Vegetarian Food and Jain Conduct - Eggs
We have reproduced this page as it was in the original book - but where-ever it refers to MILK please refer to the MILK page for recent updates.
These days, by propagating eggs as vegetarian, people are being spoiled. Some Jain youths are also falling prey to this propaganda. Therefore, it is our collective responsibility that the society is awakened in this context.
Vegetarian food can be called only those eatables which are produced from vegetables; but eggs are neither produced in any farm like cereals nor do these ripe on any creeper or tree like vegetables or fruits; these are clearly the progeny of five sensed hens only. This is well known to all of us that the flesh of the body right from two sensed beings up to the five sensed beings is meat only. Therefore, food produced out of eggs is clearly flesh food only.
On this, some people say that the milk of cow and goat also is part of the body.
But there is vast difference between milk and eggs. By taking out milk from the body of the cow> or goat, no harm is done to their lives; whereas by use of egg the
creature inside the egg is killed. If the milk producing cow or goat is not milked at the proper time, then agony is caused to it. The mothers who feed their children by their milk, if do not get, by chance, an opportunity to feed them, then even fever is caused to them; they have to draw out milk by their own hands.
Someone may argue that it may be so that no harm is caused to the cow by drawing milk, even it may get relief, but the calf has its right over the milk. How can you snatch that right from it ? Does this not amount to injustice to the cow and the calf?
Yes, from one angle it may be called injustice, but it in no way involves that type of injury which results in meat-eating. If one thinks over deeply on the point, then it is not justifiable to call it injustice; because in return for taking milk from the cow, all arrangements are made for the food, water, shelter and safe living of
both the cow and the calf. If milk is not obtained from the cow, then who would make arrangements for its food, water, etc.?
One may say that this is true about the cow, but the injustice done to the calf still remains, because it has obviously been deprived of its right.
This is also not true. Firstly, in return, it is provided with other food and secondly by giving wholesome food to the cow, extra milk is produced. That extra milk is
obtained by gentlemen; the calf still gets its rightful share.
If that cow were to live in the jungle, then it would have to depend on grass leaves only and consequently it could produce about one litre of milk only. But when we give it wholesome food like oil-cake etc. then the same cow gives four to five litres of milk. The calf gets its share of about one litre of milk; only the extra milk is
obtained by gentlemen.
In this way, it is a form of give and take; where lies injustice in it? If in this way we would make a conjecture of injustice in it, then such type of give and take takes place together in the human-race as well; we do take service from others by paying suitable remuneration. In social life, providing of employment to an unemployed person in exchange for suitable remuneration is called benevolence, but not exploitation nor injustice. In the same way, taking milk from the cow in return for suitable arrangement for upkeep and safety of the cow and calf, should be considered as mutual benefaction and not as exploitation or injustice. In Indian culture the cow is respected like a mother.
Therefore, comparing egg with milk is not only unjustifiable but is also an indication of ignorance.
Some one may even now say that as the cow feels afflicted if it is not milked or as we provide food and water to it in exchange for milk similarly producing of an egg gives pleasure to the hen and in return for egg we too nurture it. Therefore, egg and milk are comparable.
This understanding also is not proper, because as an egg is the progeny of a hen, similarly milk is not the progeny of the cow. Therefore, the truth is that the egg is not like milk but is like the calf of a cow. So taking egg is like eating flesh of the calf only.
Some people still argue that a vegetarian egg cannot give birth to a child; therefore it is lifeless like milk only; but this statement also is totally untrue, because it is a product of the sexual organ of the hen. So it is not only assuredly impure but it increases in size also after birth and does not become rotten. Therefore, it is alive, though it may not possess the capacity to evolve complete form, but in no way it can be treated as lifeless.
The other thing is that its name is egg, it is oval in shape, possesses the form and colour of an egg, its eating involves the resolve of an egg only. If due to someone's saying it is taken to be lifeless even then, because its use involves the resolve of an egg, it invariably amounts to producing the blemish of eating meat.
In Jain religion even the cutting of an egg made of flour too fructifies in the form of birth in hell or nigod. How is then the eating of a real egg possible?
If the hitch that we have at present in our mind about taking of an egg is finished in the name of a vegetarian egg, who would then pay attention to the fact that the egg that we are eating is alive or lifeless ?
To propagate an egg to be vegetarian food is the conspiracy of the traders of eggs; the vegetarians are becoming a prey to it.
The sale of a tooth-paste company had been stopped at a particular level for the last few years; in spite of several efforts and all out advertisement it was not picking up. Therefore, the old sales manager was shelved and a new one was appointed.
He came to the conclusion that the target population in which it was to reach, the whole of it was using it; therefore, there is no chance left for new bazaar.
So he increased the size of the mouth of the tooth-paste by twenty-five per cent.
Consequently, the sale of the tooth-paste also increased by twenty-five per cent, because by pressing the mouth of the tooth-paste now twenty-five per cent more paste was coming out in comparison to the old mouth size due to bigger mouth size now. Therefore, the packet which earlier used to exhaust in one month, now started exhausting in twenty-four days. You may call it the ingenuity or cunningness of the sales manager - whatever you like to call - but the result was that the sale of the tooth-paste increased.
In the same way, the traders of eggs realised that when they have already covered the whole meat-eating population, there remains no possibility of further increase in their sales. Therefore, for searching a new market, they will have to make an indent into the vegetarian population.
They knew this very well that vegetarians are very staunch in their food habits and in vows and rules of conduct; they cannot be tempted by propagating the benefits of taking eggs. But if eggs are propagated to be vegetarian, then surely they can get success and an indent can be made in the vegetarians. Consequently, they started propagating forcefully that eggs are of two kinds - vegetarian and non-vegetarian.
One may either call it their ingenuity or cunningness, but they seem to get
success through this propaganda, because many vegetarians are falling prey to
this false propaganda. Although, the situation has not become so worse till today that nothing can be done now, yet if we do not become alert even now, then after a few days we may find ourselves in a situation where nothing possible may remain to be done.
Therefore, to save vegetarians from the false propaganda of vegetarian eggs,
is the prime duty of all of us. May it not happen that on the one hand we
remain involved in quarrelling with each other on small trifle matters and on
the other hand our future generation may become fully devoid of sacrament, of
knowledge of Tattavas and of virtuous conduct. If this happens, history will never pardon us.