Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Caring for Cows
By Harikirtan Das   |  Dec 09, 2016

In this age of rapid industrialization and unprecedented communication explosion, human values have been distinctly neglected. Though there are advertisements exclaiming advancement in comfortable and happy living conditions, but the facts give a strikingly different picture as we keep hearing the horrendous stories of increasing new facets of violence, dwindling health status of the people mainly due to psycho-somatic diseases, diminishing social, moral and culture values and alarming environment hazards. If we probe into the matter logically from Vedic perspective, the root cause of all problems becomes very evident. One of the prominent factors is the neglect of Mother Cow.

From the spiritual perspective, cow plays a vital role in providing core ingredients for worship. The worship becomes redundant without those ingredients. Cow largely influenced social life and economy in the ages when Bharath (ancient India) was the place for peace and prosperity, attracting the attention of the whole world. The intellect of the people has pathetically stooped low as cow is seen simply as food rather than provider of food. The Vedic scriptures describe cow to be the dearest pet animal of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krishna, whose insignificant portion of energies engage in creation, maintenance and destruction of numberless universes. One can imagine the magnitude of offense committed to the Mighty Lord by mistreating His cows.

Therefore the mankind needs focused training in taking care of cows. This would be for the good of the whole existence whether it be humans, animals or cosmos as a whole, lest it would all be at stake. Following are some observations on present status of Cow Care and the actions undertaken to protect cow and what more can be done.

Present status

* Cows, worldwide, are mostly seen as food (beef), now even in India (which has good standing in the world trade in exporting beef).

* Even if cows are taken care, this is also only until she gives milk (milk giving machine) and later they are neglected or sent to slaughter houses.

* Indigenous cows are replaced by other cross bred cows or buffalos for getting high milk yield.

* Consumption of cow milk is discouraged due to some misconceptions like cow milk creates more heat in the body. Meanwhile buffalo milk is widely used. Now a days people prefer buffalo milk because of its high fat content.

* The methods adopted for slaughtering cows are very heinous.

* Due to mechanized agriculture, bulls are out of work and thus they are ill-treated more than cows.

* Situation of cows on the street is very miserable. We see cows usually feeding on filth, plastic and other toxic material.

* Cow according to Vedic texts is to be treated as mother, but their getting beaten up or getting ill treated in many ways is a common sight in many streets all over India.

* The land officially allocated for cow grazing is encroached and used for purposes different from the actual cause.

* Huge consumption of junk food and synthetic foods has also resulted in loss of general interest to consume sattvik food like cow milk or cow milk based products.

* Rapid dwindling down of villages and village population is also an important cause for neglect in Cow care.

Ongoing activities to protect Cows:

* Awareness programs about the importance of cows are conducted widely across the country (India) by many organizations (like Sri Govind Gau Gram Prachar Yatra undertaken by ISKCON Daiva Varnasrama Ministry- India, OM (Our Mother) Sri Surabhi global Campaign undertaken by IDVM-India and many more ).

* Various cow products like milk products and pachagavya medicines are brought in use all over the world especially in India.

* Many goshalas are established hosting varieties of indigenous breeds.

* There are focused efforts to preserve the existing indigenous breeds.

* Lot of advance research works are undertaken to validate and support the therapy using panchagavya

* There are revolutionary usage of cow dung and urine in agriculture as natural fertilizers and pesticides proving to give far better yields compared to chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

* There are many inspiring speeches, articles and books written by many cow lovers invoking good sentiments and reverence for cows. 

What more can be done:

* Awareness programs to be organized on war footing without presenting the cows just for her valuable products, rather as a prime parameter to restore the quickly degrading Vedic culture.

* Regular worship of the Sacred Cow has to be encouraged in every house hold.

* The advantages of using bulls in agriculture and in other traditional occupation (eg.oil ghani) as against the machines needs to be propagated widely.

* Individuals especially the village dwellers and more so farmers have to be encouraged to keep cows and caring for them as their own family members.

* Usage of cow products has to be promoted more widely.

* Caution has to be exercised in accepting only ahimsa milk or cow products.

 * Distinguishing the nutritional values of A1 and A2 milk types

* Promotion of cow products especially cow urine and dung based agriculture, as the only hope and resort to the distressed farmer, especially in India.

* Setting up Panchagavya therapy Clinics and hospitals.

* Holding different seminars and workshops for the people from different backgrounds to study the importance of cow and get trained in preparing different products made out of panchagavya whether it be medicines or agriculture needs or food products.

* Attractive fairs, expos and exhibitions displaying cow products can be set up to give exposure to the common man.  

* A curriculum could be developed and introduced in the Universities to exclusively study the holy cow.

*Media which is promoting so many not so socially helpful programs can be put into proper use by presenting programs broadcasting importance of Cow care.

* Many more articles and books explaining glories of cows need to be printed and distributed widely.

* Developing existing village communities or creating new communities based on the principle of “Simple living and High thinking”, which focuses on depending on land and cow to procure all our material needs.

* The affluent class should step forward to adopt villages, especially adopting the cows to assist the auspicious program of Cow-seva and thus restoring the lost prosperity of villages.

* Keeping and caring for cows should become the sign of prosperity.

* Of all the above measures, the quickest way is to work towards raising our consciousness from temporary, destructive material consciousness to eternal, all pleasing God consciousness. In this matter ISKCON, a spiritual organization promoting Krishna (Supreme God) consciousness has changed many people in huge numbers from varied cultural backgrounds all over the world from passionate cow meat eating to divine cow worshiping. 

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