Blog Archives


Vegan Jain Profiles: Pravin Shah, JAINA Education committee chair

JAINA Education Leader Pravin Shah was recorded this week while in London, where he was invited to give talks for Paryushan. Here we have two talks in English and one in Gujarati on his personal decision to become vegan after visiting a dairy farm and discusses the decrease in his cholesterol that resulted. He also sicusses the philosophical basis for veganism in Jain philosophy and practice. One is “parapagraho jivanam“, all life is interdependent, and the other enjoins the practitioner to consume only those items known to him or her to be ahimsak. Thanks to Minal, Mahersh, Nishma, and Sagar from the JAIN vegans UK for producing these recordings!
1. Profile  (Gujarati) –
2. Profile (English):
3. Interview (English):

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.


Vegan Jain Profiles: Dr. Jina

Here are some recent videos in which I discuss how i became vegan and address concerns with Calcium, Protein and B12. My story is similar to other doctors raised in Jain families who have come to learn and now incorporate into our practices how healthy a vegan diet is. It is especially beneficial for those of us who are vegetarian  Indians that have a high risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and strokes due to our genetics to take the next step of eliminating dairy foods.


Dr. Gabriel Cousens on Jainism and Veganism

I asked Rabbi and physician (M.D., N.D. and diplomate in Ayurveda) Dr. Gabriel Cousens about Jainism and Veganism. He describes the violence to self in terms of adverse health effects from consuming animal products including dairy and connects veganism to our 5 anuvrats, also familar to yogis as the yamas.


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:

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 Jain children

In the words of a 4,7 and 9 year old (with their loving parents behind the camera), why, if you love animals, you should be vegan.
And how you can still enjoy mint chocolate chip soy ice cream cones and vegan shakes!



Profiles of Vegan Jains: Pramodaben Chitrabhanu

Pramodaben discusses  how people might make the journey towards veganism, including her own personal experience and how women can encourage their families towards a vegan diet as an expression of wanting the best for them. In the last part she links the experience of mothers to empathy towards  dairy cows. Click on the link to read her more comprehensive booklet: Dark Truth Behind The Milk_19-06-2013.  I will provide updated health information in a future posting but agree completely with the facts of dairy farming and the necessity to avoid consuming dairy products.


Profiles of Vegan Jains: Seema and Amman

Twenty five year old Seema and  23 year old Amman have a conversation about personal histories and how they became vegan.


Profiles of Vegan Jains: Sagar Shah


Sagar, who is an economist based in the UK, speaks from Jaipur and Delhi, where he is studying at the International Jain Studies Summer program about  his journey to veganism, the reasons to go vegan and why it is compassionate, not elitist.This is one in a series of videos that we are posting in time to be viewed at the Eco-Vegan booth at the JAINA convention in Detroit over the July 4 weekend. While I thought that the UK Young Jains conventions were vegan first, and was impressed that they were all vegan when I went in 1998, Sagar discusses his learning about veganism at ta US JAINA convention in New Jersey. As with Pramodaben’s story, once he learned about veganism, he found plenty of vegan dairy alternatives in his own backyard.


True Health and Beauty Arise from Compassion

Ajahn Guna of Berkeley Buddhist Monastery discusses how good health and beauty are not commodities but the consequences of generosity, compassion and virtue. Next to him is the producer of the documentary “Got the Facts on Milk?”, an informative and provocative film that we watched and discussed with a break for mindful walking, allowing for people to process the information they received with a fresh state of mind.