Brahma Kumaris attitudes towards animals

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ex-l

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Brahma Kumaris attitudes towards animals

Post19 Jun 2013

A topic we've never discussion before ... Brahma Kumaris and their attitudes towards animals.

It's 2013 but over at the semi-official BK forum, debate still rages over whether Peacocks actually have sex or not and, just the other day, I read an interesting piece of BK philosophy from 1955 in which the BKs claimed that there were carnivorous animals in the Golden Age, such as lions and "cannibal" bears, but that they were self-disciplined *only* to "eat the corpses of dead animals" ... a word for word quote.

Of course, that raises a few problem of it own ... like bears pooping in the woods in the Golden Age ... but it was not what I wanted to discuss. I wonder if anyone knew of what the BK attitudes towards animals is, e.g. domestic pets and domesticated species such as cats and dogs.

Now, I appreciate that, on one hand, if BKs or the god of the BKs are not keen on children and attachment to them, and see them as a distraction to Yoga there is not a lot of hope for pets; and, on the other hand, in India there is not such a widespread habit of keeping animals in homes and they are seen as unclean ... cats particularly being equated with Maya.

I don't remember any BKs with pets at all. Has anyone heard of any cases, or Shrimat regarding them. Obviously, for a 'card carrying', pukka, 24/7 serviceable BK they must be a no-no but what about the rest of the cult? *

Although the BKs promote vegetarianism, I have never actually heard them promote or see them do anything remotely related to animal rights, or even animal welfare. They also drink milk and take dairy products which cause more suffering them meat in commercial product. For me, it's almost a religious adherence separate from the animal issue, and more about concepts of purity ... eschewing animals as being impure. Pets must surely an impediment a best ... but what about their welfare?

Cue pictures of Lekhraj Kirpalani shooting errant monkeys with an air rifle ...
When I was in bk-gyan, the Sisters told me that the example of peacock mating through tears is an example that reproduction is possible without physical contact in sat yug and treta yuga ... so now (after seeing the videos), how do we understand and explain to the medical and scientific community, that in sat yuga and treta yuga reproduction will happen without physical contact....this is my dilemma.

raistlin

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Re: Brahma Kumaris attitudes towards animals

Post22 Jun 2013

ex-l, short quotation from the "Visions of the Future", page 62 (about the Golden Aged animals).:
Brahma Kumaris wrote:13. There will be very beautiful trees in Heaven. There will be gardens and forests full of useful material, because you will need wood. But everything would be fruitful. The animals and birds will live in the forests to add their beauty to them. They will not create any dirt. The earth will be completely pure, and therefore everything in it will also be completely pure.

As for the domestic cats or dogs, rats, spiders, guinea-pigs, hamsters, etc ... As far as I remember, I had never seen any dog in the BKWSU.

When I used to live in Warsaw, in "Pandav bhawan" as we used to call the BK Brothers' quarters, we had the cat, actually the cat had us, because he was coming only when he was thirsty, so we were giving the cat some milk or water. It was a normal "mice-hunting" cat, completely black, but it seemed to sense that we are "out of this world" so I had never seen that this cat would bring us a mouse or a bird - it's prey - be praised. It was quite independent animal, very proud, of incredible sight, so we used to joke, that this cat for sure must have studied Gyan, and mastered the independence or detachment.

The cat used to disappear during the day, but when we were getting up for Amrit Vela, it waited for us and demanded to be fed milk. And before we go to the Murli class the cat was going out again; so, the cats, in my opinion are in the organization either approved or the BKs just treat them indifferently.

I think that dogs are discriminated or not accepted. I have never seen any. Maybe, because they are much more noisy than the cats and the BKs don't like noise, they like peace or silence.

My mother told me few years ago some story about some BK Sister, who turned her dog into sattwic vegetarian when she joined the BKs, so this poor animal wasn't allowed to be fed with meat, even the special balanced dog food was forbidden. The dog had to live only on carrots, soya, spinach, milk, water, etc; the typical BK diet, just like it's owner. When I asked my mother whether this dog is really all right on that weird diet, she answered me that not only the doggie is healthy, but is never ill from the moment it started a new diet (was forced by its weird owner).

It is very strange to me as neither cats nor dogs are vegetarians. They are hunters, even the domestic cats are still hunters - their stomach and the whole digestion is of much more concentrated (HCl err ... hydrochloride acid), than in our human's case so, especially the cats but also dogs must be on a diet based on proteins of meat. I just cannot imagine, e.g. a sheep-dog on a sattwic vegetarian diet. It has to gain some power. From what? From tofu perhaps? Or soya pie? Please, don't make me laugh.

I had been fighting with my mother for over two years just to make her eventually understand that my cat must be fed with the cat food, which consist also some meat among other ingredients, as she also tried to make of this poor animal a BK vegetarian, when I went out somewhere one day, and I was absent for half a day.

When I got back home, I found in the cat's bowl some withered leaves of a lettuce, and some sunflower oil poured on it, with some buckwheat porridge, and my cat was just begging me to be fed, it was THAT hungry!

Oh, I remember very well the fierce argument we had, when my mother got back home from the BK centre on that day. And, of course, "she did not do anything"!
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Pink Panther

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Re: Brahma Kumaris attitudes towards animals

Post23 Jun 2013

Dogs can easily be vegetarian. I've known at least 4 people to raise their dogs 100% veg, and many others that eat veg amongst their other food - like table scraps. I knew a German shepherd that was raised on oat porridge and table scraps. It was large and healthy.

But you are right when you say cats cannot. Even if you train them to eat "meat subsititutes", over time they will deteriorate as they lack certain trace elements that are in meat or fish. Your mum sounds almost mad to think a cat will eat lettuce leaf. Cats will chew on a little grass occasionally, when they need roughage to settle their stomachs, but not as a meal.

BK society is very urbanised, and urban Indian behaviour is traditionally about "staying clean" in an unhygienic environment. Cats and dogs are, in their view, 'carriers". Cats should be more highly regarded as they keep the rodent population down.

The (spiritually) highly regarded peacock is a wild bird that, like chickens, eats seeds, worms, insects. Such birds are known to swallow small stones to help grind the seeds and nuts, helping with their digestion. Maybe that's where the idea of swans or peacocks swallowing pearls or jewels comes from? Smarter than humans, they know they are just another rock.

As India is becoming more affluent, the middle classes are adopting pets - often as a status symbol. To be able to afford a pet, care for it, keep it clean, is a sign of wealth. Surely that money could be donated to the BKs? ;).
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ex-l

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Re: Brahma Kumaris attitudes towards animals

Post23 Jun 2013

I am thinking the rich in India always did keep pets and animals, entire zoos of them in some cases ... and I am half expecting the BKs start their own ark zoo in Mount Abu so they have some in the Golden Age. (Please, no!).

Have the BK ever explained how certain species of animals will survive nuclear holocaust and the ocean sinking continents when humanity will not? It seems since BK Jagdish Chander died, the BKs have stopped inventing dumbass answers to such questions and just look down at you pitifully if your question them logically on such matters.
    "Have faith, don't question ... Drama will take care of everything ... remember Baba is all you need to know."
I flagged up the BK concept, taken from the top female leaders of the movement, that animal corpses still existed in the Golden Age for other carnivorous animals to eat, in order to ask how that fits in with their belief in the "total purity" of the Golden Age?

If you have corpses, you have necrosis ... the rotting decay of flesh ...if you have necrosis, you have maggots, flies, bacteria ... you have bones which become fossils. Why are there no "Golden Age" fossils? If you have corpse eating necrovores ... carrion at best ... you have stinking breath and ****, dental plaque ... and who eats the dead flies ... because surely by the same logic birds cannot kill worms and flies? ... and so on.

How different, never mind possible, is their "Golden Age" of perfection? Think it through.

Karma is another angle. BKs have used animal examples to "prove" (actually 'suggest') reincarnation of animal souls.
how does karma law apply to animals? One might even be as trite to ask ... how do they "earn their inheritance" for the next Kalpa if they cannot "serve" the BK leaders?

Is not all a little silly?
Pink Panther wrote:But you are right when you say cats cannot.

As an aside, it is interesting you tell a story about a German shepherd who was raised on oat porridge. I grew up partly on a farm and the sheep dog there lived on porridge and milk and was incredibly energetic. I think they did not give it meat deliberately so it never had the taste of blood ... for obvious reasons. The farmer was in no way "new agey".

Cats ... it appears advances are being made. Funnily enough, the taurine in pet food (which is the missing protein) has to have it artificially added in because it is lost in processing, so vegetarian petfoods are possible. It appears female cats can adopt to a lacto-vegetarian diet, but most males cannot in whom it can cause urinary salt problems. Breeding might even stop them hunting though most cats I have known augment their human provided diet with everything from bugs and flies to snakes and lizards ... no problem in getting enough vitamin B12!

I remember Paramahansa Yogananda in 'Autobiography of a Yogi' writing about a saddhu who had a pet lioness who lived in rice and milk due to, he claimed, the saddhus cosmic vibes. Sadly, I've discovered that 'Autobiography of a Yogi', a book which probably inspired more pre-corporate coaching Western BKs to seek out Indian mysticism, is just as fantastical and loose with the truth as BKism is. It was probably just drugged up like the money earning tigers in that Thai Buddhist temple.

Feeding a cat on lettuce leaf is nuts though! I'll give it a couple of days before it leaves to find another human owner ...
As India is becoming more affluent, the middle classes are adopting pets - often as a status symbol. To be able to afford a pet, care for it, keep it clean, is a sign of wealth. Surely that money could be donated to the BKs? ;)

But what about the Yoga distracting attachment, Bhai!!! It would be *s-u-c-h* a pull on BKs' intellect.

(* I was once hinted even to get rid of a motorcycle because it too much of a distraction for BKs' intellect?!?).

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Pink Panther

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Re: Brahma Kumaris attitudes towards animals

Post24 Jun 2013

the taurine in pet food (which is the missing protein) has to have it artificially added in because it is lost in processing, so vegetarian petfoods are possible.

Taurine, as it's name suggests, (Taurus - bull) is originally found in meat. It is now chemically synthesised and added to pet foods & pharmaceuticals. It is from my immediate reading, an acid found in bile and other "juices", not a protein. But I am out of my depth here... leaving that, a question arises.

Linking this topic of animals & pets to vegetarianism: the question arises in terms of "spiritual" implications as determined by Hindu gunas etc (sato, rajo tamo etc).

I had "died alive" to become one of the "living dead", till I finally died (completely from the BK world) "and started the whole world living(!)". I've continued as a vegetarian despite "reincarnating" as a panther. There have been times when meat, especially seafood, has been tempting. But I have stayed vegetarian. Where, as a BK, it was about "pure vibes" etc, I now see it as a question of not causing unnecessary suffering to other creatures. Although I have turned pink, I am healthy and happy enough. But if it ever became an issue of health or survival, I would have no qualms about introducing some meat into my diet.

So, here's the question: - if BKs and other strict Hindus follow their dietary discipline mainly because of the effect of the "vibrations" on their own state of mind (they don't seem concerned with the welfare of animals, see them as less), then if the meat-derived sources affect that state of mind/stage, what about the synthetically derived sources? Do they not have a similar effect? Just as synthetic aspirin helps a headache (more effectively than natural willow bark extract) and synthetic caffeine stimulates the synapses more than coffee beans, wouldn't synthesised nutrients imitating those from meat etc not have the same effect on a person's - or animal's - "stage"?
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Mr Green

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Re: Brahma Kumaris attitudes towards animals

Post24 Jun 2013

I think the Westerners were in the past more strict with the marayadas and the principles than the indians, that seems to be changing now.

Animals would be seen as Iron Aged creatures in the past, how the BKs view them now, I don't know.
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ex-l

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Re: Brahma Kumaris attitudes towards animals

Post24 Jun 2013

What I know is that most "Iron Aged" domesticated animals could teach the BKs a lot about unconditional love, loyalty, dharna, non-discrimination, being 'in the moment', and forgiveness.

In short, they are more "soul consciousness" in their vision! In fact, from one evolutionary point of view, it is thought we monkeys actually learned friendship and loyalty from our dog companions.
    You'll learn more about God from a dog than you would a pet Dadi Janki ... with the additional bonus of them being less likely to stray, and much cheaper to upkeep!
If BKs are instructed not to give a damn about starving Indian kids ... animals are *way* off their radar.

Unless, of course, the animal is a VIP at which point I would expect the BKs to turn up and give it a picture of Lakshmi and Narayan for its stable.

Sorry, PP, I dropped a word there out of tiredness, and you are right. Taurine is an amino acid and an essential 'precursor' of protein.

I also want to emphasise that you cannot just feed your 'BK cat' or dog a salad ... they need a properly prepared diet *but* that they could survive on a wholly or mainly vegetarian diet *if* it was properly made. Such foods exist but they are expensive and if your cat or dog is addicted to commercial junk food, then it might be hard to wean them off it.

I think it is fine for all cats. Feed them vegetarian, they'll go kill to get their B12 supplements in their need them! I've never tried but I guess if you include milk and eggs there is no reason they should go short.

I was lucky once. I lived with a rescued stray cat who was marvellous and would eat curry, brown rice (with some oil), even miso soup ... pretty much whatever I was eating. I have also found both cats and dogs love mineral rich seaweed. Sometimes I feed the local strays, and I have found they lick 'oat milk' as if it was cream. Big cats in the wild do eat grains and grasses ... but usually from the stomaches of their kills. Think "haggis".

I think we human, as a species, have a moral duty to the welfare of all domesticated animals because we created them, or rather de-natured them. It is better not to keep pets but if you really have to have, e.g. living on a farm or want to take responsibility for a "companion animal" ... then please rescue one from the street or pound. It will love you back 1,000s more.
    Don't feed encourage the commercial animal abuse industry.
    Don't create more unwanted animals.
    (There are environmental problem involved; e.g. cats killing off bird and fish species (crazy but they are the number three marine predator after sharks and pigs).
And ... here's the stinger ... just to get us back 'on topic'.
    You should *never* feed cats and dogs onions and garlic!!! You see ... *it's a sign* :).

    Onions, garlic, chives, leeks and the rest of the Allium family are poisonous to both dogs and cats (and other domestic animals). Garlic is considered to be about times as potent as onions

    They results in serious oxidative damage to the red blood cells, gastroenteritis, anaemia, liver damage and so on. Onion and garlic poisoning has a delayed onset and can be fatal.
Therefore, you can have a sattvic dog if you want ... and, BKs, if a dog disturbs your Yoga you've got 0% chance of making it through Destruction.
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Mr Green

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Re: Brahma Kumaris attitudes towards animals

Post24 Jun 2013

Ha ha, you tickled me there ... bloody dog barking whilst I am trying to become bodiless.

raistlin

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Re: Brahma Kumaris attitudes towards animals

Post26 Jun 2013

Pink, I am not against feeding animals with veg food. But, I am, and I will always be fighting with that sick BK vegetarianism, which the BKs call it "sattwic", and is "sattwic" only by the name. And with that terrible and extremely dangerous habit of becoming a BK veg, (or forcing anyone to become a BK veg) out of the blue, without any step-by-step, careful implementation of that diet. One day you are a non-veg, and the next day you are a 100% BK veg! That's how I became a BK veg.

I did not say that animals have to be either on veg diet or meat only. Their diet has to be well balanced and meet their nutritional needs. It is quite difficult to set the diet to meet the nutritional needs of one's dog or cat. It doesn't matter whether it is veg or non-veg. It has to be healthy, and individually fit as well.

As for raising animals, especially dogs, on veg food, you are right. But I was not talking about raising the dog from the "puppy life", so that it's obvious daily food by which the dog got used to it. I was talking about the danger of some "nutrition shock", when you become a BK veg "out of the blue", starting the next day, without any preparation, and more over you start to force any other living creature (your cat and/or dog too) to that diet. And that makes me feel really concerned. Oh, yeah, they may call it a "test for a detachment of the soul from the senses", but it is not that simple.

I think that if you start with any new diet, you have to implement it very slowly, step by step, carefully, so to not to do any harm to yourself.

As for the cats, I don't know whether that "BK cat" I mentioned, was also "detached" from the usual "cat-activity-in-spring" ;), unfortunately I used to visit Warsaw either in late spring, or in autumn (I can just imagine those choirs of wildly meowing cats outside the windows of the BK centre, during morning classes, bhatthi meditation, offering or any other activity when silence is at most importance). :shock:

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Re: Brahma Kumaris attitudes towards animals

Post28 Jun 2013

Typically in my time dogs and cats, etc, were not allowed in Centres or Bhawans for all the reasons that have been mentioned: attachment, distraction from Yoga and service, cleanliness, purity ...

Dadi Janki would not eat food prepared in a house in which a cat or a dog lives, nor could food be offered for Bhog at the Centre if it had been prepared in such a house.

I am told that nowadays however cats are allowed in the kitchen in Madhuban and Gyan Sarovar, etc, because they kill the rats and mice.
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Re: Brahma Kumaris attitudes towards animals

Post28 Jun 2013

I was living in a house of BK Brothers.

As all these places give themselves some grand "spiritual' name, Pandav Bahvan etc we decided, for a laugh, to call it Billy Bhavan. You know, playing with alliteration like a kid's story character, referencing Frank Zappa's "Billy the Mountain" ("Billy was a Bhavan....") and when someone asked "what is the name of your bhavan" we could say "it's name is Billy" :D .

But the senior Sisters did not like it because apparently (correct me if I am wrong) Billy means 'cat' in Hindi and they are dirty creatures....
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Mr Green

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Re: Brahma Kumaris attitudes towards animals

Post28 Jun 2013

Rinky dink panther, you are a Zappa fan! lovely ... I liked Sheik Yabooti
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enlightened

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Re: Brahma Kumaris attitudes towards animals

Post28 Jun 2013

Pink Panther wrote:But the senior Sisters did not like it because apparently (correct me if I am wrong) Billy means 'cat' in Hindi and they are dirty creatures ...

That is absolutely hilarious pink panther!
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Re: Brahma Kumaris attitudes towards animals

Post29 Jun 2013

Mr Green wrote:I liked Sheik Yabooti

Now the BKs will wonder who is this Sheik Yabooti and is he serviceable? :D ?

Take care all. This panther is going for a prowl out of town for a bit. Will drop in when practicable.

Here's a tip - call your mum or dad and say, Hi.
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ex-l

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Re: Brahma Kumaris attitudes towards animals

Post29 Jun 2013

Pink Panther wrote:Here's a tip - call your mum or dad and say, Hi.

Unless they are BKs in which you might also need to make it clear that you are perfectly happy to be friendly on a normal family basis ... but if they bring up *anything* BK you will walk right out. One has to discipline them like children until they correct their behaviour. It's amazing how much famil discord the BKWSU spreads without even knowing.

The BKs' octopus-like tendrils of influence and claw-like control often works through family members in a snake-like manner with a scorpion's sting at the end.

Apologies to octopuses, snakes and scorpions to mentioning them in the same sentence as BKs. For me, they are just leeches on other families wealthy and resources ... and at least leeches provide some kind of medicinal purpose.

You know, just to keep on topic regarding 'animals and BKs', there is a saying in the Gujerat referring to their business dealings with them that ...
"If you bump into a Sindi and a cobra on the path at the same time ... kill the Sindi first."

Now, I can imagine the BK apologists might try and play the politically correct liberal card and say, "oh how terrible, they're being so racist" ... but that cannot be. Both Sindis and Gujeratis are India or Hindu.

There tends to be some truths to such generalisms, and so it's best to be aware of such cultural tendencies in the first place and ask why they arose.

In all cultures there are positives but also negatives and one should protect oneself and others against them ... not just be a lamb to the slaughter.
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