Saturday, March 3, 2012

Jain, Jainism, and Jains

Jains practice strict vegetarianism. The practice of vegetarianism is instrumental for the practice of non-violence and peaceful co-operative co-existence. Basic non-violence principles can be performed depending on one's capability and specific situation in terms of meeting one's life's demands and expectations. Jainism acknowledges that it is impossible to discharge one's duties without some degree of himsa/violence, but encourages to minimise as much as possible. Jains are strictly forbidden to use any leather or silk products since they are derived by killing of animals. Jains are prohibited from consuming root vegetables such as potatoes, garlic, onions, carrots, radishes, cassava, sweet potatoes, turnips, etc., as the plant needed to be killed in the process of accessing these prior to their end of life cycle. In addition, the root vegetables interact with soil and therefore contain far more micro-organisms than other vegetables. Also, the root vegetables themselves are composed of infinite smaller organisms, hence, consuming these vegetables would mean killing all those organisms as well. However, they consume rhizomes such as dried turmeric and dried ginger. Eggplants, pumpkins, etc. are also not consumed by some Jains owing to the large number of seeds in the vegetable, as a seed is a form of life. However, tomatoes are consumed normally as its seeds are difficult to be killed (even at high temperatures/pressures). Jains are also not supposed to consume food left overnight because of contamination by microbes. Most Jain recipes substitute potato with plantain.[46]

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jainism#Vegetarianism

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