(Note: for any hardcore Hindu Nationalist/ extremely religious sensitive people, it is better advised to leave this article as soon as possible. For those swinging in between ‘liberalism, secularism, accepting of multi-culturalism’ and ‘Hindu Nationalism’ , well you can actually test yourself and find your position. This is my views, you can comment but do note give logical reasoning and pragmatic solutions to the problems I might put forward.)
It was not until last spring, I had always opted to ban on Beef Meat. Considering this as a horrendous crime any Nepalese can commit. Well, things are not the way they were before. With getting touched with many foreign friends, learning of their culture and getting touch with many people with equally opposite views on Beef Meat Stand, I have come to the following realization on why many don’t like to permit beef meat and why I find these reason rather rhetoric.
True this. Religion is very sensitive to talk about with vast majority claiming to follow ‘Hindu’ and talking about beef meat. Oh man! that’s more taboo than any other things in our contemporary society. Why no Beef? Because it’s believed that in scared writing of Hindu, Beef is not allowed? So, you are Hindu, that’s why Beef should be banned? So you are Hindu, how much of any scared chanting and hymns you know( I know of Lord Ganesh, Om Kar, Bhrama, Saraswati, Laxmi, Bishnu, Krishna, Shiva, Ram, Hanuman to name few)? So you are Hindu, yet opt for the meat of all other kinds except cow? Do you even chant looking at your palm before getting up from bed? Ever apologized Mother Earth for stepping up on her? Do you even know there exist hymn before eating food and also before sleeping? So, you are Hindu, when was the last time you actually went to Temple exclusively for a religious purpose (no dating, no meeting, no party)? Don’t get me started on chastity before marriage. Answering this will give you hint on what I am stressing. Not eating beef won’t make you true Hindu or save you from all other crimes/sins you have committed. Why to stuck on issues of Religion when you have done so many ‘unforgivable’ sins, eating Beef will neither make you sinner nor avoiding this will make you any pure.
- Secularism: You knew that I would have brought this topic up. Our Country is Secular with no state religion and with the freedom to practice their religion. Then why to ban Beef particularly based on our religion? Do not all other followers have equal right to practice their religion. Ain’t ‘banning Beef’ means imposing religious belief of majority to a minority? Why not the delicious pork you have on your table when you take a sip of beverages with your comrades or when you simply want to taste? Ever thought how our Muslim Brother might find this very offensive sharing a table or kitchen with people who eat pork? Eating from the same utensils that were used to prepared pork? Don’t pork eating culture of ours inadvertently make our Muslim brothers be part of sin they did not commit? It’s okay if we still make ‘Cow’ as our National Animals if the majority agrees but banning on beef meat solely based on religion in a secular nation is nothing but a relic of our orthodoxy belief.
- ‘Mother Cow’ and Modern Breeds: Probably, when sacred texts which supposedly banned beef was written, today’s modern breeds were not discovered or were not in existence in Nepal/India. Today, we do not drink the milk of the pure local breeds who are supposed to be ‘Mother Cow’. Today majority of the market is occupied these imported breeds such as Jersey and Holstein-Friesian, which are genetically engineered or improved to yield milk production and beef. Ghee we use nowadays is ‘firingi’ ghee not the original pure one we are supposed to use for our religious purposes or as dictated. Suppose that I agree about not eating our original ‘Mother Cow’, but what about those imported breeds and crossbreeds that elsewhere are consumed as meat? Everything is so commercialized already, modified and improved, yet reluctant to opt for Beef Meat.
- Street Cow: Hey, your mother cow is on street eating everything she gets on the road. She is old, uncared, unloved. What have you done so far except for sympathizing or expressing sorrows? ‘So you consider cow as the mother, but let her suffer on the street?’ In every street, we can see such old cows. Many often disturb the traffics, sleep on the road with no hygiene and food to supplement. In fact, If I have to speak in very straightforward manner, you do not actually care. Of all the activities that you have done, have you ever thought about their management or done anything?(well, I just feel lucky for myself to be with people who are actually taking care of them. Kudos to you guys who are volunteering your veterinary services at Bageshori Gaushala.) Excluding this, I have seen many people posting it but doing nothing. Perhaps, due to restriction on meat, costly effort to take care of them after they go dry and no proper management tactics being presented so far, Many cows are seen on the street. What if beef export was permitted or made legal in Nepal, we would have to never hear such heart rendering stories of street cows or even have such problems. Yes, it’s your religious orthodoxy belief which is hampering our economy, street and damaging our nation’s reputation. A country with a good number of street cows and also a country where the cow is worshipped as a mother.
- Animal Right Activist and Policy Makers: Oh well, finally it’s your turn you (pseudo) animal right activist.
Dog meat? No!!! What the Heck!! You gone insane?
Chicken breast? Chicken wings? Drum stick…Yummy!!!
Cow? NO!!! NEVER!!! our Mother and we worship
Well, any normal human being who has been patient to read my article upto here will understand where I am leading to. So you talk about freedom of those cute fluffy animals as your best friend, talk about humane treatment, have chicken/goat items, pork items on your table but you lose your mind when you hear about dog meat in China/Korea, snake meat in south-east Asia or to taste mouse, insects or snail on other parts of world. But, hey Why you never talk about the treatment of Cows after they go dry, immediately act on the management of street cows? Why only improvement in the dairy breed by policymakers, when even more wealth could be generated from selling beef? Doesn’t matter whether we kill them or use for milking purpose, we are anyway playing with their life, enslaving them for our purpose, breeding them when we like, making them pregnant when we want and milking them when we want? So, why to pretend to act good covering already sins we have done for our mother cow. It would be more appropriate if we make policies from birth to death of cows not just improving milking quality. (Thanks for going, I only wanted to have your attention and ponder on this as well)
- Politics: If any leader dares to even speak on this, we will shut down his/her political career. Why would anyone dare to take such bold steps risking their career? There are the opponents who will take every opportunities to use religion as a tool and use sensitive Hindu mass to butcher those leader’s career who will speak about ‘Beef’. If you are so-called ‘Incorporating everyone’ Democrats or Left Leaning Socialist, Communist, no one will in near future dare to take a risk on this. If no political forces show interest in this matter or officially recognize beef as legal meat in Nepal, it’s very unlikely for us to have ‘BEEF” into mainstream discussion.
To put it in nutshell, I strongly recommend our nation goes for the legalization of Beef Meat. Our orthodox belief has caused not just havoc on street and instead of doing good, it is just making cow suffer even more. It has completely avoided one of the potential sources of our economy and we wonder what is wrong with our Nation.
(PS: Since I was 10 I have avoided eating of Meat and Fish. Hey you vegetarian-mockers, I haved stated ‘avoid eating meat and fish’ not going vegan. so peace
PS2: Consuming is all individual’s choice and right. If any individual want to consume commonly domesticated animal, they should be permitted not restricted. Afterall what is offensive for one may not hold for other. If you do not want to consume or avoid, you can but we shouldn’t be dictating other to do the same)