Vegan Diet? (Part Two)
Hare Krishna dear Hanumatpresaka swami! Please accempt my humble obeisances, All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
I read your text on vegan Diet.
HpS - AGTSP!! I wish that I could put the link here to the previous letter but the filter won't bring up the list of Category B.
Is there really no other alternative to provide sugar to the brain and to grow brain tissue?
HpS - I don't know. A lot of my decisions in this area are based upon what Srila Prabhupada says and did. I graduated first place in science from the University of California and have never rejected science as a way of knowing, but I have come to see Srila Prabhupada and Vedic epistemology as clearly including scientific methodology and then much more.
So, there may be an alternative, but Srila Prabhupada's emphasis on cow's milk, even over goat and sheep milk, which not surprisingly is echoed all the way back to the previous Yugas and other universes gives us immediate concern that cow's milk is very important for good brain power.
Industrial milk ... is it really healthy? Due to the exploitation of their udders, many cows become ill with mastisis, the udders are infected and the milk is contaminated.
This milk contains animal blood and contains Pus. The rules of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stipulate that milk is abnormal and should not be swallowed if it contains more than 200,000 dead white cells per milliliter. In 2001, milk produced in 48 states was examined to determine if they met FDA standards. Each state turned out to exceed the allowed limits. In Florida, it was the worst. He had a cell count of 548,000.
HpS - Here we are faced with the source of the information again. If we are using scientific sources then we would need the citations of the studies and then be able to look at how the data was collected. For example this was done in 2001? That is a 18-year old study. Have things changed?
We have seen articles that the number of withdrawls of articles from science journals of previous articles has increased a lot.
In the first canto Srila Prabhupada states that the cows are being artificially stimulated by cruel milkmen and that the calves being taken away while the mothers cry and things are done to them that cannot even be included in the pages of Srimad Bhagavatam. So he does not seem to be uninformed about the situation in his time, nor do we think he was too lusty not to reduce his milk intake as we might be.
The situation of industrial cows is hell, they are suffering a lot. Even if those cows are well treated, their children are separated from them at birth and taken to the slaughterhouse. Cows suffer psycho-logical trauma and give them atidepressants.
HpS - Yes!!!! It may be our future for using their milk if we are not honest in what we do. This of course brings us to the point that we FIGHT to help the cows but we also realize that what is happening to them is certainly a result of their past misdeeds.
So, is it really worth feeding my brain in exchange for torturing thousands of cows and killing their calves?
HpS - This of course was discussed in the last letter, no?? That if by feeding your brain, or loading your gun, you can save hundreds of thousands of cows and prevent the torture of more in the future then is best to take the milk they are giving and use it for their benefit. In a battle scence the doctor has to let some men die and help others to live depending on immediate results. It is unfortunate but that is the world we are in.
Of course, the ahimsa farms are great, there I have no problem in offering that milk to Krishna, it is milk produced with love. If Krishna allows me to drink that milk to cultivate my brain tissues to be able to understand better, great. But I can not offer with love and devotion a product that destroys and causes suffering to the sisters cows.
HpS - We saw an article by a man promoting meat eating. He was pointing out that even if we are vegetarian we are killing. This was a good argument but I had faith that eventually I would hear Prabhupada's exact rebuttal and I did. The meat promotor gave very graphic examples that I remember being in a mail body as you might think of certain examples being in a female body. He was commenting that eating peas was eating testicles obtained by tearing open the scrotum of the bean plants. Ouch!!
So there is the key. As you say, violence is going on and even by the air we breath and then it becomes a matter of how to make the best use of a bad bargain. All the cows whose milk is offered to Krsna get immediate and eternal benefit. I would suggest that with the efforts of groups like PETA the situation of the cows is probably better now than it was when Prabhupada was making his decisions. We are very, very, very thankful to you for your intelligent and passionate perspectives on these conclusions. We offer contaminated grains to the Deities. The rape of the Earth is just as bad as the rape of Her children, cows? Artificual pesticides, fertilyzers, seeds, water... so right now we continue to offer milk to Krsna and take the results in healthy quantity with determination that using our mother's blood that we shall be able to help her the most.
More information greatly welcome.
I apologize if I am committing offenses against Prabhupada or against you. It is not my intention, I just want to understand where the limit of violence is for spiritual purposes.
HpS - You can see we have read this several times because we are addressing later points earlier. We apologize maybe even more since we feel that you are probably a much more sincere devotee than ourselves and of course want to work on this more as necessary!!! Do not let us deviate you from your honest determination.
Is this like Arjuna who was to kill on the battlefield for Krishna?
HpS - Probably many similarities but some differences also. He was leading his soldiers, cows, to their guaranteed death in some cases, knowing that the general result was good and these deaths were inevitable. but they died happy to give their lives and they all got svarupa mukti!
Because maybe that it is not essential, I can offer a flower, a leaf and a little water, and infinite things, poems, candles, incense, sweets, art, conversations, thoughts, music, fruit, succulent preparations, books, research, dance, theater, there are so many services ...
On the other hand, I understand that it is impossible not to cause suffering in this material world. When I breathe, I'm killing bacteria. Is there a limit to cause suffering to others, from my circumstance as a European university student?
Hare Krishna, thank you very much.
HpS - This was just in our reading today: SB 8.24.5. Now we have to pack to go to Murfreesboro.