The Cow & the Stray Animals

The Supreme Court of India has admitted a petition about cruelty to stray animals (mostly dogs). It is a classic case of distorted priorities in India. It is the same kind hearted petitioners who vigorously fight for their right to kill Nature’s symbol of kind and most harmless animal- the cow. The cow does not take much from man but gives him much more. The stray can bite man, necessitating 14 painful anti rabies injections, which if not administered with immediate effect, can prove fatal. They are a constant harassment to children and senior citizens using residential colony streets, footpaths or markets. The victims get no compensation from municipal authorities for injury to their person and mental agony. Under the law, the municipal authorities are expected to catch the stray animals and relocate them to non residential areas.


It is the same citizens on whose demands cows can’t be reared in municipal areas. Consequently people are deprived of getting fresh cow milk, which is next to the mother’s milk in nutrition value.


The cow survives on grass and occasionally, a small quantity of other nutrients like oil seed cakes from oil mills. They are not fed special dog foods, biscuits and other pet foods. The love for dogs emanates from imperial remnants in Delhi’s Lutyens Zone sprawling bungalows, which are single storey residences on more than one acre of land. The air quality of this zone is superior to any other zone in Delhi. An ordinary citizen can’t dream of living in such imperial surrounding and feel the sense of supremacy that follows spontaneously. In these imperial residences live the ministers, Chiefs of the Armed Forces, Constitutional office holders and their Lordships the Hon’ble Judges of the supreme Court of India, among others. Not everybody enjoys the privilege of staying in the charmed world of this surreal India.


The only animal permitted near such privileged dignitaries is the dog. In fact, an ordinary citizen feels very hesitant to even call it a “dog”. It is a VIP in the company of the dignitary. It is a privileged person. It commands the respect of the visitors as does the owner. It experiences the same mood swings as the owner. It is walked regularly by a person from the security personnel provided to protect the dignitary. It goes to a special swimming pool behooving its class, gets manicured regularly; is shampooed and enjoys swimming in special pool; has special drinks and food; dresses according to its owner’s status; is tastefully bejeweled; wears shoes and can wear even a crown. It is learnt that such loved animals eat biscuits specially made for them. Only a plebeian will call it a dog. That makes for the “insensitivity” of the people towards the stray animals because they do not know what it means to love an animal. They don’t know the mourning the family observes when such a dog (or cat) dies. It goes on longer than a family member’s demise. Such is the love for animals in their heart. If a petition reaches such hearts, it gets instant sympathetic hearing. Dogs are man’s constant companions- they live with him, sleep with him, eat with him. What more do you want from a human heart? Animal rights, right? And animals certainly get their rights. Wait for the next date of hearing (NDH) of the case.


A poor cow being harassed by a dozen of stray dogs arouses no pity in any human heart. Perhaps the dogs have become accustomed to eating beef. They see in the cow the meat only which they want to eat. They get their fill of beef from the food thrown away by the bungalow occupants. The cow wants to petition the Supreme Court in person because nobody is prepared to take her brief.


Obviously, nobody can consume dog meat (or cat meat) in India, but even the cow worshippers stealthily enjoy salacious beef and its preparations.


The cow offers milk, yogurt, Dahi, Mawa, butter, organic manure and oxen for farming/rural transportation purposes. The cow harms nobody. It is commercially beneficial- less investment and maintenance cost against long term returns. It is the only method of converting green grass into real gold. Economists with environment protection orientation need to examine this aspect. Besides, in rural areas, inhabited mostly by the poor and deprived segments of the population, the cow alone provides sustainable livelihood means. Should such an animal be revered or butchered? The most heinous form of cruelty to animals is to kill them mechanically treating them as an “industry”. The technologically obsessed world today does not understand the value of mercy towards all kinds of living beings. It ignores the virtues of non-violence in that sense. Human beings can’t arrogate to themselves the proprietary rights over all living beings killing them under machines to gorge on their meat. The cow symbolizes that cardinal principle of Nature. Humans can ignore it at their own cost in the form of environmental degradation, disease, climate change, genetic dissonance, extermination of species and food crisis.


Here is one point for consideration: what happens if the entire Indian population starts eating beef? Will there be enough cows in the world to feed beef to 1.2 billion mouths in India? Will there be enough corn or grass to feed the cows? What impact will it have on the environment if millions more of cows are killed to get that much beef? The cow lobby is silenced by the advocates of the mercy for the dogs. The cow wants to reach the Hon’ble Supreme Court of  India to present her petition in person as it is allowed under the law. But the harassing dogs are baring their deadly fangs and frightening her away. Their bark has disturbed the dignitary.


He summons the Municipal Commissioner to his bungalow to complain about the gross dereliction of duty by the municipal workers in allowing the cow to freely roam about in the prohibited zone. The Municipal Commissioner, a Senior Civil Servant well experienced in solving such problems instantly, calls the kine house(place to keep captured cows) manager to catch the cow and remove her from the area and also ensure that it or others of its ilk never get an entry into the area. The Police Commissioner too is duly advised to instruct his policemen on duty in the area to look for unauthorized entry of any cow in the area and immediately inform the kine house (the place where the municipality keeps the captured stray cattle) manager on the wireless. The cow is captured, hit, beaten for resistance, denied permission to proceed peacefully to the Supreme Court of India some 800 metres away, arrested under the laws governing such conduct of the cows and promptly dispatched to the kine house. All animals are equal. The law treats all animals as equals. All cows are treated the same way. So are all the dogs.

 However it has created a skewed dog-cow population ratio in the national capital, Delhi. Surprisingly nobody is paying any attention to the root cause of ever increasing numbers of cancer, kidney, heart and other life threatening diseases patients in Delhi. More than 40% milk in Delhi is adulterated and contaminated. Other milk products are also adulterated with harmful ingredients like detergents. It is known to the health departments of municipal authorities. It is so because the local production of cow milk in Delhi is close to nil as all dairies have been sent far away from the city municipal limits leading to shortage of fresh milk in the market. Shortage is what the market in Delhi and elsewhere loves as much as its dogs. It increases the margins greatly. The remaining 60% supplied by the two government run dairies (the Mother Dairy & Delhi Milk Supply Scheme) liberally use powered milk and oil to reconstitute liquid milk and sell it without informing the consumers. Only the Lutyens Bungalow Zone residents have the exception of getting fresh cow milk from their own cows kept in their bungalows with permission from the same municipal authorities who had driven away the ordinary folks’ dairies from the area.


A predominantly vegetarian population deprived of its primary source of protein, fat, calcium and minerals is always susceptible to life threatening diseases mentioned earlier. Combined with artificially ripened fruits (banana, mango, water melon etc.) and chemically treated vegetables, it makes a deadly recipe for spread of kidney ailments, hypertension, heart disease and cancer. If the medical fraternity reels out frightening statistics of growing number of patients of these diseases and presages epidemics of renal failure and heart failure by 2050, it is nothing surprising. Delhi has set standards and states follow them furiously.

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