Link #73: India Is Home to More Than 300 Million Cows!

Link #73: India Is Home to More Than 300 Million Cows!

 

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Link #73: India Is Home to More Than 300 Million Cows!

cows india
India – Haridwar – 002 – cows wandering aimlessly among the pilgrims. Image credit: mckaysavage cc2.0

Up until 1998, the Guinness Book of World Records recognised Yonge Street as the longest road in the world. If you read our last post then you know that this street is also one of the oldest as it was used by Huron Indians even before it was paved.

Indians have been around for a long time, whether you consider western Indian natives or eastern Indians living in the country of India. In fact, India boasts of one of the oldest civilisations in the world along with the Chinese.

As is the case with most old cultures, Indians have customs that seem strange to westerners. One of these is the way they view cows. Because Indians see cows as sacred animals, they currently have more than 300 million cows!

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How Many Cows Does India Have?

cow milk india
Milking Indian Woman. Image credit: VinothChandar cc2.0

As per 2007 estimates by the National Dairy Development Board in India, India currently boasts of more than 300 million bovines. That is about 30 percent of the global population of bovines. This makes India the country that has the most cows in the whole world.

The total figure of bovines in India includes cattle and buffalo both. This also means that India is one of the leaders in the world with regard to milk and dairy products production.

On a yearly basis, Indian cows are known to produce about 125 million tons of milk. There are so many cows in India that if you visit any major city, you have a high chance that you will see cows walking on its streets. There is a reason why there are so many cows in India and why they’re allowed to roam the streets freely.


Why Does India Have More Than 300 Million Cows?

Sacred_cow
The Sacred cow with 84 Deities, c. 1912, Ravi Varma Press. By Ghostexorcist PD image

Cows have always held a religious relevance in Hinduism. Hinduism isn’t only the oldest religion in the world but also the biggest religion in India. This is precisely why cows walk the streets of the country.

There isn’t any solid mechanism for dealing with cows that are no longer useful. Moreover, no Hindu is willing to hurt cows, so they are let loose. When on the streets, no one wants to hurt them especially since they are fairly docile and gentle in nature.

At the same time, there is actually a law in the country that prevents the slaughter of cows. Except for two states which are West Bengal in the far east and Kerala in the far south, slaughtering cows is banned in the country. The laws, however, are slightly more lax in the case of buffalo slaughter.

The laws of the country even prevent the cattle from being transported over the borders between states and across the international borders.

While the prevalent religious sentiment is against cattle slaughter and the laws ban the same too, India is a country where cattle slaughter is done illegally. Either the cows are transported to Bangladesh covertly or taken to states where slaughter is legal.




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Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle_slaughter_in_India#Delhi
http://www.packpeople.com/the-200-million-cows-of-india/
http://hinduism.about.com/od/vegetarianism/a/holycows.htm
http://www.nddb.org/English/Statistics/Pages/Population-India-Species.aspx
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/how-indias-sacred-cows-are-beaten-abused-and-poisoned-to-make-leather-for-high-street-shops-724696.html

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