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Jainism, Veganism, and Engaged Religion

Course Number: 1014

Committed to nonviolence (ahiṃsā) since its ancient beginnings, the Jain tradition has admonished the mistreatment, slaughter, sacrifice, and consumption of animals for thousands of years. In light of these commitments, Jains have traditionally lived a lacto-vegetarian lifestyle, advocated for the legal protection of animals, and have created sanctuaries for animals for centuries. In ancient and medieval scriptural sources, we even find restrictions on the consumption of dairy itself, suggesting potential pre-modern Jain commitments to what would now be referred to as a vegan lifestyle. And today, many Jains have been advocating for veganism in light of the devastating and irreparable harms involved in the production of dairy in contemporary society. 


This course carefully considers the philosophical and historical underpinnings of Jain Veganism, presenting an opportunity for non-Jain vegans to discover a rich philosophical system aligned with their values, as well as an opportunity for Jains to appreciate the philosophical resources within their own tradition which naturally lead to living an ethical vegan lifestyle. 


The course includes:
1. 6 hours of recorded video content
2. Weekly readings for self-study
3. 4 scheduled live Q&A sessions with Professors Dickstein and Miller on June 7, 14, 21, and 28 from 8AM to 9AM Pacific.

Learning Area

Animal Advocacy and Biodiversity

Dates and Times

6 hours Self-Study; 4 hours live Q&A (Professors available by appointment in office hours)

Course Details

Live Online and Self-Study
Live Q&A zoom sessions on June 7, 14, 21, and 28 from 8AM to 9AM Pacific