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World Compassion Ahimsa Day 2015
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These lines express the pain and suffering of the animals that are being exploited and tortured for the need of the human greed.

What is Compassion?
Let’s use the Wikipedia definition of Compassion: “Compassion is an emotion that is a sense of shared suffering, most often combined with a desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering of another; to show special kindness to those who suffer. Compassion, essentially arises through empathy, and is often characterized through actions, wherein a person acting with compassion will seek to aid those they feel compassionate for.

Compassionate acts are generally considered those which take into account the suffering of others and attempt to alleviate that suffering as if it were one’s own. Compassion differs from other forms of helpful or humane behavior in that its focus is primarily on the alleviation of suffering.

Non-violence (Ahimsa) is the highest principle of the religions of the East. In Padma puran (1:32:27) it is said, “Ahimsa Parmo Dharma” meaning nonviolence is the highest duty. These way eastern religions have taught the principle of compassion to the people and they have traditionally revered animals. Most of them do not take meat, fish, eggs, and alcohol and their concern for animals goes beyond vegetarianism. Their scriptures demonstrate deep reverences and love for them. Animal symbols and stories pervade their tradition.

For centuries, specifically Jains have protected and cared for animals by establishing many animal and bird sanctuaries (panjarapoles) and hospitals in India.

However, recent technological advances have created a new environment for violence not visible to common people. The use and abuse of animals raised for slaughter far exceeds our imagination. The cruelty to dairy cows and other animals has reached its peak behind the walls of dairy farms and slaughterhouses. It is a sad picture of the innocent, dumb and defenseless creatures that are subjected to cruel pain far from the human eyes. The thought itself makes one’s heart bleed with anguish and grief. There is so much suffering going on in this world behind the curtain that it is kept a highly guarded secret. How long shall we pretend that animals have no soul and so it feels no pain. Is it not the time to wake up from our slumber and find the truth and stop being violent and act to end the cruelty that is melted on the dumb and innocent creatures? For violence begets violence and love begets love.

Veganism in America
Veganism is a growing trend within the vegetarian community and is considered a stricter form of vegetarianism. Vegans do not consume milk and all other forms of dairy products. The Huffington post report predicts that: No Lie Can Live Forever: Predicting a Vegan America by 2050, Vegetarian Times Study Shows 7.3 Million Americans Are Vegetarians and an additional 22.8 Million follow a Vegetarian-Inclined Diet. Approximately 1 million, of those are vegans, who consume no animal products at all. In addition, 10 percent of U.S., adults, or 22.8 million people, say they largely follow a vegetarian-inclined diet.

Here is what you can do

Even though most of the people of India are vegetarians the use of dairy products, wearing of silk and wool clothes still continues. Also, the animal byproducts that are used in cookies, candy, clothing, footwear, household cleaning supplies, cosmetics, medicines, and in performing religious rituals are used on a daily basis.

It is our humble request to all, to reduce the use of dairy products, silk, wool, and varakh at home and in temples and in rituals. Also, plan to consume & serve vegan (vegetarian food without dairy products) food wherever possible.



Our event teams would like to recommend the following practices and compassionate acts for One Week, please follow the link: http://veganday.jaina.org/

A federation of JAINA, Young Jains of America, Young Jain professionals, Ahimsak Eco-Vegan Committee and many Jain centers of North America jointly celebrate Nov. 1, 2014 as a World Compassion and Vegan Day. Several activities will be taking place in Jain centers of North America.

We invite you to be compassionate on this day (November 1, 2014)!

Sincerely,
 
Ashok Domadia
 
JAINA President
 
   
Dr. Jina Shah
Hemant Shah 
Sanjay Jain Yogendra Jain
Shilpa Shah Yogesh Bapna
Countless Volunteer Coordinators
Parth Savla
World Compassion Vegan Day Team
JAINA PR  / Communications Committee
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