Sunday, April 15, 2018

Hats off to Jain Center of Southern California (JCSC) at Los Angeles

Hats off to Jain Center of Southern California (JCSC) at Los Angeles

Only Jain Vegan food to be Served at JCSC Center of Los Angeles
The Executive Committee of the Jain Center of Southern California (JCSC) at Los Angeles (Buena Park CA) announced on the Mahavir Janma Kalyanak day (April 8, 2018) that the Jain society will serve only Jain Vegan food (vegetarian food without dairy products and root vegetables) at all future programs of the Jain society. The implementation phase in period is year from April to December 2018.

Also on Mahavir Jayanti Day, it served complete Vegan food to more than 1000 people who attended Shri Mahavir Jayanti program in the evening. All members were very appreciative of the society action.

This is the first Jain Society of America who has took such a bold step on its own without support from Jain Ascetics and popular Jain scholars of India. This is a history making decision for all Jains of North America as well.

Three days later when I heard the news, I needed to verify its authenticity.  I called the president Dr. Jasvantbhai Modi and talked to him at length about this announcement.  Dr. Modi  is a newly elected (4 months ago) first time president of the Jain Center.  In such a short time period he was able to convince the majority of its 15 executive committee members to support the Vegan diet resolution presented to JCSC committee. 

Dr. Modi’s main point was that Jains should not consume dairy products due to animal cruelty (Jainism’s main tenet  is non-violence), and its detrimental effects on human health. We should serve only vegan food at our Center and this will provide a good example to other Jain Centers of North America. We need to educate members of our society that why we should consume only vegan food.  This way our members not only at the Jain Center but at their homes also consume vegan food. The resolution was passed by over whelming majority of the executive committee.  I was very very happy to feel his enthusiasm in implementing Vegan food resolution.

History Making Jain Center (JCSC - Buena Park CA)
The Los Angeles Jain Center (JCSC) consists of more than 2000 community members.  It is one of the largest and history making Jain Center of North America.
  • It is a birth place of the Federation of JAINA that occurred in 1981.  The creation of JAINA was inspired by Gurudev Shri Chitrabhanuji and Acharya Shri Sushilmuniji.
  • The Los Angeles Jain Center is a home to a priceless, historical and more than 100-years old replica of a temple similar to the Palitana Temple.  The replica is on display in the main lobby of the Cultural Complex. The assembled structure, weighing nearly 10,000 lbs measures 15 ft x 20 ft x 35 ft high, is carved out of teakwood. The structure has elaborately carved columns, wall panels, doors, a dome, two curved staircases and two ornate jarukhas (enclosed balconies).
  • Serving only Jain Vegan food at the Center is another major history making event that occurred in 2018. 
Our heartiest congratulation to the president Dr. Jasvantbhai Modi, his supporting executive committee members and the members of the history making Jain Center (JCSC) of Los Angeles.

Universal Law of Nature
The following law of Nature explains in brief the reasons why Jains should not use milk and other dairy products.  This is true for mothers of human as well as for animal under natural healthy environment.
·         No mother (cow and human) produces milk unless she delivers a baby first.
·     After the birth of a calf, the cow starts to produce milk only to feed her calf.  She also produces just enough milk that is needed for her calf (same as human).
·         The cow slowly stops producing milk after her calf reaches a weaning age (same as human).
·         Nature has not made any provision for mother cow to produce more milk than the need of her calf so that human can drink her excess or surplus milk.

In conclusion, under natural environment we can safely state that:
Any drop of milk that we drink or we use in dairy products is considered stolen from the mother cow that was meant for her baby calf.
Any other reasons that we hear (we use excess milk of mother cow) from our religious scholars and leaders or from other sources are totally incorrect..  They do not possess good knowledge of this subject and makes an authoritative statement.

From the Jain principle point view, by consuming dairy product we commit the highest sin of violence which is:.
“Stealing and consuming the food from mother cow that was meant for her child”

Gurudev Chitrabhanuji’s Mission
After confirming the news, I called Shri Gurudev Chitrabhanuji in Mumbai and talked to Smt Pramodaben.  For about last 15 years Gurudev’s full time mission was to promote Veganism among Jain communities across USA, India and other places of the world.  Shri Chitrabhanuji was extremely happy and joyful to hear this great news from Smt Pramodaben  (Gurudev is now 96 years old and cannot communicate over the phone). He has felt that his tireless effort to promote Veganism finally produced a great result in America.

Jain Center of Chicago, which will be celebrating its 25th temple anniversary in June 2018, will honour Gurudev Shri Chitrabhanuji by installing his Bust at the Center.  We earnestly request the executive committee of Chicago Jain Center to serve only Vegan Food during 25th year celebration function.  This will be real honour to Gurudev Chitrabhanuji’s mission and work.

Various JAINA Committees’ Work on Veganism
For the past 10 to 20 years, several JAINA committees (YJA, YJP, Ahimsak Eco Vegan Committee and Jaina Education Committee) and several Jain Vegan WhatsApp groups promote Veganism across USA, Canada, India and around the world. During this time, these committees have educated few thousands Jains who practice Veganism in their daily lives. 
  • For the last 10 to 15 years, YJA convention has served 95%+ vegan food, and used environmental friendly paper products for their national conventions.  Several young speakers were invited to speak on Veganism.
  • Ahimsak Eco Vegan Committee is a resource center for Veganism and Ecology related literature
  • Jaina Education Committee is fully committed to the practice Vegan way of life.  It prepared all new Pathashala books about 13 years go and dedicated to the people who are committed to live Vegan way of life.  All Pathashala teachers’ conferences and Jain Education workshops conducted at various places serve only Jain Vegan food.
  • The education committee has published the Book of compassion which consists sever articles related to animal cruelty, Veganism, Environmental protection, and complete elimination of animal products from Jain rituals. 
Vegan Movement at UK and India
Shri Digambar Jain Association (SDJA) 400 member society of London declared in September 2014 that they will serve only Jain Vegan meals to the members at any Jain society function.

Jain Vegan Group in UK is very very active promoting Vegan way of life across UK.  Please visit its website to review their activities.

Jain Vegan Transition and Veganize Jain Monks and Nuns WhatsApp groups of India are very active promoting Veganism.  Few Jain Swetambar and Digambar monks are actively participating in the Jain Vegan Movement of India.  However no high level Jain Acharyas and scholars are promoting Veganism.

There may be more Jain Vegan organisations promoting Veganism but I am not aware about it.
Pravin K. Shah, Chairperson

JAINA Education Committee
Jain eLibrary Website in-charge
Jaina JAB competition coordinator
919 889 1900 Cell


  1. Thank you Pravinbhai, for keeping us updated on Ahinsa development regarding revolutionary JCSC commitment; as well as your own selfless endeavors to bring Jain Society into accordance with accurate understanding of Ahinsa meaning. Congratulations and commendations are in order and extended to JCSC and Yourself. These developments will continue to keep Jainism exceptional. Dharma-laabha - Balabhadra

    1. Dear Balbhadra, I recall when you first promoted vegan diet to me! Now I am 8 years vegan and giving lectures on the subject in different countries. Hope you are well!

  2. Not so good....cruelty to animals by muslims and americans on thanks giving and in routine is,well known..I don't think it serves any purpose and also creats health issue. Drsbafna

    1. Read this article.. should resolve most of your queries.

  3. Loving Arms Animal Sanctuary in Erie Colorado founded by Young Jain Couple is saving and sheltering animals and promoting Veganism since 2015

    1. Yes, you are correct! Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary is a commendable, exemplary undertaking and needs recognition and unconditional support. Their commitment and professionalism is admirable.

    2. Thank you Balabhadra Costain.

  4. Vinit Mahendra DoshiApril 15, 2018 at 4:40 PM

    Kudos to these organizations for taking steps to go vegan. For Jains, this should be a trivial next step in the application of Ahimsa. The fact that there is so much resistance to it in the name of tradition shows how difficult it is to overcome inertia.

    What's firstly appalling is the resistance to giving up the addiction to dairy for a single meal at their center on the occasional auspicious day. ?? Really, we can't live without milk sweets or yogurt for a single meal? It's one thing for many Jains to not be vegan at home, at school, at the office, etc. But why insist on having it at EVERY meal and at your Jain center?

    Here's what is doubly appalling. When I compare using dairy to eating meat, Jains get offended. In principal, recognize that there is no difference. Both involve violence and theft. Dairy is the only recurring source of revenue from a cow, and the profit from it subsidizes the entire enterprise, so the argument that drinking the milk is less violent than eating the animal is not true.

    Furthermore, Jains have a special responsibility to this practice of Ahimsa. Westerners may not be aware, but we are or should be. For Jains to object to the absence of dairy at a single meal where they likely don't have to pay or make any effort, at a meal that is presumably held in the spirit of celebrating Jain dharma, is the height of hypocrisy.

    Go vegan please.

  5. Please do not rebrand Jainism as Vaganism.
    Jainism is not the same a Vaganism, and Vaganism is NOT Jainism.
    Jainism is MUCH MUCH more than food fads.

    1. Veganism is not a food fad. It is a way of life that is in harmony with the Vitraag dharma in terms of charitra (conduct). Yes Jainism is much more than conduct but veganism is the moral and ethical baseline for conduct.

    2. Please read this article.. should resolve most of your queries on tenets of Jainism with what Vegan'ism means.

  6. Absolutely commendable... hope many and perhaps all other Jain Centers across North America take inspiration from this and follow suit ����

    1. Why don't you first go to India, the Birthplace of Jainism and Jain culture - why dn't you go there and ask the Sadhus as to why they are accepting milk and milk based products. There was a Bahubali Swami Abhisek recently and thousands of liters of milk were used by all the Sashus and layShrawaks.

    2. Yes, and billions of people eat meat. Doesn’t make it right.

      We respect Sadhus and sadhvis immensely but it doesn’t mean that everything they do is automatically right. They are still human only. If we always blindly follow what past sadhu or any authority figure does, we would never change, progress or evolve.

    3. There are indeed ongoing efforts to talk with Jain sadhus and Sadhvis and a small number is speaking out in favor of veganism. Please see

  7. I think we should state the FACTS:
    "Holsteins produce far in excess of the milk necessary for a calf. A dairy cow will produce more milk than a calf can drink, and will keep producing it for quite some time after the calf no longer needs to drink milk. ... The upshot is that a dairy farm has way more milk available than the calves need."

    Just try Internet and you will know the truth.
    Dairy cows can cost a lot of money so why would a farmer mistreat the animal? Vegans have it all wrong

    1. It’s not a fad and no one is equating the two. Vegan. Lifestyle is a direct implication of Jainism.

    2. If the cow was selectively bred to produce unhealthy amounts of milk then it is true. Which is also why all those high milk production cows like Hohlstein's look so thin. They can barely eat enough for all the energy they need, even when they eat the whole day. It's cruelty to even breed selectively dairy cows and exploit them. Raising the cow under natural environment this is not true.


    4. Please read this article.. should resolve most of your queries on tenets of Jainism with what Vegan'ism means.


    Copy and paste this link and you will know the truth

  9. The tensions you are creating in the minds of the young is totally unacceptable. We live in North America where it is difficult enough to find a vegetarian meal, let alone a vegan meal. Then you ask everybody stop milk and milk containing products! Leave the stricter rules of eating for the Sadhus. BTW, all sadhus in India accept milk and milk products when they come to your abode in their Gochari.

    1. To JCSC
      Khub Khub Anumodna.
      I support yr resolution.
      Anil Shah

    2. Eating vegan is easier than ever.

      The difficulty of doing the right thing should not stop one from aspiring to it and moving towards it.

    3. Having grown up in the US as a Jain I can say it is easier than ever to eat as a vegan. The tensions of consuming food that is bound up with violence to animals would be far greater.

  10. “Concerned”, whether the milk is excess or not, it is not ours to take. These animals are bred to produce excessive milk, often to the detriment of their health, and then Slaughtered when no longer productive. Your logic is the equivalent of those who say “if people weren’t meant to eat meat, then why are cows made of beef?” You see how ridiculous that is? If one wants to do something wrong, do it if you must, but let’s not twist the facts to self justify the actions we want to take. I would rather admire more the person who straight up says “I understand that it’s wrong but I don’t care because I like my milk and I’m going to drink it.” At least then we are being honest.

    1. So you are saying that ALL our Sadhus in India are wrong, because they accept milk and milk products.

    2. We highly respect Sadhus but they are human only. Just because they condone something does not make it right. Cannot equate Traditions with dharma. Right conduct requires an understanding and application of the principles in changing times.

  11. Pravinbhai, thank you for tirelessly raising awareness of this issue!

    It is more necessary than ever for this world to move away from an animal based diet. It is killing the planet.

    1. Do you know, Mr Doshi, that the chapati you ate today is made from flour in which there is a certain amount of insect bodies LEGALLY allowed? Here is an eye opener for you.
      How Many Rodent Hairs and Insect Parts Are In ...

      Here is a very brief sampling of the FDA's Food Defect Action Level list. They begin investigation when foods reach the action level they've set. According to the FDA, typical foods contain about 10 percent of the action level, but others say they contain more like 40 percent.
      • Insect filth: Average is 60 or more insect fragments per 100 grams when 6 100-gram subsamples are examined OR any 1 subsample contains 90 or more insect fragments
      • Rodent filth: Average is 1 or more rodent hairs per 100 grams in 6 100-gram subsamples examined OR any 1 subsample contains 3 or more rodent hairs
      • Insects and insect eggs: 5 or more Drosophila and other fly eggs per 250 ml or 1 or more maggots per 250 ml
      • Parasites: 3% of the fillets examined contain 1 or more parasites accompanied by pus pockets
      • Insect filth: Average of 225 insect fragments or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples
      • Rodent filth: Average of 4.5 rodent hairs or more per 225 grams in 6 or more subsamples
      • Insect filth: Average of 30 or more insect fragments per 100 grams
      • Rodent filth: Average of 1 or more rodent hairs per 100 grams
      • Rodent filth: 1 or more rodent excreta pellets are found in 1 or more subsamples, and 1 or more rodent hairs are found in 2 or more other subsamples OR 2 or more rodent hairs per pound and rodent hair is found in 50% or more of the subsamples OR 20 or more gnawed grains per pound and rodent hair is found in 50% or more of the subsamples
      • Insect filth: Average of 75 or more insect fragments per 50 grams
      • Rodent filth: Average of 1 or more rodent hairs per 50 grams

  12. Very well commended action by Los Angeles Jain Center. Just to let all know that today at Houston center too Jain Vegan food was served. I will talk to committee members to implement that idea forever. Thanks of info. Hemant Sheth ( Houston

  13. Veganism is not a food fad, it is an extension of the Ahimsa way of living, and it ties in with the philosophy of being a Jain. I am not associated with the JSSC, but commend them for being able to think ahead of their times and wish the community success in implementing it. I am with the Jain Center in Chicago, and I have seen them progress towards this type of thinking. I see young high schoolers question the status quo and the old way of thinking. I see the Education Secretary amd some other elders has been vegan for over 15 years. I see the food kitchen always make something for vegans.

    I have visited a few dairy farms as part of financial due duligence my work. I see their business models, I understand their commercial constraints, how they impregnate females for generating a viable commercial product. Male calves are killed as they can never produce milk. The cows are killed when they can no longer give enough milk and turn from being an asset to a liability. They are electrocuted or smashed and suffocated in hydraulic presses, and then cut up with electric saws, skinned for making shoes or jackets or car seats.

    I travel all over the country, and work with people from all over the world. I find ways to sustain myself without starving. It requires a willingness to change. Tea with Soymilk. Give up on the ghee, have a cheese free pizza. Change is never easy, but possible.
    As Jains and Jain parents, we have to adapt to the environment and country we are in, and still find a way to stick to the principles of our religion. I don't need to wait for a sadhu in India who does not know the country I live in or the way of life around me to tell me not to have dairy. I do not agree this causes tension amongst people around me, it actually shows there is a different way. Especially the younger generation, they ask and challenge the status quo and push the boundary ina good way- I have seen them grow in their spirituality as I have in mine.

    I am responsible for my own way of living, for my presence, how I live and how I support my community. Ahimsa Parmodharma.

    1. How many of these vagans know or care about Aparigraha or anekantvad or "Live and Let live"? What are you going to to do with all the cows if everybody stops using milk? Kill them early for milk? The argument the vegans make is that male calves are killed early for meat because they will not produce milk. So if all stop using milk the female calves will also be killed for meat and veal which is so specially liked by the meat eaters

    2. Excellent ... Khub khub dhanyawad..

    3. Cows are continually bred and killed in the west and the east. Veganism will take time. This will result in less breeding of cattle. There are over 1.6 billion cattle worldwide. Their combined mass outweighs all other land animals combined by over 50:1.

      Veganism will lead to a much smaller population who will be kept for their own sake, but not so we can steal their milk.

  14. By the way, Jain Center of Connecticut also served only vegan Jain meals during 2016-2017 term.

  15. I do not agree with you. In out Shastras, there is a mention about "Goras" i.e. milk products. Better you concern with some Gitarth Acharya Bhagwant in India regarding consumption of milk and then proceed with your blogs and comments. The problem on your side is your discussions are restricted only to Shravaks and Shravikas and you do not consider it to be feasible to put these types of confusing points in front of Gitarth Acharya Bhagwant for clarity and then you all people start following your own points. I think you need to think on this seriously. Off the track, I have also heard that people over there are suggesting changes in "Shravak Atichar". This is ridiculous. Request you to take this positively and have a deep thought. Thanks.

    1. Dear Anonymous, why ask only Gitarth Archarya? Why not go to Mahavir Bhagwan himself? He clearly explained the principle of ahimsa and why we should avoid causing suffering to other sentient living beings. That’s all the authority I need!

  16. It is fantastic news that that the Jain Centre of Southern California has taken this step! Please watch and share my videos and resources on the subject

    1) Dairy production and cow slaughter in India:



    2) Dr. Tushar Mehta lecture on Vegan Diet and Health
    (Click on SEE MORE button and download all of my references for the video)

    I personally know a some at least one jain Acharya and more then one sadhvi who believe in principles behind veganism. They are recently accepting the idea. Times are changing. Here are a videos of Sadhus whom I have not met, but are speaking publicly on the subject.

    Lastly the series called Dairy is Beef

    Part 1 on Ethics:
    Part 2 on Environment:
    Part 3 on Health:
    Part 4 on Ahimsa Milk:

  17. compassion for animals, it is realy good move. I congratulations for this move .god bless. DOULAT JAIN (Ex-Vice chairman Animal welfare board of India)

  18. I think that there are two temples in the UK that have become vegan also! Check this:

  19. Sir Indian philosophy of any religion takes care of food cloths lifestyle and spirituality.please see Jainism in total otherwise you will explain the elephant like rope pillar etc. thanks

  20. I think that Jains always try to minimize the amount of violence in everyday life. They even avoid to hurt Ekendriya Jiva. It is not right to equalize Jainism with Veganism. That is derogation of Jain Ethics.

    1. Why not avoid violence to dairy animals as panchindriya AND avoid violence to ekindriya. No one is saying you cannot do both. Have vegan and root free food if you can.

    2. I wanted to highlight that Jain Ethics goes beyond any type of vegetarian lifestyle, including that of vegans.

  21. So what is the point? Some trace amounts of animal products that are UNINTENTIONALLY consumed is not the same as purposefully consumed foods that are 100% animal products.

  22. Thank you JCSC for leading the charge! My goal would be for all Jain centers to follow your same path. I have been vegan in the US for 9 years and it has never been easier to make the switch. Do it for your health, do it for the environment, and do it for the animals. Also, just think of how you contribute to the meat trade when you consume dairy. Why any Jain still consumes dairy is lost on me but this is a great step in the right direction. Hats off indeed!

  23. Nice to hear the article.

    I appreciate deep concern of jainism in citizens of foreign countries except India. Every jain must refrain from Non-Veg. Food, Alchohol, Butter (As it is made only after developing extreme bacteria).

    But to my opinion, Jain literature also denied to consume vegetables on five Tithi of each month due to negative gravitational force inside. But not recommend to consume milk of animals, as such animals produce milk in normal course and extra milk after delivering baby. Plus it also considered complete food for human. (If we stop using milk, they will used to slaughter it rather, which is indirectly sin of appreciation) (કર્યું, કરાવ્યું અને અનુમોદનનું પાપ)
    Moreover, instead of consuming even vegan food, as most of it make more or less violence, One can use pure natural made milk & its products as substitute as complete food for human.
    So to my opinion one should use milk & milk products as substitute to vegan food. It is just best of my knowledge.

    Thanks for reading

    Ketan Shah
    Gujarati <> English Language Translator
    +91 98240 98140

  24. This is all nonsense veg Jainism and cruelty--- look to cruelty during thanks giving and during Muslim festivals --rationalism required in defining the purpose of veg and jainism----protect and do something for animals rather than other way...tiger kills deer rule of nature survival of fittest- the question is cruelty and not drinking milk -

    1. Please read this article.. should resolve most of your queries on tenets of Jainism with what Vegan'ism means.

  25. We should not be an extreme on food. Being vegetarian we eat [live]plants;but the purpose is to minimize killing complex animal kingdom. We should focus more on how to broaden our view as Jains and unite the community all over the world.
    I totally agree with Dr. Navin Mehta's comment of---->
    Please do not rebrand Jainism as Vaganism.
    Jainism is not the same a Vaganism, and Vaganism is NOT Jainism.
    Jainism is MUCH MUCH more than food fads.

    Vipin Bhavsar

  26. Jai Jinendra,
    Nice article and appreciate the research and efforts.
    Article is giving the details at a very broad level and in-depth details are not available.
    Are there any Aagam references which can help to understand it better?

    Thank You!

  27. Dear Shri P.K. Shah,

    I am extremely extremely happy to find your news On acceptance of Veganism for all community events by the Jain center of Los Angeles, on the Mahavira Jayanti day April 8/2018. I have been wishing this to happen here at the Boston Jain Center: JCGB. But my difficulty is immobility. I am unable to see members of the Center sometimes for months together. And I am greatly pained for this.
    No one who is not a vegan can ever claim to be a vegetarian. I thank you so very much to forward this great news to me. Kindly convey my very best congratulations, thanks and regards to Dr.Jasvant Bhai Modi, President of the Jain Center of Los Angeles for this great step.

    Those who are not Vegans,have no claim to call themselves Vegetarians. I have gone through Dr . Sulekh Jains book: Ahimsa Crisis :You Decide. you must be having the book. He has shown how many hundreds of ways are devised to distract vegetarians into practical non-veg. consumers through fine animal products.

    I need not enlighten you on this. Thank you so much again for the very heartening/encouraging news for the protection of The mother cow and total environment of the mother earth. Very best wishes and regards.:


  28. We are so excited about this announcement! Thank you for adopting Vegan Food Policy. It is truly commendable. Many thanks to the executive committee.
    If anyone is in Colorado please visit Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary.

  29. Namaste Param pujya Śrī Shahji,
    Namaste to all,
    Milk product subject relies on everyone's perception as anekāntavāda teaches us.
    The most important is to keep faith in the ayambil food witch is the purest form of substance to release the mind for kashays.

    With the bliss of our graceful guru-s, in our SVĀ Indo-european organisation we are working on showing theoretically and experimentally the physical and mental benefits of ayambil with the help of Āyurveda and late science. 'Rasa-tyag' -'control over the pleasure of taste' is widely emphasis in traditional āyurvedic literature and is corroborate in the studies on human microbiom reasurch.

    Controlling our desires of certain kinds of food or vigai is easy when we follow it steps by step and we have patience for ourselves.

    Nevertheless, ahiṃsā and veganism reminds us of the meaning of 'vigai' witch is literally 'meaning in sanskṛt 'vigati’ – "worst kind of ‘narak’ hell".
    Milk, ghee and curd belong to laghu-vigai and butter to mahā-vigai. For more information you may visit

    Thanks to everyone's efforts to lightened all syadvāda-s .
    Micchāmi dukkadam
    Noémie शक्ति Vora

  30. Jai Jinendra Pravinbhai,

    I checked with Chandrakantbhai and he confirmed that the meal on 27 May 2018 will be Jain Vegan.

    The person who told you that SDJA is not Jain & Vegan should explain the source of his information as it is not correct. I do not think it is necessary to put on the website that we are vegan. We do not put on the website that we do not eat meat, fish, eggs, root vegetables either!

    So, as far as I know, we are and we continue to be Jain & Vegan.

    Jai Jinendra,

  31. What substitute you have for milk, especially for children. Do you have any research backing your statements as to how much milk is produced by mother Cow and how much need by Calf? Nature has given us Cow and her ability to eat grass and provide both milk and gobar for the fuel. I was wondering why Lord Krishna was promoting cow's milk, Butter, and Ghee. I like to see some research paper. The cow is serving human just like the tree is serving the human.

    Hasmukh Doshi

  32. ----- as received on email --- spreading for interested people to support for good cause-------------
    Dear Shri Shah

    This is a good step forward that some Jains have finally recognised that milk is not vegetarian. It has taken us over 50 years to get to this point !
    I have a favour to ask. If you could get the Jains abroad to contrinute money to animal in India , even a single dollar would go a long way. There is a woman called Eileen Weintraub who has been raising money for many years now and sending it to different animal welfare groups. If the money could be sent to her then I am confident it would reach where it is most needed.
    Her details are :
    Eileen Weintraub
    Help Animal India, USA

    If you know Indians whose children are abroad, maybe they could write to them and ask them to give donations here. If you give me a list of Jains abroad - however many you know, I could write to them personally as well.
    Money has become very important. I want to build, for instance, a 37th hospital in Raipur and I have bought the land. But what to do next ? We could the hospitals after any major funder. For instance one Parsi person in Canada who sent Rs 50 lakhs for PFA Agra hospital asked for it to be named after his mother which was done.

    Do let me know if we can get this done. Even $10 goes a long way

    warm regards

    Maneka Sanjay Gandhi

  33. Jain Center of Connecticut is serving Vegan food in all the functions for past 2+ years thanks to leadership of past president Vinit Doshi.

    It is not difficult. We just get creative in selecting menu which do not use any dairy product. So there is no need to replace dairy milk with Soy milk and spoil any taste!
    Most of our community member do not even realize that it was "Vegan' meal!

    Change is not difficult if there is a desire !

    I am not vegan and I do consume root vegetables at home. However if Jain center do not serve root vegetables then it make sense for them to not serve dairy products.

    Amar Gada

  34. Veganism all about JIVDAYA ...Live and let Live ..Ahimsa Parmodharm ...and is not a religion and Jainism strongly believes in these principles ...and therefore the whole concept of to be vegan and Veganism will arise in the minds of Jains and all non Jains as well who believes in JIVDAYA .

    So don’t get confused that Jainism is Veganism ...or vice versa ....Jainism is much much larger then just Veganism

    Veganism is just a philosophy and way of life ...Accept / Adopt is absolutely personal choice and no one can force anyone to be Vegan .Cows are most humble animals on the planet ..and that’s why humans are exploiting these humble animals ..Why not pump milk from elephant ? Has any one tried or even thought of it ???..

    Please follow the Link below and see the videos posted on You Tube by “United for Compassion” and one can find lots of answer to the question ...Why Veganism ?

    Dairy is Beef :::

  35. My mother never cooked "Just Enough" food?? She would always have food if I came with one extra friend or 2 extra friends. Same goes true for cow. They are called "Mother" for that very same reason. Of course the Greed of humans lead to development of new technologies to make milk producing machines (they are no longer "Cows"), but that does not invalidate the use of Milk.
    Jai Jinendra

    1. Sorry Sir ...I beg to differ ...the example u have given about mother not cooking enough food totally out of context the discussion is about Veganism and not using/ consuming any Animal Products in any form a compassion towards animals ...Cows doesn’t cook Milk they Produce Milk the way our mothers did when we were born ....Did our mother shared her milk with any other babies of our age when we were young ...NO ....Correct ??..So your arguments is Vague in context of the discussion on this forum ...I am sorry ..again

  36. My humble request to some of the commentators to consider the following when comparing modern milk production with the past:
    1. Cows are given daily hormone injections to yield 2.4 times the milk they would otherwise give.
    2. Cows normally would get pregnant after 14 months after giving birth. Today they are made pregnant only after 2 months by artificial insemination.
    3. The above two items reduce their life span by a half.
    4. Vacuum machine only stop pulling milk when the breast is completely dry or when blood/puss is sensed – Very painful.
    5. Cows are kept in cages with filth of their excretions, hence daily dose of antibiotics.
    6. Items 4 and 5 along with separating calf a day or two after birth, make cow’s life a living hell.
    7. If everyone stops drinking milk, there will be no need to subject cows to hormones, selective breeding, artificial insemination, etc. In a few years the nature will balance the number of cows.
    8. Please view our milk products consumption with the violence we are encouraging in the modern milk production – are the very basic Jain Principles violated?
    9. I have been only about 90+% vegan for the last 10+ years, so if you agree with the above listed points, can you please reduce as much as you can rather than justifying it based on the past practices. Maybe you allow some ghee, or some Chhas (diluted yogurt drink).
    10. Some of the Sadhus have looked at the evidences of the modern milk production, and as a result either stopped consuming milk products and/or have stopped criticizing vegan way of life.
    11. Agreed, Jainism is far deeper than Veganism. But, how deep would we be able to go in the Jain Way of Life by violating its the first and foremost principle of Non-Violence to panchendriya cows?
    Jai Jinendra - Ramesh C Doshi (Past-President of JCSC and ACC)

  37. Pranam Pravinbhai and the other advocates of Vegan food for Jains. Appreciate your willingness to extend Ahimsa in the daily life of Jains. Your thoughts on milk and milk products may be helpful to promote Ahimsa from one perspective. However, to publish and promote such practice and label it as a 'siddhant' (principle) probably goes against Jainism. May I request to consider and ponder over the following points:

    (i) In Jainism and according to Aagams, any change in saamachari (the routine practice of Jains related to food, clothes, rituals, kriya, etc.) is to be approved by Gitarth Aacharya Bhagavants. Only they are considered to be the 'real' interpreters of Aagams. You might have read and learnt Aagams (I am assuming) but that does not empower you to interpret them and bypass the Gitarth Guru Bhagawants. Any such big change should be weighed by a committee of Gitarth Gurh Bhagawants - and FYI - such a committee does exist - if you still want to approach them.

    (ii) There is one argument that we directly follow Bhagawan Mahavir and why we should consult Gitarth Aacharya Bhagawants. This statement itself shows that probably, we have not fully understood the Jain principles. If you come and live in India for few months in 'Gurukul vaas', you will understand that why such an arrangement is made that only Gitarth Guru Bhagawants must take such decisions. If people like me and you start airing our opinions and taking decisions, it will be probably one of the most harmful actions to Jainism.

    (iii) Your reason of preventing cruelty may be true from the American and western world perspective but it is not at the same level in India. In India, majority of milk is still produced in a humane way, manually. Not clear why would you want to impose your thoughts (repeating, not approved by Gitarth Guru Bhagawants) to the larger Jain community, even in India?

    To continue in the next post…

  38. Continued from the previous post….

    (iv) Not sure if you have FULLY thought of the outcome of stopping milk and milk products consumption. Vinitbhai Doshi has written that it would lead to 'less cattle' on the earth. Yes, he is right but have we thought that how many animals will see slaughterhouse prematurely? Hundreds of institutes in India try to prevent cattle killing in slaughterhouses of India (and even surrounding countries such as Bangladesh) and a single such decision can lead innumerous cows and buffaloes to slaughterhouses. Would we, as Jains, want to be part of such cruelty? Would we ever think of taking any action which can lead to 'less cattle' on the earth? If we want to promote, we need to promote the kind treatment of animals - irrespective of whether they give milk or not. If you want to promote Ahimsa, ask Jains all over the world not to have pet animals in house and not to use leather products or other such products. Of course, there are hundreds of other things which we need to adopt in our life to practice Ahimsa - even of vikalendriya jiv (ekendriya, etc.).

    (v) Milk is considered "sampurn khorak" (complete food) due to its nutritional value. Those of us who are in the elite class can get these nutrients from other food. But have we thought of the majority of Indians and Jains in India who may not be able to afford other items with equal nutrient value? Do we know that if milk is stopped, people may start using other 'abhakshya' items to compensate the nutritional needs? And which can lead to more violence. Any member of the committee which took this decision has experienced the life of poor Indians and Jains in the small towns and cities in last 15-20 years?

    (vi) Cow is not just for milk. There is an entire eco system surrounding the cattle which is of immense value to protect the environment, to protect vegetarian food, to ensure good physical and mental health of people. The 'vaatsalya' which cow gives us with and without milk is at par which we get from our mother. You can experience it and value it only if you live in such a society. It's difficult to understand this in the world of Disneyland and Universal Studio.

    Finally, the earnest request - get this evaluated and assessed by Gitarth Guru Bhagawants. In future, please remember that we, as sansari, don't have the right to interpret what Bhagawan Mahavir has said - AND IN NO WAY, WE CAN AMEND THE SAAMACHARI. Apologies for using a few harsh words, wanted to avoid, but couldn't.

    Pranam. Satyam Kothari, Jainnagar, Paldi, Ahmedabad (+91 94260 13489)

    1. Sorry to say ...Sir ...Yours entire post is full of misconceptions and misnomers ...You are talking about Western Countries ?? Well you must be aware that India is Number 1 country in the world who Exports the Beef .....Here in the US more and more Americans are turning Vegans ( By Choice) if you are in the US Visit Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary in Colorado and see yourself hundreds of Americans have turned Vegan by understanding the basic fact that any animal milk is not for human being ...

      Here is the US lot more Vegan options available in the Grocery Stores and Restaurants ..Airlines also started offering Vegan meals Why ????? and against that in India it’s always hard to find a Vegan Options ...
      ....MIlk is complete Food ...really ? We have been Vegan since years and years and our grand kids are born Vegan and we all are much much more healthier then any other average Person here in the US or in India ..Yes ..its complete food but it’s only for Cows babies (calf’s) ....Have u seen or heard that any animal drinking other animals milk ? Its just humans do that so it’s time to understand ...and accept ...
      ......that cow is not our biological mother and if she is not your mother than u cannot have her milk ...

      PETA is very clear on this argument . Please follow this link to see what happens when u have Dairy which is not meant for human consumption

      I would like to thank LA jain Sangh and Samaj to take a common sense approach and adopt Veganism as way of life in their future meetings and program ...Jai Jinendra

  39. Milk is meant for her baby. vows are treated cruelly. there is no consent from cow and hence it is stolen. If we stop using milk Cow won't be slaughtered. less cows will be produced
    infact views are slaughtered after 5 years of incessant milking. Male calves are killed do we can take the milk. drinking milk is supporting these activities

  40. This is in response to Vinit Doshi's comment:

    >>>Vinit April 15, 2018 at 10:33 PM
    Yes, and billions of people eat meat. Doesn’t make it right.

    We respect Sadhus and sadhvis immensely but it doesn’t mean that everything they do is automatically right. They are still human only. If we always blindly follow what past sadhu or any authority figure does, we would never change, progress or evolve.

    Vinit Doshi April 16, 2018 at 6:34 AM
    Dear Anonymous, why ask only Gitarth Archarya? Why not go to Mahavir Bhagwan himself? He clearly explained the principle of ahimsa and why we should avoid causing suffering to other sentient living beings. That’s all the authority I need!

    Respected sir, If Bhagwan Mahavir were present at this time, we would have gone and asked him. But that is no the case. Every tirthankar establishes the tirth and then hands it over to Gandhars and subsequently to Gitarth Acharya bhagwants because no one is immortal. Bhagwaan Mahavir's shaasan is going to extend until next 18,500 years only through gitarth sadhu bhagwants. Gitarth archarya bhagwants are live tirthankars. They are the real propagators of principles laid down by the tirthankars. They have all round knowledge and wisdom to take decisions based on dravya, kshetra, kaal and bhaav. We shravak samuday do not have that profound knowledge. So we should always consult gitarth acharya bhagwant for any questions rather than deriving conclusions on our own. Disregarding the act of Gitarth sadhu bhagwants is equivalent to disrespecting tirthankars, which is the largest sin.

    I do not want to comment on the justifiability of vegan diet. If you feel that cattles are ill treated in your region, you can stay away from consuming dairy products at personal level. It is definitely an act of kindness and compassion. But you cannot make it a common principle based on your own thoughts, that too for all regions. You should consult gitarth sadhu bhagwants make them aware of the situation in your region (kshetra) and follow their aagna. Policies are always relative to draya, kshetra, kaal and bhaav. This is the relativity (saapekshvaad) of jainism.

    Cattles are not treated as commodities in aarya bhumi like in anarya bhumi. Even today India is the only country in the whole world with a large network of panjarapol where old cattles are kept and taken care of. Panjarapols come forward and take responsibility of old cattles discarded by the farmers instead of sending them to slaughter houses.

    Refraining from use of dairy products in regions where cattle are ill treated is definitely an act of kindness and compassion, but should be at a personal level. But please do not term dairy products as beef. By doing so you are going against the sayings of vitraag and sarvagna tirthankars. By this you are passing a wrong message (utsutra prarupana), which is a larger sin. If you strongly believe that Bhagwan Mahavir was sarvagna, then you should have faith in his sayings. He has only denied use of butter, it being a maha-vigay but has never termed dairy products as non-vegetarian.

    દેવ, ગુરુ ની આશાતના થી અને ઉત્સુત્ર પ્રરુપણાથી બચો એવી હાર્દિક વિનંતી છે.

    Bhavya Shah

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I have a different understanding of right dharma. I follow my understanding of Jain principles as best as I understand and have conviction. It may not be perfect. I would be completely open to hearing the teachings of these Acharyas who are much more knowledgeable than me. I would like to hear their thoughts on this topic. Maybe they will convince me to consume animal products again and condemn veganism. I am absolutely open to that. However, so far, I have not heard even one logical or defensible reason to do so. More importantly, I will not relegate my convictions to another non-tirthankar authority, not even to this special class of Acharyas.

      Don’t misunderstand me. I do not claim to be more knowledgeable than Acharya. I respect what they have learned, what they have sacrificed, and what they have to teach me. I am only saying that we should practice what we understand and have conviction in, not blindly follow authority, especially when such teachings appear to go against Jain dharma.

      Acharya does not owe me any explanation. I should be the one to go to them. However I don’t know any such Archarya here in USA. Maybe those of you on this forum who speak to them could consult this official set of authorities and share their knowledge with us? I would like to be enlightened on why veganism is not in accordance with Jainism, and I mean that sincerely not facetiously.

  41. Sir,

    How do you want consent from the cow ?

    Cow allows milking only to few known people who possess her. Not others. That itself is a consent. You may try and experiment the result.

    Veganism is the concept of PETA etc who themselves have no moral value.

    In Ayurveda, cow milk is considered useful in curing many disease. Indirectly, the people will be directed to Alopathy medicines in absence of milk and those medicines eventually result in more violence.

    You may review Jain History. At the time of Tirthankara Mahavir also many Shravaks were having Gaushalas in thousands of numbers.

    Indirectly you are insisting to stop "Prakshal Puja" also. Isn't it ?

  42. Jai Jinendra Vinitbhai, Acharyas themselves are not in agreement on many tenets of Jain religion. If that were not so, we would not have divisions like ek tithi, be tithi, Sthanakvaasi, Deravashi, Swetamber, Digamber, etc. So, which Acharyas do we believe when it seems to go against the first principle of Jainism - Non-Violence? After living in USA many years I lived in India for ten years recently. During this time in course of my work with Jain eLibrary, I have had discussions with many Sadhus and a few Acharyas, so far I did not get a convincing argument. The common response is that it has been done forever (tradition). When I explain that the modern milk production is very different than even 50 years ago, the response is - it is not so in India, but I have spoken with Rabaris next to Azad society in Ahmedabad. They have told me that they have to give hormone injections every morning to get 2.4 times milk otherwise they cannot compete economically. Also these rabaris use artificial insemination - again to compete economically. So, who do I believe - my own eyes and ears or Sadhus saying that this only happens in the western countries? The example of Mahavirswamy's Khir Parana - this may be written in Kathanuyog, rather than reflecting Dravyanuyog; but keeping that aside, Mahavirswamy may have taken it as it was not made for him, and one time versus excess use of milk products we consume today on every occasion we celebrate.

    1. Rameshbhai, you point out a very important observation, that even Acharyas are not uniform in their interpretation of the tenets. It is a limitation of any human being that our understanding is influenced by the circumstances and beliefs around us, and the limitations of what others have taught us. In the realm of human interactions, we often see what psychologists call confirmation bias - the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms our preexisting beliefs or the tendency to justify what we want to believe. This is blatantly evident when the meat eater jokingly asks, "if we were not meant to eat cows, then why did God make them out of beef?" The question itself pre-supposes the answer he already believes and wants to hear! It's logically similar to saying that 'using dairy must be right because it's always been done' or 'it must be okay because there is at least some Jain literature which suggests that Mahavir Bhagwan himself drank milk.'

      We are all subject to this kind of bias in different ways, and I believe even religious authorities are not necessarily above this. A Jain sadhu once explained to me that puja MUST be done while wearing silk clothes only. When I asked him why I should choose clothing that involves more violence than cotton clothing, his answer was something along the lines of "only silk clothes can create the right bhavna," as if the bhavna were coming from the inanimate clothing. Where did such a belief come from? Not from Mahavir Bhagwan's example or teachings as far as I know. It was probably something that our Jain culture picked up along the way somewhere, and it got woven into the belief system. It takes courage to question such beliefs and change ourselves. I do not begrudge the Jain who chooses to drink milk, or for that matter, eat meat. But at least then we should be honest with ourselves and be able to say, "Yes, it is an unnecessary violence to 5-sense animals, but I'm going to commit it anyway." I would respect that more. But to do it AND deny that it's not wrong AND justify why it is right, is, in my humble opinion, triply wrong.

    2. Use of silk is interesting. Its use is a result of the Jain mindset of using the best of materials for bhakti of our Tirthankars. China hid the silk making process for centuries. Only in the last 50 or 100 years we came to know how violently it is made. Since then most, if not all, Sadhus advise against the use of silk. I hope the same will happen to the consumption of milk.

  43. carefully read your email, congratulations on your heart revolution, consistency with the principle of Ahimsa and the spread of veganism. You have all my esteem. I'm sorry that there are no temples in Italy and we do not have a meeting place for Jain to spread the teachings of Lord Mahavira and veganism.

    I spread his article, a lot of gratitude and admiration to the greatGurudev Shri Chitrabhanuji.

    Thanks so much!
    Jai Jinendra

  44. Pravinbhai,

    This is really a good and inspiring news and hats off to you as well for you as a great and practical example of being vegan for past >25 yrs and how it has improved your physical health including lipid levels a great advocate of compassion.

    I only use cows milk for homemade yogurt for its taste compared to soycurd.But reading this has motivated me to be totally vegan and forget about my tastebuds, at least while in USA where great options are available..Thanks for sending me this email and i hope our jain center will follow the same when we serve the food. I never knew that cow only produces milk enough for her baby. stealing milk from a baby cow is indeed cruel.
    Happy to join your team of vegans..

  45. It is commendable that a Jain Center of Southern California (JCSC) at Los Angeles has taken lead in such an effort.

    I wish that many more centers follow this tradition of "taking food by causing the least violence" .

    If the Jain center follows this, then the community may realise that it is doable in their personal lives also. There are so many equally good and at times better alternatives of dairy that we are not aware of. Practice at Jain center will make them them aware of such options. Last Mahavir Jayanti, Jain Center of Houston prepared Ladva using coconut oil and was hard to tell any difference. People may start this by being vegan for one day/week, or one week/month.

    Children learn by observation and not by preaching. Then parents learn from children very quickly.

    Hats of Jain Center of Southern California (JCSC) at Los Angeles and keep it up.

    Riddhi Desai

  46. Hats off for your bold step towards Veganism. Hopefully some day Jain Ascetics and popular Jain scholars understand the gruesome cruelty involved in dairy usage and every Jain becomes Vegan.

  47. Hats off for your bold step towards Veganism. Hopefully some day Jain Ascetics and popular Jain scholars understand the gruesome cruelty involved in dairy usage and every Jain becomes Vegan.

  48. 7 Jain reasons for eliminating the use of dairy (and meat) products:

    1) Animals have never given their permission for us to confine them, take their milk, separate them from their calves, or slaughter them.

    2) Biologically, dairy milk was meant for baby calves, not humans. Mammals drink only the milk of their own species (and only during infancy). Each mammal’s milk is biochemically suited for its own species.

    3) Drinking milk invokes suffering and violence to a panchindriya (5-sensed) animal, its babies, the environment, and to ourselves. This is true in India too.

    4) Using dairy products makes us actively complicit in the overall economic enterprise based on exploitation of cows. Buying dairy subsidizes the production of meat.

    5) Our planet may not be capable of sustaining a food system based on animal agriculture. The use of sparse arable land, water, and energy resources to animal agriculture is one of the leading causes of human starvation, global warming, and political conflict.

    6) The nutritional benefit and necessity of dairy products is questionable; Cultures have thrived well without dairy. Evidence suggests dairy consumption may do more harm than good.

    7) Compassion is an aid to spiritual progress. Exploitation of animals closes the door to our own spiritual awakening.

  49. Resp Shri Pravin bhai...

    Jai Jinendra!

    The work you and Jainaa Education committee is doing is just fantastic, maybe much better than various old school traditional systems in India. My Heartiest compliments.

    Your message on Veganism and esp Cows milk avoidance is just apt and more awareness is to be created with more facts and scientific data to guide not just Jains but overall fellow humans to avoid milk and milk products. The scientific data and testimonials with facts n figures will needed to counter the more literate and intellectual diaspora as well as the strong milk lobby who will be at a huge loss.

    The fact that India was known as country which was known for flowing rivers of milk, our mythology talking about Krishna, milk and butter, even Jain gods having milk during kheer samudra to today's time where no big Jain monk or influencer has spoken against milk, it will become more difficult to convince people to turn vegan. The conspiracy theories make rounds that the soya and tofu and alternative milk lobbies are trying to push this agenda of Veganism which could be true too. This makes it all the more important to get more scientific data and facts to push Veganism in todays young, informed, intelligent and proof seeking population....

    We and team Empower Foundation ( are extremely active in wildlife conservation... Our work is avidly covered by the Indian media like The Times of India, DNA, Hindustan Times, Mid Day, Mumbai Mirror, Sunday Guardian, Outlook, India Today, Global Post etc. (can Google Empower + Lion or Empower + Leopard).... To our mind saving cows is also equally important.... Thanks to your trigger... We would like to take this issue up through our non profit for creating more awareness, but will need more scientific data to prove sure there will be various research as off late during my international travels to Europe and far east... I have come across various Vegan restaurants even in small cities and towns which means as compared to Jains or Indians... The foreign nationals are practicing Veganism...

    Do let us know how to take this ahead. Do share my thoughts with your team and let me know. Once we have a strong case, we should appeal to the Jain monks, Jain influencers and also Hindu influencers on the subject besides creating a very strong social medial campaign.

    Look forward to hear from you. Also if you plan to visit Mumbai.. Do let us know.


    Dr. Jalpesh Mehta
    Empower Foundation
    Juhu. Mumbai