Category Archives: JCNC

Vegan Chai at JCNC’s anniversary celebration and food: Great reviews!

A note from Pranav:


Hi All, I want to sincerely thank the Jcnc kitchen committee and volunteers to prepare vegan foods in sufficient quantity and for allowing the use of separate serving  table on this dhwaja ceremony day (Aug 4, 2018) . This time the volunteers decided to really educate the members on the availability
of vegan alternatives and quite a few people wanted to taste the vegan foods side by side with the dairy based foods. Afterwards, we informally reached out to them on the tables they were eating and they said they found vegan items more flavorful because milk/yogurt was actually diluting the original flavor of chaula sabzi as well as daal. Vegan Gattha was the most popular because people found the dairy version was actually too dull and watery. All in all, we noticed that just like a kid doesn’t like plain milk and want it flavored, Jcnc members realized that milk was working against the flavor of the base food and they would rather enjoy sabzi, daal, legumes etc without dairy. Below are few verbatim feedback from members who aren’t currently vegan themselves.
I sincerely request the food committee to make more menu items vegan as I think community is open to it.
Dhiral —- “vegan chaula sabzi tasted better because it felt more flavorful… if there was only one counter I would have rather enjoyed vegan chaula… “
Krinaben shah —- “loved the vegan version and I would go for it anytime”
Mudit khasgiwala —- “vegan dishes were more delicious and highly recommend to make more of those”
And here are some reviews of the vegan cha:



World Compassion, Vegan and Jivdaya Day Celebrated at Jain Centers Across US

On Sat Nov 1 and Sun Nov 2, seven Jain centers celebrated Compassion and Jivdaya on World Vegan Day. The Jain Centers of New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Detroit, Metropolitan Washington DC, Northern CA (JCNC) and Southern CA organized dynamic events including speakers, a film collage, and  a delicious lunch with additional food tastings at some centers.

Here’s the lunch that was served at JCNC:



Dal pasta,  salad, fruit medley, bean,guacamole, and salsa nachos, all root-free (Jain) and vegan. Lunch was a big hit and attendees numbered from 40-100 throughout the JCNC event.

Below are the six video’s from the event:

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Vegan Jain Profiles: Shilpa, Keyur and family

As part of the paryushan program at JCNC, Shilpa and Keyur discuss their journey to veganism during paryushan for reasons of nonviolence  and elaborate the benefits to their health and those of their children. Keyur lost weight, Shilpa reversed an early tendency to diabetes, and the children have avoided ear infections. They’re clearly full of energy, growing and thriving on a fully vegan diet. Keyur makes the point that the very same approaches they use to explain to the   children why they vegan are important for those parents raising their children vegan.


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. Here are the links.


Ahimsak Life Style

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 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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Ahimsak Diet

Dr Jina gave a talk at the 11th anniversary of the Jain Center of Northern California on the Ahimsak Diet. The slides are available here:Ahimsak Diet and Nutrition and you can see the talk at the following YouTube links:

part 1:
part 2:
part 3:

For those who are interested in preventing diabetes by choosing healthy Indian foods, Asha Jain has provided some recommendations :

carbohydrate & Caloric Content of common Indian foods-JAIN 2011

Role_of_Food_in_Diabetes_Management (1)

Vegan Day at Karma Kitchen

First Vegan Sunday in at Karma Kitchen Berkeley!

Karma Kitchen is an amazing experiment/experience in gift economy service. I had been to Karma Kitchen several times and dined at the host restaurant, served by volunteers and went there with Christian  for the first time together about 3 years ago. I had never mustered the energy to volunteer, given all the other priorities to which I gave my attention.

In early November, when Christian read one of the many inspiring recounts of a Karma Kitchen Sunday, he was moved to action and exclaimed:  “We should volunteer!”   And the time was ripe.  Since the last time we had come to Karma Kitchen we had the surprise pleasure of hearing Nipun, Bhoutik, and other ambassadors of generosity from Charity Focus speak at the 10th Anniversary celebrations at JCNC. That celebration also featured Gary Francione, Will Tuttle, Vaidya Priyanka and Bob Linden, and we were there serving vegan treats to the attendees. Inspired by the Charity Focus panel’s energy to “be the change”, Christian and I affirmed our intentions to do just that in a way that continued after the event and hence, this website was borne.  And serendipitously, our friend Saurabh from Washington DC who we met at JCNC told us that Karma Kitchen DC had already had some vegan days. So I joined Christian in his excitement  to volunteer at Karma Kitchen. In the glow of our recent experiences, we hatched a proposal to change the menu from vegetarian to all-vegan, just as we had been asking the Jain community to consider in their own diets, for reasons of compassion that we talk about all over this site.

  When we approached the core coordinators and host restaurant about a vegan day in Berkeley, they were all for it if we were ready to take the responsibility to coordinate it.And so we began to plan in earnest for the first vegan Sunday in Berkeley!

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Kulfi Recipe

An awesome vegan Jain family, Shilpa, Keyur and kids,  based in Fremont made more than 500 samples of this yummy kulfi that they handed out during the JCNC celebrations in August. Here is the recipe:

Vegan Kulfi (Indian Ice Cream Recipe)

Features: Sweet, creamy frozen treat, with no pretentions of being a health food, but a lovely taste of Indian ice cream on a hot day.

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Vegan content at JCNC’s 10th Anniversary celebrations Aug 2010

Our first event was at the Jain Center of Northern California on Aug. 7-8 2010, where vegan speakers such as Gary Francione, Will Tuttle and Bob Linden discussed the practice of ahimsa in a vegan diet. The link to Prof. Francione’s lecture from JAINA in Los Angeles in 2009 is here. Bay Area Vegetarians helped us to plan and present literature and products for display during lunch and afternoon tea.  Since Jains are traditionally lacto-vegetarian, we focused on the non-dairy alternatives. We addressed lots of nutritional questions, and will try to continue to do so here at this website. We also had a special handout placed in the event attendees’ bags (Vegan Jain brochure) that focused on veganism for Jains, and had the JAINA Education Committee’s Book of Compassion in both English and Gujarati, (click here for the pdf). We gave out samples of yummy products donated by Turtle Mountain, store bought Whole foods soy yogurt,  home-made kulfi  (Indian iced dessert), and home-made almond milk.  We ended up with a multi-faceted expression of the vegan lifestyle, from formal talks to food tasting, to informal conversation with Jain vegans, to discussion of materials produced by Jain leaders at the national level and other vegan groups.  We’ll expand on  different elements of the event here and in succeeding posts.