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.


  1. Disclosure: I'm an ethical vegan.
    I don't agree on a few things here. Firstly, enforcement is very poor in India while corruption is rampant. So the cows will now be secretly transported to neighboring states, enduring more pain and suffering on the way to their deaths. Secondly, I don't really believe that the farmers will suddenly have a change of heart and allow the calves to live with their mothers for even a day longer just because there's a ban on cow slaughter and beef sale. Realistically, what will happen is that the calves will be abandoned on the streets and left to die of starvation or left to be "kidnapped" by people who would want to slaughter them (illegally) for their meat. Unless the Hindus who're against cow slaughter show more interest to understand the connection between dairy and slaughter and then put some effort in changing their lifestyles to eliminate (or drastically cut down) dairy, there won't be a big change. Even if that happens, there's always a big export market that the government wants to tap, but that's a different topic altogether.

    All the cows who're spent within a few years must end up somewhere. There's not enough interest or money or land or food to sustain these "useless animals" (from the farmer's point of view), especially when you consider that they would be in tens of thousands everyday across the country.

    Maybe this will turn out to be good in another way. When more cows and calves are abandoned on the streets, maybe, just maybe, it will make people think about it and slowly start moving more people to switch to veganism.

  2. 1. Corruption shouldn't be a roadblock to atleast put laws in place. Otherwise, we'd be saying that giving bribe should not be a forced ban, only because we anyway end up giving it under the table. Also investment in illegal activities has a trickle down affect and would increase the cost of smuggled beef, thereby reducing the demand.

    2. Hinduism- I'd encourage you, me and everyone else to continue fighting against misuse of every animal, instead of opposing this ban. My inability to save a chicken or a pig today, by no means justifies why I should not jump on the opportunity to save the cow.

    I honestly, don't care what caused the ban. All I care about it is, that it has some good impact and that it has made the meat eaters to start discussing the meat industry. With controversial bans, come discussions and discussions lead to awareness about the whole ecosystem- from dairy to slaughter. It's a good time to go all out and educate!

    3. Abandonment- it is only the immediate effect. Looking at it from a long-term perspective of the whole supply-demand scene changing, the demand for meat reduces and the farmers who didn't mind that the cow would live only 4 years because they could still make money out of the sale, would now have a reason to start thinking of ways to increase the cow's expectancy so that milk can get them more money. This will increase investment in the cow's health and could also lead to higher cost of milk itself. With higher cost of milk, demand reduces.

    These might be incremental changes and not significant ones. But I see more good than harm caused by this ban, in the long term.

    If I think about the cows, bulls, bullocks bred at this time for meat specifically VS their breeding post the ban- will there not be a reduction?

  3. It's unkind and savage to kill to eat