A note from Pranav:
A note from Pranav:
Paryushan and Das Lakshan parva are just around the corner. Starting on Friday, September 6th, Jains all over the world will increase their level of spiritual intensity.
My childhood Jain Centers included Norwood, Massachusetts and Houston, Texas. I now live in Massachusetts with my husband and four children and have been practicing veganism (food, clothing, even my car is leather-free) for 2 years. Last year, I attended a lecture in Mumbai where a Jain marajsaheb spoke to us about the dairy industry as it applies to Jainism. It inspired me to reach out to all of you.
As you may know, the Jain Center of Southern California decided this year not to allow dairy in the temple due to the incredible suffering animals go through in order to produce ghee/milk, etc. They made an inspirational video which is worth watching;
Unfortunately, many other Jain centers today still use dairy products (whether it is ghee in pooja or food served). In our private homes we must respect a person’s wish to do as he/she pleases. However, our Jain center is shared by a community of people seeking to observe and follow Jainism, and more specifically ahimsa. In order to follow ahimsa to the highest level, I ask that you observe a non-dairy practice for 18 days (September 6 – September 23). In addition to your individual practice, please sign a petition to end the use of dairy products in our Jain temples. This will magnify your good personal choices so that we can do better as a community.
Dr. Michael Klaper gave an excellent talk at the Jain Center of Northern California and has made a video specifically on the health and ethical problems with dairy consumption. Below is a screen shot. You have to click on the hyperlink here to access the talk which leads you to his website, containing all kinds of other excellent content!
“Dairy Doubts” (42-minutes)
00:00 : Dr. Klaper’s Introduction
00:44 : What we’re told about dairy products…
01:42 : The purpose of cow’s milk
02:56 : If you’re trying to lose weight…
03:54 : Reality check
04:33 : Estrogens in cow’s milk
12:26 : Dairy and prostate cancer
14:37 : Dairy and ovarian cancer
15:42 : Dairy and acne
17:09 : Plant-based diets in treatment of asthma
18:21 : Dairy and various medical conditions
19:18 : Cheese (congealed, fermented butterfat)
20:04 : “The Cheese Trap” by Neal Barnard, MD
20:27 : Where cow’s milk really comes from…
25:59 : Today’s commercial dairy industry
32:33 : Are you really that hungry?
33:22 : Healthy calcium sources
35:40 : Dairy and environmental pollution
37:00 : Look in the mirror…
37:25 : Delicious alternatives (in moderation)
38:21 : What about your bones?
38:49 : Osteoporosis is NOT primarily a calcium deficiency
39:33 : Healthy Bones
40:08 : Summary and Suggestions
42:31 : End
Thanks to Meredith Scheiner for her Time Map of this presentation
Big news in our community: The Jain Center of Southern California (JSSC) has decided to serve all vegan meals starting next year, with a transition period this year. Pravin uncle of the JAINA Education Committee gives us the inside story here .
As nicely described by Sagar of Young Jains here, the JSSC is the third Jain organization, after the Sri Digambar Jain Association in 2016 and Young Jains UK in 2017 to go vegan.
This is the first one in North America to go vegan. Fellow Jains have called on Northern California, Houston, Chicago and others to follow. Let’s hope they do. And with the JSSC hosting the next JAINA convention, we can hope that the biennial convention of North American Jains just might make a bold step that’s been a long time coming.
We Jains have a deep caring for all living beings and it’s an easy argument to eliminate dairy because we are saving the lives of dairy cows and their calves, egg laying hens and their chicks.
If we reflect on Earth Day, and the myriad ways that farming animals contributes to climate change, pollutes the water and air, uses inordinate amounts of water and land, we can see the less direct but still important benefits of going vegan. Books like Drawdown list plant rich diets as #4 in the list of most impactful steps to save the planet and all the living beings on it.
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!
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
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.