Cow Protection-Go-Raksha-and-Urbanization

One should follow the cows, feed them sufficiently, and circumambulate them. If the cows are happy then Lord Gopala is understood to be satisfied.”

The real purpose of cow protection is to please the Supreme Lord Krsna. Milk, dung, urine, ghee, yoghurt and draught are the natural by-products and are considered most essential for religious rituals and producing the necessities for a wholesome life. In the Vedic agrarian model milk is not considered the goal of cow protection and a bull calf is celebrated more than a female calf as once trained, he is productive for more years than the dairy cows. “Excess males and unproductive females” are terms used by commercial dairy farmers that have nothing to do with cow protection but everything to do with cow exploitation. Urbanization and mechanization have rendered bulls unemployed whereas in the Vedic model the bull calves are valued more than the females as there is always ploughing and draught work to be done.

Go-raksha (cow protection) is done properly if one takes it as a religious duty rather than a career opportunity. In the former mindset one attempts to serve cows rather than be served by them; one aspires for spiritual gain rather than material gain. If a family keeps a cow and calf and has a few acres of land, a vegetarian diet is easily sustainable.

If you mean to ask will protecting a family cow produce enough income to maintain herself and provide for a family of five people with urban habits, then no, it won’t. In an agrarian setting cows actually give more than they take. However, when one tries to produce milk for commercial purposes and requires expensive farming equipment (tractors, bailers, combines, silos etc.) has to pay outrageous prices for veterinary aid, purchase homogenization and pasteurization equipment, conveyances to transport the milk to urban areas and so on, sustainability becomes a problem. In short, what makes cow protection unsustainable today is urbanization and consumerism.

Cows have a wonderful effect on the ecology. Their dung is known to be the best fertilizer and their hooves and horns have a nourishing effect on the earth. Since in the Vedic formula, ahimsa is the first principle, I think a vegan diet is better than one including commercial dairy products obtained by violence. But the best and most wholesome diet is one which includes milk obtained from a loving cow who is treated like one’s own mother.

References to cow protection abound in Vedic literatures like Mahabharata, Ramayana, Srimad Bhagavatam and other Puranas which describe an agrarian social structure and lifestyle focused on attaining spiritual rather than material goals. Modern man has lost his roots. Cow protection hasn’t lost importance but because urban man has become so successfully indoctrinated and acclimated to artificial living and consumerism he no longer understands or values the fruits of it.

These are the impotence of cow protection.

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