Animal Writes
From 19 January 2003 Issue

No Bloody Udders in Uttar
By Robert Cohen - [email protected]

In [email protected], Robert Cohen wrote:

On January 6, 2003, the slaughter of cows was banned in India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. The population of Uttar Pradesh is 180 million. If Uttar Pradesh was a nation unto its own, it would be the fifth most populous country on planet Earth.

Should an entire civilized humankind follow that example set by Uttar Pradesh by banning cow slaughter?

Life for cows on dairy farms is nothing like the tranquil scenes depicted upon the sides of milk cartons. America's happy cows (as marketed by the dairy industry) do not enjoy being separated from day-old calves which have grown within their own bodies for nine months. No mammalian mother would happily accept such a contradiction against nature's plan. Nor do cows enjoy having their tails cut off (docked) or the hairs on their udders singed with blowtorches, or being packed into vans and transported to slaughterhouses when their milking days abruptly end after not being able to satisfy a dairyman's arbitrary daily quota for milk that was originally intended for her calf.

Imagine that moment of slaughter.

After living an entire life on a dairy farm, the fear caused by a long line of animals before those who await the same fate of a stun gun, sharp knife, butcher's slice to the aorta, smell of gurgling blood and saliva, spray of milk, blood, urine, and feces, while hanging upside down, supported by a chain attached to one leg, struggling, while life ebbs away as a final consciousness struggles to come to terms with "why?"

Although steak from cows is served in many of India's big-city restaurants, that beef must now be transported over state lines. The penalty for slaughtering a cow in Uttar Pradesh will be as much as seven years in an Indian prison and a fine of $290. Per capita income in India is equal to $2,200.

The sixth day of January, 2003, was a day of glorious redemption in Uttar Pradesh. Indian regulators raided slaughterhouses and rescued over 1,100 cows whose destiny it was to die violently by the hands of men. 

Each glass of milk or wedge of cheese represents enormous pain. Every bowl of ice cream or slice of pizza is an insult against a living creature who exchanges her lifetime of indignity for one moment of human pleasure.

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