Friday Future Lister: Stocks to Sprouts: Richie Kul's Vegan Journey

Discover the story of Richie Kul's vegan journey, transitioning from the world of finance to films, and from meat to greens

For this Friday, be introduced to Richie Kul, a Koktail Future List 100 awardee whose advocacy extends beyond personal choices, inspiring others to join the movement towards a more compassionate and sustainable future.

Richie a Thai-American graduate of Stanford University, made an unforeseen career shift from the world of finance to gain prominence in modelling, acting, and animal activism. Having earned degrees in Economics and Organisational Behaviour, Richie worked as an investment banker and finance director. However, his growing dissatisfaction with the corporate world led him down a completely different path.

Intrigued by modelling opportunities that came his way due to his leading man appearance, Richie seized the chance to redefine his career. This move propelled him into a flourishing career that spanned across global fashion capitals, from New York and Miami to Hong Kong, London, Milan, and Shanghai. He featured in campaigns for Swatch, Chevrolet, Nivea, GQ, Men's Health, Out, Cosmopolitan, and FHM, establishing himself as a sought-after face in the industry.

Richie's foray into acting was sparked by TV commercials, and his multilingual skills in English, Thai, Mandarin, and Spanish enhanced his international appeal. He secured co-starring roles in independent films, including the critically acclaimed Vietnamese film "Pearls of the Far East" by director Cuong Ngo.

Richie Kul's Compassionate Lifestyle

“It’s simple really. Dog lovers don’t eat dogs. By extension, true animal lovers don’t eat, harm, or exploit animals. If we truly love animals, let’s walk the talk and not contribute to their suffering.”

Beyond the glitz of the entertainment industry, he is also a committed animal activist. He uses his star power to champion international animal welfare campaigns, serving as a spokesperson and ambassador for charities and rescue organisations, advocating for the rights and well-being of animals.

Richie's commitment to cruelty-free living extends to his personal choices, as he proudly identifies as a vegan. His dedication to this lifestyle is evident in his actions, as he actively participates in initiatives that raise awareness about the dog meat and fur trades in Southeast Asia and Korea. Richie's partnership with Change for Animals Foundation (CFAF) as its first celebrity ambassador aligns with his values of compassion, sincerity, and steadfast integrity.

In addition to his professional endeavours, Richie shares glimpses of his vegan journey through various projects. A notable example is the international series "Eating Plants," where he explores and promotes plant-based offerings in tourist destinations worldwide.

From Vegetarianism to Veganism: Richie Kul's Ethical Evolution

Richie adopted a vegan lifestyle due to a strong aversion to violence. Recognising the importance of living peacefully, he initially became a vegetarian at 13. Despite resistance, he later realised the inadequacy of avoiding suffering solely through vegetarianism. Increased awareness of exploitation in various industries led him to transition to veganism ten years ago, with his only regret being the delay in making this change.

“The one thing I can’t accept in life is bullying and that's essentially what we do each and every day to animals. Veganism is my daily stand against violence and injustice” said Richie to Koktail magazine.

When he's not gracing the screen, he can be found exploring vegan eateries in Bangkok, accompanied by his inseparable four-legged companion, Lily. Through his diverse career and advocacy work, Richie Kul challenges stereotypes surrounding meat and masculinity and encourages others to embrace a cruelty-free lifestyle for the benefit of animals and the planet.