Last weekend I was fortunate to have a visit in a village of West Bengal, few hours away from my home. As from some of my previous posts, you might have an inkling that I cherish the village life more than the cities, where they claim all the luxuries pervade. Reasons are quite simple: Fresh air, water, pristine environment, lush green fields and more importantly very simple people (in general:)).
Apart from many memorable experiences gathered in this short trip, the one which I would like to share is my time spent in a Byre or Goshala. Many of you must be aware that a Goshala is place where many cows are kept and served. In return, we get milk and other byproducts.
So when I stayed for some time there, I found myself closer to the nature. There were more than 100 Cows and each has got unique name such as Surabhi, Mala, Vasundhara etc. It was very confusing. Yet, the one who takes care of those cows knew each one of them by their name. And I saw when he called their name, they responded too 🙂 It was very thrilling to me.
Cows are companion of humans since ancient time and one species which have served humans more than any other animal. Especially in India, it’s not treated as animal but as mother, and rightly so. The cows are very simple, innocent, gentle, affectionate, emotional and intelligent. When you will see a calf close to her mother, the affection between them will give you peace in the heart, just by seeing how the speechless species responds to each other. In our ancient scripture, which we don’t have the time to read, is full of the glories of the cows.
Yet, when I come to city and hear that slaughtering of the cows are at full swing all over the world and even in India, just to earn money, it disturbs me. It disturbed Mahatma Gandhi too.
I am quoting Gandhi ji from the tabloid Young India, which he used to edit himself.
…The cow is the purest type of sub-human life. She pleads before us on behalf of the whole of the sub-human species for justice to it at the hands of man, the first among all that lives. She seems to speak to us through her eyes: ‘you are not appointed over us to kill us and eat our flesh or otherwise ill-treat us, but to be our friend and guardian’. (YI, 26-6-1924, p. 214)
…I worship it and I shall defend its worship against the whole world. (YI, 1-1-1925, p. 8)
… My ambition is no less than to see the principle of cow protection established throughout the world. But that requires that I should set my own house thoroughly in order first. (YI, 29-1-1925, p. 38)
Gandhi ji was an avid promoter of cow protection. Even though it got endorsement of Gandhi Ji, there is a common sense so as not to kill cows, just for the sake of eating it and making money .
Cow protection why?
- No one would like to kill his/her mother: This is an emotional appeal. Mother gives us milk for only two to three years after child is born. We are served, nourished by the milk of cow for much longer duration. Isn’t she is even better than mom in this aspect?
- Economic significance: Even if you will say that, no I am not an emotional Man/Woman I purely believe in the economics, still there are reasons that one should not thrive for killing cows. Cow’s dairy product is an important ingredients in our food chain. From milk to cheese, from Ghee to Lassi and many more dairy products are just due to cow, which are rich in nutrients.
- Cow helps in agricultural activity. And especially in India, where people are still deprived of many advances machinery and the size of fields are very small.
- Even the waste of cow, such as cow dungs and cow urine is used. Cow dungs are used to produce organic manure. Unlike modern artificial manure, which helps to grow productivity initially and after frequent use it makes the land barren, the organic cow manure is having no ill-impact on the soil.
- Cow’s urine is used for medical purposes in Ayurveda, which is gaining acceptance all over the world.
- Religious aspect: Yes, since India is a home of world’s ancient religion and they are in a huge number, their religious sentiments matters too. In Hinduism, Lord Krishna is also known as Gopal, means protector of the cow. In many scripture, killing a cow is considered very sinful and ominous. Hence it’s the responsibility of the state to make such arrangement that cows can be preserved and not slaughtered.
Even though there are so many substitutes to gratify one’s tongue, I don’t find any reason why the people kills such an innocent species. During my visit, I was inquiring about various aspects and functioning of Goshala, then one of them responded to the question of cow slaughtering in a very interesting way. He said Lion or for that matter, any carnivorous animals prey not to gratify their taste, but to satisfy their hunger as, Lord has made them in such a way that they can’t be Vegans. But why humans kill animal is beyond comprehension.