The Jain Society of North Texas’ (JSNT) high school age youth (Pathshala Group 6), with the help of Joseph R. Otterbine,an M.S. Applied Environmental Anthropology Candidate from the University of North Texas, recently held the JSNT Environmental Fair. The Fair brought a Jain lens to bear on energy and electricity, veganism, transportation, water usage, and methane production. The youth decided on these topics and researched them thoroughly. They split into five groups and prepared presentations, visuals, and takeaways (e.g. vegan brownies [yummy!] , pamphlets, fact sheets, water usage calculator, etc.) for their booths at the fair.
The Fair started with time for the community to walk around and see the booths, followed by a presentation from Dr. Pankaj Jain (University of North Texas) on the topic of Dharma and Ecology.
After his short lecture the community members were urged to visit the five different presentations at the booths set up around the hall. The community was extremely receptive to the
youth’s efforts and proud of all the work that they had done in putting together all the intricacies of the Fair. When it came to the scheduled end of the Fair, some community membewer asked for more time to explore all the work that the youth had done!
This event was successful because the youth wanted to do it, and OWNED it!
This enthusiasm was palpable in their presentations, their attitudes, and interactions with the community. The Fair got the Jain Society of North Texas to look at environmental issues and how they, as Jains, are poised as natural environmentalists.
For a slide show of the event please see http://www.dfwjains.org/
and keep reading this post to hear more about about environmentalism and energy use in a state traditionally known for its economic dependence on oil from these amazing Jain students. And for more on veganism, methane and water use, see the next post… Continue reading
Pravin uncle of the JAINA education committee in the US gave compelling talks in the UK this Paryushan about the hinsa involved in dairy production, among many other topics. See the audio and video files put together by Rajesh and Jyoti, of the Kanji Swami Jain community in their encyclopedic site here
There are also YouTube videos:
Following Sagar and the Jain Vegans Working Group Vegan for Paryushan Campaign, there seems to be a growing awareness of veganism among Jains in the UK and the Jain Vegans blog chronicles encouraging recent developments!
JAINA Education Leader Pravin Shah was recorded this week while in London, where he was invited to give talks for Paryushan. Here we have two talks in English and one in Gujarati on his personal decision to become vegan after visiting a dairy farm and discusses the decrease in his cholesterol that resulted. He also sicusses the philosophical basis for veganism in Jain philosophy and practice. One is “parapagraho jivanam“, all life is interdependent, and the other enjoins the practitioner to consume only those items known to him or her to be ahimsak. Thanks to Minal, Mahersh, Nishma, and Sagar from the JAIN vegans UK for producing these recordings!
Based on the combined work of 15 Jain Center of Greater Boston volunteers and his own personal stories, Sanjay provides a compelling case for Jains to become vegan as the true expression of vegetarianism based on ahimsa.
Sudhanshu and Sanjay gave two excellent powerpoint presentations at JCNC this weekend as part of the 13th Anniversary celebrations.
Ahimsak Life Style
Here are some recent videos in which I discuss how i became vegan and address concerns with Calcium, Protein and B12. My story is similar to other doctors raised in Jain families who have come to learn and now incorporate into our practices how healthy a vegan diet is. It is especially beneficial for those of us who are vegetarian Indians that have a high risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and strokes due to our genetics to take the next step of eliminating dairy foods.
Here are the links for the first few segments of Prof. Francione’s discussion of veganism and ahimsa at JAINA.
Dr Jina gave a talk at the 11th anniversary of the Jain Center of Northern California on the Ahimsak Diet. The slides are available here:Ahimsak Diet and Nutrition and you can see the talk at the following YouTube links:
part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHcnDkswFpQ
part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMFK-ZcGDfo
part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTzTK6ua0b8
For those who are interested in preventing diabetes by choosing healthy Indian foods, Asha Jain has provided some recommendations :
carbohydrate & Caloric Content of common Indian foods-JAIN 2011
In response to Bob Linden’s showing of the Conklin Dairy video from YouTube at JCNC, some audience members were outraged. “Is this legal?” they asked. Bob responded by saying there had been legal charges brought against the owner, however, similar abuses are widespread. The audience continued to express agitation “What can we do?” “Going vegan does not solve the problem”, they said. They did not seem entirely satisfied by the speaker response that going vegan is the first thing we should do. I think we have to have the integrity to give up the product for which this violence is committted. Bob mentioned that activism in which others engage- videotaping, protesting, etc. I don’t think members of an immigrant community are likely to participate in this kind of protest, focused as they are on making a life in a new place and fitting into mainstream society. (Though my and succeeding generations might….) I brought up the example of Jains in Indian history influencing kings to have slaughter-free days. And some contend that vegetarianism was not as consistent in non-Jain traditions as in Jainism, so that the vegetarianism we see in India is largely the result of Jain influence. I can’t imagine exactly how we could exert this kind of influence in American society. But maybe there are ways that our collective imaginations can develop. I hope people don’t use the excuse that we can’t change what happens to dairy cows to justify their continued consumption. Jains have refrained from eating meat even though they can’t stop slaughter everywhere.
On August 25th 2010 a number of people came together for a gathering at a soon to open Filipino vegan restaurant called “No Worries” in Oakland California. Here are some personal stories from attendees: