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Is consuming Dairy in Accordance to Gurmat
								

The following Article was written in response to a Gursikh who opposes consumption of Dairy products on the basis of compassion for animals and for the sake of animal rights:

Singh jeeo, you are correct in pointing out that it is best if Singhs milk cows directly and also organize dairy farms to ensure that animals are treated as per Gurmat. You are talking about the most ideal situation but unfortunately, it is not possible for everyone to own a dairy farm or have access to a dairy farm run by Gurmukhs.

The goal of human life is attainment of Vaheguru. To attain Vaheguru, while one needs to follow Gurmat, one of the most fundamental requirement is to have human body. To meet Vaheguru, human body is required and to maintain human body, certain diet is required. The bottom line is that as humans, we can only eat living things and cannot consume non-living matter. Whether you eat plants or animals, either way there is some Karma associated with it but Gurmat has chosen such diet for Gursikhs that is both nourishing for the body and also has least negative Karma. Guru Sahib has chosen for us diet that includes plants, dairy products, honey etc. As Veer Jaskirat Singh wrote in one of his posts, Bhai Jagtar Singh considered milk to be one of the most blessed food. Gurbani has praised milk with the adjective Amrit.

Milk and dairy products are a must for a Gursikh and milk is listed as one of the basic necessity in Bhagat Dhanna jee's Shabad - Gopal Tera Aarta|| - in which Bhagat jee has also asked for a cow or a buffalo that gives milk. This proves that consumption of dairy is essential for our living.

Knowing very well that Gurmat allows dairy products, still some modern Gursikhs, under the influences of propaganda of animal rights organizations, are not only themselves adopting the vegan diet but also leading many other Gursikhs astray. Dairy products and honey are accepted Gurmat diets and no Gursikh should have a doubt about it.

Since it is not possible for every Gursikh to have access to Gurmukh-run dairy farms, and since dairy products are a must to maintain the human body, it is better to consume dairy products than becoming a pure vegan. Pure vegans are known to take artificial supplements multi-vitamins and Vitamin B vitamins etc. to compensate for not eating dairy products. I am not sure if such diet of supplements (for non-medical reasons) is even Bibek.

You have to make a choice. There are two options:

Giving up Dairy Products out of compassion for ill-treated cows

Pros:
1. You gain good Karma for showing compassion and you avoid negative Karma of being part of injustice to cows.
2. Your expression of compassion may enhance your Naam Kamaaee.

Cons:
1. It may effect your body negatively and your body may become diseased.
2. You may have to compromise with your Bibek by taking vitamin supplements for non-medical reasons.
3. To be a true Vegan, you will have to avoid Degh. If you decide to accept Degh, you will lose any benefits you were going to incur by giving up dairy diet.
4. By giving up Degh, you will be deprived of Kirpa of Guru Sahib, that comes through consuming Degh.
5. The Khalsa concept of Garam Jal, Samunder, Panjva etc. will not be relevant in your life.

Not Giving up Dairy Products, despite knowing about the ill-treatment of cows

Pros:
1. Your precious body will be maintained through milk and dairy products.
2. If you body is healthy, you can engage in Naam Kamaaee more vigorously and have a higher chance of meeting Vaheguru.
3. If your body perishes due to lack of dairy consumption, the loss will be much bigger than the gain of showing compassion to cows. Who knows when you would get the human body again.
4. You can continue enjoying Degh, the most tasty food in the world after Khande dee Pahul.
5. Dairy builds a strong body that can be used for Sewa, and other duties of Khalsa e.g. shaheedi while fighting injustice.

Cons:
1. You will have to bear some negative Karma associated with ill-treatment of cows.


Another Viewpoint

Singh jeeo,  you have very diligently pointed out that the milk that we get now a days comes through ill-treatment of cows but what about other foods e.g. wheat, vegetables, pulses etc. that are grown on farms where labourers working in fields are grossly ill-treated? You have to pretty much boycott all food that is grown in India, Pakistan, South-America, Africa and other such countries. You may not have witnessed but the treatment that agriculture workers in India get, is far worse than how cows are treated in Western countries. Many of the agriculture workers are kids and over-loaded women. Rape, sexual assault of women workers and even children workers by landowners is a common occurrence in farms in the aforementioned countries. Just go to any village in India and live there for sometime and you will find out that the conditions are worse than stated here. Bonded labour is common and so is exploitation of kids. Cows are at least not sexually assaulted by the owners as agriculture workers are.

Everyone talks about ill-treatment of cows but no one talks about ill-treatment of humans workers in agriculture farms. You advocate giving up dairy products due to ill-treatment of cows; are you also going to adopt, preach and advocate giving up all food e.g. wheat, grains, vegetables etc. because of severe ill-treatment of humans on farms where they are grown?

As stated before, everything that we eat has some negative Karma associated with it but this Karma is greatly reduced because firstly, we pay for what we eat, secondly, we eat what Guru Sahib has instructed us to eat and thirdly, Naam Abhyaas burns such bad Karma. It is much more important to maintain the precious human body within the constraints of Gurmat, than it is to destroy the body by giving up dairy products or other foods because of Karmic considerations. We are not Buddhists who consider Karma to be all-powerful.

Guru Sahib knows better. I could be wrong. May Guru Sahib forgive our mistakes while discussing Gurmat.

Daas,
Kulbir Singh

 
 
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The following Article was written in response to a Gursikh who opposes consumption of Dairy products on the basis of compassion for animals and for the sake of animal rights:

Singh jeeo, you are correct in pointing out that it is best if Singhs milk cows directly and also organize dairy farms to ensure that animals are treated as per Gurmat. You are talking about the most ideal situation but unfortunately, it is not possible for everyone to own a dairy farm or have access to a dairy farm run by Gurmukhs.

The goal of human life is attainment of Vaheguru. To attain Vaheguru, while one needs to follow Gurmat, one of the most fundamental requirement is to have human body. To meet Vaheguru, human body is required and to maintain human body, certain diet is required. The bottom line is that as humans, we can only eat living things and cannot consume non-living matter. Whether you eat plants or animals, either way there is some Karma associated with it but Gurmat has chosen such diet for Gursikhs that is both nourishing for the body and also has least negative Karma. Guru Sahib has chosen for us diet that includes plants, dairy products, honey etc. As Veer Jaskirat Singh wrote in one of his posts, Bhai Jagtar Singh considered milk to be one of the most blessed food. Gurbani has praised milk with the adjective Amrit.

Milk and dairy products are a must for a Gursikh and milk is listed as one of the basic necessity in Bhagat Dhanna jee's Shabad - Gopal Tera Aarta|| - in which Bhagat jee has also asked for a cow or a buffalo that gives milk. This proves that consumption of dairy is essential for our living.

Knowing very well that Gurmat allows dairy products, still some modern Gursikhs, under the influences of propaganda of animal rights organizations, are not only themselves adopting the vegan diet but also leading many other Gursikhs astray. Dairy products and honey are accepted Gurmat diets and no Gursikh should have a doubt about it.

Since it is not possible for every Gursikh to have access to Gurmukh-run dairy farms, and since dairy products are a must to maintain the human body, it is better to consume dairy products than becoming a pure vegan. Pure vegans are known to take artificial supplements multi-vitamins and Vitamin B vitamins etc. to compensate for not eating dairy products. I am not sure if such diet of supplements (for non-medical reasons) is even Bibek.

You have to make a choice. There are two options:

Giving up Dairy Products out of compassion for ill-treated cows

Pros:
1. You gain good Karma for showing compassion and you avoid negative Karma of being part of injustice to cows.
2. Your expression of compassion may enhance your Naam Kamaaee.

Cons:
1. It may effect your body negatively and your body may become diseased.
2. You may have to compromise with your Bibek by taking vitamin supplements for non-medical reasons.
3. To be a true Vegan, you will have to avoid Degh. If you decide to accept Degh, you will lose any benefits you were going to incur by giving up dairy diet.
4. By giving up Degh, you will be deprived of Kirpa of Guru Sahib, that comes through consuming Degh.
5. The Khalsa concept of Garam Jal, Samunder, Panjva etc. will not be relevant in your life.

Not Giving up Dairy Products, despite knowing about the ill-treatment of cows

Pros:
1. Your precious body will be maintained through milk and dairy products.
2. If you body is healthy, you can engage in Naam Kamaaee more vigorously and have a higher chance of meeting Vaheguru.
3. If your body perishes due to lack of dairy consumption, the loss will be much bigger than the gain of showing compassion to cows. Who knows when you would get the human body again.
4. You can continue enjoying Degh, the most tasty food in the world after Khande dee Pahul.
5. Dairy builds a strong body that can be used for Sewa, and other duties of Khalsa e.g. shaheedi while fighting injustice.

Cons:
1. You will have to bear some negative Karma associated with ill-treatment of cows.


Another Viewpoint

Singh jeeo,  you have very diligently pointed out that the milk that we get now a days comes through ill-treatment of cows but what about other foods e.g. wheat, vegetables, pulses etc. that are grown on farms where labourers working in fields are grossly ill-treated? You have to pretty much boycott all food that is grown in India, Pakistan, South-America, Africa and other such countries. You may not have witnessed but the treatment that agriculture workers in India get, is far worse than how cows are treated in Western countries. Many of the agriculture workers are kids and over-loaded women. Rape, sexual assault of women workers and even children workers by landowners is a common occurrence in farms in the aforementioned countries. Just go to any village in India and live there for sometime and you will find out that the conditions are worse than stated here. Bonded labour is common and so is exploitation of kids. Cows are at least not sexually assaulted by the owners as agriculture workers are.

Everyone talks about ill-treatment of cows but no one talks about ill-treatment of humans workers in agriculture farms. You advocate giving up dairy products due to ill-treatment of cows; are you also going to adopt, preach and advocate giving up all food e.g. wheat, grains, vegetables etc. because of severe ill-treatment of humans on farms where they are grown?

As stated before, everything that we eat has some negative Karma associated with it but this Karma is greatly reduced because firstly, we pay for what we eat, secondly, we eat what Guru Sahib has instructed us to eat and thirdly, Naam Abhyaas burns such bad Karma. It is much more important to maintain the precious human body within the constraints of Gurmat, than it is to destroy the body by giving up dairy products or other foods because of Karmic considerations. We are not Buddhists who consider Karma to be all-powerful.

Guru Sahib knows better. I could be wrong. May Guru Sahib forgive our mistakes while discussing Gurmat.

Daas,
Kulbir Singh
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