Modern farming and dairy methods have contributed to wreaking havoc on the eco-system. Today agriculture, which provides the sustenance of human society, is massively dependent on oil and chemical fertilizers. Though initially increasing yield in initial years, these chemicals have proved detrimental to the fertility of soil, sometimes leaving it toxic and unproductive. Genetically modified crops bring their own set of ethical and health issues, leading to a world where some food products are promoted by one government and banned by others.
The basis of all farming remains dependent on nature in form of soil, air and water. Establishing farming methods in harmony with nature can provide long term sustainability. Otherwise, experts tell us, we may be heading towards a global food crisis.
At ISKCON farm communities or eco-villages, we highlight the importance of spiritual ecology: the need to live in harmony with ourselves, nature and the Divine. These rurual communities promote sustainability and spirituality—based on the principle of respect for all living beings.
There are over 40 ISKCON eco-villages and farm communities around the globe based on this ethos. Some exist off the grid, existing entirely on natural energy from water and sun. Others simply advocate more responsible and natural living based on sustainable care of the land and the cows. Unlike modern agribusinesses that exploit cows and other animals for their milk, meat and eggs, ISKCON farms protect our cows throughout their full lives, allowing them to live peacefully even after their milk producing years are over.
“There is a sweet transcendental interrelation between all living entities, irrespective of not only caste, creed, and colour between man and man, but between man and beast, man and birds, man and reptiles, man and plants, etc., and so also between man and God, and between God and others, and so on….as such the [farm] shall be the centre for such supreme culture of knowledge. [It] shall set the example that neither God nor the living being nor Nature is in any way antagonistic toward one another, but that all of them exist in harmony as a complete whole unit.” – Srila Prabhupada