Jainism believes in Ahimsa (non-violence). The Jain concept of ahimsa is not only subjected to humans but also to animals, micro-organisms, plants and all beings having life or life potential. Every act by which a person directly or indirectly supports killing any life is seen as act of violence, which creates harmful reaction karma. The aim of ahimsa is to prevent the accumulation of such karmas.
The Jain principle of Ahimsa states that, abstinence from killing others must be observed by thoughts, words and deeds – Mana, Vachana and Kaya respectively. Even a thought of killing is as much evil as actually killing. Similarly, any word expressing the desire to kill is also deemed as killing. Hence, the principle of Ahimsa implies on purity of thought, word and deed.
A type of Vegetarians excludes meat, fish, poultry, eggs etc from the diet, while they consume dairy products like milk, butter, ghee, cheese and other dairy byproducts. They also do not mind using leather, silk, fur, woolen etc.
On the other hand, Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude any forms of exploitation of or cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or other purpose. Vegetarianism is usually a diet, while Veganism is a lifestyle. The vegan diet is stricter than most vegetarians’ diets, where along with meat, fish, poultry, eggs etc they also avoid all dairy products and all other animal-based products, like honey. Moreover, vegans avoid products, clothing and things in which animals or animal products are used. For example, a vegan would not use leather shoes or belts, cosmetics that have been tested on animals, medicine capsules containing animal or animal-based ingredient, woolen sweaters, fur coats, silk etc.
Being Jains or followers of Jainism, of course, we are vegetarians who avoid meat, fish, poultry, eggs etc. and consume only fruits, dairy products and plant based diet. Even our core values include ahimsa and harmonious co-existence between all creatures on the planet. Whereas, adopting Vegan lifestyle takes us more towards Jainism and the path shown by Bhagwan Mahavir by doing less himsa.
Many Jains who usually avoid any animal products, but are lacto-vegetarians have started leading vegan lifestyle to avoid contributing towards killing of calves for milk production.
Do you think Vegan Lifestyle can help us spreading Jainism around the globe? Write us your thoughts in comment section.