‘Goshala (Cow Shelter)’: Your letter states
that your father was a very popular
philanthropist and affectionate to cows.
He was fond of rearing cows and an ardent
follower of Gomatha from his childhood.
You state that there were several cows in
your house. Your observation is that your
father was deeply keen in protecting cows.
Cows and Bulls or Oxen are useful for man
in various ways. Primarily the cows give milk
which forms a good nutritious food for
children as well as pregnant mothers and
the elderly. Since milk is associated with
motherhood wherein a mother feeds her
infant with breast milk, cows are considered
as equal to mothers hence the name
The milk from cows and buffaloes is
required to make coffee or tea and also to
prepare various kinds of beverages and
sweets. Milk is used in the preparation of
curd, butter, ghee and cheese. Cooks
require milk when it comes to preparation of
certain kinds of snacks, chocolates,
puddings, ice-cream, salads etc. Bulls have
been used in ploughing fields, pulling carts
with loads of merchandise and in milling oil
from coconuts. For turning water wheels
and pulleys the bulls and oxen are
harnessed on to the stakes. Therefore the
economy of the community depends to a
significant extent on the proper utilization of
the cows and bulls or buffaloes.
Animal husbandry and veterinary clinics are
an essential part of maintaining large
number of cows and bulls. By establishing
research laboratories to develop or improve
care and maintenance of cows and bulls the
state administration can provide
help and support to the economy.
Religion, Caste and Cows: In many
Christian countries there are farmers who
maintain large herds of cattle and produce
milk and milk products for sale and
distribution to the citizens. There are also
piggeries, fouls farms mainly for chicken,
goat and sheep farms, fish farms etc. A
healthy disciplined scientific diary or farm
with adequate water and power supply in a
community with help and support from the
local government can provide abundant
food to the citizens provided the people are
Christians or Moslems. There are large
herds of selected breeds of well-fed cattle
primarily for production of red meat in many
Western countries having a majority of
people willing to eat such meat.
Apart from the economy and food adequacy,
in the Christian or Moslem countries and
even in Buddhist countries like Japan,
China, Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia,
Burma, Thailand or parts of Indonesia, the
animals like chicken, goat, sheep, cow and
buffalo are presented as gifts and dowry in
marriage by the bride or the groom. In India
we Braahmanas are familiar with the word
Godana or donation of Cow, commonly to
priests on special occasions such as the
funerals. Shraaddha ceremonies which
include ‘facilitating the souls of the dead to
reach Vaikuntah’ mandate that all
paraphernalia that the dead were
maintaining in their house and
all movable assets that they possessed
could be sent to them by transferring them
symbolically to the priests and other
Braahmanas that attend the ceremonies.
and later the Braahmanas recite Mantra(s)
to spiritually consign the gifts to the dead
after souls reach heaven. The dead souls
as well as the Braahmanas are interested
only in Cows and not in foul and meat and
therefore other animals are not donated in
the Shraaddha ceremonies.
Braahmana class of people were known to
follow the principle of non-violence from pre-
historic days. There is a controversy
regarding the food habits of inhabitants in
the Vedic period in India because not all
were Braahmanas and Hindu non-
Braahmanas were not bound by the rule of
vegetarianism. It is not difficult to imagine
that there were Braahmanas in the Vedic
period who practiced non-violence and
followed the diktats of the Vedas and also
that the non-Braahmana Hindus regularly
practiced sacrificing cattle, foul, and jungly
animals in the pre-historic period in India.
Before Christ, all people living in this so-
called Jambu Dweepa i.e. India were
referred to as Hindus by the outsiders.
The Hindus then followed either
Sanaathana Dharma, Buddhism or Jainism
and worshipped any God that they
considered worthy. Among the animals, the
Cobra serpent, Naaga was picked out as
godly and many Puraanas and scriptures
got written amplifying the virtues of Naaga
and listing the multiple benefits of
worshipping the Serpent God.
Serpent worship is prevalent widely even
now among our own GSB people.
Bhootha(s) are deities worshipped by
Hindus since long.
Cow had attained the God status along with
various other natural, living and non-living,
entities and Ashwatha tree is one belonging
to the Sasya (vegetation) world that draws
attention of solution -seekers. When people
find no solution to their worldly problems
they seek help from their favourite God
which could be a Cow, a Naaga shrine, an
Ashwatha tree or Bhootha shrines.
Cattle and the Economy: A man or a
family that owns herds of animals is as rich
as a man or a family owning gold, diamond
or silver jewelry. There were cattle thieves
who lived by stealing cattle from one herd
and selling them to another herd that
would be willing to buy the stolen live-stock.
A farmer who can breed large meaty cattle
in large numbers on a vast farm stretching
from one horizon to the other can only be a
rich and wealthy person. Cow-boys were
armed with guns to keep a watch on the
large herds that were grazing on vast
stretches of green meadows in the Western
countries. Since there were cattle of all ages
and fed for different uses, the herdsman
would not find it a problem to first use and
then dispose off his individual calves,
milching cows, young bulls, and old or sickly
animals. There were people who sold
animals to slaughter houses and also
people who slaughtered animals and sold
the processed meat in separate lots to
The price of meat, fish or foul products
are much higher than that of the cereals,
pulses, potato, or other vegetable products.
Having meat in every meal is considered
as demonstrating a higher standard
of living. Slaughtering cows and bulls in
automated abattoir is a common practice
in these meat-eating localities.
Processing rice, wheat, pulses and other
produce from a farm and packing them in
bags followed by transport to markets in
lorries, trucks, trains or ship is observed by
people during day time and in the open.
But the slaughter-houses are closed
buildings and the process of killing the
chicken or cows is undertaken away from
view of the public. Yet the display of
packaged portions of chicken or meat in
markets could not be hidden.
The fact that a cow or a bull is a pious
animal and that a cow delivers a calf once in
12 months makes them easy for
The importance of a cow or buffalo lies in its
ability to produce more milk than the calf
can consume. This extra milk is available for
easy milching by men or women.
Women get used to milking a cow easily and
a cow gets friendly easily with its milkmaid.
Man has realized that keeping cows at
home for the supply of milk for food is very
useful. In the past any farm would have a
cow-shed in which at least two
milch cows were kept. The calf was also
kept and fed as long as the cow gave milk.
Once the cow became unproductive and
milkless both the calf and the cow would be
sold to whoever was willing to buy them
without any conditions.
If the buyer was a Moslem then the cow
as well as the calf could face the prospect
of being slaughtered for meat. If the buyer
was a dairy owner regardless to which he
or she belonged then the cow would be
kept in his farm and allowed to mate with
a bull there to deliver a calf later.
Among Hindus (Indians) there are many like
me who never had fish, foul or meat in their
diet. Among Hindus there are also a large
percentage of people who are fond of fish,
foul or meat and have been traditionally
non-vegetarians. Having meat in the menu
is considered to be a special dish served
during family celebrations, festivals and
special occasions among many SCs STs
and OBCs among Hindus.
‘Baadina Oota’ is a feast arranged following
a wedding among the SCs and OBCs and
must include a dish of a sheep or goat
slaughtered especially for the purpose.
Any cow that dies in a cow-shed of a
Braahmana house will be given free
of cost to a person who will carry away
the carcass and keep it out of sight of the
Braahmana folks. Men belonging to the
lowest castes were always ready and eager
to carry away a freshly dead cow from a
Braahmana’s cow-shed because he could
use the meat as food. Other portions of the
dead cow such as the skin, horns and
bones were used to make various consumer
items such as foot-wear or knife handles.
Therefore there are very few instances,
either in the past or in the present
days, of cattle that die a natural death
by old age and get buried or cremated.
A cow which delivered a calf recently would
be bought by families for providing milk to
them for the next 8 to 12 months. The calf
would be fed with minimal milk from its
mother and rest of the milk would be
milked by the milkmaid or another person
for house-to-house supply. The price of the
cow and the calf depended upon whether
the cow will yield milk and on the quantity
of milk expected. Buffalos are also treated
There were many cottage dairies scattered
around in a town where the houses would
be supplied with milk daily at a cost. The
price of the milk depended upon the cost of
the fodder, oil-cake and convenience of
letting the cows graze in the grass fields.
My grandmother and aunts were doing such
dairy business for a living in Mangalore in
the 1930s and 1940s. They were keeping
between 3 and 5 cows in the small shed
attached to our house. They would milk the
cows and place the milk in small covered
containers with handles. They would add a
small amount of water depending upon the
yield of milk for that day in order to make it
available to all their customers. The milk
containers were carried by young boys or
girls to different customers; restaurants or
houses in the locality. This dairy business
was the main livelihood for many families.
Beliefs and Practices: It is widely believed
among many folks in India that Gods and
Goddesses are pleased if a cock or a hen is
killed in front of the icon and the blood of the
sacrificed animal is sprinkled around. When
the God or Goddess is of particular power
and importance a larger animal is killed
allegedly to pacify or please the deity.
For how many years in India and Nepal the
practice of beheading cows, bulls and
buffaloes in front of icons in temples and
other religious sites, has been in practice is
anybody’s guess and for how many years
the kings and generals have hunted all
kinds of animals in forests and later
butchered them and cooked them for
serving in the feasts is also anybody’s
guess. I have personally witnessed the
be-heading of a young sheep in front of
Kaali Idol in Kolkata Kaali Mandir.
Goddess Kaali is deemed to be Gowri,
Paarvathi, Chamundeshwari, Bhagavathi,
It was about 2500 years ago that Buddha
preached non-violence to Indians and
subsequently or before him the Jain
saint Mahaveera preached a more stringent
non-violent religion known as Jainism.
Both Jainism and Buddhism spread to the
entire world causing very uneasy conditions
to kings and generals who were fond of fish,
foul and meat dishes. Yet the preaching of
Mahaveera and Buddha were so strong and
powerful that even the strongest of the ruler
or general was unable to ignore them. The
religions of Non-violence got strengthened
and spread widely and Braahmana class of
people became a dominant class. We can
assume that hunting the forest animals also
became less glorified than before. A large
number of people converted themselves into
Jains and practiced total non-violence and
vegetarianism which continues even to this
Vegetarianism: The food habits of people
varies according to the availability of food
items. When a man becomes hungry he
looks for food. In established societies the
food intake of man is divided into a
breakfast, mid-morning snack, an early
afternoon lunch, an evening snack and a
dinner variously referred to as night-meal or
supper. This constant supply of meals
allows people to engage in
other activities without wasting time to find
food each time one gets hungry.
For wild animals in the forests, beggars
on the streets, the street dogs, birds,
squirrels, pigeons, crows, eagles and
other similar animals and birds there is no
provision for regular supply of food
like the human beings and they have to
search and hunt for their food.
In the forests the ferocious tigers hunt the
deer or foxes. The elephants eat soft and
tender plants such as bamboo and banana.
The birds constantly look for worms and
other small animals while squirrels and such
other tree-dwelling animals look for ripened
fruit and fresh twigs for food. The snakes
eat the frogs or small rats and mice. But the
snakes have to go in search of these small
animals in order to get their food for the day.
The snakes come out in the darkness of
nights and so do the rats and mice.
Cats are domestic animals and the cats also
look for rats and mice. Pets like dogs and
cats are given regular meals
by their keepers.
Beggars begin to stand on street corners or
roam from house to house asking for alms.
They will buy food in food stalls with the
small change that they are offered by
In the villages the beggars would start a
small fire to cook the grains that were
offered to them by people living in those
villages. In some places such as temples
and public dormitories, free meals are
provided to any decently dressed person
whether or not he or she is a beggar or a
brigand or a genuine devotee or a tourist
that arrived to visit those sites. In rich
Western countries there are so-called half-
way homes where meals are served to
people without question once or twice a day.
Any hungry person can stand in the line and
get a bowl-full soup to eat or drink in
established societies in churches
and temples, and occasionally a piece of
bread and a morsel of porridge. Civilized
world has provision to feed the inhabitants
provided each one contributes to the
economy by working in his own way.
Agriculturist is a primary source of food.
Once food needs are met then the shelters
are provided. Once the shelters
are provided there is need for healthy
upbringing of the offspring. The mothers
have to be taught how to feed and bring
up their children. After early education in the
infancy and toddler ages, education outside
the home has to be provided to the growing
Not all people can engage in agriculture
and farming. There is need for vocational
training for citizens to work as masons,
carpenters, painters, black-smiths etc.
There is need for a large contingent of
teachers to take up the teaching profession
in schools and colleges.
There is need for shops where people can
buy food stuff and other items needed for a
Rice is a grain obtained by growing rice
plants. The rice plants die of themselves
when the paddy is ready for harvesting. The
paddy and the rice grain are not considered
to be living organisms, although they have
the potential to develop into a rice plant if
the paddy seeds are sown again in the
appropriate fields and provided water and
daylight. Rice has been the most important
vegetarian food through the ages. Wheat,
jowar, maize, and other such cereals are all
Pulses such as Chana, Moong, Toor, Urad
etc. are all vegetarian food without any
doubt. Potatoes and other underground
root products are dormant stores of food
for sprouting new plants growing on their
surfaces. These are considered vegetarian
food. But a number of Hindus consider root
products including onions and garlic
as forbidden food. This is common
among many Braahmana families and
certainly in the Mathas where Swami(s)
Food that is classified as ‘Satwik’ is ideal
and includes all grains and leafy vegetables.
Food that is classified as ‘Rajasik’ is to be
avoided for a healthier life and these are
fruits like tomatoes, brinjal, ladies finger,
cucumber, squash, pumpkins etc. All of
these have life in them in some form of other
but the notion is that they are not actually
being killed when they are harvested and
cooked to prepare them for meals.
All vegetarian is green and potentially alive
but they can not by themselves produce
their offspring. They have seeds which
when planted new crops would grow and
similar fruits will be obtained. These are
very important vegetable food items. The
non-vegetarian food is ‘Tamasika’ meaning
foul and forbidden. They include all kinds of
meat, foul and fish.
Water is an essential food item but it is a
thirst-quencher. A large percentage of man’s
body weight is due to liquids
such as blood. But every other organ has
substantial amount of water in it. Is water a
vegetarian or a non-vegetarian food? This
question is not posted anywhere. Water is
consumed by all living entities in the world.
There are crores and crores of bacteria and
other micro-organisms in the human body
whether vegetarian or non-vegetarian.
These bacteria are present on vegetables
and also on fish, foul and meat. They are in
the air we breath and many of them cause
disease in our body.
Jainism prohibits any action that might hurt
even the bacteria that are known to exist in
the air or in the food.
Since the bacteria may be mobile and
multiply by division, it is not clear if they
should be considered equal to living entity
such as the bees and birds or animals
Fish are considered animals like the birds
but many communities that live on
sea-shores and practice vegetarianism
consider Fish as flowers grown in the
water and consider eating fish as not
breaking the rule of vegetarianism.
|Adyar Gopal and Radha Bai
Milk and milk products are genetically non-
vegetarian since they are obtained from
cows and buffaloes. There are people who
consume goat milk, yak milk etc.
But all these food items are considered free
from any act of violence such as killing a
chicken or slaughtering a cow for meat.
Chicken and other domestic birds are
forbidden for a strict vegetarian Braahmana.
Meat of lamb, goats, sheep, cows, bulls,
buffaloes etc. are also forbidden for a
Therefore the world life survives on both
animal and plant food since there are many
large communities that regularly eat non-
vegetarian meals. Non-vegetarian meals
are not purely meat, foul or fish but include
all kinds of food such as leafy vegetables,
potatoes, wheat breads, rice preparations,
soups, salads, curries, sauces, milk and
milk products, and without any kind of
Sea-food like caviar, lobsters, mussels,
oysters, crabs, and even tortoises, whales,
seals, and .sharks are expensive food items
and therefore eaten as special delicacies by
the rich and high class people.
A Hindu Braahmana would not decide on his
menu on the basis of the cost of a food item
but only if it is ‘Satwik’ or not. Even ‘Rajasik’
food items might be considered for their
meals but not the ‘Tamasika’ items even if
they are projected as of high taste,
expensive, and commonly eaten by the rich
and royal folks.
The Sacred Cow: The cow is sacred to
Hindus and killing cows is prohibited in
Hinduism. Also Hindus do not eat cow-meat
or beef on any account. Only a small
percentage of people belonging to some
tribes eat cow-meat but they do not kill cows
for food. They butcher any dead carcass of a
cow before it gets spoiled, or before any
process of putrefaction begins in the dead
There are many reasons for this binding rule
among Hindus. Majority of Hindu families
have never had the occasion to kill cows for
meat or hide.
Although different kinds of hide were used
to prepare footwear worn by some sections
of the people many Hindus walked barefoot
up until the middle of the twentieth century.
Use of footwear became popular when
hides of animals were used for the
manufacture of chappals or sandals and
also office-goers’ boots and these were
accepted by educated sections of the
population beginning from the middle of
the twentieth century.
No Hindu ever dreamt of purposely killing a
cow for preparation of a dish containing cow-
meat. There are no Hindu recipe in which
beef is mentioned as one of the ingredients.
A Hindu would rather die of hunger than kill a
cow for food.
When a Hindu, particularly a Brahmana goes
abroad and encounters beef dishes on the
table served as part of a dinner then the
Hindu man or woman will not touch that dish
let alone eat it. If at all he ate a beef dish
then it will be because he was not aware that
the dish contained beef. If he knew in
advance that there is beef served in the
party, then he will not attend such party. If it
is necessary for him to attend the party for
other reasons then he will attend the party
but he will not sit at the table where beef is
served, or if he sits he will avoid eating such
dishes persistently keeping them away.
Sense of Defilement: Compounded with
the religious dogma to abstain from
cow-killing there is a state of defilement
attached to this prohibition. A Brahmana will
not even touch a Muslim because of the
risk of getting defiled by this act since all
Muslims either eat beef or take part in
the killing of cows for food.
If a Brahmana has to come in contact with a
Christian who is known to be using cow-
meat at home then such Christian man or
woman had to be kept at arm’s length by
a Brahmana. If a Brahmana touches such
defiled person then he had to take a head-
bath in order to get rid of the defilement.
Such stringent rules are now relaxed since
contact with Muslims and Christians has
become more frequent in the present
The abstinence from cow-meat and killing
cows has a very ancient history.
Hinduism is a religion of the earliest
World inhabitant and compares well with
the Sol religion of the Egyptians, the Greeks,
Romans and the African nations.
The Chinese Tao and the Japanese Zen
religions are somewhat akin to these
These religions are truly secular since they
have no one Book or one Prophet. These
ancient people recognised the economic
importance of animals and their ruling class
such as the kings and generals as well as
the Priests and Sages made hard and fast
rules that goats, sheep, cattle and camels
were not to be killed in any circumstances
This sense of wrong-doing got stuck as a
sense of purity through-out the ages in every
individual in those days. Any one who got
associated with the act of killing an animal
developed a sense of guilt and thus
considered it to be defilement.
The sense of Defilement is a sense that is
similar to the one developed in a virgin girl
when she is forced to lose her virginity.
Often a rape victim commits suicide when
her feeling of defilement is intense and
unbearable, and when she finds herself
powerless to make amends to the defilement
such as by taking revenge on the
perpetrator of the crime.
A sense of defilement overcomes a woman
during menstruation and after delivery. A
woman wants to take a head bath after the
menstrual cycle gets over. A sense of
defilement forms in a man who has touched
a dead body. A head-bath usually suffices to
remove these senses of defilements. A dip in
a river or lake is also sufficient to remove
and revoke the defilement in most cases.
The sense of defilement regarding cow-
killing and cow-eating is ingrained in a Hindu
conscience and is a part of his
Cruelty to Animals: Apart from defilement,
the Hindus generally abstain from cruelty to
animals and since killing any animal is not
easy for a Hindu there is hardly any
occasion that a Hindu will deal in meat
A Hindu who runs a restaurant frequented by
Muslims and Christians will not cook any
beef dishes to please his customers. He will
gladly forgo the business of those customers
who demand beef dishes in his hotel. He will
limit his menu to other meats like mutton and
even pork apart from chicken items. There
are no Hindu cooks that will indulge in
preparation of beef dishes.
In India the Jains consider it cruel to hurt any
animal, let alone kill it for food. A large
percentage of Hindus also think
on the same lines and detest killing animals
Especially Braahmana(s) and
Veerashaiva(s) (followers of Lord
Basavanna) do not eat meat, fish, or foul.
There is no doubt that killing animals for food
is cruel. But those who eat non-vegetarian
food claim that animals are created for the
human beings to eat. They also claim that if
animals are not killed for food then there will
not be enough vegetarian food for every one.
Those Hindus who eat meat, fish or foul
claim that they do not kill the animals
themselves, and so the term cruel cannot be
applied to them. They are not animal-killers;
they are only animal eaters.
Compassion is necessary for every human
being and this is developed as a character
Hindus are well-known as humble people.
They suffer all kinds of cruelty themselves
but will refrain from causing even mental hurt
to others. The sense of compassion comes
to Hindus from their genetic origins and also
from practices learnt at home from parents
For the parents there is a choice to either
introduce their children to non-vegetarian
food or not. In view of the cruelty aspect
Hindu parents refrain from cooking non-
vegetarian food at home.
So long as the vegetable food is available in
plenty in the market, eating non-vegetarian
food could be avoided. We observe that the
children of vegetarian parents grow up to be
vegetarians. If the parents discourage their
children from eating non-vegetarian food in
the restaurants, in the parties they attend
and in foreign countries they visit, then the
children can maintain their Vegetarianism all
The children should be taught not to throw
stones at dogs and cats to hurt them, but to
only drive them away since they might bite
them or otherwise cause injuries to them if
they come too close. The dogs have a
tendency to attack children even when the
children do not bother the dogs. This
tendency is stronger if the child looks at the
dog in its eyes. The same dog will not attack
an adult human being. A domestic dog also
attacks a child.
The dog lovers however do not agree with
this. They claim that the dog is the friendliest
of the domestic animals and most loyal
to the master. What the dog lovers say might
be true in the case of some pedigree dogs.
We must treat all dogs with compassion by
not hurting them with stones, sticks or
missiles, and similarly we must treat all
animals and birds with compassion.
In early twentieth century, a bowl of water
was left outside the house for birds to drink
in summer. A large tub with water was
kept at roadsides for passing bullock carts
to stop and let the bullocks drink to their
What is healthy food? Science has revealed
that proteins are needed for proper
development of mind and body. However,
there is a misconception that the proteins in
meat, foul and fish are superior to the
proteins present in cereals, pulses and some
There is also a lobby that promotes non-
vegetarian food by constantly and repeatedly
advertising that without some kind of non-
vegetarian food a child will become weak
and catch cold often. Even educated people
accept the misleading information given in
the advertisements. It is an established fact
that a wrestler who never took meat, foul or
fish could defeat an opponent who was fed
on meat all his life. Vegetarian students have
scored high marks in all kinds of school and
Vegetarians can take milk and milk products
as their protein-suppliers. Breast milk given
by mothers to babies is obviously non-
vegetarian but it is completely non-violent in
nature. Cow milk is available for older
children and adults.
Vegetarian food has less fat in them than in
the non-vegetarian food. Fat is supposed to
cause thickening of arteries. Thickened
arteries get blocked with clots easily. The
arteries of the brain might get blocked and
lead to stroke and paralysis.
The arteries of the heart might get blocked
and produce damages to the heart.
Thickened arteries therefore can cause a
heart attack. Heart attack may result in
death. Thickening of the arteries occurs in
many other conditions and not just in non-
Diabetes is a major cause for thickening of
the arteries. Those who suffer from diabetes
must refrain from eating fatty food. Fish and
foul have slightly more fat than what is
present in vegetables. Beef and pork have a
large percentage of fat in them. Oil contains
fat of different varieties. Coconut oil has both
saturated as well as non-saturated fat in it.
But coconut kernel has ingredients that
reduce formation of harmful fats. Other oils
have different levels of fat in them.
But since fat is necessary for good
health we can not completely keep oils
away from our diets. Hydrogenated oils
like the Vanaspathi have plenty of harmful
fats in them.
Some of the oils have more poly-unsaturated
fats in them. The poly-unsaturated fats are
safer than the saturated fats such as are
found in the hydrogenated oils. Therefore it
is but natural that in spite of being a
vegetarian, if a man consumes more
saturated fats then his vegetarian diet will
not prevent the harmful effects of his diet on
his health. But if meat is consumed in large
quantities then it is equally harmful.
Use of Bullocks in hauling and
transportation: For millions of years the
people of the world have been using the
wheel for moving things from one place to
another. The wheel is constructed in
different sizes and from different materials.
The commonest material used is wood.
The skills of carpenter in making a wheel
are very commendable because he has to
make a perfectly round structure. Two
wheels are connected by an axle rod on
which are balanced planks to make a
platform. This platform is connected to a
bullock by means of appropriate ‘noga’
which is placed on the neck of the animal.
There are certain disturbing aspects in using
bullocks for hauling. There is some cruelty
involved. First of all the bullock is castrated
by squeezing the testicles of the male calf
so that it does not become a rogue going
after cows in seasonal heat. The bullock
thus becomes a mellowed but strong animal.
Secondly a ‘noga’ is placed on its neck and
due to constant rubbing of this heavy item on
the nape of its neck there is bound to
develop swelling and pain to the animal. Yet
man has not been thinking about these
cruelties and develop a better and less
painful method of harnessing a bullock to a
cart through the ages.
There were no motor cars or trains in India
prior to 1850 and every merchandise was
transported in hand carts or bullock carts.
There were lengthy caravans of bullock carts
which transported soldiers to battle fields or
transported agriculture produce to markets.
In construction of large temples and palaces
bullock carts were used to transport granites
and other building materials. The large
single-stone domes of many temples and
buildings were transported using bullock
carts. But after motor cars, lorries and trucks
as well as goods-trains came into usage the
bullock carts fell into disuse. In the present
fast traffic in the highways and city roads the
slow moving bullock cart can be an obstacle
or a hindrance. Bullocks can get killed or
injured by accidents resulting from a dash of
a truck or bus with a cart drawn by bulls or
On the other hand bulls were used to plough
the fields extensively all along the history of
India. Although in some places like
Rajasthan, camels are used to plough the
fields, this is uncommon in rest of India.
Horses are not suitable for this job in
the tropical countries. Therefore the Indian
farmer entirely depended upon his pair of
bullocks to do the hard work of ploughing the
fields to grow his crop of paddy, or wheat or
maize, etc. But now motorised ploughs have
come into existence.
Tractors are found to be more reliable and
efficient than bullocks. Many farmers find it
easier to maintain tractors than a pair of
Thus the economic importance of bullocks is
receding but the importance of milch cow is
on the upswing,
We have not been able to find a substitute
for milk and milk products which we can get
only by keeping cows. Only cows that deliver
a calf will give milk for a few months.
Therefore it is necessary to impregnate cows
using bulls. Even this has been replaced by
collecting semen from the bulls and
impregnating the cows by artificial means.
Since the semen of a bull obtained in one
ejaculation can be used in more than one
cow it has become economical to extract
semen from bulls separately and then
apportion the semen and impregnate more
than one cow. Also semen from good breeds
of bulls can be obtained and stored and then
transported to where it is needed to
impregnate cows as desired in remote
Semen from India can be taken to Brazil for
example and impregnate their local breeds of
cows to enhance their milk yield.
Thus only for the sake of improving a
particular objective both cows and bulls are
now utilised by man.
Animal husbandry is a vast science and
research and development of cattle farming
is an important responsibility of
the people and the government.
Law to protect cows: India Code includes
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act
1960., and the Constitution of India has an
Article no. 48 relating to ‘Organisation of
agriculture and animal husbandry’ in which it
states that ‘the State shall take steps to
prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves
and other milch and draught cattle.
The Madhya Pradesh State government
has passed a Law known as ‘Gau-Vansh
Vadh Pratishedh (Samshodhan) Act which
imposes penalties including imprisonment
up to 7 years. The matter of cow protection
is a state subject. There are other states
like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar that have
passed Laws to prohibit slaughter of cows
and its progeny.
The Karnataka State government also
passed a Cow protection law in 2009 but this
Act was sent to the President of India by the
Governor of Karnataka.
Therefore the Law of the land is concerned
with preservation and protection of Live-
stock which includes cows and
its progeny and not with either religious
sentiments or with faith.
If I sell my cattle to a well known slaughterer
then I am responsible for cow-slaughter and
not the slaughterer.
Summary: Goshala(s) must be set up in
each village, town and cities to protect and
improve the cows and its progeny. Gomala
land may be given to various NGOs so that
Goshala(s) may be built and fields formed to
grow grass and fodder for the animals. To
this end, the formation of the N. Venkatesh
Kamath Trust will be highly appreciated.
|Our fate has grown around our choices.
|CLICK ON THE