Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Mahatma Gandhi and World Farm Animals Day

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

- Mahatma Gandhi

October 2, is a national holiday in India. Mahatma
Gandhi, considered as the father of nation, was born
on october 2, in India. This day is celebrated as
Gandhi Jayanti in India.

Prayers services, functions and seminars are held
across India to mark Gandhi Jayanti. These functions
and seminars give Indians an occasion to understand
Gandhi's life and teachings.

October 2 is also World Farm Animals Day.
The United Nations General Assembly
recently decided to observe the International Day of
Non-Violence each year on October 2.

On this day, sale of meat is banned across India.
Mahatma Gandhi always felt that animals should be
protected from torture and cruelty. Gandhi said: "The
greatness of a nation can be judged by the way it
treats its animals."

Unfortunately, the condition of farm animals from
Australia to Austria and from United States to India
is pathetic. As there is enormous demand for the meat
and dairy products across the world, farm animals are
treated just as machines.

According to the Humane Society of United States, one
million animals are killed each hour for human
consumption. Dairy cows are treated as milk making
machines. Dairy cows are medicated, artificially
inseminated and cows are kept continuously pregnant,
to provide milk. According to Compassion Over Killing
,more than 95% of eggs sold in the U.S. come from
birds confined in wire battery cages so small, they
can barely even move—a practice that, according to
recent polls, most consumers find unacceptable.

Gandhi's views on Milk

Gandhi, in his book - Key to Health, states that "Milk is an
animal product and cannot be any means be included in
a strictly vegetarian diet". Gandhi decided not to
consume cow's milk after he 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.

Gandhi decided to consume goat's milk regularly, but
he always felt that getting used to drinking goat's
milk was a tragedy in his life. To know more about this,
visit this website .

Gandhi's views on Leather
Gandhi knew the art of tanning. Gandhi had made some
leather sandals. How did Gandhi, who considered that
animals have soul, used leather to make sandals?

Well, Gandhi used the hide of only dead animals
to make leather products. Anu
Bandopadhyaya states in the book - Bahuroopee Gandhi
that "Gandhi decided to use the hide of only those
animals that die a natural death. Shoes and sandals
made from such leather became known as ahimsak
chappals(non-violence chappals). It was easier to
treat hides of slaughtered animals than the hides of
carcasses and tanneries did not supply ahimsak
leather: and Gandhi had to learn the art of tanning."
Visit this website to know more about Gandhi.

Gandhi initiated the development of Khadi and Village
Industries which gave employment to thousands of
people and everything was along the lines of
non-violence, that is using only naturally dead
animals for making leather.

The Government of India and state governments are
now responsible for the development of Khadi and Village Industries. Of
course, the khadi and village industries is thriving,
but they do not follow the concept of non-violence
laid out by Gandhi.

According to the Maharashtra government website, leather
is produced from the raw hides purchased from
slaughter-houses and raw hides of superior quality are
imported from Bombay and other places. Visit this website to know more about leather.

Even though there is a ban on slaughter of cows in
most of the Indian states, India is a leading producer
of leather.

The Concept of Veganism In India

Even though India is a vegetarian paradsie, it is very
daunting and challenging to be a vegan in India.

For thousands of years, Indians have used milk and milk
products such as ghee, and buttermilk. Infact milk is synonymous
with nutritious wholesome food. Many years ago, cows were treated
well and the cows provided milk for the family.

However, there are has been a drastic change in the production of milk
in India.

When I was growing up in Bangalore, the popular dairy
in Bangalore - Karnataka Cooperative Milk Producers'
Federation Limited (KMF), had just milk, butter, and
ghee as its products. Recently, I was shocked at the
array of milk products from this dairy. Full cream
milk, toned milk, cheese, flavored milk, and ice cream
are some of the products from this dairy.

According to Peta, in India, "Cows and buffalos who
are raised for their milk are impregnated repeatedly
and are forced to live in hideous conditions. Most are
chained by their necks in narrow stalls, unable to
stretch or move normally. Lack of proper food causes
them to suffer from digestive problems, and lack of
exercise causes lameness. To force animals to produce
unnaturally high amounts of milk, farmers feed growth
and other hormones to cows. These hormones are
released into the milk and consumed by people"
Farmers and dairy owners regularly inject cows with oxytocin harmone
to increase the production of milk.

Thanks to Peta and other non-profit organizations such
as Sharan Project, which are exposing the horrific
conditions of the diary and meat industry of India.
Visit PetaIndia and Sharan Project

Indian vegan is a wonderful website with lots of useful information.

These days even in India, everything from cleaning
products to cosmetics are brimming with animal
products. Fortunately, you can find cruelty-free
products, in India. Visit Beauty Without Cruelty , to find
cruelty-free products in India.

Ways to Reduce the Sufferings of the Animals in Developed Countries

These days especially in western countries, it is
possible to lead a life, which cause minimal harm to
the animals. Thanks to the increase in number of
people who oppose the animal cruelty in western
countries, it is now possible to find numerous vegan
products, even in local supermarket.

Supermarkets are brimming with an amazing range of
dairy alternatives - soy milk, almond milk, and rice
milk. Earth Balance products such as Margarine
Natural Buttery Spread and Soy Garden
Natural Buttery Spread is are popular alternative to
butter and ghee.

Tofu, tempeh, and seitan are wonderful alternative to
meat which widely available in supermarkets. It is
pretty easy to get vegetarian fare in restaurants and
fast-food joints. Visit vegcooking , veganchef and fatfreevegan
to find delicious recipes.

Vegfamily , Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) , vegan forum and
Happy cow are some of the useful websites, forum on the internet.

Everything from cleaning products to cosmetics,
without the cruel process of animal testing and
without any animal product, is available in many
supermarkets. Visit Leaping Bunny to know more about cruelty-free
products.

These days you can find everything from wallets,
handbags, jackets, shoes and sandals made with
synthetics, and plant-based materials. Visit this blog to
know about the latest vegan items in the market.

30 comments:

Vegan_Noodle said...

What an interesting post! Thanks for all the links and facts. Education is the key to change...

lakshmi said...

Liked the write up a lot - I have been able to almost quit everything including eggs (ever since I heard about the torturous ways in which unfertilized eggs were procured) but not milk

Latha Narasimhan said...

Nice write up kumudha! I was just thinking I could'nt write anything for Mahathma Gandhi on his birthday!Felt happy to read your post dear!:))

Raghavan said...

Nice post.Just shows that we are simply treating our livestock shabbily,instead of taking good care of them and using them just to obtain money.

Kribha said...

That's a nice write-up loaded with tons of info. I found it to be very intresting.

Rajitha said...

kumudha..this time when i went to India - Hyd, i got three purses..beautiful ones all non-leather! it was professional looking and there was quite a variety too...unforunately, i could not find any shoes there...i buy them here in moo-shoes or payless- which has vegan brands.

Daily Meals said...

Nice to read about Gandhiji...

Jyothsna said...

Hmmm, Thats food for thought!

Cynthia said...

He was a great man. I firmly believe that God sends special people in our midst to help us see the world.

Cynthia said...

He was a great man. I firmly believe that God sends special people in our midst to help us see the world.

The Little Vegan said...

Great post-- I'm in the middle of Ghandi's autobiography; what an amazing individual!

Theresa said...

Your posts are always so informative, and I love your repeated critique of all forms of animal exploitation. Keep up the great blogging, and maybe one day the world will be vegan!

Hyderabad Daily Photo said...

Thanks for visiting my blog.
As Rajitha wrote, I too don't know
where I can buy decent shoes that are
non-leather.

Johanna3 said...

this is a very interesting post,
i really learn a lot from it.

Pranjal said...

Thanks Kumudha! This is enlightening stuff! I'm no vegan I confess, but am getting there :)!

srinivas said...

very very interesting article. thanks for collecting and providing so much info. am glad to know that am a total veggie (as per your article)

nice blog

gurudEva dayaa karo deena jane

Kumudha said...

vegan_noodle,
Thank you for reading.

Lakshmi,
Since dairy alternatives are not widely available across India, it is pretty daunting to be a vegan in India.
Thank you for reading.

Lata,
Thank you!
I just adore your blog, which has numerous traditional recipes.

raghavan,
yes, animals are treated has machines. I wish we should find variety of meat and dairy alternatives in India.
Thanks for reading.

Kribha,
I'm so happy you found this post useful.

Rajitha,
With some effort, it is possible to find non-leather items.
Thanks for reading, Rajitha.

Cynthia, the little vegan, theresa,
Thanks for reading!

Hyderabad daily photo,
Visit
http://www.indianvegan.com/iv/indianproducts.php to know more about companoies selling non-leather items.

daily meals, jyothsna, Johanna, Pranjal, Srinivas

Thanks for reading.

Hyderabad Daily Photo said...

Thanks for the link. It is quite informative. However, I could not find any company selling non-leather footwear/shoes.

On another note, I had read a long time ago about the cheese making process. Most vegetarians do not know that animals parts are used in making cheese and consume cheese thinking they are only consuming a milk product. (sorry, don't have a source.)

On yet another note, milk, buttermilk and ghee are used in traditional Indian medicine for their curative values. And many Indians continue to consume ghee thinking it is good for them. But as I understand the way the ghee is made is equally important. As you mentioned in your post some physicians advocate dropping milk products altogether. In the area of mind-body medicine, I have seen Dr Andrew Weil's show where he advocates dropping milk products, but I have yet to hear Dr Deepak Chopra do so. He, being also trained in ayurveda, would not likely do it.

Soy milk is such a good product, but it is expensive in India.
I wonder why soy milk and tofu are not being made here yet. Certainly McDonalds could have used tempeh instead of potatoes in their Mcaloo tikki. I am no great foodie. Perhaps people won't like the taste here.

Thanks for letting me ramble,
and for your visit.

Kumudha said...

hyderabad daily photo,

I too like ayurvedic medicines, but I hate some of their concepts, because they still consider milk and milk products to be wholesome nutritious products.

Even though India is a huge producer of soy beans, soy milk and tofu is not widely available.
Even seitan, which is so similar to meat, made from wheat is not available in India. I hope all these products are available in a couple of years.

I'm sure there will thousands of vegans in India, if dairy and meat alternatives are widely available.

Thanks!

Green thumb said...

Hi Kumudha,
Thanks for visiting my blog which made it possible for me to discover your beautiful and so meaningful 'Global Vegan'.
Being a vegetarian, I used to feel handicapped for choice when it came to preparing dishes, but now i have more choice, and of course, a new pride in being called a vegetarian:-)
You have written so well about the Mahatama, he is rightly a role model for all of us and his views on animals, vegetarianism etc are so very contemporary.

Rural Vegan said...

Wow, really interesting post! I had no idea that meat sales were banned on Oct. 2nd in India. Thanks for teaching me something new today!

Dilip said...

I'm glad that I've found your blog. I teach a course on Gandhian non-violence and may include some of your thoughts on Gandhi's views toward milk and leather in the future. Have you seen kasakaay.blogspot.com ? It's in Marathi, though. Keep up your great work and visit me at dilip.info and trianglevegsociety.org - come sometime to our Thanksgiving!

Thomas said...

Gandhi said, "Be the change that you want to see", I try very hard to live this. When I read these words they were very inspirational & true to me.

Kumudha said...

Green thumb,
Thank you!

Rural vegan,
you're welcome!

Dilip,
I did visit kasakaay.blogspot.com , but I don't know marathi.

Your blog is very enticing for non-vegetarian and vegetarians to become vegan. It is pretty easy to be a vegan in United States. www.vegblog.org is a wonderful website to know about the latest happenings in the vegan world.

Thanks again for the wonderful blog!

Kumudha said...

Thomas,
Thanks for visiting.
Gandhi's words "Be the change that you want to see", is indeed very inspiring.

AK™ said...

these words enlightened evrthing...

Nicole M said...

Great post and very helpful links! Gandhi has inspired me to view my vegetarian diet as not only related to the environment and in terms of an ecological footprint but also as compassionate. Non-violence towards all living things. Very informative about vegetarianism in India as well, thanks! To see my post concerning this, visit my blog http://ecovegfootprint.blogspot.com/

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