What is Veganism?
The word "vegan" denotes a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude —
as far as is possible and practical — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty
to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose and by extension promotes the
development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals
and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with
all products derived wholly or partly from animals.( Memorandum of Association of
the Vegan Society". About Us 1. Vegan Society (1979-11-20). Retrieved on 2007-02-22.)
Vegans live on plant based food, so exclude flesh, fish, fowl, poultry, seafood,
dairy products such as animal milk, butter, cheese, yogurt (curd), ice-cream, eggs,
honey, animal gelatin and all other items of animal origin like leather, silk, wool,
Every kind of milk, whether it is from humans, cows, dogs, elephants, or camels,
etc is formulated to meet the specific growth needs of their young. For example,
there is a big difference between human babies and calves. Cow's milk is 15% protein
while human milk is 5-7% protein. Additionally, it takes about 45 days for a calf
to double its birth weight and about 180 days for a human infant to double its birth
weight. Humans are the only mammals that consume milk after infancy and from a different
The heart of Dharma is Reverence for all Life ie. Ahinsa. Ahinsa is a term meaning
to do no harm, having empathy and feeling other’s pain. It is an important tenet
of the religions that originated in ancient India (Hindu, Buddh and Jain).
Ahinsa is the first rule of conduct that bars the killing or injuring of living
beings. It is connected with the law of cause and effect that all kinds of violence
entail negative karmic consequences.When the animals are killed, mutilated, tied
by force, loaded with heavy loads or kept hungry one actually commits the violation
of the first vow of not killing and lapses the code of conduct.
Therefore the adherents believe that when the calves go hungry without a drop of
milk, the human becomes the cause for their hunger and untimely death which crates
negative vibrations. To do anything hurtful, to encourage others to do or to appreciate
others doing it results in the same attraction of negative karmas.
When the cow, buffalo or the calf is not allowed to live his or her destined life
and if their life is abruptly ended in agony, one becomes responsible for the same
fate in one's own life. It is not surprising when this affects the longevity karma
of the person. Reducing the longevity of others we reduce our longevity.
The spiritually aware believe that to take anything without the permission of their
owner is a theft. We have not taken permission from the cow to take her milk? Have
we? We are violating another principle of Dharma ie. non- stealing.
When the mother is separated from her baby by force, one acquires the karma of obstruction
in one’s life.
For self realization all the great saints have emphasized renunciation of passion
creating foods in daily life. Since all animal products are passion creating foods,
one must eschew them.
It is shocking to hear intelligent people argue that the cows are not killed to
get milk so it is okay to drink milk. These are the ones who are fearful of change
and are not ready to give up their ill habits and thus defend themselves. They don't
realize that by taking milk and its products one perpetuates endless violence indirectly
supporting the cruelty in the dairy industry
Rainbow Food for The Vegan Palate!
New York Times Lauded Cook
Author of Foods of Earth Tastes of Heaven
Available in INDIA:
Available in U.S.A:
JAINA Jivdaya Committee-Federation of Jain Association In North America
5308 East 80th Place, Tulsa,OK 74136
All the proceeds of this book will go to Divine Knowledge Society- Mumbai to promote
the work of ahinsa, compassion and advocacy of animal welfare.