"My job is not an easy one" said the veterinarian regretfully. His unwilling witness, Smita Krishna Swami, leader of Sweden's ISKCON Almvik farm, was forced to take part in an act that, for him, was unthinkable.
The vet had just given a fatal injection to a 20-year-old _______ox who was nearing the end of his natural life span and had become incapacitated. Such euthanizing of animals is forbidden in Vaishnavism
A 20-year-old ox on the farm, named Bala, was nearing the end of his natural life span and had become incapacitated. The usual procedure in such situations, which happen regularly on ISKCON farms all over the world, is to make the animal as comfortable as possible by supplying food, water, shelter, and pain medication when necessary, until death occurs of its own accord. IKSCON community members, including children and others who are well-known to the cow or ox, attend to the dying creature, chanting and praying and stroking it lovingly, until it draws its last breath. This practice is rooted in their theology, which honors the sanctity of all life, even that of an individual ox.
Mississippi, USA – ISKCON’s New Talavan farm recently mourned the loss of one of their oldest friends, the bull Bala. Srila Prabhupada visited the 1300 acre farm once in 1975, inspiring the devotees there to take up cow protection. Since then, the community has acquired over 100 cattle, and its always hard to see one of them go.
Farmers can breathe easy after scientists discovered that working with manure can drastically reduce chances of developing lung cancer. New Scientist magazine reported dairy farmers were five times less likely than the general population to develop the disease.
After a five hour drive from Delhi we arrived at the Patajali Yoga Pith Guest House in Haridwar where we were kindly received and rested for the night. The ancient town of Haridwar at the foot of the Himalayas is considered to be the gateway to the heavens.
Rick and Julie Vreeland opened Freedom Hill Farm last year as a place for kids, but quickly found themselves fielding an unexpected request: The people who came wanted to buy raw milk.
In August 2007 the Vreelands began selling raw milk. In that first month they sold 13 gallons of it; last month, they sold more than a thousand.
A celebration of all things bovine is underway as part of Britain's first ever cow carnival. The event, organised to celebrate the cow and everything associated with the animal, is being held at Bhaktivedanta Manor, in Letchmore Heath, this afternoon.
Donors from India, England, and across the US have pitched in to “bale” ISKCON Alachua’s Save the Cow program out of the red this winter.
Balabhadra Dasa, co-managing director of ISCOWP (International Society for Cow Protection) along with his wife Chayadevi, is currently in a stable condition at home after suffering an unexpected heart-attack.
Monks and farmers celebrate arrival of cow destined for life at new Hare Krishna eco-farm. The birth of a calf on a farm near Watford would not normally cause tears of joy among onlookers. But Gangotri, a female calf, might have been in danger of drowning in the celebratory deluge from farmers and monks when she was born on Friday after a two-hour labor.
New Delhi (PTI): Two police officers were injured when a group of people, protesting after discovery of a cow carcasses in their village, pelted stones on police personnel in south Delhi on Saturday. Residents of Dera village in Mehrauli informed police around 6.30 AM that their cows were found slaughtered in the nearby jungle and claimed that their remains were thrown in the village.
Subhangi Devi Dasi lives in Vrindavan, India. Recently she was awoken early in the morning to witness a site none of us would even dream could be happening. Krishna’s cows are being violently kidnapped in the night. It is believed the cows are killed and sold for their flesh and leather products.
“I was sleeping,” Subhangi Devi Dasi says. “At 2.00 am I hear cows crying, people screaming and yelling. I run out to my balcony and see a truck backing away and cows franticly running in all directions down the lanes, all crying. I have never seen that in Vrindavan.”
There was a time when red meat was a luxury for ordinary Americans, or was at least something special: cooking a roast for Sunday dinner, ordering a steak at a restaurant. Not anymore. Meat consumption has more than doubled in the United States in the last 50 years. Now a new study of more than 500,000 Americans has provided the best evidence yet that our affinity for red meat has exacted a hefty price on our health and limited our longevity.
Indian beef production is predicted to increase by 5% in 2009. This is reported to be due to strong export demand and rising domestic consumption (ZMP and Brazilian Meat Monitor). According to reports, production of mainly buffalo meat is set to rise to approximately 2.7 million tonnes. Around a third of production (850,000 tonnes) is predicted to be exported, mainly to South East Asia and the Gulf states.
(Bihar, India) Some years ago it was discovered that owners of Vanaspathi oils were putting cow and pig lard into the oil. There was a furor which died down after a few months and no one knows till today what happened to the Jains who owned the enterprise – but I have little doubt that they got off and a few bureaucrats and policemen are richer.
A new environmentally-friendly farm complex will be the star attraction in Aldenham next weekend for a celebration of the Hindu festival of Janmashtami. More than 65,000 people are expected to visit Bhaktivedanta Manor in Hilfield Avenue to celebrate the birth of the Hindu god Lord Krishna.
To the delight of many devotees living in rural ISKCON communities, the GBC (ISKCON’s administrative authority) recently set guidelines instructing all GBC members to spend 10% of their time boosting farm projects.
Do any GBCs really spend 10% of their time promoting rural projects? Are the guidelines making any measurable change?
Sankar Sastri admits that his first few months of retirement were a shock. After 28 years as a professor of metallurgy and then acting dean at the New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn, Sastri had moved to a 42-acre property outside Bangor and begun what he called the Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary.
Production of the most expensive pint of milk in the UK will be expanded after Hare Krishna farmers in Aldenham agreed a deal with a Kent dairy.
Organic milk from cows that will be retired to a sanctuary once their milking days are over is starting its first deliveries this week in north London and surrounding areas, bringing about a revolution in milk production.
The world’s largest Janmashtami festival outside of India at Bhaktivedanta Manor attracted more than 60,000 pilgrims on 21st and 22nd August. This year celebrated the launch of the Ahimsa Dairy Foundation, which sells milk from cows that will be retired when their milking days are over and uses bulls to work the land.
On October 15th, ISKCON`s New Talavana farm community celebrates the fifth annual Festival of Cows. Visitors can taste and purchase local produce, like vegetables, dried fruits, honey, ice cream, cheese and chapatti cooked on open cow dung fame.
On the 30th of December, the Hungarian Parliament passed the new religious law that is in lieu of the one cancelled by the Constitutional Court earlier in December. The next two months will still remain crucial in defining ISKCON Hungary`s future for decades.
There’s more to a Big Mac than meets the eye -- besides killing innocent cows. The following video takes a look at the real cost of a Big Mac burger, from the health factors to economic contributions.
In vedic society, the cow is not considered a money-making machine but a sacred animal, an entity who softens human passions, elevating humanity to the mode of goodness so that it can lead a peaceful and harmonious life. The cow is considered very sacred in vedic tradition for very good reason. It's good qualities are those that we can emulate.
At the European Leaders’ Meetings this fall, ISKCON leaders discussed a common dilemma for devotees today: do we drink milk? Or do we avoid it, since today’s store-bought milk supports the slaughter industry? The answer is to drink milk from our own protected cows. Unfortunately, there are few ISKCON dairy farms in the world today -- but there are some.
Our own lives would improve if we started showing some basic decency to the 9 billion cows, calves, pigs, lambs, turkeys and chickens that are slaughtered a year in the United States.
These cows have been providing milk for their owner for years, but he could not afford keeping them anymore. Thanks to the German fundraising campaign, these animals avoided the chance of being slaughtered. Watch how they react.
The United States Department of Agriculture has listed ISKCON’s Gita- nagari Farm in Port Royal, Pennsylvania as one of the most important success stories of preservation and sustainability in 2013.
"COWSPIRACY: The Sustainability Secret" is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following an intrepid filmmaker as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today, and investigates why the world's leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it. This documentary will be as eye-opening as "Blackfish" and as inspiring as "An Inconvenient Truth." See more at: cowspiracy.com
A husband and wife devotee couple are trying to live a simple life on Canada’s Prince Edward Island according to ISKCON Founder Srila Prabhupada’s instructions – with inspiring results. Gaura Nitai Das, originally from Scotland, and Lala Gopala Dasi, a Cree native from the White Bear reservation in Saskatchewan, Canada, were both initiated by Srila Prabhupada at Bhaktivedanta Manor near London in 1976.
Recently a man was jailed for hunting badgers with a dog, and another was fined for shooting a seagull. But when it comes to the meat industry it seems that any amount of cruelty is acceptable.
The Indian president has approved a bill which bans the slaughter of cows and the sale and consumption of beef in the western state of Maharashtra.
He is a kathavachak (narrator of religious lore) with a difference. A devout Muslim by birth, Faiz Khan is a firm believer in the need to protect cows.
ISKCON's Govardhan Ecovillage is saying that rearing these animals would add much more to the economy rather than killing them.
Two unique opportunities have arisen in New Vrindaban, West Virginia, USA. ECO-Vrindaban, a non-profit organization that promotes Prabhupada’s ideals of simple living, cow protection, engaging oxen, local agriculture, and above all, loving Krishna, is searching for managers for its ox care and garden programs.
On June 28th, 2015, at 8.45 AM on the auspicious Padmini ekadasi in the greatly auspicious month of Purushottoma, amongst the sacred cows in the holy land of Vrindavan, Mathura, Kurma-rupa Das left his body surrounded by devotees, Vrajavasis, and uplifting Hare Krishna kirtan, with sacred tulasi on his tongue and head and his salagram-sila on his chest.
Kurma Rupa Das has lived in Vrindavan, India for many decades. He established Care for Cows, an international network that helps abandoned, sick or injured cows in Vrindavan for more than 25 years. He has been actively working to create awareness, educate, give guidance and support to likeminded charitable organisations worldwide. He passed away on June 28th in Vrindavan, India. A video by Syam Gopal Das and Vijay Radhika Dasi (www.vrindavanexperience.com)
Kurma Rupa was born to Mexican parents and grew up in New York. At 21, he was drafted for the Vietnam War. “While I was in the army, I prayed for the first time in my life,” he recalls in the recent short film ‘My Part of the Bargain.’ “I prayed very intensely that, ‘My dear God, if you save me from having to go to war, then I will figure out how to serve you.’”
This year’s Save the Cow Kirtan Mela at ISKCON’s New Talavana farm in Mississippi drew around one thousand locals and devotees for a family-oriented festival centered around cow care.
Take a close look at these two plants, we took the seeds from the same fruit and we put them in pots six months ago. What is the main difference that makes it so dramatic? A video by The Vedic Way.
ISKCON Daiva Varnashrama Ministry invites all ISKCON Temples and ISKCON Centers to perform a special Go-Puja to Mother Surabhi on January 1, 2016.
Soon after registering ISKCON in 1966, Prabhupada began requesting his disciples to start a rural community.
The cow shelter is the region's biggest and is operated by the Muslim Educational and Welfare Society of Jodhpur. Over 200 cows, most of them old and sick, are taken care off here by a team of veterinarian doctors
To spread awareness of the importance of cows for a peaceful society, the devotees at New Vraja Dham organise a special festival every spring to celebrate the first grazing of the cows after a cold winter.
This summer and fall, for ISKCON’s 50th anniversary, the GBC Ministry for Cow Protection and Agriculture will run conferences on simple living in four continents. It hopes that the conferences will also launch a support network for ISKCON farms around the world. The Ministry was first established in 1998 by Balabhadra Das of the International Society for Cow Protection (ISCOWP), who emphasized working with oxen and encouraged devotees to take up cow protection as a key part of their mission.
In the 21st century more and more emphasis is being placed on the protection of animals, the reduction of violence towards animals, changes in the consumption of animals as food for humanity and the understanding that animals are sentient beings possessing feelings and emotions. In fact the rights of our animal brothers and sisters are being discussed and debated within society as never before. A new booklet is an offering written by Mukunda Goswami and Mandira Mani Dasi and an important contribution to this worldwide change of consciousness toward animals.
On the most auspicious occasion of Gopastami, ISKCON Kanpur held ca large event with many awareness programs about cow protection, also launching Sri Surabhi campaign and seminars for farmers. The event was graced by the presence of two of the cities prominent officers District Magistrate Mr. Kaushal Raj Sharma and Kanpur Development Authority Vice Chairman Mrs. Jaishree Boj.
These two bull calves were rescued from a dairy recently by the activists of ISKCOWP (International Society of Cow Protection.) These calves will be protected for life and trained as an ox team to show their usefulness as an argument against their slaughter. In the dairy they are considered useless because they do not produce milk. Unless rescued they will be sold as meat. More information about the project: http://iscowp.org. A video by Chayadevi Dasi.
From the spiritual perspective, cow plays a vital role in providing core ingredients for worship. Cows 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.
With a sudden boom of new Krishna conscious farm projects in Central Canada, their leaders gathered to discuss how they could collaborate with each other at the first ever Central Canada Farm Conference on December 17th. Canadian GBC Bhaktimarga Swami and farmer Sukhayanti Dasi brought together twenty-six devotees from seven agrarian projects across Southern Ontario and Quebec for the conference, which took place at the King Edward Park Community Centre in Brighton, Ontario.
Salvador was rescued from a dairy farm in Chile by the Equality Sanctuary Interspecies. Now six months later, he's enjoying life and loves the affection he receives from the caregivers who saved him.
This Gir calf was rescued from a breeder just before she was about to be dehorned and branded. Even though her horns will grow towards the back of her head and not to the front, where they could be used as a weapon, dehorning would have been done. Dehorning is a painful and bloody process. A video by Chayadevi of ISCOWP.
A rescued dairy cow whose previous babies were all taken from her, hides her newborn calf in a field so the humans won’t find her and take her away. A video by Buzz60.
On the auspicious day of Lord Nityananda's appearance the ISCOWP crew based in Alachua, Florida, offered arati to the cows. Instead of offering treats also, they let the rescued calves out of their barn for the first time. They also opened the gates for the rest of the herd to let them onto another pasture so they would be getting new grass to eat. A video by Chaya Devi of ISCOWP.
Krishna-valley, Hungary, is one of the main cow-protection centers in Europe. This video by Kunjabihari Dasi captures the happy moments when the cows are let out to graze on the fields for the first time, after a long cold winter.
This bull has live his entire life in chains. Watch his heart-warming reaction when he's set free. A video by Gut Aiderbichl.
This is the first in a series of lessons that ISCOWP plan to publish with the intent that someone who watches them should attain a good idea of how to train oxen by voice commands from the beginning of their oxen's lives to their maturity. A video by Chaya Devi.
A calf just saved from being dehorned and branded is in the trailer entering the International Society for Cow Protection (also known as ISCOWP) Florida farm. Her name is Draupadi Amba. Another calf saved from the same fate and from the same breeder is already at the ISCOWP farm. Her name is Sri Vasanti and Draupadi is about to be reunited with her. A video by Chaya Devi of ISCOWP.
Kalindi was only three years old and had produced 23, 096 pounds of milk but she couldn't get pregnant again and her milk production had fallen below 60 pounds a day when the dairy farmer who owned her was about to sell her for meat. ISCOWP members purchased her and saved her from becoming meat on someone's dinner plate. This video is about her life and the life of two of her friends (also saved from slaughter) two years later.
This is ISCOWP's first ox training video made in 1995. it contains comprehensive instruction for training a young team.
The UK's first "slaughter-free" dairy farm, Ahimsa dairy, is hoping its model will be picked up upon by other farms. Dairy cows are usually culled when they get older and cannot produce as much milk. But for Ahimsa dairy, the older cows are "retired".
This is lesson 3 teaching the voice commands Get Up and Whoa. More lessons to come. These lessons will take the viewer through the training process from infancy to adulthood or full working capacity. The goal is to show the usefulness of the ox as an alternative to his slaughter. A video by ISCOWP.
The event showed how far ISKCON farms have come in networking and working together particularly over the last decade, with conferences now regularly organized in four continents by the GBC Ministry of Agriculture and Cow Protection. Because the ISKCON Farm Conference began in Europe in 2008, however, the 10th anniversary event focused on European farms.
The Cow Seva Kirtan Mela Festival was hosted by the Hare Krishna devotees of the ISKCON New Talavan farm community in Mississippi, USA. William Dove (Balabhadra das) gave three Srimad Bhagavatam classes about the importance of cow protection. The Srimad Bhagavatam is one of the holy scriptures of the Hare Krishna Movement. Below is a video of one of the classes entitled "Krishna is a Cowherd Boy."
This video shows Balabhadra (ISCOWP president William E. Dove) with students Chaitanya Connor and Hari the ox. The location is at our old farm in West Virginia now owned by ECOV-Vrindaban. The occasion was the meeting of the North American ISKCON Farm Conference. Showing what Hari can do in his first stages of training was the emphasis of the Ox Training Seminar Balabhadra gave. The purpose of training oxen is to defeat the widespread opinion that the ox/steer is useless unless sold for meat. A video by ISCOWP.
The Mayapur Goshala is a very peaceful and serene place, allowing anyone who comes to have a wonderful experience of offering service and worship.
The Sri Surabhi App will serve mainly as a “friend raiser” involving devotees in various activities related to the OM Sri Surabhi Campaign as well as a “fund raiser” (to support local village/rural projects and campaign initiatives.
Over the past few years, the ISKCON Ministry for Cow Protection and Agriculture (IMCPA) has been bringing ISKCON farms together for biannual continental conferences. Now, the Ministry is beginning strategic planning meetings every other year, to foster team building.
On Sunday, May 20, 2018, a conference on Cow Culture was held at the India Community Center, Milpitas, California, USA, organized by the Om Sri Surabhi Campaign.
The founder and director of Care for Cows expired due to cancer in 2015 at the age of 67. But the organization he started continues to support and care for destitute and abandoned cows in Lord Krishna’s holy land of Vrindavana, India.
Srila Prabhupada once said, “Unless in the human society the Varnasrama system is introduced, no scheme or social order, health order or any order, political order, will be successful.”
About 350 people streamed in through the rustic cob entranceway of ISKCON Alachua’s Eco Teaching Farm on October 27th, buzzing and excited to attend its third annual Fall Festival and learn more about simple living and higher thinking.
While recognizing cow protection as an important branch of our Krishna Conscious society, training and working with the oxen remains to many an ideal yet to be achieved. The upcoming Ox Training Seminar to be held in New Vraja Dhama, Hungary between April 17thand 24th, will shed more light on this important, yet less practiced side of cow protection.
Cow protection has been going on at Australia's thousand-acre farm in some form since its establishment in 1977.
People who appreciate proper standards of Deity worship tend to look to ISKCON as an example. Over the years, ISKCON has established a reputation of having high standards of Deity worship. However, the Deity Worship Ministry warned the GBC that if proper care is not taken to maintain and improve standards of worship, this reputation could slip.
Since 2016, the ISKCON Ministry for Cow Protection and Agriculture has been organizing farm conferences all over the world, to share best practices, create networks, and inspire new projects. Now the fruits are starting to show, with more exciting plans on the way.