India raises its chest with pride in being the world’s largest producer of milk. It is probably the only place where milch animals are both worshiped and killed for meat in different cultures. Strange paradox and yet we exist together in a country undisputed most of the times if not all. Many eyebrows were raised when National Diary Development Board came out with figures that showed an increase in the monetary value of milk and meat from 2004-05 to 2011-12 by measures that cannot go overseen. Where at one moment it was a moment of contentment in the domain of production, it gave a shock to the country, when the veil was lifted off. The animals that bore the responsibility of making the country fit and healthy went through a sequence of their tortures and states of turmoils.If vegetarians are happy thinking that by not consuming meat they avoid invoking killings and suffering then this is to better inform them that they do the most.
Let me explain how. Everyone need proteins right? And apart from the flesh, vegetarians make up to their nutrient requirement by consuming more milk.
“So whats wrong in that?”, You might think! , “At least I am not killing anyone.” Well you are doing worse. Milch animals are treated as no more than just machine. The horrible truth goes like that.
Cows and Buffaloes, bred for milking, are inseminated many times over a short period of time. Since the milk production is more at the time the animal gives birth, cattle are impregnated at least once every year for cows and every 15 months for Buffaloes, to get maximum profit out of it. Sooner after birth, within days, the calves are separated from their mothers causing emotional trauma for both the baby and the mother, which leads to 15-30% increase in milk production, again feeding the greed for profit. All of the mothers milk is then sent for human consumption. The females are injected with oxytoxin shots and other hormonal shots so that their body produces much more milk than usual. It is literally forcibly sucking out the life of poor creature.
The repeated milking via machines causes the udders to swell due to unnatural suckling, sometimes even giving electric shocks to the cow and causing infections. The calves that get separated are frightened and bewildered. The female calves are reared for the same torture they would witness on maturing while most of the male calves are sent to slaughter houses or abandoned, probably left to starve. Few, healthy ones are used for breeding. Sometimes they are used for labor and undergo castration without anesthesia. Once they are old, the males are sent to slaughter houses. The number of male cattle account to just 35.57 % against 64.42% females and counts to 85.18 per cent female against 14.8 per cent male in buffalo, which clearly shows the undesirability of the male cattle.
To keep the production going on the animal husbandry manual provided by the government recommends re-impregnation around 60 days after the previous delivery. Any longer interval would cause loss and if it is shorter the milk production would be low.Ever wondered how it would effect health of a human female getting pregnant and giving birth at the same frequent interval?
With the females the same process of insemination, impregnation, separation, continuous milking followed by possibility of mastitis or breast infection. The cattle are stuffed in an unhealthy environment and subjected to tortures throughout their lives. They are treated more like milk producing machines than animals. Milk production reduces after three to four pregnancies, post which the females are sent to slaughter houses as well. Such inhuman practice is done in a country where cows are considered sacred by the most populating sect and carried out by the same people. If this is not ironical then what is. The ill-practices to innocent creatures spits on the pride that Indians show in being foremost in milk production. Diary production involves killing. Production of beef is just a part of this process. The annual report of Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries clearly states an increase of milk production from 102.6 million tonnes in 2006-07 to 127.9 million tonnes in 2011-12 referring to various plans and measures taken up. The truth finally lies in the fact that the poor animals undergo ill fated consequences of these plans and policies.
All in all, a milch animal has to go through more distress than an animal reared solely for meat. But that doesn’t bother us from having our filter coffee or bed tea. We take joy in the fact that we are taking in milk and hence treating our health well. The poor animals on other hand suffer throughout their lives and go unnoticed to their graves, one after the other. This seems worse than being reared for meat where the animals are fed well and finally terminated in one go.
Today we don’t talk here about milch pets. We take up an issue of absolute cruelty that has gone unnoticed for so many years and is projected as an achievement rather than a misdeed. Animals are not being taken care of as they should be. The question just circumferences around economical or uneconomical, overseeing the ill-fated lives of the milch animals.It seems there is no point in feeling good being a vegetarian if you have supplemented milk in your protein build-up diet.now.Taking care of a milch pet is a far cry here. The diary farming today is an issue of survival under struggle for these cattle. In the end it only clears the glass for the fact that the process followed in production of milk is as gruesome as in that of meat if not more. If you really want to extend a helping hand towards those milch animals, reduce that extra cup of tea or filter coffee which you have got addicted to, to begin with.
This piece of writing is not intended to focus upon caring for your milch pets rather it solely focuses on how to provide a better life to our bovine friends. After all they are also living and deserve to be treated far better and not so inhumanly.