Vandhana gave three thoroughly researched and well delivered talks at JAINA 2017, of which we are posting two. The first talk was regarding the suffering of farmed animals with an emphasis on dairy and egg production. The second talk, for a Women’s Forum program, connected the exploitation of female animals in milk and egg production with the moral choices Jain women can make to avoid the violence.
Sagar Shah gave a number of presentations at JAINA 2017 in New Jersey. Here is one on environmental an ethical issues in modern food production that we recorded . In this talk Sagar presents a compelling comparison of the killing of dairy cows and male calves in meat, milk and cheese, namely that 6 pints of milk = 350 g cheese = 1/4 lb steak (the numbers in the talk below are slightly outdated). A few people commented on how powerful this was, since Jains would never consider eating steak moral. Subsequent to the presentation, he has updated the slides ( 2017.07.03 – Environmental and ethical issues in modern food – how Jainism helps (11 Aug update)) and here are the detailed calculations (Data and methodology – equivalence of beef and dairy in killing cows ) and (Data and calcs on equivalence of eggs and chickens).
Here are some additional references Continue reading
We had a panel on veganism for the youth program. Here is the video
Many people helped make our display boards for the convention during the holiday weekend and they served as a focal point for conversation.
This short film made in India about milk reminds me a lot of our year in India. We saw cows eating plastic garbage daily, and saw various organizations that considered giving kids a daily glass of milk as a great service. It is great to see Kuntal Joisher, the first vegan to climb Everest who we met at in Milipitas in the movie. Also Nandita Shah from Sharan who we saw speak in Ahmedabad.
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.
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!
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!
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
Kuntal Joisher is the first vegan to summit Mt. Everest. He shared stories of his trials and tribulations and though not born Jain, he described how his closest friends have been Jain and actually inspired his entree into veganism. He is pictured here giving credit to the generous sherpas that make these kind of treks possible, in his case averting frostbite, by the sherpa giving Kuntal his own warm gloves. He presents a compelling story about his motivation for veganism in the YouTube clips that follow. Search online for further details about his climbing!
On a Facebook group called Vegans in India, one of the participants stated that this video was among the information that compelled him and his wife to go vegan.
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.