Singapore-based Rebecca Cappelli is on a mission to promote conscious living, a health movement she passionately believes will benefit humans, animals and the planet.
Former Sales Director Rebecca Cappelli stepped away from a well-established career to become a non-profit speaker and raise awareness on the impact of our food choices. To date, she’s given over 30 talks, including one with TEDx and reached out to over 15,000 people through public speaking and videos on social media to educate her audience on the importance of a plant-based diet, providing insights into human health and the environment while she’s at it.
It was during a routine pregnancy check-up in 2015 in which the doctor reminded her of her father’s demise from brain cancer that Rebecca Cappelli started to reassess how she lived her life. Spurred into action by that moment, she started to conduct some research online and was shocked by the statistics she found of deaths caused by chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. “I used to live in a bubble, but after my daughter was born, I started to pay more attention to what we ate,” she says. Determined to understand more, Rebecca set about educating herself, watching videos on nutrition science from websites like NutritionFacts.org, viewing documentaries such as Forks Over Knives, and enrolling in an online course in plant-based nutrition from Cornell University.
Her first big change was to give go vegan. “At that point, I already knew I could be healthy without eating animal products, and I realised I was eating animals that are no different than dogs in ways that matter.” Her new lifestyle brought with it immediate health benefits, though, ironically, raised eyebrows from friends and family. “When you grow up, your family constantly tells you to eat your vegetables, but the minute you start eating healthy, everyone freaks out,” she laughs.
As her passion for conscious living started to flourish, Rebecca left her successful career in sales to start her own non-profit project, Let us be Heroes to educate people on conscious eating and living. “The first step is to educate yourself. Each time you eat, you can choose to be healthy and save the planet,” she says. This venture has given her the opportunity to take the stage at speaking engagements all over Asia. “I speak for free. All I need is one hour or less, and an open mind.” To date, she has shared her views with organisations including LinkedIn, Airbnb, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University.
With a newfound professional slant fueling Rebecca’s passion for conscious living, the environment and how animals are used for food and other products have also become part of the advocacy topics in her talks. “We have commoditised animals and treated them as products. The disconnect comes when we respect non-living objects more than living beings,” she says. “When you look into nature, everything is in perfect harmony. Nature has such intelligence and balance, no matter how you see it. We are the ones messing up everything.”
For Rebecca, the solution is in reconnecting with food and treating our environment kindly. Her message is simple, “the more you take care of your body and be healthy and happy, the more inclined you will be to show kindness to others. We can feed every hungry child, woman and man. Humankind will become less selfish and more connected to this earth and its true circle of life. The illusion is that we cannot change anything, because we’re too small; the world and its problems are too big,” she says. Yet, she’s convinced the reverse is true and that individual actions can create a ripple effect. “Nature has selected empathy as a human trait and we need to listen to it,” she explains. “Conscious living takes some effort in the beginning, but, follow your heart, give it a try and see how quick it is for you to start feeling better”. With more talks and documentary screenings planned for this year, Rebecca sees a bright future ahead. “I think it will be very evident in the next decade that we’re designed to eat a certain way and when we do, we are healthier, and we thrive. I’m very optimistic, despite the challenges, that we will see big, positive changes happening soon.”