Cow is supposed to be a sacred animal to most people in India due to its association with mythological events. For most vegetarians milk from these animals provides high quality proteins and micro nutrients for their sustenance. Though the animal is supposed to produce milk for feeding its calves during its productive period of life by Nature, man's ingenuity and innovative ability over the years have seen the milk production by animals like cows and buffaloes increase rapidly much beyond the needs of its calves. While technological means of increasing milk productivity is understandable, what is reprehensible is the cruelty perpetuated on these dump creatures by dairy farms across the country for cutting the cost and increasing milk yield as much as possible. In a recent report such practices have been detailed by the animal protection NGO PETA. Here is a take on some of the dastardly acts by dairy farms which are in vogue in India!
"Since 2000, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has repeatedly reported about thousands of illegal dairies across the country where animals are impregnated repeatedly and forced to produce enormous amounts of milk every day. Chained by the neck in narrow stalls, unable to move, and often lame as a result, the cows suffer from chronic debilitating diseases due to lack of movement and poor and unhygienic diet. Most are unlawfully injected with hormone oxytocin to make them give more milk. Oxytocin keeps their bodies in perpetual condition of labour, with repeated uterine contractions, destroying their reproductive systems and making them bone thin and eventually sterile. The man-animal interface has largely been taken over by machines: Most cows in India are milked by low-cost milking machines. They may have reduced drudgery for dairy workers but are painful for animals. The suction machines tend to take more milk out of the cows than what they would yield naturally. And they are often kept on even when udders have become dry, causing acute pain. Bigger urban dairies tend to be foul-smelling infernos, where the animals stand in feet-deep slush and dung, suffer from skin disease, other infections and TB. Death is a daily affair. But even in death they are useful: the carcasses are sold for beef and leather. The small dairy owners in cities and big towns send their animals out on the street to fend for themselves. They forage for food in garbage bins or vegetable markets. And what do they eat? Doctors at a Tamil Nadu vet school report that cows are brought in with gastroenterological problems as a result of swallowing large amounts of plastic waste. Doctors have witnessed cases where cows had swallowed more than 25 kg of plastic. On an average, every month, 10 per cent of cows brought in are found to have plastic deposits inside their bodies."
What is tragic is that, in spite of many agitations and campaigns from time to time to protect cows and respect them as man's friend, at the ground level nothing is happening to improve their lots. To stop killing is not certainly the answer but letting them live without pain or torture. It is time Government of India makes it punishable to maltreat animals like cows and those committing such crimes are made to undergo compulsory prison terms. A few Goshalas here and there in the country does not solve the problem and an organized effort is necessary to address the problem on a national level.