Thursday, May 04, 2017

Gau Rakshaks or ..... Livestock Issues

Headlines for months had Gaushakas frothing over poor gaumatas, malingering in gaushalas. Plus 53 lakh abandoned stray cattle estimated in 2015.  Yet the South and Northeast rail against beef bans for their masses consume it.  So did all of India since Time Immemorial.
This was confirmed by Delhi historian, Jha’s meticulous research on beef-eating habits of Ancient Hindus, Buddhists and early Jains. He scoured ancient scriptures like the Vedas, Upanishads, Sutras, epics, Manusmriti, medical texts, Buddhist canonical Mahaparinibbana Sutta and Anguttara Nikaya, and the Jain Bhagavatisutra.
“No serious historian has disputed that beef was consumed in Ancient India.” Countering violent threats, the historian declares,   “I have given evidence, if they have counter-evidence, let them bring it forward.” Wondering whether those texts have even be heard of or read, he reasons  “I have texts and they go by blind faith. That is what a historian can and should do: counter faith with facts."
This author too read about deer meat consumption in a condensed version of the Valmiki Ramayan.
Let’s consider some facts: in 2016, NDDB released the livestock figures, in millions, from 1951 to 2012:  
buffalo       up from         43.4        to   108.7
female buffaloes          21.0                  56.6
cattle                            155.3                199.9
Female cattle               54.4                   76.7
goats                             47.2                 135.2
sheep                            39.1                   65.1

Now, the entire discussion is focused on Mother Cow.  Does that exclude Mother Buffalo?   And when we have many more goats than we have sheep, why is there such a flood of advertisements stating ‘We serve lamb, not goat meat’ that is usually associated with ‘meat’?      
Slaughter of so many lambs would endanger the future generation of that animal which produces wool as well.  Or are we heading for massive imports of lamb, from the new found Land of Gold of India Inc., Australia?
(Wonder if the gaurakshaks are aware that the aborigines there are genetically related to us Indians?)  
Statistics also indicate that we produced 3.643 million metric tons of beef in 2012; consumed 1.963 million metric tons and exported 1.680 million metric tons. That makes India 5th in production; it is 7th in consumption and No. 1 in beef export.
Let’s not lose focus…. The talk was about meat eating bans. We feed others beef, but not our own.   The demand for an all India ban is actually wide off the mark as most states already allow only economically unviable cattle to be slaughtered and make huge money on it too.
For, apart from meat, other cattle parts, from tongue, tails, skin, hooves, teeth, entrails etc. are all commercially viable, making it a big cash cow of Indian economy.
Many wonder at the oft-repeated argument that if Pakistan can ban pork, why can’t we ban beef? But beef is a hoary tradition. Are we in competition in foolishness with Pakistan?
The proposed ban will affect many industries, Especially the domestic hide industry. WORSE, GOI has decided on zero% duty on imported hides. ‘Desi’ is out and ‘Vedesi’ in.  Whatever happened to Make In India? 

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