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And yes, I do take exception to Srila Prabhupada being lumped into that 'hypocrisy' category of preaching cow protection but drinking commercial milk. I even took exception to my inclusion in it. So not to worry; all 'holier than thou' airs have only been perceived as lame and naive.


You missed the idea that even when you buy vegan/veggie/Honda stuff you still as part of your payment pay the salaries of all the people involved in getting that product from the ground to the store. You give money to truck drivers, sales clerks, store owners, farm pickers, planters, and their wives and kids, many of whom will use your money to sponsor the killing of animals, etc., etc.


If the world stops drinking milk, there will be no financial incentive to do anything but slaughter cows as soon as economically feasible. In a world where lust and greed determine the next step, we can't afford to stop drinking milk. We can hardly call it cow protection, but it does afford a longer life for some cows.


And yes, of course the jiva will exist if not born as a cow - but then it is not any of us who determines when or where or which jiva will be born as a cow, no matter how much we fancy that we are in control.


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I understand the process of getting one's personal false ego bruised and then attempting to protect it by holding up a shield with Prabhupada's image on it and feigning to be indignant of any abuse to him. I see through the petty game having played it often myself, it is not unknown to me.


I never called Prabhupada a hypocrite and you know it. He was initially setting up the program of cow protection from which the milk was to be offered.


The hypocrisy is after 40 years the cow protecton program has been jetisoned (with a few exceptions) and the commercial milk drinking is all that remains. That and the preaching of cow protection while continuing to support the commercial milk industry. That is hypocrisy. Nor am I the first to use the word as the articles I posted attest.

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Truth is: ISKCON has been jetisoned. We are where we were. If Prabhupada had no choice, but still chose, then I see no fault or hypocrisy. If I am to see hypocrisy now, then I must see it then.



Didn't this quote include Srila Prabhupada and his organization?<blockquote>But can you seriously say it is free from hypocrisy to participate on a daily basis in the slaughter of cows and also preach cow protection? </blockquote>


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"This is what we're after, the fine tuning of our counsciouness which is what we are really offering to Sri Krsna. The bottom line : Is it pleasing to Krsna or His beloved devotee and servitor Srila Prabhupada to offer 'bloodmilk' to Him ?"


Any offering he demands is pleasing if offered properly, if he asked for meat and eggs we would offer it whether bloody or not. Prabhupada offered 'bloodmilk' and allowed his disciples with no restrictions even after being aware of the horrors of cattle farming. At the same time preaching cow protection. Maybe we do not realise the benifit gained by offering milk to the lord, we may think its better to avoid it (if we dont have cow protection kicked off), but thats not shown by srila prabhupadas example or words (not that ive seen so far).


Ive made my case for what i see to be true based on srila prabhupadas words, others may claim to know his true intentions but I dont see it from his words. Others may choose to go with their inner feelings, may be they are in contact with paramatma, others out of compassion that avoiding is greater than offering, others may see it hypocritcal to preach cow protection but drink bloodmilk, not being able to understand moral duty and spirtual principles, others may reject prabhupada's words thinking they know better we all have our types of faith, may guru and krishna guide us.


I do get annoyed when i here critisism aimed at a group of devotees of being hypocrites. Theist prabhu it maybe you who does not understand the philosophy properly so be careful. As for throwing rocks at Iskcon for not doing anything in 40 years, please understand that iskcon is not a monolithic robot how many devotees left in the 80's? 90's? how many gurus fell down? How many temples have shut down or on the verge? Ive already pointed this out to you, but you continue with the same attitude, most devotees these days in iskcon never met prabhupada.


Its so easy to sit there and minimise what everyone else is doing, and saying what they do isnt good enough, what are you doing to meet what prabhupada wants? If you can do it better then do it. You'll probably turn around and say your not in iskcon, we'll if your not but want what prabhupada wants then still go and do it, dont just sit there and critisise others hard work. ISKCON is made out of individuals not one or 2 people, some have done what you will not be able to do for lifetimes so please be careful.


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Didn't this quote include Srila Prabhupada and his organization?


T."But can you seriously say it is free from hypocrisy to participate on a daily basis in the slaughter of cows and also preach cow protection?"




But then I am one who sees Arjuna as being a soldier of Ahimsa.


Because I accept His Diving Grace as being totally surrendered to Krsna and Krsna realized I don't even go through the mental excercise of trying to judge his actions on such a level. He also wore silk which I am against and perhaps a cap made from Australian wool I don't know. And I hear Gaura Kishore das Babaji ate food from a human skull. I wouldn't do it but then I would never try to levy my evaluations on such a soul. Who knows why they do what they do?


But I see Prabhupada as trying to install a whole lifestyle and not just a reaction to one. He didn't want to make evryone vegan but he obviously wanted to protect the cows and have that milk offered to Krsna and sustaining his spiritual society as well as society at large as far as that could be extended.


It was a package deal. Offering milk from protected cows. Not a perpetual offering of that commercial product they call milk. You should analyise what is in it. I put such a list up on the health section yesterday which I got from Food For Life Global but it was deleted for some reason. Plus to keep the cows and calves in perpetual suffering just isn't the picture I get from Prabhupada's teachings.


So the present activities need to be improved upon we would all agree I think. But to get to that point it must be faced straightforwardly and the necessary determination brought to bare. Personally adopting the mode of conditional vegan, of refusing to take milk products that are not from protected cows is such a determined step to the solution.


This is not the same as being vegan, which I am, protected or not I won't take dairy for health reasons. This is being proposed as a transitional platform to meaningful cow protection.


Too bad some folks couldn't get as inflamed over the suffering of the cows as they do about someone pointing out some perceived hypocrisy.


What? do you all think you are free from hypocrisy or something? None of us are that is why we are in material consciousness still. Oh I know, it wasn't because of your own egos that you became disturbed it was on behalf of your Godbrothers and sisters, personally you don't mind any criticism. I understand.


Jaya Govinda



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I am not talking to ISKCON. I am talking to you as a person. You defending your continuing consumption of bloodmilk by refering to Prabhupada and trying to say i am criticizing him by criticizing you.


You have chosen to blow this whole "hypocrisy" statement out of proportion I believe as a conscious or subconscious way of avoiding the real issue which is the unspeakable suffering of the cows and calves. So horrendous is that suffering that Srila Prabhupada wouldn't include it his Bhagavatam.


So the description of it cannot be mention in the bhagavatam but the actual practice can be perpetually practiced in the temples?


I have seen so many atrocious practices done in the name of ajnata sukriti. From "sannyasins" running organized theft rings from Jewelry stores in Japan while transporting heroin around the world in the name of 'build that temple' to women being used as sex objects to sell those books and bring back that laxmi, "Pick the bone and bring it home" became the mantra, I just must be very careful how I can accept the proper application of ajnata sukriti. I even remeber saying their thefts were bone fide per the example of the Alwars. I say this is where we should be careful also.


Babhru asked for a source on how you are applying ajnata sukriti to the cows but that conversation was never finished that I noticed.


I would like to see that picked up again but for myself I am trying to disengage as this protion of the topic has run its course for now.


Jaya Govinda

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"So the description of it cannot be mention in the bhagavatam but the actual practice can be perpetually practiced in the temples?"


This is a perfect example of someone who cannot or who will not make even the slightest attempt at reconciling an apparent contradiction. Win the argument at all costs.


"I would like to see that picked up again but for myself I am trying to disengage as this protion of the topic has run its course for now."


I once thought we were dancing in circles. You said no. I now agree. You are playing dodge ball. You are simply trying to win an argument, at all costs. The rest of us are trying our best to be thoughtful and introspective. You don't see it (or maybe you do), but you continue to avoid the issues. As Vijay said, either you are arrogant, or you are self-realized. Which is it, young man?


"I would like to see that picked up again but for myself I am trying to disengage as this protion of the topic has run its course for now."


If I were going to attack a group of people and start calling them hypocrites, I would, at the very beginning, clarify that I am myself the greatest hypocrite. You have chosen not to do this. Yet some praise you for your "humility". Amazing. You say not to imitate, yet you pose as if you were the final authority on the matter. This is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy 101. If I were going to advise someone, and call him a hypocrite, I would at least qualify/couch my presentation that I am the greatest hypocrite. Yet you have not done this. You have come out shooting from the hip, something which even Wyatt Earp himself never did.


All of your "perceived" opponents have praised you for your dedication in your chosen path. On the other hand, you have continued, nonstop, to vilify those who follow Srila Prabhupada. Your attacks indicate, despite your last-minute protests, that you are attacking Srila Prabhupada. Do you understand the nature of prasad? If Krsna accepts our offering, then the prasad is meant to be honored. Honoring prasad is NOT imititation, as you blindly suggest.


As far as imtitation goes, we don't imitate Lord Siva by partaking of ganja. We don't imitate Lord Krsna by dancing with hundreds of damsels. Srila Prabhupada, however, never said a word about "imitating" him in regards to partaking of milk products. He glorified milk, advised that we should partake of milk offerings, and never said a word about boycotting commercial milk. I would venture to say that boycotting prasad would be offensive.


You have stated that you are allergic to milk. No problem. It appears that you will boycott milk no matter what is said.


AS far as health reasons which you listed, this differs from what Srila Prabhupad has stated, how milk helps us in so many ways, providing vitamins, protein, helping the nerves (got a nervous problem there, bro?) and so many other things.


You've given us something to think about, we all admit that. But if push comes to shove, devotees will accept Srila Prabhupada's words as absolute, not yours.



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"I am not talking to ISKCON. I am talking to you as a person."

You have reffered to ISKCON a few times please read over your posts, you have critisised that they are taking too long whatever 'they' means and talked about their hypocracy based on your grasp of philosophy.


"You defending your continuing consumption of bloodmilk by refering to Prabhupada and trying to say i am criticizing him by criticizing you."


No so far I have given you a whole load of philosophical points from srila prabhupada supporting what I am saying, you have not answered point by point to anything accept just come out with the same emotionally charged slogans over and over again.


so far I have demonstarted that srila prabhupada had no issues for us using commercial milk and have given evidence of this and why this might be. You have given no reasons on why this has changed based on anything srila prabhupada has said. I want to know philosophically whats correct not based on your emotions, so if you have evidence from guru and sastra please let me know im willing to listen and learn.


"You have chosen to blow this whole "hypocrisy" statement out of proportion I believe as a conscious or subconscious way of avoiding the real issue which is the unspeakable suffering of the cows and calves. So horrendous is that suffering that Srila Prabhupada wouldn't include it his Bhagavatam."


I have addressed this directly in a number of my posts which you have chosen to ignore. In any discussion you have to argue based on what is being said not on the basis that you actually know my motivations "I believe as a conscious or subconscious way of avoiding the real issue"

If you think I'm avoiding the issue then show me where and what points i havent addressed. Your here there's no fooling you. And im open to philosophical discussion not emotional ranting.


"I have seen so many atrocious practices done in the name of ajnata sukriti. From "sannyasins" running organized theft rings from Jewelry stores in Japan while transporting heroin around the world in the name of 'build that temple' to women being used as sex objects to sell those books and bring back that laxmi, "Pick the bone and bring it home" became the mantra, I just must be very careful how I can accept the proper application of ajnata sukriti. I even remeber saying their thefts were bone fide per the example of the Alwars. I say this is where we should be careful also."


I have already agreed that the principle of ajnata sukriti can be abused, you are creating a straw man argument.

My point has been that srila prabhupada has directly said we drink the milk of slaughtered cows in the quote i provided you about being in debt with the sun, slaughtered cows which provide us milk etc, and how its solved if we are Krishna concious and placed no restriction on the consumtion on milk.


"Babhru asked for a source on how you are applying ajnata sukriti to the cows but that conversation was never finished that I noticed. "


I was satisfied with the quote in which the tree gets benifit from offering the fruit, and the machine maker getting benifit for us using his machines. As there is no direct quote talking about the cows therefore Ive been demonstrating through using prabhupadas words that he never placed any restriction on commercial milk which ive pointed out in the quotes ive given you.


Instead your making the claim that commercial milk is now not allowed but was before due to the lack of progress in cow protection, so the burden is on you to give a case for this from prabhupadas words. Else its just your opinion and it is rescpected as such.


"I would like to see that picked up again but for myself I am trying to disengage as this protion of the topic has run its course for now."


I would like to disengage too, but you seem to come out with the same arguments over and over again, which i've tried to give some evidence for and which you have not said anything on, nor have you given counter evidence except say the same emotionally charged sentences again and again.


Anayway ive said what ive needed to say and if someone makes any new points and i feel I have something worthy to add I will.


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Swami B. A. Paramadvaiti

Here is an extract.


"The Vaishnavas are also against the harsh treatment of cows in modern milk factories. However, our concept is different than that of the vegan philosophy which eliminates animal products all together. Because God is the rightful enjoyer of everything, He blesses those living entities who contribute to His pleasure or to the service of His devotees. Vedic culture gives us the blessing of offering God the cow's milk and her sub products, along with other animal products such as honey and wool. This idea extents to include the printing of holy books on paper made of trees; where as if only rubbish is printed on this paper, it is considered sinful. Knowing that the treatment of these animals is wrong, Vaishnavas offer milk to God to give the cows a chance to serve Krishna with some of their energy. Krishna Himself manifests the pastimes of a cowherd boy and, of course, Vaishnavas would much prefer to protect cows personally on their own farms without any mistreatment. But it is a fact that cow protection can only be organized on a high level, requiring thousands of acres of land of different qualities and much help from the government. Small farms will go bankrupt by increasing herds of cows. This is the sad truth which has often been ignored by rather inexperienced Vaishnava farmers."

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... different qualities and much help from the government.


Small farms will go bankrupt by increasing herds of cows. This is the sad truth which has often been ignored by rather inexperienced Vaishnava farmers.



Reality Check.


Yikes! I've just taken truth pill.

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Srila Prabhupada: Our program is not vox populi. We are saying only what the

authoritative scriptures say. If you actually want to do social welfare,

then you must take to the standard formula as given in the scriptures. In

the Bhagavad-gita Krsna explains how one can become peaceful -- a

first-class man. But if you don't accept His authority -- if you'd rather

follow public opinion -- you will never be successful. You want to make a

peaceful society, but you do not know how. Therefore you must adopt this

process of Krsna consciousness. If anyone -- even a madman -- agrees to

follow our principles, then he can become peaceful. He can become a

first-class man.


Social worker: Well, I do believe you should maintain a standard.


Srila Prabhupada: Yes, and that is making us successful. We do not make any

compromise. This is our method. If you like it, you can take it; if you

don't like it, you can reject it. We don't mind. We are not interested in

vox populi.


From BTG 12-08 1977


There is no need for men to eat animals, because there is an ample supply of grains, vegetables, fruits and milk. Such simple foodstuff is considered to be in the mode of goodness according to the Bhagavad-gita. Animal food is for those in the mode of ignorance. Therefore, those who indulge in animal food, drinking, smoking and eating food which is not first offered to Krsna will suffer sinful reactions because of eating only polluted things. Bhunjate te tv agham papa ye pacanty atma-karanat. Anyone who eats for sense pleasure, or cooks for himself, not offering his food to Krsna, eats only sin. One who eats sin and eats more than is allotted to him cannot execute perfect yoga. It is best that one eat only the remnants of foodstuff offered to Krsna. A person in Krsna consciousness does not eat anything which is not first offered to Krsna. Therefore, only the Krsna conscious person can attain perfection in yoga practice. Nor can one who artificially abstains from eating, manufacturing his own personal process of fasting, practice yoga. The Krsna conscious person observes fasting as it is recommended in the scriptures. He does not fast or eat more than is required, and he is thus competent to perform yoga practice.


HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada


you not indebted? Do you think, or not, that we are indebted to the sun?

Devotee (2): Yes.

Prabhupada: Are you agreeing or not?

Devotee (1): Well, I guess I think.

Prabhupada: Yes, you must. If you cannot pay your electric bill one month, your electricity will be immediately cut off. And you are getting so much light from the sun, and you do not pay the bill. Then you are becoming indebted, indebted, indebted. You see? (laughter) You have to pay it. If you don't pay, then you'll be punished. So we do not know that. Devarsi-bhutapta. We are taking so much milk from the cows, and we are killing instead of giving them protection. So in this way, we are simply committing sinful life. How you can expect to become happy? So the only means is to take to Krsna consciousness. Krsna says, sarva-dharman parityajya mam ekam saranam vraja, aham tvam sarva-papebhyah. Because you are habituated to commit sinful life only, so if you want to be saved, then you take to Krsna consciousness. Otherwise, you have to be punished, in this life or next life. And you do not know what is your next life because you are all ignorant. But there is next life. Tatha dehantara-praptir dhiras tatra na muhyati. But if you are most sinful, then you are going to become abominable living creatures. Adho gacchanti tamasah. You go down. And if you become pious, then you are promoted. But our program is not to become pious, not to become sinful: to become Krsna conscious. That will save us.


HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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An easier to read version http://www.chakra.org/living/SimpJan30_03.html


Someone said there are no minimal standards in ISKCON for cow protection, i think they have been introduced last year by this mataji.


Improving Our Cow Protection Programs

by Hare Krsna devi dasi


Posted January 30, 2003


Abstract: Appalled by modern dairy practices, devotees struggle with the question of whether to be vegetarian or vegan. But neither dietary style -- by itself -- fulfills the needed spiritual dimension of actually protecting cows. For that, both must turn to cow protection programs. But many of these are poorly managed and inadequate. Can donors make a difference? The answer is yes -- by understanding basic cow protection guidelines and linking funding increases to program improvements.


Devotees in the Gaudiya Brahma sampradaya acknowledge Lord Brahma, the first created being in this universe as the head of our line of disciplic succession, thousands of years ago. The very first spiritual instruction that we receive from the founder of our line indicates that the Supreme Lord loves the cows: "Govindam adi purusam," meaning that the Original Person can be called Govinda or "One who pleases the cows." Govinda, of course, is another name for Krsna.


The Supreme Lord loves the cows, and somehow or other He has arranged things so that human beings can progress in their spiritual understanding of Him and in their love of Him by protecting the cows. Srila Prabhupada notes that the bull and cow are father and mother of humanity, "The bull helps in the agricultural process of producing grain, etc., and thus in one sense the bull is the father of humankind, whereas the cow is the mother, for she supplies milk to human society. (Srimad Bhagavatam 3.5.7) Prabhupada calls the protection of the cows and the brahmanas "the two pillars of spiritual advancement." (SB 1.17.20) He states that, "One cannot become spiritually advanced without acquiring the brahminical qualifications and giving protection to cows." (SB 6.18.52)




Thus, all devotees recognize the important role of milk in a natural diet. On the spiritual side, we have the example of the Supreme Lord Himself as a transcendental cowherd boy in Vrndavana, who delights in many milk preparations offered by His mother and Srimati Radharani and the devotees. On the practical side, Srila Prabhupada informs us that, "The body can be maintained by any kind of foodstuff, but cow's milk is particularly essential for developing the finer tissues of the human brain so that one can understand the intricacies of transcendental knowledge." (SB 3.5.7 Purport)


From the point of view of anthropology, there is good reason why we see no examples of vegan society in any historic culture. Nutritionists inform us that nerve cells, including those that make up the brain, require vitamin B12 or cobalimin, which is naturally found only in meat and milk. "In adults typical deficiency symptoms include loss of energy, tingling, numbness, reduced sensitivity to pain or pressure, blurred vision, abnormal gait, sore tongue, poor memory, confusion, hallucinations and personality changes. [These symptoms may take years to develop.] Infants typically show more rapid onset of symptoms than adults. B12 deficiency may lead to loss of energy and appetite and failure to thrive. If not promptly corrected this can progress to coma or death." (Vegan Society website) Thus, from the physiological standpoint, before the modern age, it was not possible to have a vegan society, since its members could not survive for any length of time. The natural diet of any non-violent society, which did not kill animals, would have had to include milk.


However, some devotees nowadays point to the modern dairy industry, whether in the West or in India, and recoil at the violent treatment of cows and bulls. The way we get our milk is no longer natural. On one hand technological advances have created large-scale dairy operations with terrible conditions for cows and bulls, but on the positive side, technological advances have also created advances in the artificial formulation of nutritional supplements, so that the critical vitamin B12 component can now be provided by yeast-based products. Thus, rather than drink milk, some devotees become vegans.


On the other hand, many other devotees, though uncomfortable about the inhumane aspects of both modern and traditional dairies around the world, have made the decision to continue to offer Krsna milk products. They note that Srila Prabhupada allowed devotees to offer commercial milk products to the Deities. In addition, due to their economic or family situation or remoteness from sophisticated urban markets, many find it simply impossible to meet the nutritional needs of their families -- for calcium, proteins, B vitamins, vitamin D, etc. -- without using milk. They avoid the most unhealthy aspects of modern milk products by using products containing less fat, using yogurt and other cultured preparations which do not cause lactose intolerance reaction, and avoiding the use of cold milk, which can be digested only by people of nothern European genetic make-up.


In addition, this latter group points to Krsna's liberation of the demoness Putana (SB 10.6; Krsna Book 6). Although her intent was to kill Krsna by offering Him her poisoned breast milk, Krsna accepted the milk and liberated her from all her sinful reactions. Because He accepted her milk, He accepted her as mother. If Krsna could be so merciful to the evil Putana, then surely He cannot fail to be merciful to the cows, who are offering Him their milk with no tinge of animosity.


Which group is right? It is difficult to make a judgement in answer that question. It seems that both groups should be respected. But at this point of the analysis, it is crucial to note that the element that is missing from either group is actual cow protection. Simply to be a vegetarian does not protect cows -- but simply to be a vegan does not protect cows either. And without that element, spiritual growth will be stunted.


In a recent Chakra article, "What Is the Cost of Milk?" Prema Bhakti dasa and his wife Tapati dasi suggest the beginning of a solution of how work towards offering to Krsna milk that comes from protected cows. They propose that devotees who drink milk should observe a self-imposed "cow protection tax" on all the milk they drink. For example, if the cost of milk from protected cows would be $5.00 per gallon, and the milk they buy in the store is $2.00 per gallon. They would use the difference of $3.00 per gallon as a "cow protection tax." If they used 12 gallons of milk per month, they would donate $36.00 per month to the cow protection program of their choice.


This way, when they offer milk to Krsna, they know that despite their awkward circumstances, the Lord can understand that their desire is to protect His cows and to eventually be able to offer Him actual milk from protected cows, as well as grains produced by protected oxen. Coming from their somewhat different perspective, vegan devotees could maintain a similar practice of participation in cow protection programs.


This could be the beginning of a solution to the dilemma of how to offer Krsna milk from protected cows and grains produced by protected oxen, in the modern context.


But, for such a program to be successful, much depends on the integrity and competence of the cow protection program. And, sad to say, around the world, within ISKCON and outside of it, there are numerous so-called cow protection programs, goshallas and pinjrapols (homes for retired cows) where the level of protection is inadequate. One might say that the solution is to support only well-organized programs, and withdraw support from those which are inadequate. But the fact is that very, very few are well organized -- and by withdrawing support from poorly organized programs, it means that the cows there will suffer even more.


So, how can inadequate programs be encouraged to improve? Surprisingly, donors to these programs can play an important role in upgrading the quality of programs. They can do this by showing that the level of donation they give hinges directly on seeing (1)progress in the quality of care provided to cows, (2)conscientious accounting and handling of funds, (3)a commitment to providing good training and fair compensation for cowherds, and (4)opportunities for donor input and participation.


Under the auspices of ISKCON's Ministry for Cow Protection and Agriculture, devotee cowherds around the world have formulated ISKCON's Minimum Standards for Cow Protection. These standards, which are available on the ISCOWP website (also on Chakra), are the basis of ISKCON's Law 507, which provides for the protection of cows and oxen. They contain many specific guidelines for proper care of animals, which can be applied even to organizations outside ISKCON. Donors to any cow protection agency would do well to read over the guidelines, but here are some important ones. After familiarizing themselves with these guidelines, donors can communicate to the cow protection agency their willingness to increase their level of support as different milestones of improvement are certifiably reached.


The word "Cows" in the text below includes cows, bulls, oxen (bullocks) and calves -- unless otherwise indicated. This was Srila Prabhupada's understanding also:


Prabhupada: The duty of the agriculturist is to give very careful protection to the cows especially.

C. Hennis: This doesn't apply to bulls and bullocks and male animals generally, does it?

Prabhupada: No, bullocks also. Cow means bullock also...Cow is feminine, bullock is the masculine, that's all.

C. Hennis: So it's the whole bovine race that's protected, and not just the female cows?

Prabhupada: No, both the male and female. The bullocks are used for so many other purposes. They can till the field. They can be used for transportation, so many other purposes. Or even we are using them to spread Krsna consciousness. During Krsna's time... Krsna was born of a very well to do father, but at that time the bullocks were engaged for transportation from one village to another. (Geneva, 31 May 1974)


Following are guidelines for developing good cow protection.




1. The entire herd should be counted daily. This principle was established by Lord Krsna Himself. Srila Jiva Gosvami recounts, "When Krsna calls out 'Hey Dhavali (the name of a white cow),' a whole group of white cows come forward, and when He calls 'Hamsi, Candani, Ganga, Mukta and so on, the twenty-four other groups of white cows come... Thus being called by name, the cows are coming forward, and Krsna, thinking that when it is time to bring them back from the forest none should be forgotten, is counting them on His jewel-beads." (cited Srimad Bhagavatam 10.35.18-19) Daily counting is a safeguard to protect cows that may be lost, injured or even stolen.


2. Every cow should have a name. This principle was also established by Krsna. As Srila Prabhupada describes, "The cows, oh, as soon as they see Krsna, they become... They lick up His face and body, and every cow has got a different name. As soon as He will call, the cow will come immediately and dropping milk." (Lecture - New York, 5 Dec 1966) Unless every cow has a name, it will not be possible to be sure they are all cared for properly.


3. Records should be kept with the name, sex, date of birth of each cow. When a cow or calf dies, the cause of death and date of death should be recorded. Annual records should be provided to members each year.


4. Calf mortality should be less than 10%. In the absence of proper records, this can be determined retroactively by seeing how many cows have been milking in the last 2 3 years and determining how many of their calves are still alive.


5. Analyzed by sex, the herd should be approximately 50% cows, 50% bulls or oxen. If there are far more females than males, it is usually a sign of a discrepancy - either in the organization's incomplete understanding of cow protection, or in substandard protection for bull calves.


6. Any cow who has taken shelter on Krsna's land or in Krsna's temple should never be subsequently sold, traded, given away or killed. A cow protection program should not participate in grazing beef cows destined for slaughter on its land. No temple should practice "borrowing" a bull calf from a commercial dairy and then returning it after a ceremony (such as Govardhana Puja), since that means the animal will eventually be killed.




7. No cow should be bred for milk production alone, without plans for the resulting calf. No cow should be bred unless there is a clear and concrete plan for the care of the calf for its entire life, which may be 10-20 years. This means there must be adequate land, adequate funding and adequate trained personnel to care for the resulting calf.


8. Cows should not be acquired based on sentiment alone. A goshalla should not allow itself to be exploited by those who "donate" animals with mixed motives. Teijas dasa recounted that Srila Prabhupada did not want devotees to accept cows just because someone wanted to give them away, "Prabhupada told us not to take any more donations of cows unless the person gave a donation of 5,000 rupees to cover the maintenance of the cow. He said, 'Our business is not to take old cows.' You know, they have a good sentiment plus an ulterior motive mixed together. Sentiment plus some motive. So it doesn't come out to be the varnasrama system." (ISKCON Farm Newsletter Vol. 2, No. 1, 1983) A responsible goshalla should not accept more animals than it can care for, simply out of sentiment.


9. Milking should be a pleasurable experience for the cow. "The milk bag was so fatty and full with milk. Why? Muda - they were so happy. They were so happy. So if you keep the cows happy, then cow will supply large quantity of milk. " (Lecture SB 1.10.4, London 25 Nov 1973) No painful or unhealthy method should be used to stimulate milk production.


10. Milk production should not be developed primarily as a profit-making venture. "You say we must have a gosala trust, that is our real purpose. krsi-goraksya-vanijyam vaisya karma svabhava-jam, [bg 18.44]. Where there is agriculture there must be cows. That is our mission: Cow protection and agriculture and if there is excess, trade. This is a no-profit scheme. For the agriculture we want to produce our own food and we want to keep cows for our own milk. The whole idea is that we are Iskcon, a community to be independent from outside help. This farm project is especially for the devotees to grow their own food. Cotton also, to make their own clothes. And keeping cows for milk and fatty products. Our mission is to protect our devotees from unnecessary heavy work to save time for advancing in Krsna consciousness. This is our mission. So there is no question of profit, but if easily there are surplus products, then we can think of trading. Otherwise we have no such intention. " (Letter to Yasomatinandana -- Vrindavan 28 Nov 1976)




11. In general, all bull calves should be trained to work. As Srila Prabhupada stated to Teijas dasa at ISKCON's Hyderbad farm in the 1970's, "If you do not use the bulls for plowing, one day you will say, let us cut their throats." (ISKCON Farm Newsletter Vol. 2, No. 1, 1983)


12. No ox should be overworked or worked by force only. Overworking and working by force develops when there is no obvious personal relationship between the ox and the teamster. Excessive use of whips, beating, rough treatment, and violence to the oxen are not acceptable. A properly treated ox will not shy away from his master. Rather he will approach the master, expecting kind treatment and affection. Examples of instructions for relationship-based training of oxen are available at ISCOWP's website.


13. In general, bull calves should be castrated by the time they are 1 year old, or whatever age is appropriate for that breed. This can be done with minimum discomfort by using a bloodless emasculator or burdizzo, which only pinches the semen tubes to achieve sterilization. The presence of a bull often leads unplanned breeding, expanding the herd beyond the carrying capacity of the land, and beyond the ability of the manpower to care for it. A bull can also create unexpected danger to the public or inexperienced cowherds. A bull should be kept only where there is a willing and experienced cowherd, of proven stability, with ample funding, time and facility to care for him properly.




14. The cows' living conditions should be clean and comfortable. Animals can be brushed so their coat is clean and healthy. "Krsna's pastimes in Gokula, His dhama, are always favorable to the brahmanas and the cows. His first business is to give all comfort to the cows and the brahmanas. In fact, comfort for the brahmanas is secondary, and comfort for the cows is His first concern." (SB 10.8.16 Purport)


"While engaged in talking about New Vrindaban during Prabhupada's massage yesterday, I mentioned how we used to do cow aratis. At that point Prabhupada frowned. I asked if they were okay to do, and he said no. I asked if there was anything special to do for the cows. He said keep them clean, brush them nicely, bathe them, and also you can polish their horns and hooves." (Prabhupada Nectar, Vol. 4, by Satsvarupa dasa Goswami, p. 11, excerpt from a letter from Srutakirti dasa to Kirtananda Swami, September 27, 1972)


15. All cows should have adequate shelter. Adequate shelter (not overcrowded) with fresh air and access to sunlight should be available to all cows. In hot weather, cows should be provided with shade and adequate water. "Thereafter, all the cows entered their different sheds and began mooing loudly, calling for their respective calves. When the calves arrived, the mothers began licking the calves' bodies again and again and profusely feeding them with the milk flowing from their milk bags. " (SB 10.13.24)


16. Adequate fencing should be maintained. Krsna and Balarama personally supervised Their cows throughout the day. But if such constant supervision is not available, it is essential to provide fencing for the cows. Well maintained fencing is necessary to keep cows away from areas where they could be injured or lost or even captured and sold to slaughter. Good fencing prevents unplanned breeding with neighbors' bulls. Krsna and Balarama took Their cows to a new pasture every day. Similarly, by using suitably designed temporary fencing, it is possible to improve pasture quality and nutrition by implementing rotational grazing (as described on the Hare Krsna Rural Life website ).


17. Cows must be provided sufficient grazing opportunity. And, as stated by Bhismadeva in the Mahabharata, no cow should be kept always tethered.


18. The program should maintain adequate pasture for animals. Generally the minimum would be at least 1/2 acre (1/4 hectare) per animal, preferably 1 acre per animal. Ideally this land should be protected by a goshalla trust so it cannot be sold for so-called "development." Prabhupada emphasized the importance of adequate grazing ground, "For the proper pursuit of human happiness, there must be arrangements for the protection of cows. This means that there must be forests and adequate pasturing grounds full of grass and water." (SB 10.5.26) Not only are the cows made happy by such arrangements, but the minds of human beings are pacified simply by living in such environment.


19. Cows should be sufficiently well fed. "Vaisya's business is to give protection to the cows, not to send them to the slaughterhouse - to see the cows are very well-fed, they are fatty, strong, that they must be given food, sufficient food. " (Bhagavad-gita 4.2 lecture - Bombay 22 March 1974)


20. Ideally, feed for the cows should be grown on site, not purchased from outside. Srila Prabhupada stated, "We must be able to grow our own fodder for the cows. We don't want to have to purchase food for the cows outside from some other party. That will run into a great expense. Cow protection is the business of the vaisyas and along with our preaching, this is the most important work." (Letter to Hasyakari -Honolulu 26 May 1975)




21. The goshalla should have an accurate and clear method of keeping accounts, and members should be presented with an annual statement of accounts. Prabhupada noted, "Bookkeeping is the most important item. As you are growing in stature, our accounting system should become very perfect. We have to publish now a short statement of accounts. As we increase our life membership number, we must submit our audited accounts and that will convince the public of our stability." (Letter to Karandhara -- Bombay 18 March 1971)


22. Ideally, funds collected for a goshalla or cow protection program should be kept separate from other accounts, such as that of a temple or community facility. Funds should not be invested in any speculative business enterprise.




23. Cowherds should be recognized as important members in the spiritual community. Prabhupada states, "For the cowherd men and the cows, Krsna is the supreme friend. Therefore He is worshiped by the prayer namo brahmanya-devaya go-brahmana-hitaya ca." (SB 10.8.16 Purport)


24. Ideally, the goshalla should maintain a well designed program for training cowherds and ox-power farmers.


Visnujana: For example, in New Vrindaban we have brahmanas that are very expert at tilling the soil and taking care of cows. They could travel around and teach others how to do that as well.

Prabhupada: Yes. That's right. He is brahmana, but he's teaching how to take care of the cows and ploughing. (Morning Walk "Varnasrama College" -- 14 March 1974, Vrndavana)


25. Cowherds should be facilitated and supported so they can have a decent, if simple, standard of living and so that they have time to participate in the community's spiritual program. Cow herding should not be considered a "lower" service. People who are treated as inferiors will inevitably leave. On the other hand, it is a sign of a healthy program if the spiritual leaders of a community acknowledge the contribution and instructive experiences of the cowherds in Bhagavatam classes and other occasions.


In the long term, cowherds should be able see a future for themselves and their families, working the land with oxen and taking care of cows, because only in this way can long-term cow protection -- together with its concomitant spiritual dimension -- be established in a community. Without proper training, facility and care of its cowherds, a cow protection program is threatened by constant turnover of staff and may eventually collapse.




26. A goshalla should use its cow protection program as a means of attracting the public to Krsna consciousness. When people have a chance to see cows, oxen and calves being well cared for and productively engaged, and to pet the animals and interact with them, their hearts naturally become softened and receptive to hearing about the Krsna's pastimes.


27. Activities of the cow protection program should be highlighted on community websites and during religious holidays and festivals such as Gaura Purnima, Janmastami, Govardhana Puja and Ratha Yatra. The Deities can be read accounts of the activities of the year, not only how much milk or burfi was produced, but also how many oxen were trained, how much area they plowed, how much wood they hauled, how many bushels of vegetables they produced, etc -- showcasing the offerings of the animals to the Lord and highlighting their value as contributors to self-sufficiency and gentler environmental practices. Members should participate not only as guests, but should also be given a chance to help organize and present activities in glorification of Krsna's cows and oxen.


28. A cow protection program should provide opportunity for members' input and participation. This can be achieved through questionnaires, newsletters, workshops, and pre-festival meetings.




Thus, by knowing what to look for in a cow protection program, members can let organizers know that they are willing to give a certain amount per month and that they plan to increase the amount based on different milestones of improvement. Several simple but important practices, such as daily counting of cows and naming of cows, cost nothing to implement. Other aspects, such as providing a well-developed training program for cowherd and ox workers are the sign of a first-class cow protection program, and will take longer to develop. Yet, with the confidence from having many committed donors, a goshalla can gradually attain such goals.


Other practices, such as giving greater prominence to cow protection activities during religious holidays and festivals, will benefit not only the cows and the members, but the whole community. In this way, by steadily increasing their funding, many small cow protection programs can be developed and gradually lead to a more peaceful, spiritual way of life. Thus more and more people can participate first-hand in cow protection, to provide the very best products to offer to the Lord with love and devotion.


"For protecting the cows and brahminical culture, the Lord, who is very kind to the cow and the brahmanas (go-brahmana-hitaya), will be pleased with us and will bestow upon us real peace." SB 1.17.9


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The cow tax idea is interesting but how practical it will prove to be is another question. It is also far to gradual for me.


I favor the conditional vegan idea. Just immediately stop taking milk from cows doomed for slaughter and put a b-12 tablet under your tonque occasionally.


Simultaneously demand from your leaders that large scale funding go to cow protection programs in the forms required for instituting a program for powdered milk production and sale, first to Temples and their communities and then growing to the expanded market.


Gauracandra was the first I heard call it Ahimsa Milk which is perfect. Menaka Gandhi has started Ahimsa Silk in India and that is much more difficult. The market for Ahimsa Milk is HUGE. I believe it should be done immediately.


Or maybe there are wealthy congregation members that want to take advantage of this idea that Prabhupada introduced at Gita-Nagari farm so long ago.

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"Just immediately stop taking milk from cows doomed for slaughter and put a b-12 tablet under your tonque occasionally."


Vitamin B12 is not the issue here, as much as you would like to reduce it to that.


More great quotes and articles, Vijay, thankyou.

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I believe there was a conversation i sent where srila prabhupada and his dicsiples were discussing it. I think there was a regulation against it, but i dont think it makes much difference. I was watching a documentry on the meat industry, it was horrid how the meat was stored. It was left lying on the floor for days in some cases, i dont see how it would make any difference if the cow died naturally or its neck sliced. I think i read somewhere were there are some in india that take the dead cow and eat its flesh aswell as using the skin to make products, il have to search for it.

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This article raises a few good points - the mistakes of gita-nagri and new vrindavan, which tried to model them selves on commercial dairy farming (ignoring to some extent bulls, and performance being mesured upon how much milk is delivered) and suggests a solution that is quite hands on. Even though we had an excess of milk which could of been made in to powder and sent to different places, this was achieved through excess breeding, which resulted in bankruputcy due to having to eventually look after a greater herd which eventually didnt give any milk. I read this happened at new vrindavan but not too sure about gita-nagri.





Land and Manpower


by Kamra devi dasi


There are many instances in which Srila Prabhupada asked his disciples to use their intelligence in carrying out his orders. The following are two examples:


The idea submitted by you is very nice. I have given my 100% approval, and I have given my opinion as above mentioned. Now you can do with intelligence and depend on the supreme will of Krsna.

Letter to Cidanananda, Dec. 24, 1968



I'm sure Krsna will give you more and more intelligence in this matter.

Letter to Hamsadutta, Jan. 11, 1968


Although I feel very insignificant and devoid of the intelligence that Srila Prabhupada wants us to develop and use, I have had some experience with ISKCON cow protection programs, and thus some ideas and observations which may prove useful in the development of Krsna conscious rural communities. I beg the forgiveness of the assembled devotees for any offense I may unintentionally commit, and beg for the guidance of Srila Prabhupada's sincere followers. I hope that these ideas prove useful, as they have been developed from experience in accord with the teachings of Srila Prabhupada.


I would like to present this paper in two parts. The first will be about the practical a community and the second part will give a development of cow protection within ISKCON to date and why it appears that we haven't yet developed what Srila Prabhupada wanted us to develop.


Part I


In a conversation with Allen Ginsberg in Columbus, Ohio, in May, 1969, Srila Prabhupada stated "If one has got a cow and four acres of land he has no economic problem. That we want to start. He can live independently in any part of the world. Simply he must have one cow and four acres of land. Let the people be divided with four acres of land and a cow...All the factories will be closed."


We do not know in what context Srila Prabhupada was instructing Mr. Ginsberg –– if the point was self sufficiency, ugra-karma society, or a basic statement about the importance of the cow. Some of Srila Prabhupada's instructions may appear contradictory to one another, and without minimizing what Srila Prabhupada expected of us I would like to show how this instruction has been overplayed by many persons, and in reality is not possible to fulfill without other factors being present. Four acres and a cow, or five acres and a cow as seen by many nondevotee homesteaders, is not the way to fulfill both practical and philosophical requirements of economic solidity. This instruction -- four acres and a cow, is possible within a certain environment, and I repeat this point to bring emphasis to the fact that I am not trying to decry what Srila Prabhupada told us, only give an overall picture of the circumstances in which it can be fulfilled. My emphasis will be on land use, and I will give a brief explanation of some other factors, also.


We have experience in the United States that to keep large animals legally usually requires one acre of land per animal. This is the common legal allowance, which provides no scope for self sufficiency. In this area of the country (North Florida), one cow actually requires three acres for grazing and hay, and this figure is an average for other areas. Soil type, climate, the individual needs of the animal, etc., must be taken into consideration to come up with a more exact figure. Note that this figure is only for forage, and includes no other feed.


Thus, the "four acres and one cow" may be realistic if the cow only eats grass and hay and does not reproduce. (Three acres for the cow and one acre for house, garden, gains, etc.) but does not allow for the oxen who are to work the land and make the hay. We know that Srila Prabhupada wanted us to keep and use the oxen.


The cow is wonderful and valuable in society. But you should also use the bulls by engaging them in tilling the ground. People may call this the primitive way but it is very practical for engaging the bulls. Let them work in cart loading, transporting, etc.

letter to Kirtananda Swami, Jan. 7 1974


Why artificial insemination? We should avoid that. The physiology is, if the semen is more, there comes bull, So take more land and engage them in agriculture, plowing by the bulls instead of the tractor.

SP letter to Balavanta, Jan. 7, 1977



For a Sanatanist (a follower of Vedic principles), it is the duty of every householder to have cows and bulls as household paraphernalia, not only for drinking milk, but also for deriving religious principles.

SB 1.17.3


Commercially, a milk cow has a calf about every thirteen months to keep her milk production high. A commercial dairy cow is often "burned out" and culled (sent to slaughter) by the age of six years, due to the stress of calving and high milk production. The family cow does not need to be bred every year. Enough milk for at least one family can be provided by a cow bred, and thus having to calve, much less often than the commercial requirements. Of course, how often a cow will be bred depends on the individual cow, her breed tendencies, and other circumstances, but it is safe to say that a family cow can give enough milk for family use by having a calf every two years. We have known of a cow that produced milk for five years after having a calf, but this is extraordinary.


Thus, our theoretical four acres will have to support two cows after two years, and thus transgress the limits of grass/hay self-sufficiency. After four years our four acres will have three cows, after six years, four cows (the common legal limit), and after eight years, five cows.


It appears that a solitary devotee family on four acres of land would not be able to maintain the four acre/one cow standard due to the necessity of breeding. There would be two recourses -- give the calves to like-minded persons, or give the calves to unlike-minded persons, in which case one will be implicated in cow slaughter, which is condemned by the basic tenets of Krsna conscious philosophy.


Either way, a solitary family would have great difficulty maintaining the four acre/one cow standard. And to make things even more complicated, Srila Prabhupada also said that even the poorest of householders keep at least ten cows (SB 1.19.39).


However, Srila Prabhupada did not want it to be complicated for us to keep cows. He told us that agrarian lifestyle would make it easier for us to have time to chant Hare Krsna. What is the solution? How do we institute cow protection and take care of the necessary offspring of milk production?


Regarding keeping the cows, unless there is sufficient grazing land and cultivation it is very difficult.

SP letter to Chandravali, March 28, 1977


For raising crops from the land, how many men will be required? That we must estimate and also for herding the cows and feeding them. We must have sufficient pasturing ground to feed the animals all round. We have to maintain the animals throughout their lives. We must not make any make any program for selling them to the slaughterhouses. That is the way of cow protection.

SP letter to Hayagriva, June 14, 1968


The conclusion is obvious, according to Srila Prabhupada. There must be more land than four acres per family for cow protection and many people must seriously take up Krsna conscious cow protection. Srila Prabhupada gave us the example of how it is to be done, although he left it up to us to fill in the details. He asked us to take the example of Gokula:


Yes, go on acquiring the surrounding lands and in this way we will establish a local self-governing village, and show all the world a practical example of spiritual life as Krsna Himself exhibited it in Vrndavana. Agriculture and protecting the cows, this is the main business of the residents of Vrndavana, and above all simply loving Krsna. The cows, the trees, the cowherd men and gopis, their chief engagement was loving Krsna, and in New Vrndavana we want to create this atmosphere and thereby show the whole worm how practical and sublime our movement is.

SP Letter to Kirtanananda Swami July 27, 1973


In Krsna Book, Volume I page 235, Srila Prabhupada describes how Krsna and His friends took the cows and calves to pasture daily and returned in the evening to the village. In Nectar of Devotion page 254, Srila Prabhupada tells us that Nanda Maharaja had over 1,000,000 cows and that they were well fed, healthy, and even well decorated with cloth and golden ornaments. (In fact, SB 10.5.3 states that Nanda Maharaja gave 2,000,000 cows in charity at the birth ceremony of Krsna! All were well decorated)


The key to Vrndavana cow protection, and the key to present day cow protection (along with manpower, as we will discuss in part II), is community pasture. Four acres and a cow has its place, though.


If each family in a village is using its own land to develop self sufficiency, thus contributing to community self sufficiency, the village will have a solid economic base. (Self sufficiency is not possible without community -- even the Amish will not try to start a community with less than 12 families. This is another issue that is easy to prove.) Yet the community pasturing grounds are essential. That is the conclusion of part I of this paper. Land must be acquired and used as given in the example of Vrndavana. Although this may be obvious, I hope that I have given a valid explanation.


In Gita-nagari on July 15, 1976, Srila Prabhupada toured the farm by foot and by car. To the few fortunate men who were in the car with him, he said "Add some land and let them graze. Don't kill them -- buy land."


Nanda Maharaja met Vasudeva in Mathura when he went to pay taxes to Kamsa. Vasudeva inquired from Nanda Maharaja, "In the place where you are living with your friends, is the forest favorable for animals, the cows? I hope there is no disease or inconvenience. The place must be full of water, grass, and other plants." (SB 10.5.26)


Srila Prabhupada comments:


For human happiness, one must care for the animals, especially the cows. Vasudeva therefore inquired whether there was a good arrangement for the animals where Nanda Maharaja lived. For the proper pursuit of human happiness, there must be arrangements for the protection of cows. This means that there must be forests and adequate pasturing grounds full of grass and water. If the animals are happy, there will be an ample supply of milk, from which human beings will benefit by deriving many milk products with which to live happily. As enjoined in Bhagavad-gita (18.44), Krsi-go-raksya vanijyam vaisya karma svabhavajam. Without giving proper facilities to the animals, how can human society be happy? That people are raising cattle to send to the slaughterhouse is a great sin. By this demoniac enterprise, people are mining their chance for a truly human life. Because they are not giving any importance to the instructions of Krsna, the advancement of their so-called civilization resembles the crazy efforts of men in a lunatic asylum.


As an aside, I feel that if we are to follow the example of Vrndavana, we need leadership that takes it as a priority to follow in the footsteps of Nanda Maharaja, the king of the cowherds. If the leadership does not see this necessity, how will this occur?


Part II


I would like to offer a brief summary of my observations to date in the development of Krsna conscious cow protection. As a society, we have made errors and learned from them in many areas, cow protection is not an exception. I am going to present these things very simply. Cow protection is a concept that we must all understand for the proper functioning of society.


1) A major error was made in the development of Krsna conscious cow protection -- using the dairy industry as an example of what we were supposed to develop. Commercial dairying was, of course, our only example at that time, but it proved to be a poor example, practically and conceptually. In a commercial dairy, the only animals that are maintained are the young females, milking females of a certain standard, and maybe one out of 10,000 bulls who "prove" themselves for artificial breeding.


Dairy bulls who will not be used for breeding are raised for veal and are slaughtered at three months of age. Culled cows: culled cows become what is known as "dairy beef." In Krsna conscious cow protection, we never send to slaughter any bull or retired cow, and thus need a system to use and maintain animals, that is not present in the dairy industry. But somehow or other, as a society, we are still making the error of thinking that milk production is more important than ox power, and see milk production as the measure of success of a cow protection program.


2) Due to taking the dairy industry as the example to be followed, we have begun herds by purchasing too many animals for the available land and breeding them all. It has become obvious that this was a mistake, and this is becoming rectified.


3) Although there are some improvements in the rectification of above, the "burden of love" to maintain the great population of cows that were born as the result of our error of understanding of proper cow protection has fallen on an unrealistically small portion of devotee society. These devotees perform under great stress almost single handedly to milk, train and work oxen, and raise the necessary funds for the support and development of the program.


4) Due to the small percentage of devotees actively dedicated to cow protection, and due to the limited amount of land available, the program seemingly stagnates. Potential milk cows are "retired" in their prime, never having been bred or milked, and oxen are often never trained or worked. The potential of the herd is not used, as there is no room for expansion (calves) and not enough manpower to do all that is necessary.


5) All available land at our farms becomes used for retired cows and none for vegetable and grains, which Srila Prabhupada wanted us to produce.


6) And much dedicated manpower either works under unreasonable amounts of stress or gives up due to the unreasonable demands on them by a devotee community that is not educated as to what proper cow protection means and entails.


I can only offer as a solution that devotees realize the need for more of us to become educated and involved in cow protection and ox and ox power. Srila Prabhupada stated that in Vrndavana that the basis of varnasrama is cow protection. It is not for only a handful of individuals to provide milk and ox services (ploughing disking, etc.) for the general population.


It is urgent for us to realize that this son of centralized program is not the solution to our problems of community development. Every family in the community must begin to take responsibility for at least one animal. Each family that buys land must realize that if it wants at least milk, let alone ox services, it must become active in cow protection.


With limited land and manpower, it is unreasonable for every family to demand these things, and the benefits of the existing cow protection program should be enjoyed only by the Deity and by the families directly involved in cow protection and by those who help finance it.


In the pastimes of Vrndavana we see great community pasturing grounds, and the milking of the cows and working of the oxen was not put on one family. The village was based on cow protection and using the ox and this was the consciousness -- Krsna and the cows. And of course, I feel I must again state that if we are to have villages based on cow protection, the leadership must take it as a priority, following in the footsteps of Nanda Maharaja. This leadership must inspire the devotees who live in the community to take up cow protection and assist and support those who are already dedicated to this important work.

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"6) And much dedicated manpower either works under unreasonable amounts of stress or gives up due to the unreasonable demands on them by a devotee community that is not educated as to what proper cow protection means and entails."


I can attest to this via personal experience, as I spent some time in New Talavan, milking cows, digging ditches, baling hay, lots of strenuous work, and we would begin work fairly early in the morning and work til dark, (no Gita class.) I remember thinking, "where is the simple living/high thinking?" There was no time to read scripture. Even during Bhagavatam class, the TP had us making jewelry to help bring in money to support the farm.


Anyway, Kamra dasi makes excellent points, as does Hare Krsna dasi. The bottom line is, many farm communities have been started since the 70's, and most have failed, at least in regards to proper cow protection. Not due to insincerity, but perhaps due to inexperience and mismanagement, which, in fairness to the managers involved, was not due to lack of effort or enthusiasm. I had stated earlier that "trial and error" may be one of the ways we learn. This is natural, we learn by our mistakes. So we regroup and try, try again. I thank Theist for helping us to become more aware of these issues. I am happy that others have already raised and addressed the concerns which Theist has pointed out. But like gHari said, we don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. It seems we're headed in the right direction. But Vijay's points are well-taken: many Temples have lost so much manpower, even to the point where they have to import devotees from poor countries to help keep the Temples functioning. The core activities of chanting, Bhagavatam class, Deity worship, book distribution, preaching all must be there as well. Hare Krsna dasi said we can also help with cow protection outside of Iskcon. Anyone who is protecting cows and bulls should be supported and it is up to us to investigate the various cow protection programs and see who has the right idea as well as practical chance for success. (Knowing that the average lifetime of a cow is 20 years, and we may wish not to support "fly-by-night" cow-protection programs which will last only a few years, with huge turnover in personnel.)



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It's generous to attribute the things that happened at Gita-nagari and New Vrindavan to innocence. The business of krishna consciousness should be executed intelligently. There were also documented abuses at Murari-sevak farm in Tennessee, and in many other places. We should approach cow protection as a matter of service to the cows, not a way to engage the cows in enriching us in any way, either with money or prestige.


One thing I've noticed here (as almost everywhere else) is the tendency to want to win this "argument" (actually it's a dispute) rather than use the conversation to uncover the truth. That implies that each interlocutor thinks that he or she has the truth. We lower-grade vaishnavas demonstrate that all the time. It's part of our need to set up an adversary to bolster our sense that we're right. And it's a symptom of Kali's influence. Some of us whine about how hard it is to chant more, but it's a problem easliy solved: less time on the forums, more time on the beads.


Oh--me, too, I guess. Better go chant.

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This seems to be directed towards me, I guess, which is fine. I feel like I've learned a lot from this discussion (or dispute or argument or a combination thereof.) I've thanked Theist for sharing his views and reminding us of the urgent need for cow protection.


I'm also aware of the abuses which have happened at some places. Not sure what the solution is, except like you said, we should execute Krsna Consciousness intelligently.


That implies that each interlocutor thinks that he or she has the truth.


I suppose we all have that tendency to some degree. I know a few of us, including myself, have said that this issue isn't all black and white. Others have disagreed with this notion.


I'm all for service for the cows, no disagreement there. If you have any suggestions you may wish to share on how to execute cow protection, having learned from the mistakes and abuses from the past, I'm sure we could use your input. You seem to be more of a brahminical type than myself, I'm more a sudra-type, so we need some sane/sage advice. Perhaps there are already some intelligent programs in place which you might endorse, in which case those of us not directly involved with cow protection could contribute via donations. How did you feel about Hare Krsna dasi's articles, did she have the right idea towards protecting the cow? How about Paramadvaiti Maharaja's article? Or the Mother Cow program (affiliated with Narasingha Maharaja in India.) These are devotees who are quite senior to me and possess more knowledge about the issue. What they say makes sense to me, but I am open to other ideas. Thanks.



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"One thing I've noticed here (as almost everywhere else) is the tendency to want to win this "argument" (actually it's a dispute) rather than use the conversation to uncover the truth."


You'r right it became a dispute, Most of us here dont mind someone being a vegan i have no problems with it, but when anyone that doesnt follow that way is labelled as a hypocite (thus the peson thinking they have the truth and critisising) I had problems with that. Therefore presented evidence against this claim, to show that the issue is not so black and white and may be they should be careful.


Maybe if the whole thing began as a discussion rather than a rituous statement then it could have been more productive. Isnt submissive inquiry our process? Actually it did start off with a question, but then was overshadowed by theitji's very strong statements.


Anyway I think alot of us have learnt alot form this discussion I know I have and I'am grateful. Better go and chant (-:



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