Animal Rights Conference

Posted on August 21, 2017 by vasantidasi

Every year there is a large Animal Rights Conference which rotates between Washington DC and Los Angeles. This year it was in DC and Champakalata dasi organized having a table there to outreach with the various people attending. She arranged for Sadananda Prabhu to send Gopal’s healthbars and noni wraps to distribute as well as some organic soil for gardening, and then invited me to come with books and art and to promote the Prison Program.

All the big animal rights activist groups were in attendance as well as prominent activists who make films and speak around the world about animal rights. We met many very kind and conscious people and many took books.

We talked to a lot of people about the prison program as well, and shared how inmates are becoming vegetarian in prison and reading Bhagavad-gita and other books that we send. It raised some interesting discussions and a thought of perhaps some time in the future, we can become a vendor to the prison system and supply vegetarian (prasadam) packaged meals, as there are very little options for inmates to be vegetarian or vegan in prison.

On Saturday evening after the conference was over, I was feeling a pull to go to the Lincoln Memorial for some reason, perhaps being in the mood of “activism.” Remembering how Martin Luther King spoke his famous “I have a dream” speech there, and Lincoln also spoke his “Gettysburg Address” there about human equality, I was remembering the Gita verse, “The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater [outcaste],” and praying that some form of understanding real jiva (soul) equality amongst all would arise in me by chanting there.

When I got there and parked, I grabbed two Way of Love booklets just in case I met anyone nice. As I was about to walk up the stairs to the Memorial, I paused and decided to go to the edge of the water and take a picture of the Washington Memorial which was just across the water. As I was doing that, I heard someone next to me say something about Bhagavad-gita. I turned and saw a young Indian woman speaking with a young man, and I told them that I also read the Gita. Turns out they are college students (she was from India and he from Russia and she was telling him about the Gita). We had a nice chat  about the Gita and India which she is missing so much. I gave them the Way of Love’s which they happily received.

We are so grateful to the donors to GVP Book Sponsorship Program who facilitate Srila Gurudeva’s books going to the fortunate souls all over the world.

On my drive back to Florida from DC, I stopped in Georgia and visited a former member of the Prison Program. He had come to Alachua when he was released and stayed in the temple for a bit. We hadn’t heard from him in a couple years and then he wrote to Syamarani didi recently sharing that he is still chanting and thinks of her and all of us often and grateful for everything we have done for him.  I met his boss and discussed philosophy for a bit with the both of them and gave them both books.

Transcendental Book Distribution ki jaya!
Srila Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada, Rupanuga Guru-varga ki jaya!

Aspiring for the service of Sri Guru and the Vaisnavas,

Vasanti dasi