NOTE: The Ahimsa Calculator is at the bottom of this page.
What is Ahimsa?
Ahimsa loosely means non-violent. For Krishna devotees it is more, it is the upholding of religious principles, which inadvertently affect human civilisation. Srila Prabhupada explains: “Progressive human civilization is based on brahminical culture, God consciousness and protection of cows. All economic development of the state by trade, commerce, agriculture and industries must be fully utilized in relation to the above principles, otherwise all so-called economic development becomes a source of degradation” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.19.3, purport).
Vaishnavas (devotees of Lord Krishna) are against animal exploitation. The current state is that cows are forcibly impregnated and pumped with hormones to keep producing milk artificially. They produce a whopping 24,5 Litres of milk a day. The milk is mechanically extracted causing distress and pain to the cow. And once the abused cow cannot produce milk, it is sent to be slaughtered. The average lifespan of such a cow is five years. This brutality has no end, save an except when milk taken from a poor tortured cow, is offered to Krishna. That cow has rendered devotion to the Lord and therefore in the universal scheme of things, becomes blessed. Just as a tree gets liberated by its flower being offered to the Lord. But this does not mean we should do nothing! Happy cows give milk — liquid gold that develops the finer tissue of the brain, which needed to cultivate spiritual knowledge.
Over the last two years, we have extensively researched ahimsa milk in South Africa. The result has left us disappointed. It doesn’t exist and there is little hope of acquiring it, even in three years from now (2018). It is expensive to protect cows and there are factors that make it almost impossible. But we can try to protect the cow as much as we can. We have a plan that can work — if we come together. People need to become inspired and empowered to help establish protected cow farms.
To rise above the moral high-ground, we invite you to offset your dairy expense by investing in an ahimsa project/farm. The Sri Krishna Goshala (Thornville) provided the following information: one jersey cow produces 10-15 litres of milk a day and the monthly maintenance of a cow is R3500-R4000 (this includes care, feed, and vet fees).
1. Calculate your diary (milk, butter, ghee, yoghurt, cheese, etc.) per month. Use the calculator below.
2. Decide an affordable percentage you can invest (e.g., 10%, 20%, etc.).
3. Research where to invest: Care for Cows in Vrindavana, Gita Nagari in the USA, The Bhaktivedanta Manor in the UK, etc. Do not forget our Goshala in Thornville or the Midrand Goshala! You can also find a local dairy farm that is willing to care for your cow until the cow passes away naturally. This can be done via a written and binding contract whereby a farm cares for your cows for a monthly fee.
4. Invest with Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple. The Temple has set up a special account to invest in protected and happy cows. We have not actioned this process yet but with funding, we can decide on the most effective way to meet our goal. The Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple currently uses 800 litres of milk every week. We pledge to donate 25% of the milk costs to a special trust for the protection of cows and within the next five years to reach the goal of having happy cows that give nourishing milk.
If you would like to invest with Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple, you can write to us: firstname.lastname@example.org