AR-News: (US-ny) What it means to be a Jain

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Wed Mar 31 00:25:02 EST 2004

Often mistaken for Muslims or Sikhs, Jainism is a religion that emphasizes
reverence for life

Sonam Shah finds herself explaining things a lot.

Why she's a vegetarian. Why she fasted for eight days two years ago. Why
her grandmother brushes off the stove and kitchen floor every morning.
The main principle of Jainism is nonviolence or not harming other living
creatures. Because of this principle, most Jains are strict vegetarians.

"In school, people ask me, 'You don't eat meat?'" said Shah. "They're
shocked ... I like it whenever I think of it, not killing animals and
letting them be where they are."

Strict Jains go one step further, not eating any vegetables with a root
that has to be pulled from within the ground, such as onions, garlic and
potatoes. They believe uprooting them kills the living organisms that
cling to the roots.

full story:,0,245487.htmlstory?coll=ny-sbp-headlines

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