangerous mountains are driven by a profound personal mission as a Vegan champion, Dementia awareness advocate and a Humanitarian inspiration.Kuntal has been on several expeditions and the most significant to date has been his famous feat, his lifelong Everest dream. Kuntal started out his career as a Software Engineer, rather an unassuming happy-go-lucky chap, the guy next door, running the nine-to-five rat race. Then one day, Everything changed!

Book Recommendations:

No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks by Ed Viesturs and Think Like a Vegan by Emilia A. Leese and Eva J. Charalambides

Other Links:

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