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Comments Posted By lakshmi

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Silk – should we wear it or not?

I wish you only the best.

“we have the whole Universe and we must fit it into our words”. I am reminded of that quote very often because obviously my words did not communicate what I intended them to say.

To answer your question, I most certainly did not mean that milking animals is more cruel than killing them – for food or for clothing. Not at all. It’s just that any cruelty to living entities, even if it doesn’t result in their death, is an incremental step to making it easier for us to take the next step. It de-sensitises us to their rights to live in peace. And yes, I agree with you that most of the leather people wear doesn’t come from animals who died of natural causes. The leather one wears today may indeed come from the beautiful calf one was feeding yesterday.

Just as you are surprised that as a general policy in ISKCON we don’t care where our leather comes from, I am saddened that we also show total disregard to the suffering of animals because it suits us to drink their milk and milk-related products. Cows are not merely property to use for our own gratification. Once the cow has weaned her young, she should be allowed to rest until the birth of her next calf. Instead, we keep her artificially tied to machines to produce milk for humans, or we milk her manually. Cows that don’t produce high enough quality milk are killed. People will say that milking in and of itself isn’t painful. I disagree. Extracting milk using unnatural means is painful. Ask anyone involved in the dairy industry what happens to cows if that milking is done late – the poor animals are in great agony.

Violence is part of life but we can work to minimise it.

Hare Krsna

» Posted By lakshmi On Aug 11, 2009 @ 1:04 pm

All mammals, including cows and humans are treated badly if they are milked to feed animals other than their own young. The only purpose of mammalian milk is to feed the young of that mammal.

The production of milk is a miraculous thing which I’ve experienced for years while I fed my own children. It surprises me that we can be so concerned about silk worms dying and about wearing leather (which can come from animals who die of natural causes) when the same people gorge themselves on goat’s milk, sheep’s milk and cow’s milk and other dairy products.

I feel that the idea of discussing how many devotees wear leather, is more about judging devotees – and harshly. We should be discussing the torture of our sister mammals by making them lactate well beyond the time their young are weaned.

» Posted By lakshmi On Aug 8, 2009 @ 1:53 pm

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