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:
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.
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
Rajeshbhai of the Shree Digambar Jain Association(SDJA) attributes a couple of talks to the beginning of a change for the SDJA in the UK. Pravin Shah of the JAINA education committee gave a talk in London at a SDJA event during Paryushan 2013 that convinced him and his wife Jyotiben to go fully vegan because of the violence involved in dairy production and consumption. I happened to visit London soon afterwards and got to talk for the first time in Gujarati about veganism to this group, and was also invited by the Jain Vegans in the UK to speak about health aspects in English. Apparently the planning committee of SDJA became convinced to serve only Jain vegan food afterwards. No option of dairy, no compromise on taste. They worked with some caterers and voila.Here is the community enjoying lunch at a recent event.
The Jain vegans group and others have been educating the Jain community much longer than the couple of years since Pravin uncle and my talk. And the Young Jains have served only vegan Jain food at their conventions for years. Another UK group, SCVP, has also catered vegan food at their events.
What will it take for JAINA, other US based Jain organizations and Indian organizations to follow their lead? And to shift away from styrofoam and plastic-ware too…. climate change is also a form of hinsa towards the planet!
Do you know the inside story of how Jain organizations have decided to serve vegan food? Please comment!
How do people actually decide to become vegan? Exposure to information about the meat and dairy industry, and in the case of already vegetarian Jains, focusing on the exploitation and violence in the diary industry? Health aspects? By appealing to people’s identity and explaining history? By listening to talks by athletes, such as Kuntal Joisher, the first vegan to summit Mt. Everest, David Carter, football player known as the 300-lb vegan, Rich Roll, triathelte? Samples? Recipes? Peer support- talking amongst those with whom we most identify to overcome emotional blocks? Or is it recipes? Recipes seem to be what is getting highest hits on this website
Examples abound from 2 recent events in the Bay area. From my own community, JCNC had a Vegan Day event last month and from the African American community, there was a Vegan Soul Fest event in Oakland.
Here’s a display board and pledge list created by Pranav Mehta:
And some of the photos from Vegan Soulfest are here:
What do you think is the best way to reach people? Comment please!
Pranav Mehta discusses the recent origins of Jains avoiding potatos and presents the many reasons that dairy products entail violence too great for Jains to participate. Here is the audio version.
For the full text, click here jainism-milk
Kuntal Joisher is the first vegan to summit Mt. Everest. He shared stories of his trials and tribulations and though not born Jain, he described how his closest friends have been Jain and actually inspired his entree into veganism. He is pictured here giving credit to the generous sherpas that make these kind of treks possible, in his case averting frostbite, by the sherpa giving Kuntal his own warm gloves. He presents a compelling story about his motivation for veganism in the YouTube clips that follow. Search online for further details about his climbing!
On a Facebook group called Vegans in India, one of the participants stated that this video was among the information that compelled him and his wife to go vegan.