The Jain community is a vegetarian-food-based community. Doctrine of Ahimsa (Non-violence) is the fundamental principle of Jainism . So jains do not kill or cause harm to any animal or a motile living being. So they are staunch vegetarians. But they are not vegans, but Lacto-Vegetarians.
As per Jainism we should take only such food which is totally non-injurious to any living creature. If living is not possible by taking fully non-injurious food or we may not be able to adopt it, then we should take such food which involves least possible harm to living organisms. The question of killing five-sensed beings (Panchendriya) eg. goat, sheep, pig, chicken etc for food does not arise at all; one should avoid even injury to all mobile-beings also. It is necessary to avoid killing of even one-sensed beings (Ekandriya eg. Plants,herbs, leaves,roots etc) as far as possible.
Let us look at some of the foods that are Prohitibited for Jains Root Vegetables Should be Avoied Jains don’t tend to eat certain root veggies because harvesting these vegetable kills the entire plant. When the root vegetables such as potatoes, onions, roots and tubers are pulled up,tiny life forms are injured. Furthermore, the bulb is seen as a living being, as it is able to sprout.
Consumption of most root vegetables involves uprooting & killing the entire plant. Also they contain a lot of bacteria one can see with microscope and find the living insects of them. That is why consumption of root vegetable is strictly forbidden.
Eggs are Prohibited,eggs are the progeny of five-sensed beings.
Honey is Prohibited , jain religion also preaches the renunciation of honey also. Honey is the excrement of bees. It is produced out of their destruction and incessantly innumerable Jivas are born in it.
Along with the renunciation of wine. Meat is Strictly Prohiited.
Consumption of butter is also prohibited in jainism the reason being as soon as you separate butter from butter-milk, innumerable two sensed(beindriya) life-forms of the same colour and odour tend to grow in it spontaneously.
Cheese in made from milk but to make it,a week old calf is killed & from it stomach an enzyme called “RENNIN” is extracted & added to milk and processed to make Cheese. Thus a jain must avoid cheese.
Bread is also prohibited. Bread is fermented using yeast, a type of fungus, again an agglomeration of infinite one sensed life forms. Consumption of fungus in any form must be avoided be it mushrooms or yeast.
Also stale food i.e. Semi-solid food having water content cannot be consumed the next day, i.e. It must be consumed the same day it was made. It is one of the reason why bread is prohibited as it is almost always stale.
Certain vegetables like spinach and cauliflower are prohibited. Although they are not roots, being small plants they are in close proximity of the soil and they harbour many life forms visible and invisible to the naked eye and hence it is best avoided.
The basic foundation of Jain food is non-violence. First of all, we should only take such food, which involves least possible injury. The question of killing five-sensed beings doesn’t arise at all.
Dwidal is a unique concept. Jain tenets mention that combination of certain food stuffs like raw (unboiled)milk,or raw curd or buttermilk with pulses and dals, makes it a site suitable to harbour innumberable life forms.Hence one must avoid combination of such food stuffs.Another option is to always use boiled milk or boiled curd.
All photographs & text © Art of jain cooking. Do not use the creations for any commercial purposes without my written permission. If you are linking my creations at your blog pl make sure not to remove any watermarks or make any other changes in the pic. Corporate giants & organizations pl do not use my images on your website / FB/twitter page without my written approval.