Monday, June 12
PAYING SPIRITUAL RESPECT
"Man cannot pretend to be higher in ethics, spirituality, advancement,
or civilization than other creatures, and at the same time live by lower
standards than the vulture or hyena."
Jay Dinshah 1933 - 2000
Last December, I was one of two hundred who attended a vegetarian
conference in Gainesville, Florida. There were speakers and workshops,
and a bookstore was maintained by Jay and and his wife, Freya. I
purchased $300 worth of books because they were wonderful books, and I
wanted them to be a part of my library. I felt good about buying those
books from the Dinshahs because, in doing so, I was helping in a very
small way to support their mission: to help share the vegan lifestyle
through their own example, by motivating and teaching and loving
In May of 2000, I spoke with Jay. He told me that he would
have to leave earlier for the Toronto Vegan festival because
the border crossing would take nearly a full day as each book and tape
would be inventoried and tariffs paid for every single item. Jay was
not looking forward to the experience.
Last Thursday, Freya found Jay in his study, dead on the floor.
There was no sickness and no warning. Jay had been working early, as he
has done every day for the past forty years. Freya will continue their
When a loved one dies, those who pay respect do so by sending flowers or
making generous donations to a church or foundation. Rather than making
a donation, please do something very different. Call the American Vegan
Society (856-694-2887) and order a book. Order ten books. Order
one hundred books. Buy the book for yourself. Buy the book for a
friend. Buy books for libraries. Buy children's books. Buy cookbooks.
That would be a tribute to Jay, and I can imagine his smile.
Author Joanne Stepaniak wrote:
"In 1960, the American Vegan Society was born in the United States,
founded by Jay Dinshah. It wholly embraced, and continues to embrace,
the principles of its British predecessor, advocating a strictly
plant-based diet and lifestyle free of animal products. In addition, the
American Vegan Society promotes the philosophy of Ahimsa, a Sanskrit
word interpreted as "dynamic harmlessness," along with advocating
service to humanity, nature and creation. In other words, in order to
practice veganism, it is not sufficient to simply avoid specific foods
and products; it is necessary to actively participate in beneficial
selfless action as well."
Jay Dinshah wrote:
"The Pillars of Ahimsa indisputably represent the clearest, surest path
out of the jungle, and toward the attainment of that highly desirable
Help support Jay's organization. Your tribute and blessing would be
to plant the seeds of knowledge contained within the thousands of books
in the American Vegan Society's catalogue. Be true to Jay's spirit and
support his mission. In death, you can renew Jay's life.
Call 856-694-2887 and pay your respects by respecting Jay's mission.
With knowledge, there is truth, and with truth, Ahimsa.