The cow vigilantes should relax a bit now. The bovine population has increased. This has been revealed in a livestock census. Till now 19 such censuses have been conducted. The government has announced several schemes for the cows. According to the twentieth livestock census report released this week, there has been an increase of 18 percent in the bovine population. If the cow is declared to be a protected animal or the national animal, the bovine population will register a robust increase.
With BJP governments in several states, cow protection is on the agenda of these governments. Primarily Uttar Pradesh where Yogi Adityanath, the current chief minister announced the closure of all slaughter houses. The right wing groups are also very proactive in not allowing the slaughter houses to prosper. They are against the selling of not only beef but also mutton. So it is a double whammy for the butcher houses.
Maybe the bovine population will be healthier now given the fact that plastic bags have been banned. Otherwise the cows would be ingesting plastic bags along the edible stuff.
In outer Delhi, there were people who would buy the old cows for slaughtering. That is not so anymore. There is no denying that cows which are not young are now becoming a burden on the rural folk. Because they cannot provide milk. So in that case they are left to roam around on the city streets and countryside. This is perhaps even more barbaric that butchering the incapacitated bovine population.
Some environmentalists are dead against non-vegetarian food. This gives strength the arguments of right-wingers. They say eating of non-vegetarian food leads to increase in greenhouse gases and ultimately it would cause global warming. Also, the cow dung of the non-milk producing bovine population can be used for producing biogas.
With state government constructing cow shelters, the problem of stray cattle can also be sorted out. But given the huge bovine population, the cow shelters may prove to be insufficient. The state governments will have to allot a share of its budget for the upkeep of cows. As there is paucity of funds with local bodies in most of the cities, the stray cattle will continue to be a menace.