Call of the Conch-Part 1: By Joyce Sweinberg
WARNING: THE STILL AND VIDEO IMAGES IN THIS ARTICLE
ARE GRAPHIC DEPICTIONS OF VIOLENCE TO DAIRY COWS.
Lord Sri Krishna vividly describes the three types of foods,
Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. Milk in the olden days was definitely Sattvic.
However now it is 100% Tamasic due to the abundant violence and abuse it entails.
Drinking such milk is equal to eating beef. In fact the animals raised for meat
do not have to suffer so much as these unfortunate dairy cows are made to suffer.
In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Ahimsa (nonviolence) is considered the first principle of the spiritual life. Ramana Maharshi, the great sage of Arunachala has clearly stated, “Ahimsa Param Dharma”. Translated this means that nonviolence is the supreme religion… My friends, in order to gain peace, one has to give peace to others. This is the universal law as described and explained by the doctrine of karma. What we give to others, we give to ourselves. If we are able to learn this lesson by heart, it will influence our actions in this world. It is not an easy lesson at all.Nonviolence is the most beautiful expression and manifestation of the unconditioned recognition of the Nature of Reality. This is our conviction. This ideal is our aspiration. As many times as we fall, we get up and stand on the foundation of nonviolence as our nature. ~Dr. Harsh K. Luthar
Can you hear her crying?
There was a time, a time when the dairy cow was nurtured and revered for her milk, when the calf came first and the human after, when she was part of the family, not part of their property. When she lived out her life with decency until the end, even after she no longer produced milk. But that time is long gone, replaced by industry production methods aimed at one goal…profit. And in that goal, all decency was lost, replaced with the torture, plunder and cruelty of the present milk farms, both here in the US and abroad.
The female dairy cow spends her life confined in close quarters with other cows, being pumped with hormones calculated to produce pregnancy after pregnancy as long as she is capable of bearing calves, both to increase the population of the cows for milk and meat production and to spur the female to produce more milk. when her calves are born, they are taken from her within a few days of birth, giving rise to the grief of separation for both the mother and the child. (This and the fate of her calves will be the subject of its own article) Her body knows no rest, either from pregnancy, the drugs used to induce pregnancy and milk production, or the milking machines which relentlessly squeeze the very life out of her, slowly and painfully. This relentless assault on her body frequently causes her to develop mastitis, an extremely painful condition of the udder, which results in blood and pus accumulating within the infection and often being expelled into the milk.
The link below graphically depicts the puncture of an inflamed udder…
Although the average life span of the cow can be in the neighborhood of 25 years, the cow in the milk farm is ready for death after approximately 4-5 years. By this time, the multiple pregnancies, coupled with the hormones and other drugs pumped into her system have taken their toll. More often than not, by this time, she can barely walk on her own, either due to excess weight gain from the drugs and/or broken bones and the condition is often referred to as a “downed cow.” This has significance in the market, as a “downed cow”, by law in most states, is not to be introduced into the slaughterhouse and the meat which is being sold to the ever willing population of meat eaters. For this is her final destination…once she is no longer useful for bearing calves or bearing milk, she is sent to the slaughterhouse to be butchered and sold as meat.
A note about organic farming is in order. Although the cow may not be confined or treated with antibiotics and other drugs, it is quite likely that she will be impregnated, separated from her offspring and slaughtered in the end.
Even as she approaches her last moments, she is prodded and abused to keep her “up” so she can “walk” past the inspectors and into the knife of the butcher. The videos in the link below show the cows being hit in the face with sticks, prodded with electric prods, chained to forklifts and dragged just to get them “on their feet.” Once on the feet, the cow is continually pushed, her tail twisted, electric shocks applied to her, anything to keep her moving and get her into the kill box, where all of this will finally come to an end, and she will be slaughtered. The link below to the Humane Society video, taken undercover at a dairy farm in California, illustrates some of this abuse…
Abuse is not limited to America…
INSIDE THE INDIAN DAIRY INDUSTRY
“The cows are cramped into these trucks, with no food, water for days these poor exhausted animals are then literally thrown from the trucks on to the ground. Many cows break their legs, and bones and cannot walk, to hoist them to the slaughter house acid is poured into their eyes and noses or their tails are broken. These abuses are wide-spread because of lax laws and corrupt officials and the demand for cheap leather products. Some how when these cows are lead to the slaughter house, the cows are literally hammered by a large hammer on their heads and after they are immobile their necks are slit so that they are bled to death. At least their miserable lives have now finally come to an end. The farmer now gets his money from the dead cow’s flesh and leather and buys a younger cow to continue the cycle.” ~Shri Kamlesh
The cows pictured below, either because of broken legs or other diseases affecting them due to the abuse of their bodies in the production of milk, can no longer stand on their own. They are left stranded, unable to move, even to get away from their own excrement, unable to escape the violence which awaits them as they are either “euthanized” or butchered for meat production.
Many of the images below can be located at http://www.goveg.com/photos_cows.asp
with detailed explanations of the images…
Once they are forced up, this is where they end up, along with their male counterparts…
Having one’s actions grounded in ahimsa for the Lord’s creatures, all of them, calls to our spiritual conscience with the power of the sounding of the conch. The conch, held by Vishnu, the preserver, represents life. When it is sounded, it is the sound of victory, as by Krishna and Arjuna heralding the defeat of the adharmic influences in the battlefield of the mind symbolized in the Holy Gita. May the adharmic influences inherent in the dairy industry fall to the ground in defeat at the call of the conch.
Matkarmakrinmatparamo madbhaktah sangavarjitah;
Nirvairah sarvabhooteshu yah sa maameti paandava.
Whoever works for Me, looking upon Me as the goal;
whoever is My devotee, free from attachments
and from antagonism to any being –
such a one shall enter into Me. (BG 11.55)