Holy cow, not so holy in India?

Holy cow, not so holy in India
Left: Brahmin and holy cow in Hampi, Karnataka pic Mark Ulyseas. Right: Cow slaughter, pic credit PETA India.

After reading the following news excerpt you decide dear readers whether the cow is holy in India or that it is just another animal that needs to be slaughtered.

Here are some details gleaned from International Business Times, Palash Ghosh, May 14, 2014. LINK

The Business of Beef:

India is the largest exporter of beef in the world.  In 2012, India became the world’s No. 1 beef exporter, outselling beef powerhouses Australia and New Zealand (US Department of Agriculture).

Meat produced by registered slaughterhouses jumped from 557,000 tonnes in 2008 to 805,000 tonnes in 2011. Income from bovine exports are expected to reach 18 billion rupees ($328 million) this year 2014.

CNN estimates that 1.5 million cows, valued at up to a half-billion dollars, are smuggled out of India every year — roughly one-half of the beef eaten in neighboring (and overwhelmingly Muslim) Bangladesh come from these “illegal” cattle.

Hinduism does not specifically ban anyone from eating beef. “Most Indians are not vegetarians by choice but by compulsion,” Purvi Mehta, heads of the Asia office of the International Livestock Research Institute, told CNN.

Ill treatment of cattle prior to slaughter:

01. Cattle are tied together with ropes that are run through their noses, and they are beaten mercilessly during forced “death marches” over hundreds of kilometres. They are also transported in appalling conditions after being crammed on top of each other into lorries in the searing Indian heat. During transport, they cannot help but crush one another, and they die hideous deaths as a result of suffocation and injuries. The lorries careen at breakneck speeds along bumpy dirt and gravel roads and down mountain passes, pitching the cows around and causing more injuries and deaths.

02. During the marches, cattle collapse from hunger, exhaustion, injury and despair. Handlers force them along by breaking their tails at each joint and rubbing tobacco, chillies and salt into their eyes.

03. Each time a cow’s tail is broken, the pain is similar to what we would feel if we broke a finger. They are never offered food or even so much as a drop of water.

04. The animals’ short fur stands on end, and if one looks closely, one can see the terror and feeling of betrayal in their eyes. Once inside, their throats are cut in full view of other cattle, which are forced to watch and wait.

05. Some have their legs hacked off while they’re still conscious, and some endure the agony of being skinned alive.

PETA India says: “most Indians are not aware of the fate of these animals. The cows often come from poor farmers or other people who don’t realize that the animals will be treated so harshly and are often not told that the cows will be slaughtered. The Indian cattle transport industry, rife with illegal practices and corruption (such as bribery of officials charged with overseeing transport and slaughter), remains secretive and out of sight of the general public”.

What obviously needs to be done is a massive crackdown on illegal slaughtering houses, cattle smugglers and corrupt officials who work in connivance with the cattle mafia. And more importantly ensuring the humane treatment of animals.

May 31, 2014

Suggested Website for more information on cow slaughter in India – http://www.occupyforanimals.org/india–cow-slaughter-and-the-illegal-cattle-mafia.html

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