Category Archives: Profiles

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!

 

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Interview with Sunny Gurnani

Today we met Sunny Gurnani at the Oakland VegFest. Sunny is the founder of GoVegan.in, a company in India that sells organic soy-milk, tofu and ice-cream. While we were in Ahmedabad last year we regularly got soy-milk from them (see the next post about it.

Here is a picture of the assorted of Soy Milk we purchased from them in Ahmedabad.Various soy milks from GoVegan

Profiles of Vegan Jains: Dr. Shrenik Shah

I interviewed my parents’ physician who has been practicing internal medicine for 27 years. Raised Jain and having learned more about the hinsa of dairy, after his patient brought him Diet for a New America, he decided to become completely vegan. He has  been observing and especially in the last 6-8 months,  promoting the health benefits of a vegan diet including weight loss and decreased cholesterol. He has collected data on 50-60 patients showing that veganism has resulted in a 50% drop in LDL levels among omnivores and 10-30% drop among previous vegetarians, beating the effect of the widely prescribed statin drugs. Dr. Shrenik also shares his observations regarding patients’ willingness to change especially among young and prediabetic patients.

Profiles of Vegan Jains: Keval

Mahersh and Nishma recorded a  fellow UK based Jain Vegan group member, Keval, at the VegFest in Bristol, UK. Keval discusses his journey with brevity, sincerity and clarity, a winning combination.

Profiles of Vegan Jains: Mahersh and Nishma (and a shrikhand recipe!)

Mahersh and Nishma started the group Jain Vegans based in the UK.  They invite  us to their home in London for breakfast to discuss their reasons for going vegan and show us the variety of plant milks and other tasty foods they enjoy. To make the shrikhand that Nishma tastes in the video:

Use unflavoured soya yoghurt (400g)  and place a muslin (“cheese”) cloth over double fold bath towels and spread the soya yoghurt (left it for appx 2hrs).  When the water has been absorbed, remove the yoghurt solid from the muslin cloth and place the lumps in a bowl. Mix in sweetener (tradtionally sugar, but find a vegan kind) to taste, powdered cardamom and a generous pinch of saffron. And garnish with almonds and pistachios.

Serves 2 people.

Video

Profiles of Vegan Jains: Professor Gary Francione

Professor Gary Francione is undertaking a fast from July 4-7, 2013 to express his conviction that consumption of dairy and is incompatible with our Jain ideal of ahimsa and distress that the JAINA convention will serve dairy products. He explains below:

I will not be attending the JAINA convention this year. But I will be fasting for the entire four days of the Convention to express my concern that the Convention will be serving food that involves himsa, such as milk, ghee, paneer, and ice cream. It is clear that the intentional infliction of suffering and death on mobile, multi-sensed beings is a violation of the principle of ahimsa, and it cannot be doubted that, as a matter of simple fact, there is a great deal of suffering and death involved in the production of these foods. Animal foods also involve stealing from animals and the rape of female animals.

Please understand that my fast is not an act of protest. It is an expression of profound sadness that at the largest gathering of Jains in North America, there will be himsa as part of the celebration. And for what? For nothing more compelling than palate pleasure.

I have spoken with the incoming leadership of JAINA and I have been assured that this issue will receive great scrutiny in the coming years. I look forward to that and I will assist in any way that I can.

I know that the Jain community loves Gurudev Chitrabhanu. It is my hope that Gurudev lives to see the organization he helped to create embrace a principle that he holds close to him as an integral and necessary part of ahimsa. During the fast, I will meditate for at least two hours per day on the wise words of Gurudev Chitrabhanu in his plea for Jains to reject all animal animal foods.

I invite any of you who are interested to read this short essay that I wrote several years ago on this topic and that was published in the Jain Digest. It can be found here: http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/media/pdf/Ahimsa.pdf

For more on Prof. Francione’s thoughts about Jainism and Veganism, you can hear an interview we did in his office in Newark, NJ in June 2013 for the Eco-Vegan Booth at the JAINA conference.

Profiles of Vegan Jains: Sanjay Jain

I had the opportunity to interview Sanjay Jain, who is leading the Eco-Vegan booth project at the upcoming JAINA convention, when he visited San Francisco in March. Hear his story below.