A Few Words
Non-violence (Ahimsa) is the highest principle of Jain religion. Jains are very compassionate people and they have traditionally revered animals. Most of Jains do not take meat, fish, eggs, and alcohol and their concern for animals goes beyond vegetarianism. The Jain scriptures demonstrate a deep compassion for them. Animal symbols and stories pervade the Jain tradition. For centuries, Jains have protected and cared for animals. They have established many animal and bird sanctuaries (panjarapoles) and hospitals in India.
However recent technological advances have created a new environment for violence not visible to common people. The cruelty to dairy cows and other animals has reached its peak behind the walls of dairy farms and slaughter-houses. Their owners, both industries and associated people treat animals and birds as commodities. Animals are produced on a large scale through artificial insemination and other means. The owners exploit and torture these animals on a large scale during the prime of their life and ultimately slaughter them well before the end of their natural life spans.
Even though Jains are vegetarian but they continue to use dairy products and some of them wear silk and wool clothes. Also the animal by products that are used in cookies, candy, clothing, footwear, household cleaning supplies, cosmetics, medicines, and in performing religious rituals are used by Jains on a daily basis.
The purpose of this book is to educate the Jain community and other concerned and compassionate people regarding the high tech cruelty to all types of animals that exist in the production of dairy and other products. By reading the various articles, you will realize that cruelty to animals occurs, in a similar way, in the USA, India, in big cities, villages, and the world at large.
By consuming dairy (milk, cheese, butter, ghee, and ice cream) and other products as mentioned above we directly support large-scale cruelty to animals. Jains should pay attention to animals, not in a sentimental way, but in a way that gives both animals and humans the freedom to pursue their own paths and to fulfill their self-made destinies
It is our humble request to the Jain community that they should not use dairy products (milk and sweet for puja, ghee for divo etc..), silk, wool, and varakh in Jain temples and in Jain rituals and serve only vegan (vegetarian food without dairy products) food in religious function.
The informations on various articles were collected from many sources over many years. In particular we have collected significant information from PETA (Ingrid Newkirk), Beauty Without Cruelty (India), Dr. Neal D. Bernard's books and tapes, literature and articles of John Robbins, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Narendra Sheth, Sangeeta Kumar and Dr. Christopher Chapel. We are very thankful for their and many others contribution in the field of nonviolence, compassion, ecology, and environment.
We are highly obliged to Gurudev Shri Chitrabhanuji who has been constant encouragement to us in compiling and publishing this book.
We are very thankful to the president of Federation of Jaina (North America), Dr. Mahendra Pandya who distributed this booklet to the entire Jain community (9000 families) of North America in December 2000. He supported this project from the contribution received for Calendar and Book source fund. This way the Jain community will be made aware about the high tech cruelty that exist to all types of animals around the world.
We hope this booklet will be well received by its readers and it will serve its intended purpose to educate the Jain community at large. If you have any more information, comments, or corrections to information found in any of the articles, please let us know. We continuously update these articles and add new information.
Jain Meditation International Center, New York
Pravin K. Shah
Jain Study Center of North Carolina (Raleigh)