On April 18 09, at the invitation of our patron Nitin Mehta, founder of The Young Indian Vegetarians, I spoke about the work of QCA and a little about the Quaker faith to members of the Jain Samaj in Manchester.
The event began with an address and chanting by a Hare Krishna monk from the Manchester temple in Moss Side.
Nitin spoke about the many advantages of a vegetarian/vegan diet – respect and compassion for the animals, health benefits, environmental advantages – and we watched the VIVA! DVD Not in my Name.
A Finnish vegan spoke about his change of diet – he had even been a hunter in earlier days – and we were not surprised when he told us that he and his wife had set up a Vegan Fitness group, so well built and healthy he appeared.
The Hare Krishna monk mentioned that he was well acquainted with Quakers and was complimentary about our beliefs. He spoke about cows – considered holy, our mothers – and Hare Krishna support of a cow sanctuary in the south of England. He made the point that the bulls work in the traditional fashion, the milk is used but that the calves are not taken from their mothers. He stressed that the current intensive method of raising cows was appalling. He invited Jains to join in setting up another Happy Cow shelter in the northwest.
Lesley Tarleton then received the Mahaveer Award for her thirty years of work for animals in the two Freshfields Shelters near Liverpool and in north Wales. She told us a little about how the work started – this is described in last year’s post about the QCA Day in Wales, where Lesley was our guest speaker. She has never received an award before, so it was wonderful to have nominated her. Something I did not know when her name occurred to me was that she helps to support an animal shelter in Mumbai – also called Freshfields – and when Nitin heard this, he said it was karma.
Khalid and I were made very welcome by the community and I was so pleased to meet up again with our QCA member Stuart Hartley from Blackburn. His shaggy dog Bertie delighted the half dozen or so young people there – the youngest a boy of 8.
We made a brief visit to the beautiful Jain temple and would like to thank everyone for inviting us. We hope that QCA can perhaps work together with the Jain Samaj on an animal event at some future date.