Since I came in touch with the concept of Veganism, I started contemplating about the painful animal agriculture and its’ harmful effects on the environment. To know more about cows’ suffering what can be better than to visit a cowshed (cum research centre) and have a talk with the responsible person himself. On this Independence Day I visited ‘Kamdhenu Godham’ in Tavdu, Haryana, run by Mr. S. P. gupta (Ex-IAS) & his wife Mrs. Shashi Gupta. Lovingly they take care of 252 cows residing there with the help of their staff of 25 people.
Here are the main learnings:
– Mr. Gupta told me that out of 252 cows only 18-20 cows are the milking ones, rest are either the rescued cows (who were going to the slaughter houses) or the ill ones, roaming around on the streets, awaiting their unfortunate & untimely death.
– He said, ‘in India on an average a cow gives only 1-1.5 litres of milk.’ (this was shocking indeed)
– Most of the milk we get in our homes is from Jersey cows, who give 50-60 litres of milk everyday, however the milk is not healthy at all. As it causes cancer, high blood pressure, increased levels of blood sugar, high cholesterol etc. If our milkman says that he is giving us the milk of buffaloes, he is lying as it comes from the Jersey cows.
Please note that Jersey Cattles are easier for milking due to their low cost maintenance and higher fertility, not to mention to provide the huge beef industry.
– A cow’s average life span is 30-35 years & she can give birth only to one calf at a time, for 23-24 years continuously. It is the best to milk a cow soon after her offspring sucks her milk.
– None of the cows’ excretion is wasted, with urine different products like phenyle, medicines etc. are made and with the cow dung manure is made & the biogas plant works on which their fuel consumption rests.
– At normal cowsheds the visit of a vet is rare however at Kamdhenu Godham the vet visits the cows twice a week.
One of my mother’s friends was habitual of having one kilogram milk every night before sleep. Recently she told my mom that whenever my cow didn’t use to give enough milk I used to inject her (obviously with hormones) so that she increase the amount of milk. To be honest this gave me goose bumps.
So at the end my conclusion is that indeed we have grown up drinking milk & consuming milk products, many a times in a day, but has it been fair at all? Trying to peep into the dairy industry is something we always avoid because we know after that neither we will be able to refrain from their consumption nor our inner voice will let us have them peacefully hence we choose to be ignorant, which is bliss.
Of course not everyone is like Mr. Gupta, who takes care of the cows with compassion. In this world of increasing demand of butter, milk, cheese, curd, actually now the list is endless; what matters the most is human self interests, be it taste or monetary gains. Veganism shows us the right path towards nonviolence, compassion & a healthy environment. The choice is solely ours.
Peace & love