Last month, Mumbai-born mountaineer Kuntal Joisher successfully scaled 8,516-meter-tall Mount Lhotse, the world’s fourth largest mountain, to show that animals don’t need to be exploited in order for humans to achieve their dreams. In 2016, Kuntal became the first vegan to summit Mount Everest. While he consumed an entirely plant-based diet during that expedition, he was unable to find a synthetic one-piece suit durable enough to withstand the climb. For his latest expedition, Kuntal sought out an alternative to both down and leather that would allow him to ascend through severe weather conditions. After executives from Mountain Hardwear, Rab, and North Face told Kuntal it was impossible, he contacted vegan clothing company Save the Duck. “My dream to accomplish a true first vegan 8,000-meter ascent no longer seemed impossible,” Kuntal told VegNews. “The suit had never been tested in these conditions. But I was ready—more than ever—for the animals.” During the climb, Kuntal fueled himself with granola, soy milk, energy bars, and dried fruit. At the top of the mountain, Kuntal flew a “Liberation for All” flag created by vegan and fellow mountaineer Anu Vidya, who passed away while hiking in South India. “I am committed to the vegan cause,” Kuntal said. “My dream is to someday build a team of solid vegan mountain climbers that will go and climb Mount Everest on a 100-percent-vegan expedition, and show the world that we are not weak and that we can take on the toughest physical and mental challenges on this planet.”
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