Category Archives: Activism

Dallas Jain pathshala students shine a Jain lens on Veganism, Energy, Water and other Environmental Issues

Environmental Fair PosterThe Jain Society of North Texas’ (JSNT) high school  age youth (Pathshala Group 6), with the help of  Joseph R. Otterbine,an  M.S. Applied Environmental Anthropology Candidate  from the University of North Texas, recently held  the JSNT Environmental  Fair. The Fair  brought a Jain lens to bear on  energy and electricity, veganism,  transportation, water usage, and methane production. The youth decided on these topics and researched them thoroughly.  They split into five groups and prepared presentations, visuals, and takeaways (e.g. vegan brownies [yummy!] , pamphlets, fact  sheets, water usage calculator, etc.) for their booths at the fair.
The Fair started with time for the community to walk around and see the booths, followed by a  presentation from Dr. Pankaj Jain (University of North Texas) on the topic of Dharma and  Ecology.

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After his short lecture the community members were urged to visit the five different presentations at the booths set up around the hall. The community was extremely receptive to the
youth’s efforts and proud of all the work that they had done in putting together all the intricacies of the Fair. When it came to the scheduled end of the Fair, some community membewer asked for more time to explore all the work that the youth had done! 

This event was successful because the youth wanted to do it,  and OWNED it!
This enthusiasm was palpable in their presentations, their attitudes, and interactions with the  community. The Fair got the Jain Society of North Texas to look at environmental issues and  how they, as Jains, are poised as natural environmentalists.
For a slide show of the event please see http://www.dfwjains.org/
and  keep reading this post to hear more about about environmentalism and energy use in a state traditionally known for its economic dependence on oil from these amazing Jain students. And for more on veganism, methane and water use, see the next post… Continue reading

THe New Incarnation of Jivdaya: The Ahimsak Eco Vegan Committee of JAINA

In the late 1990s, the Jivdaya committee actively promoted veganism. It was clear that animal sanctuaries, the traditional institutions for Jains to give money in India to express their ahimsa, was not addressing the root of the problem of animal suffering and slaughter. I have posted some of the material from this era on this site.

This year was have a newly approved JAINA committee to represent these views and link them with our growing awareness of environmental choices that we make that can hurt or help animals and other living beings. Dubbed the Ahimsak Eco-Vegan Committee, our objective and goals follow.

 

Objective

The Ahimsak Eco- Vegan committee, as an expression of ahimsa, support veganism which we understand to mean not eating, wearing, or using animal products, because we object to both animal suffering and animal killing. We do not support animal use that is supposedly “humane” and we do not support the marketing of animal products labeled as “humane”.

The  Ahimsak Eco- Vegan committee, as an expression of ahimsa,  supports the reduction and elimination of activities contributing to harm of all life, global climate change and destruction of the planet.

Goals:

  • Promote local education and implementation of initiatives in support of ahimsak diet (veganism) and lifestyles (eco-friendly and non-use of animal items in clothing or other use)
  • Move towards fully vegan and eco-friendly YJA and JAINA conventions  events
  • Publicize activities and provide global leadership for the Jain lay, scholar and ascetic community toward an ahimsak diet and lifestyle
  • Provide health related education to the community on a plant based diet and conduct research benefitting our community and contributing to scientific knowledge on benefits, risks and risk mitigation of the modern vegetarian and vegan diet as consumed by Jains in North America.
Video

Sanjay’s JCNC presentation on Ahimsak Diet and Lifestyles

Based on the combined work of 15 Jain Center of Greater Boston volunteers and his own personal stories, Sanjay provides a compelling case for Jains to become vegan as the true expression of vegetarianism based on ahimsa.

Presentations on Ahimsak Diet and Lifestyles at JCNC, Aug 4,2013

Sudhanshu and Sanjay gave two excellent powerpoint presentations at JCNC this weekend as part of the 13th Anniversary celebrations.

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Ahimsak Life Style

Harvest Home Sanctuary’s Toast for the Turkeys Thanksgiving celebration

Today we fed turkeys and goats, played with dogs and rabbits and learned about the animals that are rescued and supported at Harvest Home Sanctuary. It was Harvest Home Sanctuary‘s Toast for  the Turkeys event.

It felt like  American version of the Jain panjrapol (our traditional animal shelters in India),  with activities that  transformed a very American holiday 0f suffering for turkeys into ahimsa for animals .

 

Please consider supporting Harvest Home Sanctuary or Farm Sanctuary, with shelters in CA and NY, by sponsoring a turkey and/or supporting the shelter animals year round. Visit these shelters! You will be touched by the animals and the humans that care for them.

Paryushan Activism:Join Animal sanctuary volunteers and Bay area Jains to oppose backyard slaughter of animals

Harvest Home Bake Sale

One Saturday morning, I wandered towards my local farmer’s market and was happy to see a vegan bake sale to supply me with goodies for my friends and family and support the Harvest Home Sanctuary, which rescues animals, at the same time.

That Saturday, as  I continued to shop in my market, I noticed that in addition to the numerous stalls  filled with fresh fruits and vegetables,  bread and other treats, there were a disturbing few stalls of of raw milk and local meat on sale. And then I circled back to the Harvest Home volunteers to chat some more.

As I got to know these lovely volunteers, they informed me that where I live, in Oakland, CA the planning commission has initiated a plan to make slaughter of animals in residential neighborhoods legal, as part of a plan to encourage healthy local eating.  While many vegetarians and vegan fully support efforts to grow plants, we are opposed to allowing animals to be killed, for the sake of our own family’s exposure to slaughter and because we’d rather not have an sanctioned, legal,   killing of animals  in our neighborhood.  For more details on the initiative go to noslaughter.org. To sign the petition directly, click here (note there is an option not to display your signature publicly in order to maintain your privacy). Besides Oakland, other cities around the country are watching and if this passes, you could have the same problem where you live, so make your voice heard!

As Jains we have a tradition of opposing the building of slaughterhouses. In recent times, one of our sadhus was imprisoned in U.P. Our opposition to backyard killing is consistent with our peaceful tradition of activism. Now all your paryushan activitism requires is a click and some typing on your computer.

Read on for more background….

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