In light of the violence in milk production, we invite Jains to consider giving up dairy this Paryushan.
During Paryushan, Jains reflect on the harm they may have caused other living beings and fast in some way. For many Jains, fasting typically involves avoiding foods which are traditionally thought to cause more harm than others, such as root vegetables.
We’d like to invite Jains to reflect on the violence in milk production, and to consider giving up dairy over Paryushan and beyond.
Violence in milk production
Modern dairy production involves significant violence to innocent dairy cows. For most Jains, this is the strongest motivation for giving up dairy.
Like humans, cows need to be pregnant before they can produce milk. On modern dairy farms, pregnancy is forcefully achieved through artificial insemination.
Male calves killed at birth
Male calves born to a dairy farm are worthless to a dairy farmer. They are therefore typically shot dead within 24-48 hours of being born.
Retired cows killed early
If looked after properly, a dairy cow could live for upto 15 years. But dairy cows are typically sent for slaughter as soon as their milk production begins to fall.
There’s never been a better time to ditch dairy
Alternatives to dairy are are widely available and affordable. And more Jains using them than ever before.
I’m persuaded to give up, what next?
We are delighted that you are seriously thinking about giving up dairy this Paryushan. Here are some suggestions about what you may consider doing next.
Engage vegan communities
Giving up dairy is much easier if you have a support network to help you. Why not reach out to your friends who already actively avoid dairy?
Please also consider joining the Jain Vegans community, and/or other vegan communities in your locality.