India, a country that formerly revered cows*, was also one of the most prosperous places on Earth. In fact the discovery of the Western Hemisphere by Europeans occurred when the Europeans were trying to find a shorter/easier route to India. Far from being a “third world country”, India was regarded as a place of high morals and prosperity. Here is an excerpt from Lord Macaulay’s address to the British Parliament on February 2, 1835:
“I have traveled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such caliber, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native self-culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”
Could this former prosperity be connected to the Indian people’s former treatment of cows? Here at New Nandagram in Glenoma, Washington, we think it is. We’ve personally experienced the peace and prosperity that comes from not only keeping cows, but from engaging them in contributing to our lifestyle. From our sweet milk cow, Lani Moo, we get rich creamy milk that we make into yogurt, ghee, cheese, butter, burfi and paneer. Our oxen act happy when they are asked to work. And all of them provide affection and fertilizer. Because we try to treat them as family members and they know that they will never be sent to slaughter, we are able to have an honest relationship with them. And the fact that they contribute means that our relationship with them is mutually beneficial. Srila Prabhupada, a great proponent of cow protection says:
“For human happiness, one must care for the animals, especially the cows. Vasudeva therefore inquired whether there was a good arrangement for the animals where Nanda Maharaja lived. For the proper pursuit of human happiness, there must be arrangements for the protection of cows. This means that there must be forests and adequate pasturing grounds full of grass and water. If the animals are happy, there will be an ample supply of milk, from which human beings will benefit by deriving many milk products with which to live happily. As enjoined in Bhagavad-gita (18.44), krsi-go-raksya-vanijyam vaisya-karma-svabhavajam. Without giving proper facilities to the animals, how can human society be happy?” Srimad Bhagavatam 10.5.26, purport by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Most people have not experienced, first hand, the prosperity and satisfaction that comes from protecting cows. In America cows are treated as a resource to be exploited. The people that keep cows act like tyrants, sending them to slaughter for profit and sense gratification. Consequently the Americans themselves are being progressively exploited with the government being progressively tyrannical.
At New Nandagram, we are opening our farm to visitors who would like to experience a lifestyle that includes cows without exploiting them. We have seven family members who are of the bovine persuasion: Dhana (matriarch), Makani (working ox), Lani Moo (milk cow), Torus (working ox), Tukaram (future working ox) , Ra (future working ox) and Precious (heifer). Please call or e-mail to schedule your visit. We’re looking forward to meeting you!
*India ranks 5th in the world in beef production, 7th in domestic consumption and 1st in exporting, according to Wikipedia.