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The Moral Basis of Vegetarianism
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THE MORAL BASIS OF VEGETARIANISM
6

Milk

     I have always been in favour of pure vegetarian diet. But experience has taught me that in order to keep perfectly fit, vegetarian diet must include milk and milk products such as curds, butter, ghee etc. This is a significant departure from my original idea. I excluded milk from my diet for six years. At that time, I felt none the worse for the denial. But in the year 1917, as a result of my own ignorance, I was laid down with severe dysentery, I was reduced to a skeleton,but I stubbornly refused to take milk or buttermilk . But I could not build up my body and pick up sufficient strength to leave the bed. I had taken a vow of not taking milk. A medical friend suggested that at the time of taking the vow, I could have had in mind only the milk of the cow and buffalo; why should the vow prevent me from taking goat's milk? My wife supported him and I yielded. Really speaking, for one who has given up milk, though at the time of taking the vow only the cow and the buffalo were in mind , milk should be taboo. All animal milks have practically the same component, though the proportion of the components varies in cash case. So I may be said to have kept merely the letter, not the spirit, of the vow. Be that as it may , goat's milk was produced immediately and I drank it. It seemed to bring me new life . I picked up rapidly and was soon able to leave the bed. On account of this and several similar experiences, I have been forced to admit the necessity of adding milk to the strict vegetarian diet . But I am convinced that in the vast vegetable kingdom there must be some kind, which while supplying those necessary substances which we derive from milk and meat, is free from their drawbacks, ethical and other.

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