Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does Krishna-Dairyian mean?

The term was coined by Priyavrata das around1998 and it simply means to only consume dairy products from cows that are protected and not abused. Typically, this would be cows protected at an ISKCON farm.

Are you advocating that all ISKCON members go vegan?

No, but unless you can obtain milk from a protected cow then one should abstain from all dairy products.

Is Krishna-dairyianism bonafide?

Yes, in fact, to be a Krishna-dairyian is a higher standard of devotion, as Srila Prabhupada has advocated and Krishna clearly states in the Bhagavad-gita that only the purest food should be offered in devotion to Krishna.

What do we offer Krishna if there is no ahimsa milk?

It is important to understand that Krishna asks for our devotion and the way we can express that is through offering Him sattvic (pure) foods in devotion. In the Bhagavad-gita, there is only one verse where Krishna defines what should be offered (a leaf, flower, fruit, or water) and He does not mention milk. Although ahimsa milk is certainly sattvic, it is interesting to note that Krishna does not mention it in this verse, lending credence to the fact that milk is not absolutely necessary in offerings to Him. You also have to keep in mind that Krishna is by nature, fully-satisfied and does not require anything from us. So why offer a contaminated product to Him?

Prabhupada said we need milk to make advancement

When Prabhupada made this statement he was specifically referring to cows on ISKCON farms, where the milk is sattvic (pure) and not contaminated.

Can’t we purify milk by offering it to Krishna?

Prabhupada gives the example of the sun, it can purify even a dirty place. Similarly, the Lord can purify something that is impure, however, the Lord also says that one should offer foods to Him in devotion that are sattvic (pure).

Isn’t milk always pure?

Prabhupada said on many occasions that milk can become poisonous if touched by the lips of a serpent. This metaphor does not just apply to non-devotees speaking on the scripture, it can also be taken literally. In other words, milk will become impure if a contaminant is added to it. Commercial milk contains pus, blood, detergent, urea, hormones, antibiotics, along with the more subtle ingredients of fear, anger, and sadness. Based on these facts, it is absurd to consider commercial dairy sattvic.

But Prabhupada drank milk that fortified with Vitamin D from fish oil?

First of all, there is no documented evidence of him ever saying this milk was acceptable. It is hearsay. In any case, this story apparently happened around 1969, however, that same year Prabhupada wrote to his disciple Krishna Das:

“Regarding purchasing things in the market, these items are considered as purified when we pay the price for them. That is the general instruction, but WHEN WE KNOW SOMETHING IS ADULTERATED, we should avoid it. But unknowingly if something is purchased, that is not our fault. Things which are suspicious, however, should be avoided.” – Srila Prabhupada, 25th Dec 1969

It is my opinion that he may have heard about a particular milk brand being adulterated after the fact, and since he had purchased it not knowing this, he considered it acceptable. However, he makes it clear in the above letter, once you know something is adulterated it should be avoided.