Mahatma Gandhi's namesake, Maneka Gandhi, today
leads the 'Notmilk' movement in India. Dr. Gandhi
began the modern-day animal rights movement in
India, and once served in the Indian govenment as
the Minister of Animal Welfare. Her rescue work
has resulted in liberating thousands of abused
animals after uncovering accounts of animal
torture and abuse in 590 so-called research
facilities. Today, she is India's single most
powerful anti-dairy voice, and her 'Notmilk'
movement is growing.
In 1891, 22-year-old Mohandas Gandhi passed the
bar exam and earned his law degree. His passive
activism was developed 23 years later while helping
his countrymen attain rights under an apartheid
policy applied to Indians living in South Africa.
In 1914, Gandhi returned to India with a lung
disease, pleurisy. His doctors advised that he
drink cow's milk, but India's spiritual leader-
to-be refused. The same advice was offered to
Gandhi in 1918 after he developed a serious
case of dysentery accompanied by high fever.
Although Gandhi had made a lifelong vow to never
drink cow's milk, the illness nearly took his life,
and he made a compromise by drinking goat's milk.
In his autobiography, Gandhi admitted that his
habit of drinking goat's milk "has been the tragedy
of my life."
At age 71, Gandhi reflected upon his NOTMILK philosophy
by writing the following (p. 381) in his autobiography:
"I had long realized that milk was not necessary for
supporting the body, but it was not easy to give it up.
While the necessity for avoiding milk in the interests
of self-restraint was growing upon me, I happened to come
across some literature from Calcutta, describing the
tortures to which cows and buffaloes were subjected by
their keepers. This had a wonderful effect on me."
At 21 years of age, Gandhi vacationed at the farm of
fellow vegetarian, Leo Tolstoy. At Tolstoy Farm, Gandhi
came to understand that milk from cows was not the
perfect food for humans. On page 382 of his autobiography,
"It was during this time that we had the discussion about
milk. Mr. Kallenbach said, 'We constantly talk about the
harmful effects of milk. Why then do not we give it up? It
is certainly not necessary.' I was agreeably surprised at
the suggestion, which I warmly welcomed, and both of
us pledged ourselves to abjure milk there and then."
For the final meal of his life on January 30, 1948,
shortly before he was assassinated, Mohatma Gandhi
dined on cooked vegetables, oranges, and goat's milk.