We Indians tend to seek and find God in everything, from stones to rivers to trees and even books. It is not surprising, then, that we see God in the gentle eyes of a cow.
Which makes it all the more ironic, then, that India is the world's largest consumer of milk and milk products.
I've often tried talking to friends, families and relatives -- usually not successfully -- when they insist that cows do not suffer, or die, to give us milk. Well, you know how they say a picture-- or a video-- is worth a thousand words?
A discussion on an Indian animal rights listserv sent me to this new video from PETA India that documents the abuses in the Indian dairy industry. I hope every one of you who loves milk products -- or thinks they cannot live without cheese or ghee or yogurt-- will take a moment to watch it. And think about it.
I remember the moment I decided I wouldn't eat meat again: Desi and I were hiking past a pasture in Costa Rica's beautiful Monteverde valley. We were the only humans around, and as we walked past the fence, dozens of cows trotted toward us and then just stood there and watched us, their eyes large and soulful and full of curiosity. It made me never want to ever hurt one again.
So next time you feel like some dairy, look into the eyes of a cow. Or watch this video. I couldn't embed it because it's been flagged by some YouTube "users" (read dairy industry minions), but you can watch it at PETA India's Web site right here.
Remember, cow's milk is completely unnecessary for humans. Vegetables and grains provide our bodies with more than enough protein, and alternatives like soymilk are easily available everywhere now, including in India. There really is no good reason why any of us should be consuming milk-- or curd or ghee or butter or yogurt or paneer-- anymore.