Sunday, 29 March 2015

Why I'm OK with the Ban on Cow Slaughter

From reading status messages, tweets, quotes on "the death of freedom", "the coming of the dictator", "the hindutva stride", the "discrimination against the minorities" - I wonder if we all have, indeed fallen prey to sensationalization and that we don't look beyond the pretty cover of a book?

For a few minutes, let's not look at WHY the beef ban was put in place in Maharashtra, but instead, consider what it means for us, 
whether intended or unintended.

What it means is that male calves who are typically sent to the slaughter house before their post-natal mother can wish them health, might now stand a real chance to feed off their moms despite being born "male" (a.k.a useless) in gender.

What it means is that we made the 1st step towards challenging an industry where sentient beings are forcibly impregnated year after year for their breasts to continually pump milk, only to fall of exhaustion in 4 years instead of their given expectancy of 15 yrs and thereafter, ungratefully and with employment of cruelest methods, transported for slaughter (which is not the simple gun-shot you'd like to think). This doesn't sound much like "freedom", to me.

Before, you jump and kill me for sounding pro-vegetarian, have you ever witnessed, in complete live form, a regular cow's journey through slaughter with your own eyes? If not, please have a look at it and then, boast about your meat-cravings. I bet your dog-loving, cat-petting, animal-circus-banning self, will not be pleased.

Fun fact: India ranks 5th in the world in beef production, 7th in domestic consumption and number one in exporting.

Why that proud number one? Well, Stunning animals (a possible way they could feel less pain) before slaughter is compulsory in Europe and Australia. There are applied norms for veterinary care, feeding and watering during transport. 

Did we just hear "care"? LOL. It's definitely something no one is going to ask about, on Indian soils. Not for the love of animals, for god's sake! 

Cattle Transported in Tamil Nadu
And just like that, Indian beef is super-lucrative for the "starving" Europe.

I hear you- "let's make slaughter laws!" If you really think it's possible to prevent torture by getting animal care laws instead of a ban (in a country where begging, thrives to-date) - go ahead and give it a try. Try to help the suffocating chickens, the living sheep with non-ban ways, before protesting to reverse the current ban.

If it's easier, let's 'think environment'- 

1. It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of healthy meat and only 25 gallons to produce one pound of wheat. (So much for water conservation)

2. Of all the agricultural land in the U.S. (US because, we catch up with their their food habits in no time and because stats for India aren't easy to find), 80% is used to raise animals for food and grow grain to feed them!

Remember, breeding an animal needs growing of plants for their feed, for many years before they can spice-up your plate. Efficiency loss!!

Now we also talk about farmers who can't get enough bucks for their cows since this infamous ban. Recall 1843. A Mr. Raju back in 1843 had also said- 'I was going to sell this man and get money to fund my sister's wedding. Now I have to take a loan for it and what do I do with this useless piece of flesh and bones.' What would we have said to the assassins, when they said that they lost their livelihood since killing humans was banned? Change management is something we should work on, but asking for no-change is not the answer to it.

Why they chose the cow, not another animal or why it was BJP and not AAP, or if it's religion-driven or someone's personal kick, I really don't care. If a fool's actions have caused the notorious flesh & bones industry to be less lucrative from a business stand point, I don't mind this fool. 

In an impact-driven world, let's not get upset over someone's possible victory, when the victorious really, will be humanity.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Would I grow my child, to be vegan?

A friend of mine today, asked me what it would be like for my children. "Would you grow them to be Vegan?" I replied, with a smile, "Yes".

For the free-will advocate that she is, those eyes exclaimed repulsively, "But, that's not fair! Let them choose their path, their own lifestyle". I was taken aback, to be honest. Are we, indeed victims, victims of double-standards and that maybe, we don't even know that..

Is it forgoing choice, I ask, when you teach a child to not steal, to not lie? Is it forgoing choice when you bring home a pet whom your child shall grow to treat with love?

Then how is it, against choice, when he's taught to live healthy, without imposing the belief that eating dead bodies would bring him good health. That he's taught the art to live, and more importantly, to let live.

Free-will, we love! But it isn't free-will I'm teaching, if I encourage his participation in adventures of mankind, which don't let a cow decide who her milk, is for. Which don't let a chicken decide when she's ready for euthanasia. Adventures which don't let a child know that food is, but a means of survival and a right, best exercised while being conscious of the footprint it can leave behind.

"If someone placed a two-year old child in a crib with a bunny rabbit and an apple, the child would play with the rabbit and eat the apple, an unambiguously herbivorous reaction." -Gary Yourofsky

I turned vegan 2 years back, with the regret, that I didn't do it sooner. Let my child regret, one thing less.