Pink is White and Blood

India’s white revolution has always been seen as one of the great success stories, on the face of it, it does look like one also, what with generating huge revenues for the state, income for the poor, subsidies from the developed world, creation of employment, installation of heavy and costly machinery – it projects itself as a win – win situation for all (animals not included).

I was once taken or rather consumed by this charm of a promising business venture especially for the rural livelihoods. I was young, not even out of university and never ever near to a village or livestock. The business ideas from established players and their promise of changing the face of India’s rural poor – to rid people of their abject poverty was too much to resist. I plunged and with me many of my kind also plunged into it and that is when the story unfolds further………………..

I was lucky enough to get out of it as the bubble bursted, it took almost 5 years for that to happen though, but at last it did. However many of my colleagues who preceded and succeeded me in joining this hallucination are still there and I hope, sincerely, that they will realise it as well and jump the wall sometime soon.

Now, let me just briefly discuss about what turns white (milk) into pink (flesh) and why both of these are intricately intertwined with each other – the existence of one leads to the survival of the other – at least in India (it may be true for other parts of the world as well, but this is what my first hand experience is and so it is limited to India).

Keeping a cow at home was a tradition and most, rather almost all the rural households had 1-2 cows and a buffalo depending upon the size of the family, the need and the capacity to serve them as family members. The milk from the cows and buffaloes was used for the family, be it for drinking, making ghee or cottage cheese or other home made items.

This used to be that proportion of milk which was left after the calves (male or female) have suckled their mothers to their hearts content. So this milk which was left over and needed to be drained out was the milk that was used by the humans of the family and whatever remains after that (if at all) was sold either in the neighbourhood or to the local milk man or local village shop – aiding in getting a little extra money for the household that very much included the cows and the buffaloes and their progeny.

That’s history I am discussing and believe me, it was like this till the time the collared brigade entered into the fray and sold this idea of doing business at the behest of their own family members and made them to treat these innocent living beings as a commodity and a vehicle of economic uplifment for themselves.

Initially there were few takers, it was incomprehensible for the community to treat their livestock as a money making machine – not a lure enough, but then we have our ways and we have money – so we lured them more and a little more and just a little more – that is like you throw in a couple of free cows, a little more money for the product you sell, some goodies as well in return and some instant cash to make you feel rich and happy – lo and behold – you are in it, thats the fallacy of human mind, we just tend to fall – all the time – and that is when one of our family members was wilfully killed to make a living as ruthlessly as one can because the family member in question will always remain unheard as her language is neither heard nor understood and her moistened eyes were never looked into.

As we look at it today, milk has become a big industry – from Operation Flood to this day, India has been one of the topmost producers of Milk in the world. Milk is big business and institutional funding into its promotion right at the village level has been phenomenal (those of you interested in figures can kindly refer to the department of animal husbandry, govt. of India site, its http://www.dahd.nic.in).

There are milk cooperatives, producer companies, dairy promotion groups, private dairies, milk collection booths, big corporates – all banking upon that poor cow and her calf, the ability to torture them and the will to kill them for profits.

Coming back to the title of the blog, why is white the new pink or why pink is white and blood – well the very practical theory goes like this – In India we are yet very far from rearing livestock especially cows and buffaloes for production of meat, we are traditionally non meat eating or lacto vegetarians, rural communities especially with no access to modern day processed meat products are primarily lacto vegetarians.

So a majority of the cows and buffaloes that we have are actually meant to produce milk and earn for their owners. However as the law of nature can not be changed, these cows and buffaloes have a limited productive life which is further shortened because we extract the maximum out of them during their peak. We don’t want any losses, so we keep them impregnated, reducing the inter calving period, increasing the no. of milking days and increasing the production of milk by feeding more and more concentrate and additives that help in production of more milk. We use selective semen to inseminate them and play with their genetics to make them customised to our conditions and while doing so the only thing that remains in our conscious mind is that these poor animals are no more than a commodity.

The new born calves, if they are male calves are subjected to extreme cruelty by not letting them feed on the mothers milk, they eventually die of hunger or are sold to the butchers or organised veal exporters. If there is a female calf, she gets ready for this immensely cruel cycle of production with no future. The entire trade is a blot on the face of humanity and lacks compassion.

Every living being goes through the cycle of ageing and cows and buffaloes are no exception. Bought and reared for milk, once they become dry and unproductive or suffer from a disease or infection (which is quite common), they become a liability on the owning family and as such are sold either in innumerable haats (local animal markets) or through agents – in both the cases they end up for slaughter. They are transported to places where the slaughter can take place and during this time they are put through some of the most horrible torture, many of them die enroute and most of them are battered, fractured and wounded not only physically but emotionally.

I have seen many of these cows and buffaloes weeping through their eyes, their faith in humanity tattered and torn, their entire life which they gave to us to feed upon has been trampled upon without the slightest consideration of what they have earned for us.

Look them into their eyes and you will find the entire galaxy of pain and suffering, never ending human greed and apathy towards life in a different form than ours.
Its heart wrenching and portrays the extent to which humans can stoop – remember a glass of your milk or a piece of cheese or a spoonful of curd, or ghee in your plate – all of these are responsible for this incomprehensible cruelty on these innocent beings.

Meat is just an extension of milk – no less than murder and killing, no short of cruelty. Pink is the new white for all practical reasons and references. You can not increase milk production without cruelty. We do not have an old age plan or a plan for unproductive cows and buffaloes. The gaushalas are immensely low in number as compared to the no. of cows and buffaloes that are thrown out of the production cycle each day.

In india, until we curb the white, we wont be able to curtail the pink, in any scenario – the white has to go out of equation because if there is no white, there wont be any pink and similarly more white will lead to more pink. Its a business worth billions of dollars, but businesses rely on customers.

If and I so hope if, we take out the milk and its products out of our diets – the equation will change. This cycle has to end for the benefit of all, it has to end. Remember, white is the present state of pink and if your a party to white you can not wash the pink off your hands!!!

In service of animals

Faizan Vegan Jaleel
faizanjaleel@icloud.com

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Eid Al Adha

The Eid of Misplaced Belief

Many million goats, cows, bulls, camels, sheep and buffaloes have already been slaughtered (sacrificed) in the way of Allah (the most merciful, beneficent and loving) – when we refer to Allah as a Muslim with faith on the holy Quran, it goes out without effort that we are referring to ALLAH – the most merciful, beneficent and loving and this does not limit only to Humans but to all the life and life forms in the entire Universe. When I see it in the reflection of blood and pain that poor animals are subjected to during the festival, I feel pained at the very abject misunderstanding of Islam and Allah’s wishes by my fellow brothers and sisters.

It is indeed very difficult for a Muslim to unlearn and relearn especially in terms of religion or may be this holds true for every religion as presented by humans in their current form. “How can we give up Qurbani (ritual sacrifice of an animal), what will people say” or “I have the best and the most expensive Bakra (Goat)” or “I sacrificed three goats and a bull” – this certainly is not what Allah wanted to convey through the pinnacle of sacrifice that Prophet Ibrahim undertook and selflessly performed. He was pained at the thought of sacrificing his son, with tears in his eyes and since he was not able to see what he was supposed to do, he blindfolded himself – that was the pain of sacrifice and there was this lesson – that Allah may want you to sacrifice whatever and however dear it may be to you! And today what have we made of this lesson is for ourselves to introspect and decide. You may not be able to or may find it very difficult to hold up against the communities satirical comments and remarks but in your heart you will understand and know that this is not what is required, may be letting go of a goat (letting her live) that you just bought out of your savings is a better sacrifice than slaughtering that poor animal to prove that you are an abiding muslim and live your life in accordance with what you have seen and experienced (not studied and understood)!!

Indeed Allah the merciful, beneficent and loving has created everything in this universe and mankind is supposedly the best of all the creations and yes indeed Allah has allowed to us the meat of certain animals and all the good things like fruits and vegetables but in giving us all this, Allah has given us a choice of selection – and the choice is ours to make!

There is nowhere in the holy Quran mentioned that you will not be considered a Muslim if you do not consume meat or you will not be a good muslim if you only consume veggies and fruits. So the choices we make are all ours and putting these choices on Allah’s will is sheer ignorance and lack of will to stand up to what is right.

To make my point more simple, Islam has defined what is called as the “Five Pillars of Islam” – to be considered as five primary obligations that each Muslim must fulfil in his/her life time and these are:

1.Shahadah:The complete acceptance of faith that “there is no God but God and Muhammad is the messenger of God” – one statement or as we call it the “Kalma” that expresses a complete acceptance of Islam and commitment towards it.
2. Salah: The prayers, (five times a day) second pillar of Islam, Islamic faith is based on the belief that individuals have a direct relationship with Allah
3. Zakat: Almsgiving is the third pillar of Islam, it is an obligation for each Muslim to give Zakat, a certain percentage of the net worth (2.5%) has to be given on a regular basis
4. Sawm: Fasting during the month of Ramadan is the fourth pillar of Islam
5. Hajj: The pilgrimage to Makkah is the fifth pillar of Islam and a duty for all the Muslims in the world who are physically and financially capable of taking up the journey.

These five pillars provide the basic identity to a Muslim and as we can see, it no where includes eating meat, or slaughtering animals for business and food as a mark of a Muslim.

I can say from my own exposure and experience to a multitude of muslim communities across India that a majority of Muslims find it quite difficult to follow these basic pillars of Islam. But a majority of the same Muslims will sacrifice a goat or any other allowed animal to reiterate the misleading fact of being a Muslim or being a part or larger Ignorance of Muslims.

I get many messages with abuses, hurts and full of indecency for my efforts to portray the very polite, humane and natural side of Islam and I know with conviction that my Allah wants me to do this. However I best ignore them as they are work of misguided minds and lack of enlightenment. They have read the scriptures but haven’t yet understood the meaning – the same way as this year on Eid al Adha, they have slaughtered many animals, millions of them without making any sacrifice!!!

I have firm faith that things will change and cruelty will end – someday soon we will have our EID – of peace, love and compassion!

Do visit and like my page on facebook: “Celebrate Eid al Adha without Cruelty”
This year we did engage with some, Inshallah till next Eid we will have more enlightened minds to spread the message of peace and love for all life forms!

With Love
Faizan VJ
faizanjaleel@icloud.com

The ‘I’ in ‘Me’ is our Greatest ‘Enemy’

I have been brought up in a world that is full of people who think only about themselves, those who think a little more about themselves than the general populace have been frequently termed as Selfish, mean, greedy and likes of it.

Well that does make one thing very clear to me that we as Humans very well understand the meaning of being overtly dedicated to ourselves however we fail to see it in ourselves and in generality in everyone.

The human connotation of being selfish is in relation to fellow humans, so if you are not disturbed or concerned about the fellow beings that includes your family, friends and children and adults dying of hunger around the world then you are termed as a self cantered selfish hole of a shit.

However to me there is also a Humane connotation to the idea of being selfish and that comes into play for all of us who have been raping the planet of all the good things, murdering animals for our own use, torturing them for experiment and pleasure and even being a part of that society which is blind to all this makes me feel extremely selfish.

There comes the ‘I’ that I talk about – our entire emphasis is on this ‘I’, the entire world is made to satisfy the needs of this ‘I’ and this ‘I’ resides in ‘me’ making ‘me’ the worst enemy of myself and the universe.

A little more explanation and maybe i will be able to drive the point home. Such is the ‘I’ in ‘me’ that it doesn’t leave even the very Preachers of environment and animal protection and welfare, their ‘I’ is more threatening then the ‘I’ of common masses as it destroys the collective by creating differences of the ‘me’ and ‘I’ with the collective thought process and action, simply because ‘I’ becomes greater than the cause and ‘me’ is not ready to infuse the self in the collective.

Remember this ‘I’ is extremely contiguous and can catch you even before the influenza virus and the effect is catastrophic for the world around us.

In the run to satisfy my ‘I’, all that exists and comes in path is ravaged and destroyed. The very concern doesn’t move beyond my own existence and hardly ever to the other fellow beings and maybe never (as the percentage is very very low) to all other forms of flora and fauna that exists and supports the sustenance of ‘I’.

In this age and time when this planet is swarming with over productive human beings, the thought that comes to mind is ‘I’ can afford to have two – three- four or as many babies I want as they will carry my legacy and I can feed them well and bring them up with ease or at the other hand if I am a resource poor person, ‘I’ can have as many babies as ‘I’ want for enabling a larger pool of working hands to feed the empty stomachs. This ‘I’ is devoid of the least of consideration for the eco system and the consumeristic load that this ‘I’ in me is putting on this habitat that is meant forms of life – sentient and non sentient. And this is just a mere example that can be repeated in nth no. of instances like ‘I’ can afford another house, car, computer, bed, burger, steak and what not… this ‘I’ is insatiable and self destructing as well.

This very ‘I’ in the very ‘me’ is such a demon which engulfs and destroys myself but before doing so it destroys many thousands of life forms which exists around us and sustains us.

Its time that we as a collective throw away this ‘I’ from our consciousness and blend with the ‘WE’ that exists around us and then only the ‘ENEMY’ will be defeated.

With love on a happy Eid

Faizan VJ

Not ours to buy or sell – Lets Share

I have been ruminating over this for quite sometime and decided to share it with you all. The entire frenzy that I see among my colleagues to buy houses, land and buildings etc leaves me bewildered.

No number of arguments could get me to even consider the thought of buying “property” valid or logical.

The basic principle that I assume here is that you can not buy or sell which doesn’t belong to you. Take the case of land – it is neither created by us nor it is meant exclusively for us. But still we make a mockery of nature and buy it and sell it.

Land is a part of natural resource and as all other natural resources belongs to all including humans. If we try to look at the “all” here you will find a variety of life forms that exists on a small piece of land.

In fact all the readers of this blog may take just 10 minutes out of their busy lives and look closely at a small piece of land and just look at the amazing things that it holds. Amazing variety of life.

I do understand the fact that humans need places to live and definitely the land belongs to us also but not the entire land and why should that be sold to us. I can pay for myself but how will I pay for all other life forms. Further I see palatial houses, bungalows and residential apartments strewn all across the length and breadth of land without any consideration for the habitat of all other forms of life and all other organisms including all the animals that were supported by that land.

What happened to those animals, why the civic authorities haven’t considered a proportionate system of land allocation – let animals and other organisms have their share as well. Why not a natural sanctuary for each apartment complex? Why not a grazing ground for each bungalow, why can’t we live in sync with nature???

No I am not saying or asking for a rehab plan, there is no question of a rehab, it is about justified allocation of land by the state, proportionate integration of human population with other living beings and forms.

A blanket ban on unnecessary human procreation and no inheritance rights – what is not ours can not even be transferred.

Animals are still seasonal breeders and their survival rates are low and in whatever shape we have – at least we have an animal birth control agenda, humans on the other hand are prolific breeders especially in our part of the world, there is no control on the number of babies being produced and each baby that is produced is a “consumerist” by birth and probably the most polluting unit in todays scenario.

I think space should be rationed, how much space does one require to live his life with an acceptable level of standard and quality? That much land should only be allocated to each human being and thats it…the end of it and as i said it should be allotted so that once the life of this human being ends the same can be reused by other human beings – so no inheritance. And yes there can be a choice, if you want more land share it with all other organisms and life forms without any modification to its natural habitat. 🙂

With love
Faizan Vegan Jaleel
faizanjaleel@icloud.com

Being a MEAT EATING MUSLIM is SHEER IGNORANCE and not in accordance with the teachings of ISLAM

For Muslims (followers of Islam; Moslems) Quran or the holy book that was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is like a constitution of how to lead life in accordance with the teachings of Islam. The holy book is considered to be a direct message from Allah revealed through his Prophet. The holy book deals with the practicalities of life and tries to put things in a perspective that is both logical and scientific.

Muslims across the universe believe in the Book and going through it is one of the most important non negotiable for a Muslim woman or a man, however its understanding among muslims is quite negligible as the Quran is written in Arabic and a majority of Muslims do not understand the language.

As a result most of us are made to read it through a tutor during our childhood but many of us do not understand it for most part of our lives – that we were supposed to be leading in a way that confirms to the teachings revealed in Holy Quran……Irony isn’t it….

While Islam is in its truest of sense and spirit a very practical religion, its understanding is limited due to various interpretations that have been made by various self proclaimed Islamic scholars and caretakers of religion who manipulate and mutilate the teachings in their own might.

While I leave the politics of religion for a later discussion, I pull myself back to the topic. One of the most striking teaching that one comes across in an attempt to understand Quran is the importance that is laid upon SEEKING KNOWLEDGE and REASON… I take this as an opportunity to quote a few examples:

“And they shall say had we but listened or used reason, we would not be among the inmates of the burning fire.” (Quran, 67:10)

“Are those who have knowledge and those who have no knowledge alike? Only the men of understanding are mindful. ” (Quran, 39:9)

The Qur’an encourages people towards scientific research:

“And whoso brings the truth and believes therein such are the dutiful.” (Quran, 39:33)

Every Muslim man’s and every Muslim woman’s prayer should be:

“My Lord! Enrich me with knowledge..” (Quran, 20:114)

The importance accorded to seeking knowledge, scientific research and reasoning makes ISLAM a very dynamic religion that is not bound by the period in which it was revealed to the believers. The pursuit of knowledge and use of reason, based on sense and observation is made and considered obligatory on all believers.

The same has been reiterated by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) when he supplements the teachings of the Holy Quran in the following sayings:

“Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave”

“Ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr”
“To listen to the words of the learned and to instill unto others the lessons of science is better than religious exercises.”

” Seek Knowledge even though it be in China”

In this age and day there are various ills that plague our society and Muslims, being a part of it. One of the important ills of the society is eating meat of animals, which may have been a necessity a few hundred years ago but no more.

There has been a dominant thought that its compulsory for Muslims to eat meat or consume animal products which is as ignorant a thought as is the knowledge of many of my brothers and sisters about the Holy Quran. This one concept I can say with command and conviction is floated by the high and mighty businesses that thrive on killing animals.

Islam, Quran and Prophet encourages to the extent of making it obligatory for muslims to seek knowledge actively, reason and apply the learnings for the benefit and betterment of human race, however we do not want to know or completely ignore :

the cruelties through which the animals are butchered around in extremely pathetic slaughter houses
-Handicapped and infirm animals being butchered for making profit
-the pain and trauma that animals are put through during their lifetime
-the amount of forage and feed used to farm these animals for profit and consumption
-the rise in modern day diseases due to consumption of meat and dairy products
-that all the meat in the market is a result of extreme form of cruel and barbaric treatment of animals
-that the merchants of the trade are only bothered about their profits and they do not have
-inclination to make you more muslim by feeding you this extreme cruelty
-that each muslim and each meat eater is being ridiculed by them by creating this artificial and
-insane concept of humane slaughter and killing

And my sisters and brothers do very well know but tend to completely ignore that:

-Alternatives are available
-Islam does permit you to eat meat but it does not propagate so, it mentions along with all the
-vegetables and fruits certain animals are allowed for you to consume however it doesn’t anywhere -makes it obligatory to consume them and leaves it to a believers reasoning and knowledge
-that we are not living in a pre historic era where our survival is based in hunting down animals
-that we have a choice of spending money on buying cruelty and ignorance in the form of meat and -dairy or to switch to a plant based cruelty free healthy diet
-that eating meat and other animal products make us sick and diseased
-that addiction to anything is not good and we must exercise restraint for our choice will make a
-world of difference for many million living beings each second of the minute
-that we need to be conscious of all the life forms around us and live with compassion towards
-humans and animals both

We really need to shake ourselves and shun our misinformation, open our minds and awaken, come out of this “Jahiliya” (ignorance) and stop mutilating religion for our personal gains as lowly as a matter of taste of flesh of an animal.

Thats the way of Islam and Muslims to seek knowledge, reason and its appropriate application and that is the enlightenment and truth and that is what makes you a compassionate Muslim.

Meat is just not right and not Islamic in todays day and age when alternates are available aplenty and abundantly. Don’t let the animals be butchered and don’t become a part of this organised crime that brings only misery on living beings. Give it up my fellows and we will Inshallah have a better and sensible life full of health and joy without the baggage of misery and murder.

With love,
Yours
Faizan Vegan Jaleel
faizanjaleel@icloud.com

“Acquire knowledge: it enables its possessor to distinguish right from the wrong, it lights the way to heaven; it is our friend in the desert, our society in solitude, our companion when friendless – it guides us to happiness; it sustains us in misery; it is an ornament among friends and an armour against enemies.”

Meat Eating and Islam

Being a Muslim has been linked to meat eating and infact rightly so because many or most of the muslims (followers of Islam) are non vegetarians. Being a muslim myself and a non vegetarian till around 2009, I could simply understand that meat was a part of our cuisine and never in the entire time of my being a Non Vegetarian came from any religious guidance at that time. Meat was cooked and we ate it. It was not told to us in any religious sermon that you should eat meat to be a Muslim and yes neither it was the other way round like it was also not told to us not to eat meat as well. We didn’t know about the slaughter and cruelty and the pain and suffering and sentience. It was out of sight and so out of mind.

If we look at the history of Islam which had its roots in the sands and deserts, it is obvious that many hundred years ago there would have been almost meagre vegetation and thats why the cuisine there was mostly bland (lack of spices) and meat (lack of fruits, vegetables and grains). While Islam does teach about being compassionate and merciful and loving to all the life forms, it doesn’t prohibit meat eating, which fits well for that era. There is no evidence that I could refer to where it has been propagated in Islam to raise farm animals for organised slaughter and profit making if there are alternates available in abundance.

The entire meat eating frenzy which is common to a large part of our society is an organised business that rides on billions and trillions of dollars, cruelty and misery. Each day many million lives are taken in an indefinite number of slaughter houses. Many countries and unfortunately my Country also participates in this madness and crime and holds a distinction of causing maximum cruelty through its extremely crude methods of killing and murdering animals. Billions are earned each day.

As I see it and present my view, I believe, that meat eating in todays world which provides a sea of alternatives is not as per the teachings of Islam. I believe Prophet Mohammad would have never approved of this, I believe that no Islamic scholar can justify this madness of killing and profit making when it is not required to be as per the tenets of Islam, however it can be very easily proved that this form of mass murder is against the teachings of love, compassion and mercy that Islam preaches so strongly. And it is not only about eating meat and killing animals, another aspect of the same issue is the amount of food grains used in raising these cattle and livestock population, the food that could have very easily fed millions of starving human population.

In Islam, drinking alcohol is prohibited because it is “sharaab” or “water that induces indecency” and is habit forming and is something that is not necessary to life – based on the same principle, meat in todays context is extremely habit forming and not at all required as there are other options available- so why Muslims should not Denounce Meat in total and live the spirit of Islam!

Is it so hard for us to stop eating meat because it has become a habit, is it stronger than the urge to be righteous? Has it become bigger that the religion itself?

I know by writing this I must have disturbed many Muslims, but that is what I meant to do, so that the next time when you have your juicy chicken breast, roasted lamb, steaks or veal, biryani or qorma, roghan josh or stew, kebabs or liver fry.. you take a moment to think that it is coming from one of the murder houses which just made a profit running in billions at the cost of your ignorance about your own religion and you are still happy about it.

This is the time to think again and be a rightful Muslim…. Not eating meat will not kill you however you will save a life somewhere.

Ignorance is a crime, seek knowledge and be an informed and compassionate being that is what we ought to be – all of us!

With love for all….

Faizan Vegan J

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Colours of Life…..!!!!

What would have happened if our life was devoid of any colours….imagine everything and anything to be just grey or a hue of black and white only. Life would have been so monotonous and boring.

Have we ever thought why colours exist….they are an example of exuberance and happiness, of gloom and joy, of life and death and all that lies in between the two. Our nature has been created with a wide range of colours, no human being can fathom those shades and luminance that exists in this world.

In fact human beings are the least colourful race if I may say so, either we are white or brown or black or a few shades of these colours only, but our surroundings that include nature and animals are all so colourful and vibrant, so full of life and love and so much without egos and judgements, so pure and benevolent, so serene and tranquil.

I think thats why, we celebrate being colourful on the day of Holi, let us all be colourful and joyful, let us shed our inhibitions and merge in the colour of our friends, family, nature and surroundings. Let us play this Holi in a spirit that was never done before. Let us play this Holi to colour our soul and senses.

And when we wash ourselves, let us wash away our darker shades and keep the joyful and colourful hues with us. And let us pledge not to destroy our nature and our animal companions, let us be responsible.

With colourful Holi wishes to all of you and your families!

Love to one and all

Faizan