Why is Govinda's and Food for Life not totally vegan?

 

In the modernized world we live in and where lots of animals are mistreated for business purposes, the question often comes up why we are not vegan and using a milk-free diet. Govinda's restaurants and Food for Life support the view that the abuse of cows and their slaughter is uncivilized and brutal. However, the problem we are facing is the abuse of the cows, not the milk in itself. Milk has been taken in an unaggressive way by humans for thousands of years getting important nutrients in an effective way. But the question remains: do humans really need milk? To answer that question we need to analyze wherefrom we can get solid information about milk in our diets?

What health advice should we be following?

Many times it has happened to many of us that we follow a certain diet or information that soon is overthrown by arguments from some other source. And it doesn't just happen once, but again and again. The intelligent person therefore asks: what health advice should we really follow? What scientific or even philosofical information can help us to take a proper decision? Modern scientific knowledge is constantly changing and influenced by political, economic and other interests. Where should we base our faith in?

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This marks the essential factor when taking any decision in this world: who do we accept as our authority? There is so much information about different kind of diets. Whom shall we believe?
Govinda's Food for Life bases its understanding on the ancient texts of India and little on modern science. Why? Because these texts haven't changed since thousands of years, describing themselves as coming from a superior, complete fountain of knowledge. Those teachings in themselves actually inform us that our senses are limited and therefore any knowledge obtained thereof incomplete. Any information based on sense-perception is ultimately misleading and subject to change. It is recommended therefore to be skeptical with advice given by modern "scientific" investigation, and not follow it blindly. We should get our knowledge or viewpoint from an authoritative, complete source, like e.g. the ancient texts of India. The ayur-veda, which means "the science of life", is one of them, being the most ancient and enduring science on health available on the planet.

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Being very accurate, the ayur-veda teaches us many practical hints to prevent diseases. It describes milk as a very important and basic nutritient, that prolongs life and contains essential substances for our growth and for the development of the finer tissues in our brain. It also states that nothing can replace that "nectar" given to us by the cow, who is considered one of seven mothers for human society. This means that
 milk should only be obtained by unexploited cows that agree to offer their milk to humans. There is a harmonic reciprocation between us humans and the animals we protect. If protected properly, cows are one of mankind's most valuable food resources.

 

Doesn't the milk of a cow belong to its calf?

If the milk does actually belong the the calf and nobody else is an interesting question to be analysed. Unfortunately in many milk producing factories cows are fed non-grass food and their calves taken away from their mothers. As mentioned before, such practices shouldn't be supported at all, but mankind has taken milk from cows healthily and naturally raised for many millenia. The question therefore remains: Isn't the milk that is taken from a naturally grown cow being stolen from its calf?

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If we accept the fact that milk should not be taken away from its calf, then the in a wider sense the question comes up: What right do we actually have to any food coming from nature? If the milk of the cow belongs to the calf, doesn't the fruit of a tree belong to the tree? The grain to the earth? Have we asked the tree to get permission? Have we produced the trees and the fields? How do we know we can just take anything from them?


Anything taken without permission is stolen

If I enter your house and you're not there, and if I just take something without any complaint, isn't that thievery? The ancient teachings from India teach us that everything we take in this world without permission is actually stolen. Just because we do not know whom things really belong to doesn't mean that we can just take them. Anyone who even takes a simple fruit for personal sense enjoyment becomes actually a thief. As we haven't placed the earth in its place, we also haven't produced the tree or grains from it. We have to admit that it has been done by a superior power. Just because we might not want to accept such a superior power doesn't mean we're free to take, and there's not going to be some reaction.

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Karma and reaction

To become free from reaction we should be authorized by superior authority. Without getting permission from a superior source we become thieves and will have to face reactions to our doings. Just as we are controlled by the government laws at every step, we have to follow the laws that reign the universe in order to be happy and peaceful. If we do things according to our own whims we provoke chaos and suffering. This world is actually very complex, and due to our limited senses we don't realize all the effects we are causing through our actions. The environmental crisis is a living example of this fact.

The ancient texts of India however give us detailed instruction of superior and subtle laws that human society should follow. They declare themselves coming from superior authority and enjoin that we should "only take what we really need for our survival, knowing well to whom things belong". Man has the right to take his "quota", or the amount he needs to keep healthy, but not more. Otherwise it will lead to conflict on any level.

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Modern civilisation is a clear example of the "overtaking mentality". So many problems ensue because we go far beyond our quota not knowing what effects the exploitation of the worldly resources entail. Because man takes more and more, it leads to further suffering, on the personal, national or human level. Big wars are fought because two nations declare that something, or some land is theirs. Why do we declare that something belongs to us?



The cause of all suffering

Because human society has forgotten completely what this world is all about and whom it belongs to, they declare its theirs. When a society focusses on the short-term goals of life like sense indulcence, higher principles are forgotten or even intentionally avoided. We start focussing on immediate pleasure without considering other's interests, needs and concerns, and conflict ensues. Instead of thinking about essential questions like why am I here and what is this life all about, we become absorbed in looking for security in an unstable world, suffering anxiety at every step. We become absorbed into temporary things. This doesn't mean that we should reject the world as something afar and untouchable, but we should use any resources thoughtfully and consciously, knowing that we are just passenger on our way through. 

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We should only take what we really need and use our energy to understand the higher principles of life, instead of exploiting nature and the animals. If modern society would abide by this strict but easy principle, so many problems in the world, including deforestation, wars, exploitation of oceans, forests and mountains would be solved.

In conclusion we could say that if we don't take the milk from a cow, we also should become thoughtful of all the other things we take as well. As a man needs grains, vegetable and fruits to survive, we should also come to understand the deeper and subtle laws of what it means "to take" from nature.
And because a few people are declaring that certain foodstuffs are good to eat because they have "discovered" it scientifically, that 
doesn't mean they might not change their opinion within a few decades. We should base our knowledge on something substantial, lasting and authoritative. Milk has been taken by humans for a long time and it includes many of the nutrients a human needs. This is confirmed by the most ancient medical practices in the world. Milk can be taken in its quota when reciprocatively the cow is protected and taken proper care of.  

 

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