Q & A – Milk and Veganism
Answers by His Holiness Danavir Goswami
QUESTION: I noticed recently that a website sponsored by PETA and vegans that says that milk is pus and poison. The name of the website is milksucks.com. They are openly advertising that milk is bad for you and even beer is better. Their website is openly against milk saying that cow’s milk is an inefficient food source, cow dung poisons underground water, rivers and streams, etc. Some ISKCON members say that by advocating the consumption of commercial milk ISKCON devotees are participating in the slaughter of innocent cows. What is your opinion?
ANSWER: This is a most serious accusation. Yes some of these vegan devotees insinuate that the use of commercial dairy products in the service of the Lord, by cooking, offering and honoring the prasadam, involves the users in accomplicity with the slaughter of animals. If the vegans are wrong, then they are accusing devotees in furthering cow slaughter. This is illogical and offensive to devotees who have dedicated their lives for spreading Krsna consciousness, including His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada who also used commercial dairy products. By ISKCON’s work worldwide millions of persons have given up eating meat and more do so daily.
Was Srila Prabhupada too participating in the slaughter of innocent cows? Are they more advanced than Srila Prabhupada in determining what is beneficial and what is sinful activity?
There are a few points to consider:
1) Cows are naturally and divinely meant to supply milk for humans to offer to Lord Krishna and then consume the prasädam. The fact that demons slaughter cows and before doing so take their milk for profit does not discredit the cows’ service to human society nor to Krishna. Kamsa slaughtered Devaki’s babies but that did not disqualify Devaki from mothering Krishna.
2) The fault of demons who slaughter cows is their own. The fault does not transfer to A) the cows, B) the users of dairy products, especially those who offer those products with love and devotion to the Supreme Lord.
In a conversation with dairy research scientists on this subject (Melbourne, July 2, 1974), Srila Prabhupada rejects the theory that milk fat is harmful and rather points out milk’s value for understanding transcendental knowledge.
QUESTION: What is your opinion of the statement that milk, even pure milk from protected cows is NOT necessary for developing love of Krishna—only bhakti is necessary?
ANSWER: We should not think that we are more intelligent than Srila Prabhupada who taught us that A) milk is helpful for developing finer brain tissues in order to understand transcendental knowledge and B) milk is helpful for longevity.
“Cow’s milk is particularly essential for developing the finer tissues of the human brain so that one can understand the intricacies of transcendental knowledge. A civilized man is expected to live on foodstuffs comprising fruits, vegetables, grains, sugar and milk.” (3.5.7 Purport)
Humans are supposed to engage themselves and the cows in Lord Krsna’s service by offering nice milk products to Krsna and then eating the prasadam. By doing this, the humans and cows are transcendentally promoted. Exploited creatures can also be engaged in devotional service.
The conclusion that devotees who offer and honor prasadam made with commercial dairy products, following the advice and practice of Srila Prabhupada, are participating in the slaughter of innocent cows is, in my humble opinion, nothing less than hati mata.
This is a vivid example of why we should not take sides with these karmis because their hearts are so impure that they have horrible motivations behind their actions. And even when they try to do something good such as helping animals, because they are so ignorant they make another, worse mess. maya-sukhaya bharam udvahato vimudhan. Unfortunately some devotees’ faith is so weak that they abandon the correct path without much provocation.
If humans do not utilize cows’ milk for offering to Krishna and consumption then there will be no incentive to keep cows at all except for slaughter. Utilizing their milk is the natural use recommended by the scriptures and Srila Prabhupada.
So our recommendation is, “Don’t kill cow.” Take milk and make thousands of preparations, all nutritious and very healthy. They do not know how to use cow. Instead of killing, if we take, let the animal live and give us milk, and from the milk, we make hundreds of preparations. The milk is nothing but blood, transformation of blood. So we take the blood by killing the animal, but we do not wish to kill such an important animal, but they take the blood in form of milk and make preparation. And those who are flesh-eaters, let them wait for the death of the cow. Then let them eat the flesh, not living condition. So we are making preparation that keep the cows, protect the cows, and when the cow dies, the flesh-eater may take it away. So he can take the skin, he can take the hoof, he can take the horn, he can take the flesh, everything, whatever he likes. Because when it is dead, it is no more useful for us. So the others, who are interested with the skin, in the flesh, in the hoof, they can take it. And they get it free. Without any cost. Because after death, we don’t want it. So this is our program. Let the cows live. We take sufficient milk. We are getting milk, one thousand pounds. One thousand pounds daily in our, one center, New Vrindaban, Virginia. So we are making various preparations from the milk, and they are very happy, and the cows are also happy. So this is one of our programs, to stop killing this important animal. And the flesh-eaters may wait a little until the cow dies. Then he gets the opportunity. Why there should be slaughterhouse maintained? (Conversation with Srila Prabhupada June 11, 1974)http://danavirgoswami.com/q-a-milk-and-veganism/https://i2.wp.com/danavirgoswami.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/cow_7.jpg?fit=500%2C250https://i2.wp.com/danavirgoswami.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/cow_7.jpg?resize=150%2C150ArticlesDairyDanavir GoswamiAnswers by His Holiness Danavir Goswami (Vaiñëava Society Vol. 9) QUESTION: I noticed recently that a website sponsored by PETA and vegans that says that milk is pus and poison. The name of the website is milksucks.com. They are openly advertising that milk is bad for you and even beer is...Robert LessengerRobert Lessengerdgservant@rvc.eduAdministratorDanavir Goswami