Wednesday, August 15, 2007

India and Mahatma Gandhi

Today is India's independence day. Indians consider
Mahatma Gandhi as the father of the nation.

Gandhi, one of the outstanding leaders of 20th
century, brought independence to India through the
concept of nonviolence.

Gandhi, led a very simple life. Gandhi followed the
concept of Ahimsa(non-violence) in his life.

Mahatma Gandhi's food was mainly plant-based. In a
country where milk and milk products is widely used,
Gandhi felt that milk is unsuited for human beings.

Gandhi's meal included simple food -boiled vegetables,
chapatis(flat wheat bread) sprinkled with some
ghee(clarified butter), and goat's milk.

Even though Gandhi consumed goat's milk regularly, he
was not happy about it and strongly felt that humans
should not consume milk and milk products. Gandhi
considered that getting used to goat's milk was a
tragedy in his life.

I wondered why Gandhi did not consume cow's milk, as
milk and milk products is widely used across India.
It seems Gandhi came to know about the
cruel process of "phooka" or "doom dev" to increase
the production of milk in cows. "Phooka" or "doom dev"
includes any process of introducing air or any
substance into the female organ of a milch animal with
the object of drawing off from the animal any
secretion of milk.

I was shocked because this incident took place nearly
six to seven decades ago. If the condition of milk
producing cows was so bad decades ago, the condition
of milk producing cows is horrible in India these

Cows are considered as sacred animals and the
slaughter of cows is banned in numerous states across
India. Most of the Indians feel that cows are
treated well by farmers.

Today, India is the largest producer of milk. Variety
of milk products, everything from icecreams to
flovored milk can be found across India.Towns and
cities across India are brimming with pizza joints.

According to Peta, "Some farmers in India illegally
inject cows with oxytocin, a powerful narcotic that
requires a prescription and causes cows to produce
more milk"

Thanks to Peta, the horrible conditions of diary
industry in India is now exposed to the Indians.

To celebrate this great day,I made vermicelli payasam
with soy milk. I followed this recipe.

I wish Indians across the world, a happy independence day!


Theresa said...

India is apparently a huge producer of leather, as well. To get around the illegality of slaughter, many farmers sell them interstate.

Have a happy, dairy-free Indian Independence Day!

Kumudha said...


Yes, India is a huge producer of leather. I think most of the leather comes from cows...

In a country where cows are supposed to be sacred animals, cows are ill treated...

Thanks for the wishes!

Vegan_Noodle said...

That was a very interesting post. I had no idea Indians consumed so much dairy! Is there a large number of vegans in India?

Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting as well!

Kumudha said...


In India, there is huge percentage of lacto vegetarians. I guess the number of vegans in India is less than the number of vegans in United States.

It is also very difficult to be a vegan in India, since dairy alternatives are available only in few stores in big cities.

meeso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
meeso said...

Thanks for visiting my blog :) It's sad that animals cannot be treated ethically even if they are used for meat or milk production or whatever. The complete disregard for them as living, breathing creatures with feelings is really sad...It's hard to find anyplace that supplies these things ethically.

Hima said...

hey kumudha, I too love soy milk and use it in many of my recipes. You inspire me to make few more vegan stuff. Thanks

Veg-a-Nut said...

Your post was so interesting. I learned so much! I checked out the recipe you used to make the vermicelli payasam. I had no idea what it was before looking at the recipe. I think it sound really good. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am enjoying reading yours.

healthnut said...

Hi, nice blog!

I'm actually not the only youngest vegan blogger. Hilary of Vegan Yummies and Peggy of Vegan Teen Cuisine are both 15 years old too.

Vcuisine said...

A nice write up with an apt sweet. I am a vegan too. Thanks for dropping by. Good to know you. Viji

Kumudha said...

So many Indian recipes can be easily veganized. Instead of ghee, I use Earth Balance.

veg-a-nut, healthnut
Thank you!

It is great that you are a vegan!

urban vegan said...

Happy belated Independence Day. Ghandi is one of my heros.

I find it ironic that the cows are sacred in India, and yet they are treated so poorly. When I was in India, I must admit I enjoyed seeing the cows --so calm while the traffic buzzed around them. But then I heard about how they eat trash--including plastic bags--and often need to be operated on. That made me so sad.

When I was in India, people were very accomodating and cooked with oil instead of ghee. But then again, many Indians challenged my veganism...

RV Amy said...

Great post!

I am curious to know if India is having as serious an epidemic of obesity as the US is. It seems like the traditional Indian diet can be very fatty, and I see ghee and the full-fat dairy products as being a large contributor.

Kumudha said...

Urban Vegan,
Thank you!

rv amy,
Decades ago kids were not obese, but during my recent visit to India, I was seeing only obese kids everywhere. These days pizzas with loads of cheese is the favorite snack for kids!
And since kids in India consume milk every day, the obesity problem is becoming very common.

Diabetes, and heart diseases is pretty common among vegetarians also.

Shankari said...

hi Kumudha, Thanks for visiting my blog. I teach at a cooking school where we use only organic products and many ask for vegan susbsitutes. I should visit your blog often to get ideas.

Kumudha said...

It is very east to veganize Indian recipes. I use Earth Balance Margarine Natural Buttery Spread and Earth balance Soy Garden
Natural Buttery Spread to cook sheera and other sweet dishes.

Seitan and tempeh tastes is so chewy, are great vegan items. And tofu is very versatile...

You have many vegan recipes on your blog, which I will surely try sometime.

Jyothsna said...

Hmmm, interesting research on your part.

Jackie said...

Thanks for such an interesting post. Gandhi was such a great man.

Yes in India the cow is meant to be sacred but it is abused. Rather sad as their various religions all teach compassion. Sadly that is the case with most religions worldwide.

vko said...

Happy Independence Day!

The whole dairy thing is so sad- I can't believe that India is such a huge producer of milk & leather- it doesn't make any sense.

Also upsetting that there was no soy milk available for Gandhi and that he actually drank goat's milk.

Really interesting!

Ali said...

What is the deal with having milk and using cows to get it, dont you think even plants should not be eaten as even they are living things and even they do fell pain like animals do I'll tell you what stop beathing that way you wont hurt any living thing on this planet in order to survive each living organism must kill unless you are an alge......dont fuss get over it

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