(Picture from wikipedia)
Vedas gives a clarion call to protect cows. In Bhagavad-gita (18.44), cow protection is recommended (kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva jam). Krishna is the supreme well-wisher of the cows - go brahmana-hitaya ca. The Supreme Lord also appeared as a cowherd boy and took great pleasure in taking care of the cows; he in fact also played with them. Cow gives abundant milk which sustains life. Milks are also used to prepare varieties of other nutritious and delicious eatables. Not just in India but people all over the world use cow milk or its products. But sadly today in India cow killing has become rampant and people irrespective of their religious beliefs are involved in this gory business.
The problem in today’s India is that the moment you start echoing the values espoused in Vedic literatures the pseudo secularists and their henchmen in the media start calling you communal, fascists and most importantly anti-Muslim. This despite the fact that majority of the Muslims in India respect the Vedic books, are against cow slaughter and they also participate in festivals like Janmashtami and Ramnavmi. When Menaka Gandhi, a Union Minister in Indian Government and well known animal rights activist and environmentalist, raised her concern against cow slaughter then immediately the pseudo secularists lampooned her and labelled her as communal.
Cow slaughter industry is flourishing in the land of cows, India. Shockingly today India is one of the leading exporters of beef in the world next only to Brazil. The beef export increased by 31% during 2013-14. The slaughter houses get subsidies from the government which encourages people to get into this business. For many today killing cows have become more profitable than milking for years because killing and selling meat bring instant profit. The increase in fodder prices has also made milk production costly. Due to all these milk prices have also increased considerably. And most importantly getting pure milk has become very difficult. Earlier in India many people used to have a cow and those who did not have used to go to nearby goushala (cow shelter) where the milkmen would milk the cow in front of them. This would make sure that the milk purchased is uncontaminated. But today one can only get packaged milk or milk pouch whose quality is often questionable.
Scriptures say that a person has 7 mothers and one of them is the cow and so cow is revered as gau-mata (mother cow). But today people have become so callous, so disgraceful and so savage that they do not hesitate in inhumanly killing mother cow for money. The cows are also being abandoned by cow owners once they become non-productive. The cow which served their master by giving milk which sustained their life and that of their family members are unceremoniously driven out from the house once they become non profitable. It is the height of insensitivity. Such cows can be seen loitering in the streets for want of food and shelter. They eventually end up in slaughter houses or die on the road either by being hit by a vehicle or due to disease or hunger.
It is high time that sane and pious men understand the gravity of the situation. People need to be educated about the need of cow protection and simultaneously government should be persuaded to take strong action against those who indulge in such acts. Although cow slaughter is banned in many states of India but nevertheless people illegally with implicit support of the administration continue with the business. A human being does not become human if it does not show compassion towards other living beings.
Srila Prabhupada gave emphasis on cow protection. Many Iskcon centres and farm houses all over the world have cows which are well taken care. At Iskcon Mayapur goushala there are dozens of healthy and happy cows. Anyone can go there and see how joyfully they live. Those cows that stop giving milk or become unwell are not thrown out but are properly taken care. They continue to get their share of food, water, shelter and love. This is what scriptures teach and this is what every God loving person should do.
Mother is always a mother whether young or old or diseased. Her value cannot be determined in terms of monetary benefit. Cow is our mother and it is our responsibility to protect her and protest against her killing. All the cow slaughter houses should be closed as soon as possible and those who indulge in this gruesome act should be punished.