Tuesday, April 05, 2011

in india there are cows everywhere

EVERYWHERE. they just roam the streets. i had heard this, but was shocked when i saw how pervasive it is. cows in the hindu religion are sacred and are not to be harmed. they may be used for work, and in the village we saw cow that were in pen areas and lots of villagers headed out each morning to take their cows to pasture. we also saw a lot of cow hauling carts and being used for labor. however, i asked one of my indian friends where all the wandering cows came from and she told me often if a cow has stopped being useful for milk or labor the owner will just let them loose. it was actually quite sad to see so many homeless cows that while holy, were mangy, malnourished and dying. my friend told me many cows just eat garbage and as a result many die from up to 2 kilos of plastic in their guts. the cows in the street are also pretty pesky, in rishikesh one came up to me and seemed to be demanding food like a stray dog or monkey, and it got quite aggressive and started coming at me with it's horns! since coming home i've found myself saying to the cows i see in green spring pastures 'you don't know how lucky you have it, you may not be considered holy here, but you have someone providing you with non-plastic feed and meeting your basic needs'.

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