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Search : cow

Fake cow milk!

india,milk,buffalo milk,cow milk,packaged milk,cow,packagingThe discovery of the century! I’ve been drinking buffalo milk for years!

I didn’t believe it at first... But it is true: in India is not mandatory to mention the source of the milk on the packaging so when manufacturers do not indicate the source it means it is not cow milk. And I trusted Nestlé to give me “proper” milk like at home (I gave up milk in plastic bag the day when after learning that I had to boil it, I forget it on the stove and I burnt everything).

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03/28/2014 | Permalink

The golden cow!

One evening I needed something to cheer me up, a treat so I went to Santé (a tiny shop specialized in imported products) to... buy myself a steak! And the steaks they handed over to me ! I had not seen any steak so big in more than 8 years!! When I realised they came from the USA, I thought no wonder...

When came the time to pay, I cheerfully gave my card without even asking about the price: tonight my pleasure is priceless! But I withdrew it promptly from the hands of the cashier when I heard the amount: 3,500 rupees (€40)! For 700 grams of meat? At that price I’d rather go to Dubai and get a barbecue! I therefore left the steaks behind...

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02/22/2014 | Permalink

Why in India cows are sacred?

In my humble opinion, the cow is holy because, as everywhere (before industrialization), it is an animal that is super useful: it eats food waste, it provides cow-power to work in the fields, milk and dung (used as fertilizer, wall protection and combustible). And at the end of its life the cow also provides meat and leather. And two little add-ons in India: Panchagavya, a magical potion for plants and animals (including humans): it is prepared with five products from the cow (namely dung, urine, milk, curd, ghee (some fat product between oil and butter) with jaggery, banana, tender coconut and water. And Kambala, water buffalo races (see video).  

Add all this to a (vague) tendency to venerate a more or less whatever comes their way and you get Indians worshipping cows! Simple...  


Ah! Holy cow! Far from me the desire to stir up the debate as to whether it is good or bad to eat beef – I stopped preaching its nutritional qualities when I realized that if the billion of Indians was to eat it we may all end up suffocating in cow farts (sacred or not)! 

Though it is worth highlighting that India holds the record for dairy cows (owning 15% of the 265 million animals populating the world (1)) and that, bad luck, dairy cows fart more than meaty cows (twice more exactly (2)). Pfffff as if Indians needed this additional pollution! Because, mind you, not only there are 38 million cows in India but also 100 million water buffaloes (3). And I don’t want to start thinking about buffalo farts!  

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Since we are at it, is a Buffalo holy or not? You need faith to worship such an ugly animal!panchagavya,cow,holy cow,hinduism,dung,urine,milk,ghee,buffalo,she-buffalo,calf,bullock,dairy cow,environment,fart,slaughter,beef,meat,vegetarian,non-vegetarien,constitution,law,water buffalo,kambala,kerala,buffalo racing,cow fart,gaz,cow-trafficking Joke apart, you get quite a shock when you are served a buffalo milk chai (yucky for me) or when you cook your first buffalo steak (thinking you bought beef) and it gives away yellow fat. So buffalo? Sacred or not sacred?  


Well it depends on the States... Sometimes the bull, bullock and buffalo are considered as cows (in addition to the cow itself, the calf and the she-buffalo); sometimes not.

Sometimes, the "sacredness" of the cow can be waived: if it exceeds a certain age or if it is no longer viable (i.e. able to produce milk or calves or to pull a plough), even if in all cases it is necessary to ask for authorisation before euthanizing a cow; sometimes not. 

Sometimes (especially in Kerala, West Bengal and North-eastern States) the cow is simply not "legally" sacred and there are 3,600 legal slaughter houses (and 32,000 illegal ones which provide 70% of the meat) (4); someone has to feed all the communities of beef-eaters (Christians, Muslims and indigenous tribes, for example). And even if they are minorities, on a basis of one billion people, as much buffalo is eaten in India as beef in France every year! It is a real business. There is even a big cow-trafficking from India to the neighbouring (beef-loving) countries (5) 

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The Indian Constitution does not ban cow-slaughtering but protect the animal: “The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds, and prohibiting the slaughter, of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.”  (Article 48)

De facto, the States have their own Prevention of Cow Slaughters Acts and the right to ban or restrict it and penalize it (6) (the killing of a cow can be punished with imprisonment (up to 7 years) and/or a fine (up to 50,000 Rs)). With as many as 28 different states and rules that change at the discretion of the governments, difficult to know where you stand! 


It is indeed a verrrry sensitive topic in India and politicians don’t hesitate to use it. For instance, a story of cartridges coated with cow and pig fat almost led the Britishers to lose their colony in 1857 (7) 


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10/04/2013 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Why in India most people are vegetarian?

My mother gave me an idea. She was in a great shape during her last trip to India and asked me about a dozen of questions every minute: and why is this woman dressed like that and why is this guy doing this and why this and why that? A bit annoyed by the number of questions and even more because I didn’t have the answer, I started making up (stupid) answers, which she kinda believed….  

And then I thought that if my mother asks herself these questions, maybe others do too! And here is a series of posts like Why are Indians vegetarian? Why do Indians worship the cow? Why do Indians eat with their fingers? Why do Indians have red marks on the forehead? Why do Sikhs wear turbans? etc.  

Enjoy the reading!


Why are Indians vegetarians?


Even after seven years of being able to order chicken in most of the restaurants I have been to, I'm the first one to claim that Indians are vegetarians. Is it because I had never met one before?

Because as a matter of fact less than half of the Indian population is vegetarian! (1) Of course in numbers it is very high since one person out of 6 on this planet is Indian; consequently 70% of the vegetarians in this world live in India. (2)


The concept of the non-veg (non-vegetarian) versus veg (vegetarian) is quite peculiar here. 

The pure veg, for instance, usually won’t drink alcohol. Do you see the link? I for one assume that if the pure veg is respectful enough of the rules to not eat meat he will also abide by by other rules, like regarding drinks…

Or when an Indian tells you he is a Brahmin, there are great chances (55%) he is veg, unless he is a Kashmiri Brahmin (they eat mutton) or a West Bengali one (they are fond of fish). (3)

Another example is how the pure non-veg will blow a fuse if you serve him a meal without meat or fish – it's completely inconceivable for him. 

I just fell from the sky when my favorite ex-Indian almost cancelled our trip to Hampi when he discovered (at the last minute, of course) that it was a sacred place. And who says sacred – I discovered it that day – also says no meat and no alcohol! india,food,vegetarian,non-vegetarian,pure vegetarian,veg,non-veg,meat,cow,pig,fish,jain,buddhist,hindu,religion,buddha,nonviolence,asoka,sacrifice,holy cow,sacred cow

There is also the non-veg who, to clear his conscience, will deprive himself of meat on the special days of worship of his God (when he doesn’t fast completely). And there are other funny rules like when my Hindu colleague cannot eat garlic nor onion on Tuesdays, Hanuman’s day. 


So how did Indians become veg?


There was a time (Vedic to be precise) when Brahmins (the priests), who today are the most ardent defenders of the sacred cow, practiced religious sacrifices of the said cow. But it was for its good: it was already revered at that time and it enabled the animal to move up faster in the reincarnation cycle. In the texts (particularly the Book of Manu) non-vegetarianism was quite framed: the killing of animals should be as part of a ritual sacrifice, only certain animals should be slaughtered and we could eat their meat only for a particular purpose. (4) 


A few centuries BC, Lord Mahavir, a Hindu of blue blood, gave up all his belongings (including his clothes) at 30 and went meditating for twelve years. He came back with the Jainism doctrine and its principle of nonviolence which is quite extensive as it applies even to bacteria. Jains cannot eat meat, fish, egg, honey, onions and garlic (which arouse sexual desire), vegetables that grow in the ground (potatoes, carrots etc) nor fruits still on the tree. 


Almost at the same time, the prince Gautama Buddha renounced his lifestyle at 29 and after six years of meditation in the forest, he stated the principles of Buddhism, including non-violence. History repeats itself... Except that Buddhists are slightly less stringent than Jains: it is not forbidden to eat meat but to kill the animal... 


A few centuries later, as the Hindu Emperor Asoka was ruling on the largest empire that was ever built in India, he woke up one morning disgusted with all the violence caused by the wars and converted to Buddhism, enjoining his people to do the same. "No living being must be slaughtered or offered in sacrifice."


As Buddhism threatened Hinduism, Hindu priests bounced back and encouraged the practice of vegetarianism which thus spread. Cows began to prosper. One cannot say the same of Jains and Buddhists (which are now respectively 4 and 8 millions in India (5)). Pigs and goats also went through a flourishing era until the Muslims started coming in in the 8th century (6), some 9 centuries after India had turned veg (except for warriors and Kings- not crazy these ones! – and Untouchables who ate whatever they could find).

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10/02/2013 | Permalink

Why do cows roam freely in the streets in India?

india,cow,meat,cows on the streets,temple cows,milk,euthanasia,killing a cow,old cows,untouchables,she-buffaloes,cowsWe just saw why cows are considered as sacred in India; and the advantage of being a God is that you can do what you want when you want where you want... So if a cow wants to be where it is, well it just stays here!

We have the right to blow their ears by honking like mad but not to touch them... Talking of ears, I have a feeling that bovines have not a very developed hearing... Coupled with an overdeveloped nonchalance and you have it… huge traffic jams!


But in the first place, why are they in the streets? 


You can find the cows that belong to temples (they are sacred remember).


But most of them belong to ‘urban farmers’ who provide the daily fresh milk Indians are fond of (because of habit, taste and cost).india,cow,meat,cows on the streets,temple cows,milk,euthanasia,killing a cow,old cows,untouchables,she-buffaloes,cows


And why do their owners leave them in the streets? Because it reduces their food budget! On the one hand they eat garbage (organic waste and not so organic (a downward slide of modernization)) and on the other hand they get fed by people (accomplishing the good deed of feeding a God!).) They gather them for milking...

One might wonder why we see less she-buffaloes roaming around on their own (whereas they are also in the cities where you can see them walking in herds)? They would be dumber than cows and have more difficulties finding their shelter and master...


And then there are the old cows. Which are of no more use. And as it is forbidden to euthanize them, their owners prefer to abandon them in the streets. In addition to this legal explanation, there is also a religious dimension: “Higher castes consider the body of the dead cow polluting; if they do handle it, they must go through a rite of purification.”*


What happens to them then? The out-casts (lower than the low castes), the Untouchables, are called to the rescue to haul away the carcass from which they will take the meat and skin to make leather... 

india,cow,meat,cows on the streets,temple cows,milk,euthanasia,killing a cow,old cows,untouchables,she-buffaloes,cows 


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10/06/2013 | Permalink

Summer serie ”pics of India on the spur of the moment” - Pouring dogs and cows



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09/16/2012 | Permalink

The Indian (and hindu) version of the mermaid...

 Inde,Kamadhenu,religion,vache,vache sacrée,mère des vaches

Inde,Kamadhenu,religion,vache,vache sacrée,mère des vaches

 In Chennai, board of a furniture shop…

 It is Kamadhenu, the ‘Mother of cows’ or the ‘vache de tous les désires’ (some sort of Aladin genie), usually represented as a winged with cow with the head and breasts of a woman (Source).

 More about the sacred cow in India: here

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09/07/2015 | Permalink

And paf the cow, and paf the plane!

I remember rabbits running on the lawns in Orly (Paris) airports when I was little…

So what if in India there are cows on the runway?? We are not going to ‘make a cheese out of it’, are we (appropriate expression meaning ‘make a huge fuss about it’)??

Well, yeah, sometimes it causes accidents; put it on karma!

Plane hit cow.jpg

 Source :

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11/10/2014 | Permalink

Holy cow (again)!


Sometimes you think you are doing a good deed by giving the left over of the press cold machine to the cows downstairs... And then you get yelled at by their owners!! Because people actually come and pay to feed them (to get God blessings). So if you feed them, they will be full and won't eat devouts' offerings and they will take it very bad!!

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12/08/2014 | Permalink

Cows 1 - Women 0

While I’m busy playing doll, a lot is happening in India! Budget must have required all the imagination of the authorities (and they needed some to increase the Defense envelope at the expenses of Health and Education). So now they must be jobless since their latest game is about banning things.    

Starting with the movie Fifty Shades of Grey. In case showing a sexy movie to a big number of frustrated people would trigger some ideas – like if the said frustrated people had to go to the theater to see asses and tits ;) The party of the Prime Minister did not ban sexual education (in Maharashtra in 2007) to have bum slaps on big screens! 

Then with the BBC documentary India’s Daughter about the Delhi gang-rape (and evisceration) of December 2012 - scary:

And with a grand finish, beef (and all the beef-family animals) have been banned in Maharashtra (including in Mumbai). This law, which not only punishes slaughter of cows but also possession and consumption, is obviously pro-Hindu, and too bad for the poor (beef meat being the cheapest), the Christians and the Muslims, the farmers and breeders and the poor old or dying animals.

More about the Sacred Cow in this post and this post.


But maybe the Government is doing all that on purpose, to attract attention on India (bad press better than no press)?? In this case, they got it right: sex, rape and cow worshiping, Westerners have developed a passion for these topics… 

India,cows,beef,beef ban,holy cow,rape,women,india's daughter,fifty shades of grey

India,cows,beef,beef ban,holy cow,rape,women,india's daughter,fifty shades of grey

India,cows,beef,beef ban,holy cow,rape,women,india's daughter,fifty shades of grey

India,cows,beef,beef ban,holy cow,rape,women,india's daughter,fifty shades of grey

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03/08/2015 | Permalink

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