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.
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