Protests and morchas are now a commonplace. Every other day, we get to witness or read about demonstrations being carried out in different parts of India. The cause for the dissent may be politica, social or the like. While some manifestations are peaceful, the rest are destructive in nature. One thing however common is the wastage and loss of resources of varied kinds. The latest in line of protests is the ones being implemented by farmers from all over India. The agenda of “Gaon Bandh”, the name given to these remonstrations, is a demand for loan waiver, provision of Minimum Support Price and an assurance of permanent minimum income from the government.
The birth of this dissent dates back to June 2017. However, then, police had taken charge of the situation that led to the death of a couple of farmers. Since then, the movement did not see a termination but a slow-down. But now, the farmers have commenced their protests by initiating a 10-day long demonstration, where milk and vegetable supply is expected to be affected deeply.
The beginning of this mutiny was a peaceful one, however, later, this revolt turned into a destruction with farmers spilling milk and throwing vegetables on the roads.
Human destruction and loss to humans is always a discussed about issue, but when it comes to other living things, we humans just don’t care. Are we right on our part? I’ve been taught since my elementary school years that sustainability of life on earth is a by-product of interdependence of the living and the non-living things. But while engaging in wastage of milk, aren’t we being selfish and mean? Though, in the end, it is we humans who are going to suffer, however, delving into such activities is unfair to the animals at the present moment.
Let me enlighten you as to how milking is carried out. Just like humans, other mammals too produce milk only for feeding their young ones. Thus, in order to extract milk from cows or any other mammals, the animals have to be in their postpartum phase. While this milk is only for the calves and other young ones (depending on the animal we are milking), we the ‘homo sapiens’ separate the little ones from their mothers, and extract and consume the milk for our benefits. More often than not, the off-springs of these animals are either fed on some external source of milk, or with something other than milk. The female off-springs are injected with varied kinds of hormones like oxytocin that are harmful for these animals. Once they grow up, they are to live the lives their mothers lived by having forced pregnancies. Once the animal is out of her postpartum period, she is again impregnated through artificial insemination in order to be able to have a continuous flow of milk.
This way, these animals are forced into constant, body breaking cycles of pregnancy, birthing and milking.
The fate of the male off-springs is worse. Since they cannot produce milk, they are often neglected and left to starve till death. In other cases, they are sent to slaughter houses so that these animals can at least be useful for our ‘non-vegetarian diet’. In all, the lifespan of animals like cows is that of 20 years. But because of our intrusions in their world, their existence is reduced to almost half of their original lifespan.
Now, what right do we have to torture these poor beings for extracting milk, that, ironically, we aren’t even utilizing. We are just spilling several hundred litres of these, in order to express our agitations and to fulfil our demands. We Indians consider cows as goddesses, but when it comes to protecting our goddesses by giving up our selfish needs, we choose to stay aloof. Well, think for yourself. We humans are said to be the best version of the animal kingdom, but when it comes to demonstration of wisdom, these foolish beings are way ahead of us. Being able to invent technology is not more important than showing humanity. Fighting for one’s rights is necessary, but at the cost of several animals’ lives, is folly. Giving away milk and vegetables for free is acceptable but misusing them is not a way out. Farmers have taken the right step to fight against the atrocities, but the method is wrong. Indulging in ways that are averse to the beings who don’t even have a voice of their own is not correct. Aren’t these actions of the farmers pretty much like the ones they are facing? Just like the government is not paying heed to their demands, these farmers are taking advantage of the animals that cannot speak for themselves. Of all the people, farmers should be the last ones to be indulging in such methods of demonstrations.