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Being Vegan and the Karah Prashad

Discussion in 'Sikh Sikhi Sikhism' started by Quantonium, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Quantonium

    Quantonium
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    Waheguru ji ka khalsa
    waheguru ji ki fateh

    For a long time now I have been a vegetarian, and slowly consuming fewer and fewer milk/egg product. I wish to continue this, and stop eating any kind of animal products. This truly feels right for me to do.

    I do have a problem though, as the topic suggests. That is the karah prashad, and langar in general. The karah prashad contains, as we know, ghee (clarified butter). What am I to do with this? One cannot refuse the blessing, and yet, I do not feel right in eating it. The langar also serves milk products in some foods, but there it should be easier to say no these foods, even though it still creates a less than desireable situation. It is also possible to avoid the langar all together, but this seems a weird thing to do.

    What is the origin of the karah prashad? How would people react if I said I was a vegan, and therefore not accepting the karah prashad?

    In advance, thank you for your reply!

    Sat sri akaal!
     
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  3. findingmyway

    findingmyway
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    Re: Being vegan, and the karah prashad.

    Do you mind me asking why you are becoming vegan?
    Thanks,
    Jasleen
     
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  4. Quantonium

    Quantonium
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    Re: Being vegan, and the karah prashad.

    Not at all! First off, It's because I do not condone the way milk producs and eggs are taken from animals. Of course, you can find as natural as possible versions of the two, like organic milk etc. coming from cows that is living in natural environment, and thus have recieved no chemicals (many cows get sick from living the way they do in normal farms).
    In the end though, I feel that taking advantage of an animal in any way seems wrong. Also, I see no logical explanation to why we should be drinking the milk of a cow meant for a calf. There are also numerous health related reasons I am sceptical to the consumption of milk and egg.

    But, as I said, this is what I mean. :)
     
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  5. findingmyway

    findingmyway
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    Quantonium ji,
    I totally respect your sentiments. This is truly a difficult scenario! Have you explored alternative options such as alternative types of milk and free range products? I think in the end it comes down to priorities. There are some sects that don't partake of langar or prashad as they don't consider it 'pure' enough unless made by certain people in a certain way. There is a lot of resentment among others Sikhs as they feel they are being judged unfairly. Different situation but this is one possible reaction you may receive.

    I think the wonderful thing about langar and prashad is not that they are blessed per se but the meaning of them-the equality and the way it brings people from all backgrounds/walks of life together. There is a sense of community and togetherness. There is also a great sense of sharing which is good for controlling ego.

    My mum's friend has coeliac disease (intolerance to wheat) so she only has the tiniest amount of parshad possible as anymore makes her ill. However, that way she doesn't feel left out and is still honouring the meaning. The rest she gives away to family and friends so that is one possibility.

    In the langar you could stick with just daal and roti as they will be pretty safe bets mostly. Many sabzis also don't use any dairy products either as in the west cooking is usually done with oil rather than ghee. Alternatively you could speak to the Gurdwara about switching the type of milk they use. They'll probably be reluctant without financial help as it is more expensive. You could try checking out the farm from where the milk and other products come from but in the supermarket age this can be difficult.

    I'm not sure what else to suggest! It all depends on which sentiment is stronger in the end! Hope this helps :seriouskudi::unsure:
     
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  6. Ishna

    Ishna
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    I also respect your views. I have considered removing milk from my diet for the same reasons. Eggs I don't mind if they are from a small farm or friends who have chickens, and I know they are not battery hens or kept in nasty conditions.

    My personal opinion concerning karah prashad, with all due respect, would be not to worry about it as it is only a small amount, it is blessed, it is special, it is meaningful, and it's going to be made in most gurdwaras for a very, very long time. Karah prashad will be there, the cow's milk has already been taken, so I guess my questions is "why not take the karah prashad and appreciate it for what it means and symbolises?" The efforts you are putting in to the rest of your life to minimise harm and chemicals are already wonderful and I don't think you should feel any guilt for accepting karah prashad.

    I like Jasleen Ji's comments about langar. You should be able to find something without milk in it, even if it's just the rice and salad! :)

    Just my personal opinion, I hope I have no caused any offence.

    Ishna
     
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  7. Quantonium

    Quantonium
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    Thank you both for your answers! It did help me clear up my thoughts! I'll take the karah prashad. And in the langar, daal and roti is what I enjoy the most anyway :)

    Outside of the gurdwara however, I will become a total vegan when that time comes. I do have problems finding a good substitute for cheese though. I don't use cheese on anything else than pizza, but pizza is my favorite food! Problematic.. Well, that's another issue that I'm sure I'll figure out later. Waheguru provides!

    Thank you again!
     
  8. Ishna

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    Good luck in your quest to become a vegan, Quantonium! cheerleader

    You might be able to find something called 'Savoury Yeast Flakes' from health food stores. I have some, it looks like yellow fish food flakes and stinks a bit but it has a vaguely cheesy taste -- in my cook books it's been recommended for use in vegan macaroni cheese and pizza-type recipes for flavour. It's also a very, very good source of Vitamin B12 which you can only get in sufficient quantities from meat and eggs (as is my understanding).

    Getting a product with the texture of cheese might be challenging. I know you can get soy cheese but I haven't tried it and don't know if it would "melt" and go stringy like mozzarella. *starts to drool on the keyboard *

    If you're looking for a non-dairy milk alternative, I recommend fortified rice milk. 1) I personally prefer the taste to it over soy milk -- less nutty. 2) I've read about soy being a lot better for you when it's fermented into tofu -- it's not real good for you as milk, but that's just what I've read. I drank rice milk for a year and when I went back to cow milk it tasted so sour and slimy and gross I wondered how I ever liked it!

    Do keep us updated with your progress! I know these things can take a while to integrate into ones lifestyle though, so no pressure. :)

    Ishna
     
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  9. Quantonium

    Quantonium
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    Thanks for the advice! I'll check out these Savoury Yeast Flakes! Of course, few things come close to good cheese, like parmesan, cheddar.. cantal... emmentaler......
    I'm actually using a soy milk which I like, but I've yet to try rice milk (even though we have some in the fridge at the moment.. Hmm concidence?).

    Oh, and P.S. B12 actually formes in our lower intestines, and comes from a certain bacteria that comes from the soil! The problem is of course that we wash our vegetables, because of the pesticides, and so gain very little or no B12. But as you said, there are many ways to get it, even my soy milk has it. It's added from a microbial version grown in labs.

    I'll keep you guys updated!
    Sat sri akaal
     
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  10. Ishna

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    I wondered where they got the Vitamin B12 from to fortify our vegie food! I'm looking at my gluten sausages with suspicion wondering "did they take the B12 out of a cow and put it in my supposedly vegetarian sausages, because that would be defeating the purpose..." teehee!

    There's also a cool product called Quorn which is a type of micro-fungus apparently which is a protein alternative. Problem with Quorn is they make it into products my using egg whites as a binder or something, which is one of those same sneaky catches. In the UK the Quorn company (don't know what they're called) has taken to using free range eggs to appeal to a wider vegetarian market, but that doesn't help the vegans!

    Anyway, now I'm going off topic, so I'll be quiet now! whistlingkudi

    Ishna
     
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  11. Quantonium

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    Hehe that's the exact thought that made me try to find out where the B12 came from as well!

    My family actually uses Quorn a lot! We've been adding it to tacos etc. I don't eat it any more, because of the eggs, but it'a really good choice for people who don't mind the egg!

    See you later!
    Quantonium
     
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  12. MakSingh

    MakSingh United Kingdom
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    Dont have the kraa bro. You are actually following sikhism by politely declining.
    I'm sure they wont mind if you ask for a piece of fruit instead. You can tell them you have a Dairy intolerance. Worst comes to worst if you feel compelled to accept it then pass it to your neighbour. Im sure they wont mind a double helping


     
  13. ActsOfGod

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    And how exactly is that? Care to elaborate?
     

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