In 2012 battery cages for chickens will be formally outlawed in the Europe Union . Finland, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Norway have already banned battery hen cages. This decision comes as a result of the sustained campaigns by millions of Europeans. 

Unfortunately in India , the animal welfare groups have not yet taken up the cause of animals raised for food. Fifteen years ago, I went to court to protest the working of Idgah, the main slaughterhouse of Delhi . The Supreme Court shut it down. Fifteen years later an even worse one has come up. But now no one complains because the butchers have learnt their lesson and become partners with their MP and the state government. Consequently no one is allowed to enter it, film anything or look at the records which are been faked everyday to show one tenth of the animals that are actually being killed.

The Supreme Court passed a direction three years ago ordering the Animal Welfare Board of India to inspect all the slaughterhouses. A man on the Board took on the duty to inspect the ones in Kerala. He traveled in a car owned by the butchers. He stayed at posh hotels and he never saw the inside of a single slaughterhouse before he filed his report that “All Izz Well”. He was caught by animal welfare activists when filing fake bills. He is no longer on the Board. But not a single inspection has taken place since.

There are two areas where the animal welfare movement needs to turn its attention to : the cruelty in professional poultries and the traffic and killing of cattle. 

While there are thousands of things wrong with the way chickens are reared, one cruelty which can be removed easily if we all get together and campaign is the battery cage for chickens. India 's factory farms confine 140 to 200 million hens in battery cages and there is little "cage-free rearing of chickens." Last month the the Dalai Lama has condemned battery hen farming and is urging consumers to switch to buying eggs from chickens kept outside of cages. "Turning these defenseless animals into egg-producing machines with no consideration for their welfare whatsoever is a degradation of our own humanity," the Buddhist spiritual leader said "Switching to cage-free eggs would reduce the suffering of these animals."

Most caged birds have less than the size of an A4 sheet of paper to move on. They cannot even raise their wings or turn around. Their suffering turns into anger and they try to bite the bird next to them. But they cannot because, anticipating this, the poultry owner has cut off their beaks and their toes with hot knives and no anesthesia. They live and die in agony
"The abuse we inflict on hens has always been particularly disturbing to me and I have always been particularly concerned toward how these animals are treated in industrial food production," says the Dalai Lama. 

I came across a beautiful letter written by an Australian. I thought you should read it:

“I heard a person arguing with another. She said: You want all the dogs to be tied up all the time. Fine. But since we know that dogs feel and behave as humans, as an experiment, let's try replacing the word “dog” with the word “uncle”. Would you feel the same way ?
It got me thinking. What if we followed the logic consistently?
For example: 
Replace the word "calf" with "daughter". Would we still crush her rib cage and kill her?
Replace the word "Sheep" with "sister". Would we still terrify, traumatize and send her to be stabbed to death?
Replace the word "Chicken" with "child". Would we cage her so she couldn't move, burn off her lips, and kill her as soon as we had forcibly fattened her beyond recognition?
Replace the word "cow" with "mother". Would we still drag her screaming on a chain to the kill floor and hack her body into bits, while her friends watched in horror?
Replace the word "food" with "friend". Would we still torture and kill TWO BILLION of our friends every week?
Think of them as humans in another form . That doesn’t mean you get silly and dress up your dogs. It doesn’t mean beds with linen, hundred-dollar dresses, obesity-inducing diets, nail polish spas, handmade soap and doggie mascara. It means you start thinking of chickens, pigs, cows, buffaloes, goats who are crammed into small spaces, fed rubbish and then killed after breaking all their limbs in overloaded trucks. Frightened babies are torn from their distraught mothers. Chickens have their beaks cut off; cows have their horns pulled from their heads; pigs are castrated—all without painkillers. Then they are herded into filthy, slippery transport trucks and taken to slaughterhouses where they are strung up by their legs and their throats are slit.

Even if you are vegetarian, what are you doing against these horrifying crimes? What will your answer be?
The first thing we need to demand is that the Indian Ministry for Agriculture and Animal Husbandry put down the law to order all poultries to keep only cage free birds. 

Cage-free does not always mean "cruelty-free" but cage-free hens generally have 250 percent to 300 percent more space per bird and are able to act more naturally than caged hens. If Europe can do it so can we.

Maneka Gandhi
 
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Cultures all over the world view animals in different ways. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata, two great Indian Epics, are an excellent example of how animal characters are portrayed positively in ancient India. In fact there is no Ramayana without animals. What inspired Valmiki to become a great poet? The experience of seeing a bird in love shot dead by a hunter. In shock and sadness he cries, "You will find no rest for the long years of Eternity, for you killed a bird in love and unsuspecting!" For days he cannot get these lines out of his head and repeats them over and over. Lord Brahma understands the inspiration that Valmiki has come across and instructs him to retell the life of Rama in a poem.

The Ramayana is the most glorious celebration of animals. There is no distinction between human beings and other life forms and the same qualities and emotions are felt irrespective of the species. Both sides have animals – and while the humans can be bad , the animals are not . Ravana’s palace was guarded by four and three tusked elephants , horses and strange animals but there is no report of them taking part in the war. The author Valmiki's comment. "All living beings, including those which are born in animal wombs are eager to do good to Rama, even by sacrificing their lives."

When Ravana abducts Sita, it is the vulture Jatayu and his brother Sampati, sons of the charioteer to the Sun, who fight with him and dying, inform Rama of the kidnapping.

When Rama sets out to find Sita he is informed by a wise old woman that the monkey Hanuman can help him. Who is Hanuman ? The son of Vayu, the Wind God, and Anjana the monkey. Which clearly sends out the message that even animals are of divine descent. Rama helps Hanuman’s friend Sugriva of Kishkindha kill his elder brother Vali – but in this slaying , no attempt is made to make Vali the “bad guy”. In fact it is written in an almost disapproving style indicating that Rama is flawed. Sugriva becomes the king of the tribe and calls all the tribes to search for Sita. Their strength is increased by the bears led by their king Jambavan. They come to the edge of India and Hanuman volunteers to jump across to Sri Lanka to see if Sita is there.

Hanuman jumps across the sea, turns himself into a cat , explores the kingdom and finds Sita in a grove. He sees Ravana come to woo Sita who refuses him. Hanuman reveals himself to Sita and takes back a message from her asking Rama to come and rescue her. Before Hanuman returns he begins to destroy Lanka in a fit of rage but Sita stops him by asking him to leave some for Rama to finish off !!

When Lakshman and Rama dither at the thought of attacking Lanka it is Jambavan who urges them to have courage. Rama resolves to fight. He leads all of the animals to the ocean shore where they are confronted with the problem of crossing. Nala the monkey becomes the architect of the bridge Ramasetu that presumably stands till today. I do not think a human could have built that bridge thousands of years ago with stone, wood, grass and sand 100 leagues long and 10 leagues wide. Every animal helps in making it. Monkeys of all sizes, shapes and hues scramble to collect branches, stones and large boulders and drag them to the shore, piling them on top of the other in the sea. In four days the task was almost complete. When Nala and his monkeys put the large rocks , they find the water pushing through the crevices of the rocks and gradually dislodging them. Five little squirrels come and asked to fill in the gaps. Rama agrees (and it is said that he rubbed his fingers down their backs leaving three beautiful colored stripes.)Within minutes, hundreds of thousands of little squirrels come running out of the forest. They roll on the sand and then roll on top of the crevices closing up all the leaks until the bridge was strong enough for Rama's army to cross.

The animals cross the bridge and thousands die in each battle. But they refuse to give in and little by little Ravana is pushed back. Indrajit, his son, takes over the attack and millions of animals die. Indrajit is invisible and when he throws his huge axe , it flies through the air heading straight for Rama. Sugriva is suddenly afraid for Rama's ability to knock down the flying weapon. He jumps up and throws his body in front of Rama. The axe hits Sugriva square in the heart and he dies instantly.  

Lakshman is mortally wounded. It is Hanuman who fetches the mountain with the herbs that cure him. Indrajit and Ravana are killed and the army of surviving animals returns to the mainland and to their own families. 

What are the qualities that make a human: intelligence, sensitivity, compassion, mercy, patience, courage, farsightedness and empathy. In the Ramayana all the animals have these qualities. The devotion and love that shines through these animals is the ultimate form of divinity.

The Ramayana has had a great impact on the culture of India. It gave form to the values of our society and giving role models of correct behaviour. There is increasing evidence that the kingdoms existed and that the battles took place in the years between 1200 and 1000 BC. If you say that, all the animal roles are mythological – then you must also say the same about Ram and Sita and stop revering them. But if they are/were real and are forms of the divine, so must the animals be. 

Maneka Gandhi
 
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One of the standard questions asked of me is who my role models are. Any creative person who has reached the top of their ability and is comfortable with doing good fits into my list.
 
At the moment my role model is Marianne Thieme. She makes me aware of how little I have done. Today I am going to write her story and beliefs in the hope that one day someone better than me will emulate her shining example.
Marianne Thieme is a Dutch politician and animal activist.
 
She is the chairperson and founder of the first animal rights party in history that is represented in a national parliament. Her Party for the Animals has won two seats in the Dutch National Parliament, nine seats in the Dutch Provincial Governments and one seat in the Dutch Senate.
 
This is, mind you, in a country that only eats meat and cheese. A country whose people are regarded as dour and without imagination. This is not India where 50% of people, and all the most influential people including the Minister for Environment, the Prime Minister and leaders of opposition are all vegetarians. This is not India where animal rights is enshrined in the Constitution and there are hundreds of animal welfare groups. This is not India where even the Dalai Lama has tutned vegetarian and banned chicken/meat shops in Dharamsala.
 
This is the heart of Europe 
 
She is not the odd person in Parliament : someone who is treated as a guest artist and provides the comedy. Thieme has been voted Political Talent of the Year by the Dutch parliamentary press and Most Influential Woman for Farmer’s Incomes by the leading Dutch magazine on agriculture. She writes in all the Dutch national and regional newspapers on factory farming, hunting, animal testing, bird flu, ritual slaughtering, fur, fisheries and vegetarianism. Here is what she has to say:
 
Q: How did the Party for the Animals get started? What contributed to the formation of the party?
 
A: On November 22 2006 a historical breakthrough was achieved in the struggle for animal rights. For the first time voters elected members of a Party for the Animals to a national parliament.With two seats, we achieved a victory acclaimed by champions for animal rights across the globe. Similar animal parties are being set up in other countries.
 
We are on the threshold of an unstoppable march towards giving animals a voice and a place in our legal system. This march is the result of a like-mindedness, which transcends status, political preference and religious belief, and allows everyone to contribute to the ending of this moral blind spot that has dominated our society for decades.
 
In the Netherlands , animal suffering is often hidden from view, or we simply do not want to acknowledge it. Each year in this country, millions of factory farmed animals are sent to slaughter after living short and miserable lives, and millions of minks are killed for their fur. More than a hundred thousand dogs and cats are dumped in shelters, and €500 million is spent on animal experimentation every year.
 
Q: What were your immediate goals and expectations as you formed the party?
 
A: During the mid-1990s, a favorable political climate for animals emerged. For the first time in history, there was a more or less animal-friendly majority in parliament. This came about as more progressive parties won power from the conservatives.
 
The Socialist Party, Green Left, the Labour Party D66 and the Christian Union formed an animal-friendly parliamentary majority. But the so-called animal friendly parties made it clear that not too much should be expected of them. The protection of animal rights featured in their party manifestos, but clearly was not a priority. Other parties managed to reverse and dismantle animal welfare policies in parliament. Animals became objects once again to eat and serve the economic purposes of people.
 
This is why a plan to set up a Party for the Animals was made in 2002. It was set up initially as a reminder to the parliamentary parties about the many good intentions set down in their manifestos and to speed up their implementation. We hoped that breathing down the necks of the existing parties would finally lead to justice being done for animals. This was essential at a time when the political and social agenda was dominated by issues such as security and integration, and standing up for animal rights was contemptuously regarded as a subversive activity that showed weakness rather than strength.
 
That the strategy worked became immediately evident when the plans for the party were launched and we were able to participate in the elections.
 
Overnight, Green Left set out its new top ten election priorities, which suddenly included animal welfare, while previously animal welfare did not even make it into the top 50. Other parties also jumped on the bandwagon after we established the Party for the Animals. They realized that animal welfare was becoming an increasingly important issue for the electorate. One party even wrote words into its election song letting people know that animals were more than just meat!
 
However it was only on the election night itself that people suddenly stopped laughing off our attempt to make a stand for animals. During the broadcast of the election results, to everyone's surprise it became clear that Party for the Animals had scored high! 
 
Our ambition to put animals on the agenda was achieved, but we had to go further. We knew that if the animal protectionists in the existing parliamentary parties could transform themselves into a group that was even half as fanatical and tenacious as the politicians that the factory farmers use to defend the interests of intensive farming, then it would not take long for the advantage to be decided in the favor of the animals. The Party for the Animal's role will be to continually stir things up in an intelligent and determined way. Until the time that animals are widely respected, we must continue to do everything in our power to ensure that we keep animal welfare at the top of the political agenda.
 
I assure you that standing up for animals does not mean that we are blind to other issues. In our manifesto we made 220 proposals for people, healthcare, the economy and housing aimed at achieving a better society. We want to work towards a society where animals and people get a better life. We are a new political movement based on compassion, durability and respect to man, animals, nature and environment. It is a fantastic experience to be part of a new movement that is not hindered by the existing political priorities, but instead consciously breaks through the framework. 
 
What has been her experience in the parliament been so far? Is she fighting for legitimacy? “ In the last debate on agriculture, 80% of the time was spent on animal welfare and animal rights for the first time in history. Does that answer your question? People from all backgrounds, including Christianity, are supporting the party. Which is the fastest-growing political party of the Netherlands . We are a secular party, so there is no religious approach in our message.” 
 
One of the achievements of the party is that the Netherlands may soon pass a law banning halal killing of animals – where the animal is killed by slashing its neck while conscious – something that is routine in India where the trade is run by Muslims. The bill is expected to go to a parliamentary vote this month. Most Dutch favor a ban.If the Netherlands does outlaw this procedure, it will be the first country outside New Zealand to do so in recent years and willjoin the Scandinavian, Baltic countries and Switzerland .
 
What I want to see in India is a party that stands for compassion towards all people, animals and environment. That promises the only things that matter: water for all without making rubbishy large useless dams, electricity for all using alternative energy, good health and good education by making it relevant. And no corruption. What a wonderful country this could be. While lots of decent people would love to make such a party, the problem is – are you ready to vote for your own wellbeing and freedom?  
 
Maneka Gandhi
 
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Seven dogs sleep in my room at night. The blind and deaf albino Great Dane, Gudiya, who was dumped in a gutter sleeps on the bed. The blind Labrador, Karan, abandoned in a market sleeps on his mat. Arjun who is half wolf and was abandoned because he howls instead of barking has his mat. Jairam who had a collar put on him when he was born and was abandoned when the collar ate into his adult neck and filled his body with pus, goes in and out. Devi and Bahadur who were brought in hairless with pneumonia and broken legs sleep under the bed. Bahadur is a mix between an Alsatian and a Lhasa Apso. Shankar was abandoned because he has no upper palate so all the food he ate came out through his nose as he sneezed. He curls up in a corner.
 
Bahadur’s hair has grown out a deep thick brown. He spent the whole of last week going round and round on his bottom trying to reach the base of his tail. I thought he was suffering from the trauma of beatings, broken legs and abandonment. He turned out to have fleas and when I parted his hair I saw cuts where he had scratched himself and little black eggs.
 
This morning I saw a large grey-black oval shaped pea sized creature climbing the wall. This is the mother tick who will give 4000 babies high in a crevice on the ceiling and then they will crawl down again and into dogs.
 
So know I know the season of fleas and ticks has officially arrived. Every dog in my shelter (we have 450+) has been given a flea bath and it will bring them relief for a few days. We have called in a fumigator next week to deal with the ticks.
 
Every animal is affected by fleas and they turn every animal crazy with irritation – the same as lice in your head make you insane. Fleas are small, black insects about 2mm in length. They live in the bedding and coats of dogs and cats and feed on their blood. The first sign is the scratching at the base of the tail. Close examination of your dog will reveal these small, black insects moving rapidly through your dogs’ coat. If there are few fleas present, only flea dirt may be evident which will appear as small, black specks. This is actually flea faeces, which is passed through the insect after sucking blood from your dog.
 
Some dogs may tolerate fleas well, with only very slight scratching. Others can show a severe allergic reaction to both flea bites and flea saliva. This can result in intense scratching and chewing of neck, ears, thighs and base of the tail. Your dog may also spin around quickly to chew itself when the flea bites. In extreme cases, your dog’s skin may start to scale and discolour. Hair loss and secondary bacterial infections may also occur.
 
Adult fleas lay their eggs on the dog within a few daysl. These eggs will drop off onto carpets and bedding. From here, the eggs will hatch to produce larvae that feed on organic matter found in the environment. The larvae dislike light and tend to live deep in the carpets and in soil. The adult flea is attracted by body heat, vibrations such as a dog walking by or by exhaled breath (carbon dioxide).Once this host is found, the life cycle will start over again.
 
To control fleas, you must treat all your animals on the same day. There are many treatments for your dog on the market,I use Bayticol Pour-On. It is meant for cows (has a picture of a cow on it) and is made by Bayer. You take it out with a syringe and put two drops on the base of the back of the neck and middle of the body on the spine and on the base of the tail. It is effective for 15 days
 
Ticks are small, light grey, rounded insects which feed on blood . They can be found anywhere on the dog’s body so look between the toes and inside the ear flap as well as the armpits. Peak activity is between the months of March to June and from August to November. Most of their life cycle is spent outside in grass but they can also survive in cracks and crevices in the walls and floors of kennels. The male has legs, the female does not. Detick your dog twice a day because they can cause allergies, anemia and tick fever which causes death. When a tick is removed from your dog’s body, it is important that its mouthparts do not remain embedded in your dogs skin or this may result in irritation, infection and abscess. 
 
There are insecticides viz., Ridd liquid and shampoos (Notix Scrub Liquid) available in the market that will kill ticks and if you use these regularly, they can help prevent infestation. (Notix forte powder) I hate recommending insecticides because then you have to wash your hands when you touch the animal. But all my “gentle solutions” of boiling orange peel and putting the mush on the dog for hours and then bathing it have failed in the face of numbers : I have 24 at home and hundreds in the shelter. 
 
To remove an attached tick, use tweezers You need to remove the tick without squeezing its body. 1. Grab the tick by the head or mouth parts right where they enter the skin. Do not grasp the tick by the body. Pull firmly and steadily directly outward. Do not twist the tick as your are pulling. Do not do stupid things like applying petroleum jelly, a hot match, or alcohol. These irritants may cause the tick to deposit more disease-carrying saliva in the wound. NOT squash the tick with your fingers.. Kill it by stamping on it or put it in a jar of spirit or kerosenet. Ticks are NOT killed by flushing them and it is cruel to burn them as they can’t help being ticks ( Please God , don’t make me a tick in my next life as punishment for all the ticks I have killed) . Wash your hands thoroughly.
 
You can get a tick/flea collar but they hardly work. I am waiting for Dr Batra to bring out a homeopathic remedy or ointment. In fact I am waiting for a homeopathic company to bring out a veterinary section for diseases that allopathy surrenders to: distemper, parvo, for instance.
 
This is what my hospital’s medical director, Dr Baruah says:
 
Treatment of flea and tick infestation
 
•Deltamethrine/Cypermethrin/Permethrin-75 ppm - application on the body & in the premises 
•Ivermectine @ 200 ug/Kg - s/c or oral administration 
•Spot on Fipronil/ Imidacloprid/ combination of Fipronil & Imidocloprid 
•Fipronil spray 
•Nitenpyram (oral)/ Selamectine 
•Lefeneuron - orally - treatment of next generation of fleas 
•Tick/Flea collar - cleaning of collar with brush 
 
Common tips for control of fleas and ticks
 
•These are present on the body of the host as well as in the premises. Ectoparasiticidal formulations must be used simultaneously at both places for effective control. For treatment of the infestations in young pups and cats, the premises should be treated more frequently to cut down the infestation. 
•After every outdoor activity the body should be combed thoroughly at least for 5-7 minutes before entering into the premises to dislodge loosely attached ticks and fleas. 
•The body coat should be examined daily. 
•Soaps and shampoos containing insecticides should not be used indiscriminately as the insects become immune to them. 
•Eucalyptus oil in the pocha is good and perhaps one drop in the shampoo when you bathe the dog> Safe for the kids and the environment. Borax is great for fleas. It is not toxic and you can sprinkle it on your carpet. Let it sit for a few days and then vacuum or dust it up. You can sprinkle it around the garden. Vacuum and pay special attention to corners, cracks in the floor, under furniture and dark areas. Vacuuming will not only eliminate fleas from your floor, but it will also get rid of any eggs, larvae and pupae making a home in your flooring. If you don’t have a vacuum, I would recommend very hot water. It is important to use a once-a-month preventative like Advantage or Frontline, which will both kill what’s on your pet, along with preventing future infestation. 

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Krishna’s relationship with cows is the ultimate relationship between man and animal. They are not his “pets”. They are not to be used and discarded. He does not love them because they are beautiful, pedigreed, give milk. He does not even attribute human characteristics to them while loving them : that they are gentle, wise, loving, generous, patient, noble and sinless.
 
He loves them because they are him and Radha and his 16,000 wives and gopis in another form. He is non judgmental with his love. The ultimate lover sees neither the qualities of his beloved nor even her species, shape or personality. He loves because that is his nature. I do not love dogs and cats and horses and ants and eagles and mango trees. I love because all of them are me and it is the ultimate self love to see myself in every blade of grass and therefore to be respectful of it. How many times has a human been reborn ? How many lives have I spent as a donkey or a mouse or a cockroach or a sunflower ? My soul is the same, how many different bodies has it occupied ? Therefore how can I love just my current species – and that too , only a few people in it – when I have been all species.
 
But why the bond between Krishna and the cow ? It is not by accident that he has been made a cowherd in the epics. Or that he spent his formative years in Gokula (meaning herd of cows), the area on the banks of the Jamuna now in Mathura. 
The Srimad Bhagavatam says that Krishna knew the name of each cow of Vrindavana. If any cow was missing Krishna would immediately call her by name. The cows were divided into herds by color, black, white, red, or yellow. In each colour there were 25 further divisions. There were also eight herds of cows that were spotted or speckled or had heads shaped like a mridanga or that had tilak marks on their foreheads. Each of the 108 herds had a herd leader.”Thus when Krishna calls out, ‘Hey Dhavali’ (the name of a white cow) white cows comes forward, and when Krishna calls ‘Hamsi, Chandani, Ganga , Mukta’ and so on, the other groups of white cows come. The reddish cows are called ‘Aruni, Kunkuma, Sarasvati, etc., the blackish ones ‘Shyamala, Dhumala, Yamuna, etc., and the yellowish ones are Pita, Pingala, Haritaki, etc. “
 
The Krishna Bhaktas trivialize the reasons for Krishna ’s love for cows. Because they are beneficial to humans. They give milk ( They do not give milk to humans . They produce it for their own children and we take it from them). They allow him to secretly meet Radha and the girls who take the cows into the forests (this is equally mad) Their lives are always for others ( again rubbish. If left alone , they care for their own families as we do). They have no lust ( have they never seen a bull on heat ?) If we worship the cow simply because it is of economic benefit then the scriptures should be equally ecstatic about horses, goats, pigs, businessmen, gold. The worship of the cow goes much deeper than that. 
 
The word Gau or Go itself means fair, light,white, golden, beautiful. When my son Varun was getting married in Varanasi , the first ritual of the marriage was for the priests to ask him his Gotra (Dattatreya). The gotra which means lineage also means herd of cows. Gaurav , meaning the sound of a cow, also means glory and prestige. Another name for Jupiter, the moon , Seshanaga ,Sage Chaitanya and Siva is Gauranga or cow coloured. Gauri or cow coloured is another name for the Earth and Parvati . Daybreak is Gaushra: the time of cattle grazing. Gautama, the name of the Buddha comes from Gau Uttama meaning the ultimate cow, remover of darkness, the ultimately fair , wise and beautiful. Gautami is another name for the rivers Gomati ( with the wisdom of the cow) , Godavari ( giving prosperity) and Durga. Krishna is known as Gopala, Godharin, Gomateshwar, Gopa, Govardhana, Govinda,Gosvami. Gopati is another name for Vishnu, Siva and Varuna. The ultimate paradise is Goloka meaning cows world - the paradise of Krishna situated on Mount Meru on which dwells Surabhi the mother of all cows
 
I have met many enlightened souls. I know now is that nothing they say is meaningless or pointless or even metaphorical. Even when they say things that sound general like ‘be happy’ or “drive safely”you discover later that there was a specific applicable meaning. Why has the cow been chosen ? In all the religious texts there are three animals that are repeated again and again as important and to be revered : the snake, the monkey and the cow. The snake is associated with energy, the monkey with intelligence, innovation, bhakti and humility and the cow as the ultimate and best in everything
 
I do not believe that these are metaphors or chosen at random. Reading the scriptures and listening to the experiences of all those who have attempted enlightenment , I realize that these animals that are being referred to are the actual animals and they actually are what they are supposed to represent. As we kill the snakes the earth loses its energy, our constant war with monkeys depletes the intelligence of the human race and its ability to think its way out of the mess we are sinking into and our ceaseless killing of cows by Hindus who sell them and Muslims who kill them and the government which boast of killing the largest number of cows in the world ( our leather export is Rs 27,000 crores which is only of cowskin. If each skin is Rs 300 , how many cows is that ?) , our tolerance of them being smuggled to Bangladesh , our acceptance of thousands of illegal abbatoirs –we have lost our desire to strive for the best. Which of us is now the best at anything or even wants to be the best ? A weariness of the spirit , an acceptance of mediocrity, corruption, bad education, third rate lives, bad health, criminal governments , wars, endless destruction, has settled on us. 
 
The protector of cows, Krishna Gopala is the greatest mind, both for civil administration and war. The highest devotees are the Gopis or cowherdesses. Goloka is the highest destination . As described in the Brahma Samhita Lord Krishna on His planet, Goloka Vrindavana, engages in tending the surabhi cows.” Could it be that the cow is the ultimate deity ? That god has chosen to test us by putting our 33,000 gods in our midst and then he watches to see what we do to them ? If cows are the deities for Lord Krishna this has to be the highest form of worship . 
 
Krishna is not a cowherder only because he was sent to be raised by Nanda and Yashoda of Braj village who owned cows. He was sent to them Because they owned cows. He is still herding cows in His eternal abode Goloka. Why do the saints from Vyasa onwards say that the cow is to be worshipped? Why are our idols bathed in milk and cow urine – the panchgavya. Why does the Skanda Purana say “Offering respect to the Cows will help the devotee to diminish the reactions to his past sinful activities” Could it be that people who serve Krishna’s cows and see them as Gods are the most fortunate and achieve results in the simplest manner . There must be a reason why the wish granting of the universe is put into Kamadhenu , the wish fulfilling cow.  
 
Vedic philosophy teaches there are 7 mothers: 1) the birth mother, 2) the nurse, 3) the wife of the father (if she is not the birth mother), 4) the wife of the king, 5) the wife of the spiritual master, 6) the earth, and 7) the cow. 

Do Not treat the cow as an animal, to be used and discarded. Treat her well and your wishes might come true.
 
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