An Appeal To Maharashtra Govt NOT to allocate more land for the dairy sector
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Why the Govt Should not encourage the growth of the dairy sector in India.
Nagpur Today recently announced: Union minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari had on Friday requested Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis to consider providing 1,000 acres of land to Yoga guru Ramdev for a cow-based project in Vidarbha. On Sunday, Gadkari announced that the state government would raise a Rs 25,000-crore project on 800 acres at Heti (Kundi) village in Vidarbha, to be carried forward with the help of Ramdev’s Patanjali group.
According to Gadkari, Patanjali will purchase 10,000 cows to develop a breeding centre and to carry out dairy and allied activities at the site.
There are several reasons why this would be detrimental to India. Today dairy is on the decline in USA, Europe, and Australia, and many dairy production units are closing down in these continents. There are several reasons for this, as follows.
Although we have been convinced by advertisements from the dairy industry that milk is a vital food, the reality is the opposite. Dairy causes a lot of havoc to health.
1. Milk is the food that every mammal makes for its young, and no animal in nature drinks another animal’s milk. Milk is a fluid to make a baby grow fast, and contains powerful growth hormones. Today because of our excess consumption of dairy (milk, cheese, butter, ghee, cream, paneer, curds, buttermilk…), we are facing an obesity epidemic.
2. Today we have a huge increase in the cases of cancers. Dairy and animal protein is one of the important causes of cancer. Protein is the food for growth, cancer is a growth. There is a close relation. More detailed research on this topic can be found in the book The China Study.
3. Breast cancer and prostate cancer, the most common cancers today, are hormone dependent cancers. Dairy is inherently full of the very hormones which promote these cancers. Cancer can be controlled by controlling consumption of dairy. More detailed research on this topic can be found in the book The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.
4. Animal milk always contains hormones, which upset our own hormonal balance. Today we are facing many hormonal diseases - breast and prostate cancers, thyroid, PCOD, diabetes, infertility, et cetera. These can be controlled by reducing hormonal consumption.
5. Milk and other animal products are full of fat and promote heart disease, hypertension, and other diseases related to fat.
6. Today autoimmune diseases like type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, SLE, et cetera are on the rise. These too are caused in part by animal proteins of which dairy is a major source.
7. Milk contains antibiotics since these are a part of the feed of cows. This causes antibiotic resistance in humans.
8. Because we don't have enough food for humans, cows are always seen feeding in garbage pits. The film The Plastic Cow, shows how milk in India contains PCBs, as a result of cows eating food in plastic bags. PCBs also cause cancer.
9. The ICMR researched milk in India for seven years, and over 50,000 samples, and found pesticide levels of residual pesticides like HCH in milk at 570 times the permissible levels.
10. Oxytocin, a schedule H drug, which has been forbidden for use by the dairy industry, is being used rampantly, all over India, to increase the production of milk. Being a hormone it upsets the hormonal balance in humans as well.
11. Most people believe that we need milk for calcium, but nothing is further from the truth. The highest incidence of osteoporosis occurs in countries with the highest consumption of dairy and animal proteins. Cows get calcium from plants. Sesame, for example contains 10 times the calcium per weight as compared to dairy.
It is common knowledge that dairy production is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gases, and climate change. Even more than all the vehicles on the planet.
1. Cows need food, water and land to survive. The Vidharba region has already been facing suicides by farmers because of shortages. In fact all over India we have shortage of food, water, and land. More than 600 gallons of water are required to produce a single gallon of milk. It makes no sense to consume food higher on the food chain in a country that faces starvation and water shortages.
2. India has the largest population of cattle in the world, a population that we cannot easily support along with our own human population. The result is degradation of forests, to create grazing grounds and grow food for animals, loss of ecosystem, and loss of biodiversity.
3. The leather industry, a natural byproduct of the dairy industry is one of the most polluting industries on the planet.
Animal Welfare and Rights
Our Constitution demands of every Indian protect animals. But with increased dairy production animals are always at risk.
1. Dairy production today involves artificial insemination of cows at the age of two. Male calves that will never produce milk, are immediately taken away from their mothers and slaughtered for calf leather. Even the colostrum, the first milk of cows is sold in the market as a delicacy. Cows are artificially inseminated within 2 to 3 months of delivery, so that the milk flow continues. Every mother longs for her baby, and this causes tremendous suffering to cows.
2. Within three deliveries that come one after another in quick succession, cows are spent and will not be able to produce enough milk. Despite all the laws, they are sent to slaughter or slaughtered clandestinely. And if not slaughtered they die of starvation because nobody feeds them.
3. The dairy industry and the beef industry cannot be separated. If cows are not slaughtered in India they will be sent abroad and slaughtered which is the case. The few gaushalas that exist mainly have female cows and are conducting dairy business under cover anyway. It will not be possible, or financially viable, to protect all the cows till the end of their lives if we continue with the dairy industry.
4. We are compromising biodiversity by increasing the numbers of cattle. Wild animals are killed to protect cattle as has happened in Ranthambhore.
Here is a good report on dairy production in India http://fiapo.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/National-Dairy-Report-2017.pdf
Today internationally the trend is towards plant-based nutrition for health, environment, and animal rights. People like Bill Gates, Leonardo Di Caprio, etc have invested large amounts of money into plant-based meats and plant-based milks. See https://straydogcapital.com/investments-driving-future-food/ It would be unwise to do the opposite in India.
As we already know, farmers have been committing suicides in the Vidarbha region due to drought and shortages. The dairy industry requires a lot of water and food so it would be literally suicidal to expand the dairy industry in that region or for that matter anywhere in India. However instead of raising cattle, if Baba Ramdev was to enter the plant based milk business it would be a cheaper since plant based milk can be produced at a much lower cost that animal milk. This would benefit both the producer and the consumers.
Since dairy is neither healthy, nor ecological, and inherently cruel to animals, we in India must reduce the dairy industry rather than increasing it. Economically plant based milk production can be a winner for all. Therefore it will not be wise to give land to encourage any mega dairy production. Like other countries in the world, that are going towards plant-based milks we too should be doing the same. Soy milk is full of protein, contains no hormones, and is far more healthy than cow’s milk, and is ecological too and could be used as a substitute for milk.
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