I suspect all living things experience something similar to what we call pain. The closer the animals are to humans genetically, the similarity is probably greater.
Why are you asking this question? You have nothing to do with them.
I have a vegan friend who thinks that if they don't feel suffering that they should be ok to eat. As a jain my reason for not eating them is because we aren't supposed to kill things. I was curious what the common person thinks.
You shouldn't eat them.
So tell me again...why are you doing this...and how long have been working at it? What type of support system do you have?
Doing what? Being a jain? Being vegan?
Yes...both...they aren't mutually exclusive.
And what support system do you have?
Well I've been jain 5 years and vegan 2 years...I don't have a support group. No Jain or vegans live around here...I wouldn't think you need a support group for that.
You DO need a support system. Nothing wrong with that. In order to set yourself up for success..you need to surround yourself with people who are like minded.
If you are fixed in being a Jain...a like minded community will help a great deal...
In the meantime...try at least to find some Vegetarian Associations around...they will connect you to Vegans at least...and en route you might be able to find more of what you want to become.
Gosh Jainism is not a very popular religion in the west I'd probably have to go to India to find more than a single jain family in any given city in the usa.
Lots of people support me they are not jains or vegans but I have lots of people who love me just the way I am.
I'm not sure you need to be around like minded people for support, and the second tennet of Jainism is aekantavada or many forms of truth. Basically even if you don't agree with someone you should listen to and consider there opinions as truth is complex and no one view is completely correct. In a way jainism calls you to surround yourself with many different kinds of people with varied opinions.
It's lovely that you have ppl who support you...just the way you are.
But still...and trust me...it will help esp if you wish to understand and completely follow the tenets of Jain.
But if that's hard to find...as you said...find at least some of the next best thing to be around.
Of course it's good to surround yourself with many different kinds of people...that's good, esp in order to test yourself...but ideally your base s/b a like-minded community.
You could always contact the Jain Society online and communicate with them that way.
Dedication to a View is one thing...but expressing it and being it...also requires a community...in your case...at least some vegetarians and/or Jains online. It will help you progress.
And if you had other Jains in your life...it would help with questions like "clams" and if Jains can eat fish...that would be a good thing since then you won't starve. Starving is what can happen when people switch over to a different food habit...since they don't know what to eat they can starve. You are a man and you do need to eat protein to fuel your body and keep you going.
I guess I could contact some jains online.
I am aware of what I can and can not eat. Jains do not eat meat of any kind. Most sects allow the drinking of milk but not cheese yogurt or alcohol or any aged foods as the fermenting process kills bacteria.
We don't eat leavened bread as that kills yeast, and We don't eat fungus/mushrooms for the same reason. We don't eat root vegetables or foods with lots of seeds like tomatoes squash or eggplants.
We only eat at daylight hours as that is when there is the least bacteria growth.we avoid strong spices as it clouds judgement. We always boil and filter water before drinking it. We never eat food older than 24 hours. We don't eat leafy greens during certain festivals exctra. I've read lots of texts on Jainism and am very well versed on the most important aspects however I have much to learn about various sect differences and obscure rituals and chants.
Also I am not a man I am intersex, and my doctor says my protein levels are sufficient.
I never thought it was ok to eat clams my friend did and I found it confusing and wondered if others thought like him.
Whatever you are...and btw...do the Jains recognize intersex? Should ask them.
Still, you need regular diverse proteins...try lifting heavy weights once in a while and see how you feel about it...
What is interesting?
Yes all of Indian culture has recognized more than two genders.
In Jainism intersex people are called pedi. In many other cultures of India they are called hijras and are an important group of people in Hinduism who serve at temples and fertility ceremonies.
how so? My doctor says I am very healthy. I thought there are only a few kinds of necessary protiens and that they can all be obtained from plants.
Also heavy exercise that is not absolutely necessary is considered wasteful in jainism because if you exert yourself you have to eat more and to cause the least harm one should consume the least possible. That is why we only eat during daylight for a single meal and why we have several fasts throughout the year. If you are really super old or close to dying you are supposed to slowly reduce your food intake to die faster so you won't have too eat as many beings the practice known as sallekhana.
What you said about your food habits is interesting.
So you think that when you are old you will want to starve yourself so you will die faster?
If clams don't suffer...neither do some other seafood...they are cold-blooded.
Oh i see that makes sense
I added a couple of comments to the previous message.
Well it's not just about being old you have to be certain you would die soon otherwise it's considered suicide. Often the reason was a famine and you would let yourself die so the young may live.
Well in jainism suffering isn't the key point of morality it's nonviolence. Even if something doesn't suffer you still can harm it. For instance potatoes or microbes can't feel pain but jains don't eat them.