Author Archives: drjina

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!

 

Continue reading

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

Jain group in UK decides to serve all vegan Jain food at events!

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.032

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!

 

What does it take to make a commitment?

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!

Use our critical reasoning skills, Jains!

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