The Middle Eastern division of the popular international magazine Grazia recently sat down with Prince Khaled Bin Alwaleed of Saudi Arabia for an interview. The compassionate leader discussed his journey to veganism, his favorite plant-based meals, sustainability, and the progression of women’s rights in the nation.
Alwaleed noted that he wants his legacy to pave the way for a greener and cleaner planet. The prince’s plant-based journey began when his concern for the environment and his health piqued. Research eventually led him to his vegan diet, which he adopted in 2009 and has since adored. “[Going vegan] was the best thing I ever did,” Alwaleed told Grazia.
The prince also introduced the lifestyle to his family, using veganism as a way to teach his daughters to love all beings. It started with simple childhood curiosity as his children were inquiring why their father refused meat. “I explained, ‘We don’t eat our friends’. When I gave them options like Tofurky they understood they could still enjoy flavours without cruelty. This summer, I plan on taking them to an animal sanctuary so I can increase their feelings of empathy and compassion,” Alwaleed said.
In addition to enriching his moral values, Alwaleed said his plant-based diet improved his physical health and powers him through grueling CrossFit workouts. “Aside from getting down to a healthy weight, which was a combination of clean eating and working out, being vegan has increased my mental clarity, sleep quality and stamina,” he added.
When Alwaleed is playing host, he takes his guests to Plant Café, a vegan restaurant in Bahrain that he invested in. For starters, the guests dine on pearl barley soup and share baba ganoush, vegan caesar salad, and vegan sushi. The focal meal is often a shared plant-based lasagna with Indian potato and cauliflower curry. Dessert includes a vegan carrot cake that Alwaleed said is “fantastic.”
In the interview, Alwaleed also commented on the importance of greater equilibrium of gender opportunity in Saudi Arabia. “[I]t’s a beautiful scene to see our women leading in today’s Saudi Arabia,” the prince said. “I go to meetings and see many Saudi women hungry for success and dedicated to achievement.”
Alwaleed continues to be an influential figure in the vegan movement. He recently traveled to Hong Kong and was blown away by its vegan scene. He also announced he is set to open an animated animal-free aquarium in the country’s capital to provide an educational experience without animal cruelty.
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