One thing I learnt after traveling to 14 Indian cities, small towns, and villages all across India, and passing through many more cities, villages and towns, is that there are cattle, cows and buffaloes, everywhere in India. Actually, India is full of cows! From the alleys of Vrindavan to the lush green pastoral space of September Goa. From the streets of Ahmedabad to the hippie bastion of Western India, Pushkar, cows could be found everywhere. I traveled in trains on major routes, passing through majestic Western Ghats, plains near the Aravalli range of mountains, through disconnected villages with no motorable roads, through cities, small towns, and big towns, but one thing was everywhere and in huge numbers, Cows. Oh, Cow!

They were grazing grass 1,800 meters above sea level on Guru Shikhar, a peak in Arbuda range of mountains, near Mount Abu. They were also taking an evening amble on a beach in Goa. I saw them bathing in ponds more than I saw humans bathing in a pond or a lake. I saw them on an island in the Asia’s biggest manmade lake near Udaipur. I saw them grazing grass at Amber Fort, Jaipur. Literally, practically, and logically, they could be seen everywhere! You can also look at the photo series I have published on Cows from all over India.

Later, I researched and found out there are so many cows, oxen, and buffaloes in India that if they would have their own country, it would be 6th highly populated in the world, according to Indian government. They have a population almost equal to that of Pakistan. But forget it for a second, I am sure this census by government of India isn’t that trustworthy. I am sure they must have missed millions of stray cows chewing endlessly on city roads, villages, highways, mountains, railway tracks, and everywhere else. I am sure there is more cattle in India than estimated.

(Update: Well, I was right. According to US Department of Foreign Agricultural Services there will be 301 million cows, oxen, and buffaloes in India in 2016, 100 million more than what Indian government said in 2012.)

Imagine, if they would have enough brain, there could have been a chance that they could topple humans and come in power in our country. Yes, there are so many cows and buffaloes!

But why am I telling you? Because I am sick of the hue and cry by thousands of hypocrites in India over beef eating.

See, according to me, there can be two positions practically possible in such an easy but pseudo-complex case! Either you love all livestock animals or you are indifferent to them. Practically, most of the livestock animals have hundreds of uses, and Cow isn’t the only animal which is special. So, logic!

Now, if you love all livestock animals, that is, Cattle, Buffaloes, Sheep, Goats, pigs, Horses & Ponies, Mules, Donkeys, Camels, Mithun and Yak, then you will work hard to protect them. You will work hard so that people know their importance and voluntarily stop eating them (I understand some livestock animals only come in that category because they are used as food after being killed, like Pig, but then, if you care for Cow, you shouldn’t stop caring for Pig. Right?). Even after that, you must realize the importance of keeping their population in check and not letting it grow more than what is required. We don’t want another “Animal Farm” happening anywhere near us.

Second, if you are indifferent to their killings, you may eat them without much care, it is a major help in keeping their population in check! But there is still an issue with such people, that I would raise at the end of my polemical essay.

People don’t like to keep things simple. So, we also have a third category of people. A bunch of hypocrite religious radicals, who won’t do a single thing to really protect livestock animals, but care only for one of the many livestock animals, i.e. Cow. Oh, Cow! They don’t really care for you. Their main concern is to not let Muslims kill you, because according to their limited literacy and knowledge, only Muslims are real danger to your unnecessary killings. They aren’t aware that eating beef – you after being killed and cooked properly – has nothing to do with a religion. Many among Hindus, Sikhs, tribal people, and atheists hidden behind the garbs of Hindu and Muslim families, eat beef. They don’t know beef is cheapest, so the poor eat beef. But why is beef the cheapest? Oh, our country is full of your species. Then, they are also not aware of places like Goa, and states in North-East India where beef is openly available, and consumed as a staple food. Well, they also don’t know that India is the second biggest exporter of beef. So much of the beef hypocrisy!

There is also a sick fact here. Around 24 states out of 29 have banned beef in India. Holy Cow! When did India start teaching its populace what to eat and what not to?

An ideal Hindu cow with a non-Hindu cow as seen in the quiet marketplace in central Pushkar, Rajasthan, India.

An ideal Hindu cow with a non-Hindu cow as seen in the quiet marketplace in central Pushkar, Rajasthan, India.

How is one of the many livestock animals, Cow, related to Hinduism?

First, there used to be no such thing as Cow being sacred in Hinduism. Yes, they never really ate beef, but that is it. A Sacred Cow is a modern propaganda spread only after the Maratha ruled us, and British colonized us. Hindus love all animals, that is why they are mostly vegetarian. Don’t you know mouse is the ride of Ganesha? And Ganesha having the head of an elephant? And Varaha. i.e a boar being the third incarnation of Vishnu? And when Vishnu turned into a turtle to save the world? And when he turned into a fish? And the half human-half lion incarnation? And the buffalo being the ride of Yamaraj? And Garuda (half human-half bird) being the mount of Vishnu? And Hanuman being a monkey himself? Oh, cow! There are so many animal loving examples in Hinduism. How can they love only one? How can they forget about others?

So, practically, if you think Cow>other animals, you are an illiterate hypocrite, and definitely you know nothing about Hinduism. Second, if in your love for Cow, you think Cow>human, then you are walking on a path on which your own God, I hope you believe in one, would send you to hell, I hope you believe in hell as well, since you believe in God!

My suggestion to you is clear. If you love Cows, love all livestock animals, don’t give privileges to Cow because you read somewhere Cow is your mother! Well, Bull can be your dad, and Camel, Goat, Mithun, Yak, Sheep, and rest of the livestock animals can be your siblings. Oh Cow! You have a duty to save all of them (and why not non-livestock animals?) because all of them have their own uses! And even if you are adamant that you will only love cow, well, it is your choice, but remember killing a human is a crime, and also remember to respect those who don’t love cows. We live in a free country and you have no right to impose your principles on someone.

Now the problem with those who are apathetic towards beef. Why can’t you respect those who love Cows? Mutual respect is part of our society and culture. There will always be differences in opinions and principles, but does that mean we go on a virtual war? Google the meaning of the word empathy and show some towards them! Condemn the hate mongers, crowd instigators, whose who like to ban things, those who politicize such issues, but do not hate those who love Cows! It is their choice and wish to save Cows, and you must encourage them, abide by law (which doesn’t allow you to have beef in 24/29 states), and be happy!

Indian Secularism doesn’t say we must forget/abandon all religious practices to come together as one. It says each citizen must respect religious practices of others. Thus the difference between Indian secularism and French secularism.

How do you feel about this?