Jain Vegans ►London VegFest & IOJ Talk by Melanie Joy

Posted: 30.09.2013
Updated on: 25.07.2015

Jain Vegans
Jain Vegans


Dear all,

Many thanks to everyone that was able to make it the events with Dr. Jina Shah last weekend.  We had an excellent turn out at all the events, and everyone we spoke to said they had come away learning something new.

In October, there are lots of events which will be of interest to the Jain Vegan community.  Next weekend, there is going to a huge Vegetarian Festival in Kensington - featuring lots of cookery demonstrations, health talks, and over 180 stalls featuring vegetarian (non-leather) shoes and lots of vegan food samples.  The week after, the Institute of Jainology have organised a public lecture on Ahimsa at the British Library by an award winning, Harvard-educated pyschologist. Details of both these events, and several others, are provided below.

Dr. Jina Shah speaking at Harrow Teachers Centre to members of the Shree Digambar Jain Association on Sun 22 Sep 2013.



  1. London Vegfest - 5/6 October 2013 - London Olympia (Kensington)
  2. Institute of Jainology Talk by Melanie Joy at the British Library
  3. Volunteers required to help the Indian Vegans stall at London Vegfest
  4. Young Jains Dessert and Mithai Social - Late October
  5. Videos of members of the Jain community talking about diet
  6. Other upcoming UK / European based vegan-related events
  7. Abuse and the killing of cows in milk production
  8. Alternatives to dairy to help you give up
  9. About Jain Vegans

1. London Vegfest - 5/6 October 2013 - London Olympia (Kensington)

Date: Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 October 2013
Time: 11am to 7pm both days
Tickets: £10 for each day on the door.  £6 concessions.  £2 under 14s.  Discount available for advance tickets.
Venue: Kensington Olympia West Halls, Hammersmith Road,  Kensington, London W14 8UX
Further details / tickets: http://london.vegfest.co.uk/

Next weekend, over 9000 peopl from the UK vegan and vegetarian communities will be gathering together to celebrate all things veg! There will be hundreds of things to see and do, including:

  • Cookery Demonstrations (including African Fusion by Nishma Shah from the Jain Vegans Working Group)
  • Health and Nutrition Talks (including Stephen Walsh, author of Plant Based Nutrition and Health)
  • Film showings (including Making the Connection and Vegucated)
  • Over 180 stalls (including several vegetarian (non-leather) shoe companies)
  • Lifestyle workshops (including several yoga demonstrations)
  • Lots of free food samples and 100% plant based foods to try and buy.

You can see the full programme of activities here.  

Some of the stalls at VegFestUK Brighton in 2012.


2. Institute of Jainology Talk by Melanie Joy at the British Library

Date and Time: Friday, 11th October, 2013 from 19:00 to 20:30
Venue: Conference Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, St. Pancras, London NW1 2DB 
Registraton required: http://www.jainology.org/events/ahimsa-conscious-compassion/

We are delighted to announce that the Institute of Jainology will be running a public lecture at the British Library on the theme of Ahimsa: Conscious Compassion. The Keynote address will be given by Dr Melanie Joy, Ph.D., Ed.M.

Melanie Joy is a very influential person in changing the way in which we think about animals.  In order to help challenge the belief it is ordinary to eat meat (and thus that vegans/vegetarians are different), she developed the concept of carnism to describe those who choose to eat meat based on their beliefs, and now runs the Carnism Awareness & Action Network.

Dr Joy is a Harvard-educated psychologist, professor of psychology and sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, celebrated speaker, and the author of the award-winning book called “Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows”. She has written a number of articles on psychology, animal protection, and social justice and she has been featured on programs including the BBC, National Public Radio, PBS, ABC Australia, and Good Morning Croatia, and in Slovenia’s Jana, the Austrian Der Standard and the Italian Le Scienze. Dr. Joy has given her critically acclaimed carnism presentation across the United States as well as internationally. Dr. Joy is also the author of Strategic Action for Animals.

3. Volunteers required to help the Indian Vegans stall at London Vegfest

Nitin Mehta, founder of the Young Indian Vegetarians, is currently looking for volunteers to help out at his information stall at London Vegfest.  If you are planning on attending, and are interesting in helping out at his stall for a couple of hours, please get send him an e-mail:  animalahimsa@gmail.com

4. Young Jains Dessert and Mithai Social - Late October

Young Jains are going to be hosting a vegan mithai and dessert social.   Exact time, date and venue are yet to be confirmed, but most likely to be on the afternoon of Sunday 20 October.

The event will be a fantastic opportunity to socialise with members of the Jain community, learn how to make vegan mithai and taste some delicious vegan desserts.  

We will post further details when they are confirmed.

5. Videos of members of the Jain community talking about diet

There is a now a collection of videos online with Jains discussing diet and their dietary choices.  These include Pramodaben Chitrabhanu, Dr Natubhai ShahSohum ShahNitin Mehta and Pravin Shah.  Many more video profiles can be found on veganjains.com

Pramodaben Chitrabhanu

Pramodaben offers her thoughts on her journey to veganism, which started from ordering a milkshake at a restaurant in Las Vegas.  Pramodaben highlights her shock at finding out plant based milks had been at her local store for years without her noticing.

Natubhai Shah

Natubhai discusses meat, honey and water.

Sohum Shah

Sohum discusses why he is proud to be a vegetarian and why he is trying to give up dairy products.

Nitin Mehta

Nitinbhai explains why he believes it is wrong to eat meat.


Pravin Shah

Video 1: Why vegan in Gujarati (no health info)

Video 2: Why vegan in English (some health info)

Video 3: 10min interview featuring some health information and references to Jain scriptural texts

Video Collection 4: Pravinbhai's Lecture at Jain Centre on Friday 13 September 2013

6. Other upcoming UK / European based vegan-related events

Walking on the Path of Non-Violence, Thu 3 October 2013
7pm to 8:30pm.  Further Details: http://www.bkwsu.org/mailshot/uk/17062013_2_web.html 

VegfestUK London, Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th October
Further details: www.vegfest.co.uk
Paris Vegan Day, Saturday 12th October
Further details: www.facebook.com/pages/Paris-Vegan-Days/174580412589850
East Midlands Vegan Festival (Lincoln), Saturday 12th October
Further details: www.eastmidlandsveganfestival.co.uk

Live A Better Life (Liverpool), Saturday 19th October
Further details: www.ethicsandhealth.org.uk/LABL_Fair_Liverpool.html

Animal Aid School Speaker Cookery Demonstration (London), Saturday 19 October
To book your place or further information, contact Animal Aid.
West Midlands Vegan Festival (Wolverhampton), Saturday 26th October
Further details: 

London Vegans Speaker Evening (Central London), Wednesday 30 October
Aris Tsontzos from Global Poverty Project
Further details: www.londonvegans.org
North East Vegan Festival (Sunderland), Sunday 17th November
Further details: www.northeastveganfestival.co.uk

Animal Aid's Christmas Fayre (Kensington Town Hall, London), Sunday 8th December
Further details: www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_living//2724//

7. Abuse and the killing of cows in milk production

The abuse and killing of cows on dairy farms is the main reason why many members of the Jain community have decided to make a switch to a vegan lifestyle:

  1. The cow is forcefully impregnated by means of artificial insemination. If a cow isn’t made pregnant, she won’t produce milk.
  2. The newborn calf is normally taken away from its mother within 24-48 hours. This is traumatic for cows, who, like human mothers, are very motherly and develop strong bonds with their babies.
  3. Male calves are killed shortly after birth or sold on for meat/leather production.  They have no other use to dairy farmers.
  4. Female calves are kept on to replace their mothers as milk-producing cows.
  5. The mother cow will be killed when 5-7 years old, even though she could live for 20 to 30 years if given the chance.  This is because after bearing a calf and giving milk each year, her milk yield drops such that it is no more profitable for a dairy farmer to keep her alive.

Even though cows on organic farms might experience slightly better conditions, they are still artificially inseminated and killed long before they would leave their bodies. For further information about the way in which cows and other animals are exploited in the milk production process, please visit the Vegan Society website: http://www.vegansociety.com/

8. Alternatives to dairy to help you give up

It is possible to get a range of dairy free alternatives to traditionally animal based products. Normally available from free-from sections of supermarkets and also from healthfood stores. 

  • Cow milk with Soya/Rice/Almond/Coconut Milk (Supermarket ownbrands, Alpro, Provamel, Bonsoy, So Good, Ecomil, Koko)
  • Yoghurt / Dahi with plant based curds (Provamel, Alpro, Sojade)
  • Butter with vegetable spreads (Pure and Vitalite are commonly available from supermarkets. Note many margarines contain butter milk and thus are not suitable for vegans)
  • Cheese / Paneer with Dairy Free Cheeses (Tofu, Redwoods Cheezly,Scheese,Tofutti, Vegusto, Vegourmet)
  • Ice Creams with sorbets or dairy free ice creams (Rice Dream,Swedish Glace,TofuttiBooja Booja, Worthenshaws)
  • Chocolate with dark chocolate (Plamil and Organica do specialist dairy free ‘milk chocolate’ and many brands do vegan dark chocolate)
  • Eggs with egg replacement powder (baking) or tofu (scrambled)
  • Honey with fruit syrup or golden syrup

For further listings of animal free products, please see the Vegan Society Animal Free Shopper online database: http://www.vegansociety.com/afssearch.aspx 

9. About Jain Vegans

Jain Vegans (www.jainvegans.org) was established in 2008 to support Jains in the transition towards a low-himsa lifestyle, largely in response to the abuse and violation of cows in milk production.

Though we are not formally established as an organisation, we organise regular events and workshops on a plant-based lifestyle (e-mail us if you'd like to get in contact) and interact with member and supporters through the following channels: 


..a friendly online forum where you can exchange and ideas about veganism and Jainism with other members from around the world....

...follow us on Twitter (@JainVegans) for instant news and information...


..'like' us on facebook for updates on our activities and invitations to events... 

If anything we have written has caused offence, we humbly seek forgiveness. Michhami Dukkadam.

With best wishes,

The Jain Vegans Team

Share this page on: