(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 26 October 2022, Vrndavana, India, Govardhana-puja Lecture)
These days, more and more people are becoming vegan, not only outside of our movement but also inside of our movement. Of course, Srila Prabhupada in the first Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam very much emphasises the importance about drinking milk. He also emphasises that milk sweets should be offered to the deities. Here, in Vrndavana, Srila Prabhupada reserved the milk sweets for the Gurukula. Yes, they got all the milk sweets. Sometimes we would steal, and such things were going on. So milk is essential for the finer brain tissue. When the milk of the cows is offered to Krsna, then we all get the benefit, including the cows. So, this is the solution. Some devotees will say, ”Yes, I am vegan, but I will only take ahimsa milk.” But that was also not Srila Prabhupada’s program. Srila Prabhupada wanted milk to be there, offered to the deities and devotees and so on. So, I do not think we should change that. At the same time, I do think that we should be sensitive to the fact that the cows are being mistreated and if we simply just take the milk from cows that are mistreated, then that is not so nice. So, where we can, we should take the milk from the protected cows and we should take up this responsibility of protecting cows. At the same time, it is not realistic to just say, “ahimsa milk only.” Milk is essential, and only when milk is offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we are having it then. This is because cows are the centre of Krsna‘s life and therefore the cows should be in the centre of our lives. The way Krsna lives in Vrindavan is the perfect lifestyle. There is no better lifestyle. If we were all to live that, we would have a happy world.