Svetambar Muni encourages veganism

In the past, we posted a Youtube Video of a Digambar muni who recognized the violence in dairy production and consumption. Now the Svetamabar tradition is represented! This maharaj saheb gives a very inspiring talk about how our Tirthankars and disciples did drink milk in small quantities as medicine and even broke fasts with kheer, but how our current consumption of milk by the glassful is cruel and unhealthy. He encourages the audience to go vegan for 3 months, no excuses, no substitues, and to include non dietary aspects too. He has been vegan for 6 years and has noticed a difference in his way of thinking.
Please click the continue reading button to read the full English translation, thanks to Pranav Mehta. Labdhi Sagar Maharaj Saheb has quite a charismatic speaking style, and those of you that understand Gujarati can enjoy it!

 

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Social Validation Bias

Posted on Vegans In India facebook group by Saurabh K.

Are non veg eaters really cruel or just suffering from ‘Social Validation Bias’?

When we first moved to Singapore in 2016, we were looking for a place to rent close to the kids’ school. One such trip took us to a leafy condo block with nice low rise apartments and plenty of greenery.

The Property Agent, a local Chinese in his early 20’s, was quite helpful and showed us around a few apartments.
When we were done, as we were walking towards the exit, he suddenly held my hand and asked me to stop.
Surprised, I looked at him and he pointed me towards a snail just in front, who would have been crushed had I not been careful.
I thanked him for the gesture and bid him goodbye.

While on the way back, I kept on thinking of the incident. Why would a person, who by now might be enjoying a shark fin soup, or the local delicacy of Crispy Crabs where crabs are cruelly tied by legs for days until a patron selects them for meal, following which they are killed for food, be so sensitive towards a snail?

Such behaviour is widespread among us – we cannot see a puppy get hurt for example, and will happily pay for his treatment using a calf leather wallet.

I believe the reason is that we are all inherently non violent, but suffer from what Psychologists call ‘Social Validation Bias’. This is a basic human trait that makes even the most cruel or outlandish thing normal if sufficient number of others also do it.

When non vegetarians look around and see fellow non vegetarians who are doing just fine, not dropping dead due to the hormone filled meat, and not suffering any obvious effects of bad Karma due to their part in animal cruelty, being non vegetarian starts to look normal.

However, this is exactly how one slave trader would have felt seeing another one centuries ago.
And this is exactly how one sexual predator/Wife beater feels when he sees his colleague doing something similar and doing just fine.

However, we all know that some things are just wrong no matter how many people are doing it, and need to be opposed and stopped.

Let us hope that meat eating will start to be seen exactly as slave trading is seen today, and sexual harassment will be seen (hopefully soon) – something that only mentally sick people do who should be either coached or put behind bars

How to Talk with Non-vegans

I recently participated in a very interesting conference call organized by a Buddhist organization, Dharma Voice for Animals, featuring Bruce Friedrich as a speaker on how to be an effective advocate for animals. For me the most valuable his points was that by being effective advocates, we multiply the effect we have in the world. As individual vegans, we save many animals, and the more we persuade others, the more we may influence policies and markets that have the potential to save many more animals. This is a link to his talk:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9HcKdrP4xcPZ1NSWWRLaGVxczg/view?ts=5999fb11

How to make the biggest impact in conversations? He recommended to have a truly interactive engagement by asking questions and staying empathetic when talking with non-vegans, using the Socratic method. Another participant shared this YouTube video by another activist on using the Socratic method.

Fasting talk from JAINA 2017, just in time for Paryushan

I gave a 50 minute talk at JAINA on scientific aspects of fasting and Jainism. Rather than have one long video, I’ve divided it into shorter segments below.

Here are the videos in order:






Here are the slides: Water fasting intermittent fasting and Jainism. For further reference, here are some additional links Continue reading

Vandhana Bala, Mercy For Animals attorney speaks powerfully at JAINA 2017

Vandhana gave three thoroughly researched and well delivered talks at JAINA 2017,  of which we are posting two. The first talk  was regarding the suffering of farmed animals with an emphasis on dairy and egg production. The  second talk, for a Women’s Forum program, connected the exploitation of female animals in milk and egg production with the moral choices Jain women can make to avoid the violence.

Sagar Shah from UK Jain Vegans at JAINA 2017

Sagar Shah gave a number of presentations at JAINA 2017 in New Jersey. Here is one on environmental an ethical issues in modern food production that we recorded . In this talk Sagar presents a compelling comparison of the killing of dairy cows and male calves in meat, milk and cheese, namely that 6 pints of milk = 350 g cheese = 1/4 lb steak (the numbers in the talk below are slightly outdated).  A few people commented on how powerful this was, since Jains would never consider eating steak moral. Subsequent to the presentation, he has updated the slides ( 2017.07.03 – Environmental and ethical issues in modern food – how Jainism helps (11 Aug update)) and here are the detailed calculations (Data and methodology – equivalence of beef and dairy in killing cows ) and (Data and calcs on equivalence of eggs and chickens).

Here are some additional references Continue reading

Ahimsak Eco-Vegan Committee Booth and Vegan Panel at JAINA convention 2017

We had a panel on veganism for the youth program. Here is the video

Many people helped make our display boards for the convention during the holiday weekend and they served as a focal point for conversation.IMG_2379