For many years now I have been reading articles against cow slaughter. Every single time it has appeared to me to be a religion oriented fight. It seems that only people who follow the Hindu and Jain religions seem to be interested in saving the Indian breed of cows. Why? Is it because the Cow is considered holy in Hinduism, so much so that she is called Mata (mother) – GouMata? Or is it because there is nothing written in the Holy books of any other religion to prevent mankind from killing the Cow? So is it generally believed that it means a free license to kill and eat or just kill and skin?
Before we go any further I would like to present some beliefs about cow and cow slaughter in India:
Cow slaughter in India is mainly believed to be the handiwork of non-Hindus.
The Pink Revolution, which refers to export of beef, is only cow flesh.
Only poor farmers sell their cows and calves to the butchers.
The cow which has stopped giving milk is useless; hence it should be put down so as to reduce the burden on its master.
Only the cow is useful and hence worshipped; the bulls are simply useless.
Saving the cow is fine, but using Leather goods shows Class and is a matter of Pride.
There is no difference between an Indian breed of cow and a Jersey cow.
Jersey cows are better since they give more milk and their milk contains more fat.
Buffalo milk contains more fat and calcium; hence it is costlier; hence it is better.
All of the above points are just rubbish beliefs and nothing more. Cow slaughter is not just a religious problem; it is a social and Governmental problem too. We need to put a stop on this mass slaughtering of cattle before it is too late. The Pink Revolution is not a matter of Pride to any country, leave alone India. It amounts to killing of the conscience of a human being on many fronts … let us see how …
Religion: Contrary to whatever anybody believes, people from all religions are equally to blame for Cow Slaughter. The butcher may belong to a particular community or the slaughter house may be run by a person who belongs to a minority religion, but the truth is that the end product of this slaughter reaches people of all communities and religions. Who uses the leather upholstery, the leather jackets, the leather bags, leather shoes, etc.? Who eats the beef? Who loves the smooth feel of calf-leather where a calf is skinned when it is alive, sometimes when it is just born? People from all religions purchase these products; so all are equally to blame. Why do Puja to Gou-Mata and then purchase leather upholstery for the new car?
Another point to note is that the hands that sell the cow or bull to the butcher are not of a person from only a particular religion. Why do they sell the same cow that they milked a few days back? It is because of reasons ranging from selfishness to poverty. When one is supposed to look after the parents who are aged, why shouldn’t the cow which has given milk to the family her whole life, be looked after when she has aged? Why should anybody consider her a burden? If a pet cat or dog can be looked after till its death, can a cow not be looked after?
The Pink Revolution: India has now become the biggest exporter of beef. Beef here includes not just cow flesh, but also that of buffaloes. It is now being argued that because of the social sanction against cow slaughter, farmers and dairy owners prefer rearing buffaloes instead of cows and bulls. This is so because there is no religious guilt involved in slaughtering a buffalo vis-à-vis a cow. We should realize that we stand to lose heavily if all farmers and dairy owners start thinking this way. The cow is holy not just because of religious reasons; every part of her helps mankind. The milk of the Indian breed of cow is perfect for the human race. Her dung and urine are no less than nectar and their medicinal properties make them worth their weight in gold. There can be no Natural Farming without the use of cow dung. If we want to stop or reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides in our food, the holy cow is the answer. If we want our land to be fertile for future generations, the bull is the answer – not tractors. When presented with all this, should we settle for buffaloes’ milk just because people want to eat beef? And when it is well known now that red meat (beef) is bad for human health, should we still indulge in eating beef and promoting its exports?
The Story of Milk which has More Fat Content: Unfortunately we have been fed with information in the last 50 years or so that buffalo milk or the milk of Jersey cows or Holstein cows (mixed breed or cross bred cows) is better because it is more nutritious. There could be nothing further than the truth. It is now proved that milk from Jersey, Holstein and other European and Australian breed of cows is the main cause of cancer and other health problems (A1 milk). But the Indian Government in an effort to increase the supply of milk and beef, promoted the breeding of Jersey cows and buffaloes. Then to promote the purchase of such milk, a calculated campaign was run, extolling the benefits of drinking such high fat yielding milk. The Indian breed of cows make give marginally lesser milk per calf delivered, but they have more calves in their lifetime and thus the total quantity of milk produced is more. And as a bonus, their milk is excelled for mental and physical health. But since people were averse to slaughtering these cows, in order to sustain the Pink Revolution, our thinking was contaminated. We need to rethink on whether we want to save our cows for own long term health or whether we are interested in short term monetary gains via the Pink Revolution.
Vegetarianism as A Way of Life: How can anybody who loves his/her own life think of taking the life of another? Today when we cry about terrorism and say that human life is precious, why do we not think once about the terrorism that we humans, as a race, perpetrate on the animal kingdom. How can we cry and shed tears on lives lost because of floods and natural causes, when we don’t bat an eyelid when we wear jackets made of calf leather or alligator skin? We proclaim our respective religions as being the best, but what about the animals that don’t follow any religion, but that of the Law of Nature, and are still more Humane than us. Is this what religion has made us? Blood thirsty, skin loving cruel creatures who don’t care if they grow animals specially for slaughtering (rabbit farms, shrimp farms, poultries, and countless more) and then call themselves civilized! Vegetarianism cannot just mean that eating of meat is shunned; it has to include the shunning of all animal products in any form. We can become truly civilized only when we learn to co-exist with nature, without harming any animal or trees or land, for our selfish purposes.
Let us all make a start towards our march to becoming a better person. Let us, irrespective of religion or class, make a promise to stop the slaughter of cows and all other animals. Let us co-exist peacefully with love to one and all. Let’s become Human, let’s become Humane. Vande Gou-Mataram ! (Salutations to Mother Cow!)