The Vegetarian and Vegan Myth
By Dusyanta dasa
There have been many articles where devotees have converted to vegetarianism or vegan-ism because they want to be Non-violent or Ahimsa. The idea of Cow protection resonates happily in their hearts, the production of Ahimsa Milk also appeals to Vegans as an alternative to the commercially produced milk from dairy farms globally. And in this plethora of vegetarianism, vegan-ism, and Non-violent food and milk production there lies the real truth concerning all these products.
Are any of them really vegetarian, vegan and non-violent?
In todays global economy from a philosophical point of view there are two main players that dominate and influence the scenario. As with Agriculture, Horticulture and all food production the common driver of these factors are two powerful illusions. The first is the mode of ignorance and the second is the mode of passion. Within the influence on the global markets and food production farms the modes of ignorance and passion pre-dominate the practises and principles that they work by and drives them forward into the illusion of the very false economy.
Because the food industry, and this is exactly what it is, an industry, is motivated primarily by the mode of passion the use of industrialised materials is prevalent. The most necessary product that is required in food production today is fertiliser.N.P.K. Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. In all food production , that is commercialised, organic and homegrown the use of food for the plants is derived from animal carcasses. All parts of the bodies of dead animals are used to this end. The parts of dead animals are excellent for providing the necessary N.P.K that plants require to produce the fruits and vegetables. And the parts of dead animals are not just readily available but in plentiful supply to be used in this way so that nothing from the slaughter industry is wasted. This is the capitalistic mans ethos.
When we go to buy our vegetables, grains, fruit, dairy products it is guaranteed that the products contain dead animals and are therefore neither vegetarian nor Non-violent. The “organic” business industry also uses the same products and so do the vegan industry. There is no way out of this unless you grow your own, and that also is not guaranteed unless you know exactly where your fertiliser originated. Compost, grow bags and other boxed and bagged fertilisers all contain dead animals.
What we are supposed to do is protect Cows and Bulls. In fact in just one line from Srila Prabhupada’s Srimad Bhagavatam sums up the whole Iskcon philosophy on non-violent food production intended for the members of Iskcon.
“…….Cows and Bulls solve all the economic problems.” S. Bhagavatam.
And of course Srila Prabhupada’s all encompassing maxim, “Simple living-High thinking” also intended for all Iskcon members.From this platform of “Simple-living–High thinking” coupled with community based Cow protection projects Iskcon establishes its mandate from Srila Prabhupada in being the example par excellence in the world order of the real alternative economy based on the mode of goodness.This is iskcon’s lifestyle goal.
Iskcon’s mandate is for rural communities that are based on a symbiotic relationship with Cows, Bulls and Land, and this solves the economic problems of life. With the protection of Cows comes an unlimited source of compost,fertiliser and draught power.Harnessing the Cows manure in an anaerobic digester provides free and ecological methane gas as an energy source with compost produced as a by-product of the process and so solves all those problems in one go.
But the main economic problem is not solved is it?
The answer is yes it is, because what the Cows also give is the association of the mode of goodness for the humans. And through this mode of goodness the devotees can then by-pass the mode of ignorance and mode of passion economy by following the real economy of the mode of goodness just like the Cows do.Only when the devotees become situated in this mode of goodness and follow this economy do all the economic problems of life get solved.
Iskcon’s mandate as far as the economic problems are concerned are to follow the solutions as given in the Bhagavad- gita because only when a person is situated in the mode of goodness are there no economic problems.In other words for a person situated in the mode of goodness, sattva guna, there are no economic problems.What economic problem is there for the mode of goodness? The mode of goodness lifestyle solves all the problems of life and thats why Iskcon’s mandate is to follow Cow protection in the mode of goodness.Truly vegetarian and truly non-violence. The only one solution for us all.And the only way Cow protection will work in Iskcon,
your servant, Dusyanta dasa. Wales.
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