Indian-Americans saving cows from slaughter to promote peace

Washington
19 Feb 2017

'Laila' is among seven cows that were destined to be slaughtered but are now being sheltered by the Indian-American community in the US state of Arizona as part of efforts to promote peace.
The communitry has started a 'Goshala cow sanctuary' that protects cows from slaughter while educating people about how saving these animals promotes a sustainable ecosystem. "We believe that kindness to animals leads to kindness to humans and hence a peaceful world," President Naren Koka of the organistaion was quoted as saying by the Casa Grande Dispatch newspaper.
At Goshala, the cows are respected, honoured and adored.
Protecting them promotes peace and good health, said Koka. "We spread the message of how important it is to protect cows and educate people on how protecting them builds a sustainable ecosystem for future generations," Koka added. Cows eat grass, and the cow dung is very good for the earth. It protects the topsoil, and the manure can be used to feed the corn," he said.
The organisation was started in 2010 when Laila, a black Jersey cow with a white star on her forehead, was saved from slaughter. "Her owner was moving and planned to have her slaughtered, but he offered her for sale on Craigslist to see if he could sell her," said Prayag Narayan Misra, a Goshala founder and volunteer. "We raised the money and purchased her."  The organisation now has seven cows but hopes to add more as many as possible, the report said.
Caring for the cows comes with a price tag of about USD 150 per animal per month. Since healthy cows can live up to 20 years, funding is important to the organisation.
Much of the financial support for caring for the cows comes from the Indian community but some animal activists are also involved.
Goshala also maintains a bull training project so the animals may be used to plow fields. Using bulls rather than tractors to plow fields reduces agricultural dependence on fossil fuels and promotes a more sustainable ecosystem, Koka said. "The organisation promotes a vegetarian lifestyle and frequently serves meatless meals to homeless shelters and the poor. They also hold cooking demonstrations to teach others how to make food with "love and compassion," Koka said. (PTI)