Candradasa's picture
Candradasa

The Mini Vegan Guidebook

The Mini Vegan Guidebook

Sun, 23 Mar, 2014 - 19:24A cute little intro to veganism from Meghan Thome
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jane.easton@blueyonder.co.uk's picture
It’s very beautiful. What a lovely idea!

Dharmabandhu's picture
Thanx Meghan,

it sure does look like a great book Dharmabandhu

Candradasa's picture
Candradasa

Inside the Milk Machine

Tue, 18 Mar, 2014 - 13:10

Inside the Milk Machine

Tue, 18 Mar, 2014 - 13:10A great, in-depth article on Modern Farmer about the milk industry today…

Read the whole article

“At one time, milk was one of the more natural processes in farming. 
A bull would impregnate a cow — an actual bull, before the age of artificial insemination . She was pregnant for 
nine months and then a baby cow 
was born.

Afterwards, from the calf’s birth to up to three months after it was weaned, the farmer would...
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Other Nations's picture
Fortunately, here in the U.S., plant-based milks are proliferating and cutting into dairy milk sales. “New milk” kinda sounds like the “happy meat” phenomenon. By the way, the comments posted to that article are interesting and informative in themselves. Thanks.
jane.easton@blueyonder.co.uk's picture
Sadly, there is no such thing as ‘new milk’ - just farmers trying to do the right thing but ignoring the fact that they don’t need to kill male calves, separate bewildered calves from their traumatised mothers, ‘cull’ dairy cows young when they can’t produce enough milk for profit… the entire industry is based on cruelty, exploitation and death to one degree or another.

I would humbly suggest that the resources below give more of an insight to the UK (and all commercial) dairy industry.

Someone once described watching ‘a field of bereaved teenage mothers’ - which is what all dairy cows are. There are no males - they are slaughtered at days old or else bred for veal and killed very young. Females can live up to 25-30 but are killed between 4-5 (a bit longer on some organic farms but not all) once they can’t produce enough milk for profit.

In the wild, when a calf is born, s/he stays with the mother until a few weeks are passed. Then the new offspring is brought to meet the king of the herd. He sniffs the calf and admits it into the herd. I only recently learned this and was so moved - it makes me realise just how little we understand about what makes other animals tick. We underestimate them, ignore their instincts and needs - constantly. Yet they too have their cultures, their societies, their desire to live.

White Lies - Viva!’s anti-dairy campaign website

Animal Aid’s Where Does My Milk Come From a 4 minute film

Chillingham Cattle - an article about the last UK herd of wild cattle.

Candradasa's picture
Candradasa

Cruelty-Free Eggs

Sat, 15 Mar, 2014 - 16:11

Cruelty-Free Eggs

Sat, 15 Mar, 2014 - 16:11Hi everyone, I was wondering what people think about the concept (or indeed the experience!) of cruelty-free eggs? I’ve been meaning to ask for ages! We started looking into it (we = my wife & I) when one of our friends started keeping chickens. Now we know three folk who, as far as we can tell, keep chickens as pets and look after them very well:

By “very well” I mean: in expansive settings (way beyond commercial “free...
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Kalyanavaca's picture
Hi Candradasa

But what happens to the male chicks, who are usually either gassed or put live into a macerator? Do your friends let all the male chicks survive and become roosters? Most egg producers do not do this, whether battery or free-range.

Love

Kalyanavaca
Candradasa's picture
Thanks, Kalyanavaca. I’ll check! But I don’t think they have any roosters… I know they don’t kill any chickens or use the kinds of techniques you mention so I’m assuming not, but good to be clear!
Other Nations's picture
Hi candradasa…yours is a great question. There’s a farmed animal sanctuary here in western Montana and I know that the person who runs it (a vegan) does, indeed, eat the chickens’ eggs. Because they are rescued, sanctuary chickens, they’ll live out their natural lives there….the eggs are really just a by-product of their relationship with their human guardian.

My husband and I were having this very discussion a few days ago. I was expressing the desire to one day take on some rescue chickens, preferably some former factory farm inmates (if any ever escape with their lives!!!). Both being vegan, we got into a discussion about the eggs, and agreed that there would be no ethical harm in using them, as the chickens would be companions and not commodity producers. (However, now that I’ve been vegan long enough, I’ve decided I don’t want any animal products/cholesterol in my body–and I find eggs kinda gross!)

Maybe what’s key here is how the chickens are acquired. For me, they would have to be rescues of some sort, as purchasing chicks from a farm supply store would be supporting the animal-as-commodity status quo that exploits breeding hens and discards male chicks.
~Kathleen http://www.othernationsjustice.org/
Candradasa's picture
Hi Kathleen, thanks for that. Very good and encouraging to read and impressed that you and your husband are so committed to thinking these things through. I don’t know how the chickens came into the care of my friends but I think I disagree a little about the conclusion that only rescue chickens would make the proposition ethical. Whether they are rescue or purchased, the main point for me would be that the people who then care for the chickens were expressing a practical intention to break the status quo by relating to the animals with the full respect any life deserves. That practical, ethical behaviour carries more weight for me than their being tangentially implicated in the immoral economics of regular poultry sales.

I guess it’s actually very hard in general to not be implicated - at least distantly - in some kind of animal exploitation, just because our economic system is so complex and so many facets of it are interdependent; and that’s something that I’ve had to come to terms with as a Buddhist and a vegan (not always easy still). That’s why the treatment of the chickens when I encounter them (and consider the ethics of using their eggs) is prime for me: they have, effectively, been “rescued” from their unhappy certain fate, even if being bought represents a less than ideal way of achieving that end.
jane.easton@blueyonder.co.uk's picture
Good to see this kind of debate. For me, it is important that the chickens be battery rescues - they would be slaughtered once they couldn’t lay to commercial standards tho they will still lay some eggs if that’s what you want. But the point from Kalynavaca about male chicks is even more important imho - buying from commercial breeders means that the male chicks will have been killed immediately after hatching or else sold for pet food, eg imported and caged reptiles, another animal rights issue! Buying from breeders just perpetuates the misery/death. It would be great if there were no battery hens to rescue really but while there are, at least some can experience freedom, kindness and peace before they die.

But perhaps it’s worth looking at our entire reliance and approach to animals and their body parts? Author Alice Walker said something like ‘animals are not made for us, any more than black people are made for whites or women for men’. For me, being a vegan is about not taking the not given… animals don’t choose to give us their eggs, honey, milk and lives - we take those from them. We can’t negotiate with them the way humans have the ability or potential to do - it can never be an equal relationship. I do realise that there are degrees of exploitation and am not trying to guilt trip. But I do think it’s worth keeping that in the back of our minds whenever we consider eating eggs and such.

Also, why would we want to eat hens’ periods?! Because that’s what they are: menstrual products - or else fertilised, even worse. I’ve always found them weird, even before being a vegan. So for me, not eating them wasn’t so much of a big deal. The longer I am vegan, the more bizarre it seems to eat or use any part of an animal - but then, it’s been over a decade. Time does make a massive difference both to our tastebuds and also our perceptions of what is ‘normal’. And I grew up on lard :o)

PS For anyone who is new to all this, most free range eggs are a scam for various reasons. And organic means mainly that the birds are fed better - they will still be slaughtered when they can’t lay enough for profit. Free range is very much a moveable feast and the law is horrifically ‘flexible’!

lokabandhu's picture
lokabandhu

We ate no flesh in Eden

Tue, 8 Jan, 2013 - 20:16
Here’s a vegan-friendly poem, first of a series from me I hope… Others very welcome too, just add them to the Vegan Group on thebuddhistcentre.com!

We ate no flesh in Eden, but afterwards,
When things got hard, we forgot
the peaceful kinship of that ancient kingdom.
As our teeth sank into their flesh
we had to deny them. So we said
they had no souls, no reason, no thumbs,
no speech. We were so different. We made
A chain of things to protect us - fire, medicine,
our locking houses, many kinds of clothes.
And we renamed them - farm product, fur crop,
Renewable resource. Pray that we will see
their faces again in the mirror of creation,
the miracle of animals, their clear eyes
meaning more than profit to our own.

(Jean Pearson)
Jean Pearson
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jane.easton@blueyonder.co.uk's picture
What a beautiful poem. Not heard of her… will check out.
lokabandhu's picture
lokabandhu

Two vegan links...

Sun, 30 Dec, 2012 - 20:17

Two vegan links...

Sun, 30 Dec, 2012 - 20:17Thank, Jane, for these two links - great reading for anyone wanting to really look at (and change) the way they relate to animals. First is practical, www.vegetarianrecipeclub.org.uk - it’s all vegan and v.comprehensive, with not just recipes but lots of articles. Second is Resurgence magazine’s Animals edition which was awesome. The website doesn’t have everything that the hard copy mag did but it’s a good place to start.

Happy 2013 everyone! May all...
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parami's picture
Thanks for these. I returned to being vegan this year, at least at home. I travel so much that it can be difficult sometimes but I have felt increasingly uncomfortable not being vegan. So, articles and hints appreciated. May we all have a good year in 2013 and may there be more consciousness about cruelty to animals. Also, about cruelty to people of course.
samachitta's picture
samachitta

Next Vegan Feast Day, 16 Dec in Birmingham!

Thu, 15 Nov, 2012 - 07:31

Next Vegan Feast Day, 16 Dec in Birmingham!

Thu, 15 Nov, 2012 - 07:31I can’t wait to see what Jane is going to cook up on our next Vegan Feast Day!

For one thing, it will be handy for planning the Christmas lunch menu. Plus it will be a scrumptious lunch for all of us on the event - freshly cooked before our eyes! And I’m also looking forward to celebrating veganism in our new cafe space!

If you are interested to find out more about veganism, or if you...
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jane.easton@blueyonder.co.uk's picture
Wooh, no pressure then! Seriiously, I’m looking forward to the day very much and meeting the Brum Sangha. It’ll be lovely to get a glimpse of Moseley - I lived there briefly a long time ago. For those of you who want to bring food to share, there are tons of vegan recipe sites. Not just the Vegetarian Recipe Club (my work’s baby) but Vegan Village, Vegan Yum Yum - there are tons of them, just have a Google!
jane.easton@blueyonder.co.uk's picture
jane.easton@blu...

World Vegan Day & Month

Sat, 3 Nov, 2012 - 12:47

World Vegan Day & Month

Sat, 3 Nov, 2012 - 12:47The Kind Diet: Celebrate with World Vegan Day and World Vegan Month

What?
A celebration of vegan ethics and food.

Why might this be relevant for Buddhists?
http://vimeo.com/thevegansociety/making-history - this inspirational short video explains why… but also,

· Veganism is kind to animals, the environment, human health and the world’s poor.
· This annual event enables people to dip their toes into the waters of veganism in a safe, non-judgmental and...
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lokabandhu

Vegan talks from the Sheffield Vegan Feast day

Wed, 10 Oct, 2012 - 09:26

Vegan talks from the Sheffield Vegan Feast day

Wed, 10 Oct, 2012 - 09:26Kate Arrowsmith

The Sheffield Buddhist Centre recently held a ‘Vegan Feast day’ - here’s alionk to three short talks given on the day. Just follow the link http://www.sheffieldbuddhistcentre.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Vegan-Feast-Day-2-edit.mp3 ...
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Candradasa's picture
Candradasa

Sangharakshita on becoming a vegan (video edition!)

Thu, 23 Aug, 2012 - 21:46

Sangharakshita on becoming a vegan (video edition!)

Thu, 23 Aug, 2012 - 21:46Urgyen Sangharakshita on why he has become a vegan and the unusual path that took him to his decision…
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Candradasa's picture
Candradasa

Sangharakshita answers: Why have you become a vegan now?

Thu, 23 Aug, 2012 - 21:26
Sangharakshita telling the tale of his unusual path to veganism!

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