ADYAR GOPAL PARIVAR
GOSHALA
OR COW-SHELTER
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GOSHALA OR COW-SHELTER
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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
Gomatha.
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
consumers.
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
domestication.
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 milching 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 knifehandles.
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
similarly.
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, Bhadrakaali,
etc.
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
day.
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 passers-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
children.
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
pleasant home.
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
vegetarian food.
 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) reign. 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.
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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 and
man.
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.
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 vegetarian,
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 restriction.
Sea-food like caviar, lobsters, mussels,
oysters, crabs, and even tortoises, whales,
seals, and .sharks are expensive food items
are 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
animal.
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 those animals that
were killed by non-Hindu people 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 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 Hindu 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 Hindu has to come in contact with a
Christian who is known to be using cow-
meat at home then such Christian man or
woman has to be kept at arm’s length by a
Hindu. If a Hindu touches such defiled
person then he has 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 circumstances.
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 ancient
practices. 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 for food. 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
good character.

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
business. 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
for food. 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
among Hindus. 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 and guardians.
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
their life.
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
allanimals and birds with compassion.
A bowl of water must left outside the house
for birds to drink in summer. A large tub with
water must be kept at roadsides for passing
bullock carts to stop and let the bullocks
drink to their heart’s content.
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
vegetables.
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
college examinations.
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-
vegetarian diet.
Diabetes is a major cause for thickening of
the arteries. Those Hindus 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
oxen.
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 bullocks.
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 places. 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 has been sent to the
President of India by the Governor of
Karnataka, thereby forfeiting his power to
sign such a law himself as the governor.
This has delayed the implementation of the
law in Karnataka state.
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 faith.
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.

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