This came from Gurudev Chirabhanu for the start of the Paryushana Jain Festival … from a newsletter by the Vegan Jains…
As most of you will be aware, Paryushan, the Jain festival of penance and forgiveness will be starting very soon.
The Jain Vegans Working Group would like to encourage as many Jains as possible to use this Paryushan to reflect on the cruelty inflicted on cows during milk production and to consider giving up dairy products.
Please consider giving up dairy products this Paryushan
Paryushan, the Jain festival of penance and forgiveness will begin very soon. During the festival, followers of the Jain faith traditionally fast, repent, and forgive. For lay members, fasting often entails avoiding activities that are traditionally thought to cause more himsa than others, such as eating root vegetables or eating after sunset.
As someone who has come across the activities of the Jain Vegans Working Group, you will be aware of how our consumption of dairy (organic or conventional) leads to the immense suffering and murder of innocent cows.
· Dairy cows are forcefully impregnated by means of artificial insemination to stimulate milk production.
· Calves are immediately separated from their mothers at birth.
· Male calves are slaughtered soon after birth or sold on to be reared for veal or beef (they are of no other value to a dairy farmer)
· Dairy cows will normally get slaughtered before the age of 7, even though they could live up to 20 years if given the chance. This is because at around that age her milk yield drops, and it does not make financial sense for a farmer to keep her alive when he is able to obtain milk from her younger (and more productive) daughters.
In light of all this, it seems reasonable that during Paryushan we as Jains should acknowledge and reflect on the suffering we have imposed on cows as a result of our consumption of dairy products.
Paryushan offers a perfect time to reflect on the actions we undertake in our daily lives and to make changes to our dietary habits. So, in addition to the other activities you undertake, why not consider giving up dairy products this Paryushan?
NHS website supportive of a vegan diet
The UK National Health Service (NHS) has a detailed page on vegan health and nutrition on its website. The site states:
“With good planning and an understanding of what makes up a healthy, balanced vegan diet, you can get all the nutrients your body needs.”
Alternatives to dairy to help you give up
It is possible to get a range of dairy free alternatives to traditionally animal based products. Normally available from free-from sections of supermarkets and also from healthfood stores.
· Yoghurt / Dahi with plant based curds (Provamel, Alpro, Sojade)
· Butter with vegetable spreads (Pure and Vitalite are commonly available from supermarkets. Note many margarines contain butter milk and thus are not suitable for vegans)
· Eggs with egg replacement powder (baking) or tofu (scrambled)
· Honey with fruit syrup or golden syrup
About Jain Vegans
Jain Vegans supports members of the Jain community in the transition towards a plant-based low-himsa lifestyle, and helps raise awareness about the abuse, violation and killing of cows in milk production.
You can find out more about Jain Vegans online (www . jainvegans . org).