Cow in the CItyThis unfortunate bovine was pictured in the older part of Bangalore – the confined streets of the Chikpet area. Here you can find Muslim sari makers all together, streets selling religious pictures, or such esotera as two streets comprised only of shops selling doorbells. Interestingly none of those had doors either – so no need for an actual doorbell on the premises at all.

But I digress, the subject in hand is cows.

Obviously the thing many people know about India is they revere the cow. Cows aren’t holy per se – they’re just much beloved by Lord Shiva. He rides about on the bull Nandi, and for a chunk of his youth Lord Krishna was very fond of gopis, who are the young ladies who look after cows. Very fond, if some of the more languorous images are to be believed. And of course Hindus are not only veg, but particularly against the eating of beef – for all the same reasons above, eating the fellow beasts of the holy vehicle of Lord Shiva, Nandi the bull, is much frowned upon.

So, being nice to cows and not unduly fencing them in is general practice. You do see people lightly herding them, and sometimes pulling them about on a string through their noses, but generally they’re allowed to roam free.

This is not only an issue for road users (and it really is very common to see them wandering about in traffic or curled up like enormous dogs sleeping on the side of the road) – but it means they often spend their days munching their way through delicious piles of garbage. Not good for the cows and definitely not good for the milk. I dread to think what chemicals are to be had in milk of this sort – all those PCP chemicals straight into the lactation cycle. Yuk.

This would be why, while the milk might be fresh from the dairy… it’s unlikely to be as organic as you imagine

Sadly the poor unfortunate cows often eat plastic bags and end up with them all twisted up in their many stomachs. There’s a few charities who rescue cows with this painful issue, operate to sort them out and then sadly have to let them carry on their way if their owners want to continue letting them wander about.

So, when you consider that – this cow’s fairly well looked after. Fresh straw, a sheltered spot and a glossy coat that implies a diet reasonably free from plastic bottles.

Doesn’t make you want to nip out and get a pint of milk though does it?


If you’ve enjoyed this post and fancy reading more about free range cows, then check these posts:

Bovines near bikes? Just a couple of parked up cows
Free-range dairy… right outside the house
All of modern India at the end of my road

And do please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.