India’s intriguing status as the world’s largest beef exporter, milk producer, and among the top leather producers – industries which are substantially sustained by the mass slaughter of cattle – implausibly coexists with its legislative prohibitions on cow killing. Most Indian states criminalise the slaughter of the cow, bull and progeny, and beef sourced from them, based on a core Hindu ethic of reverencing the cow as sacred. The blind spot in India’s cow protectionism discourse, politics and legislations, is however the inconvenient fact of the living cow. That this is a tiresome, even mischievous lens through which to approach this issue is evident in India’s booming cattle industries – for commodification of any animal product – in particular lactation – on a mass-scale, is impossible without doing extraordinary violence to them. Significantly, India’s cow protectionism discourse, politics and legislations have almost never been critiqued from a robust animal liberation standpoint. The animal advocacy movement in India itself has largely come to be regarded as a right-wing Hindutva activity because of the co-option of cow protectionism by ultra-nationalist political groups to advance their vision of an upper-caste Hindu Indian nation by marginalising Muslims and low-caste Hindus. The implications of cow protectionism for the actual cows – and the larger animal advocacy movement in India – has almost never been the centre of a liberationist analysis for animals, particularly those regarded as ‘food’ or ‘livestock’, one of the most severely marginalised and brutalised groups in planetary history.
The discourse as it is currently framed is fundamentally incompatible with any form of ‘protection’ for the cow, and is in fact devastating for the animal advocacy movement more broadly in India. Cow protectionism arises out of, and endorses, several compatible oppressions that support the commodification of cattle as resources: sectarianism, casteism, patriarchy, and the longest enduring subjugation in history – speciesism. In exceptionalising only slaughter and only beef as violent, cow protectionism has been rendered a classic and strategic single-issue campaign that successfully obscures a wide range of violence endemic in all cattle industries – especially dairy’s direct link to cow slaughter in India.
Cow milk is not only widely consumed in India but is also a core part of Hindu rituals. Legislative and political cow protectionism operates as a subtle cooperation between the secular state and Hindu nationalism, to sustain India’s booming cattle industries, and simultaneously privilege the right-wing Hindutva agenda of conceptualising an ideologically ‘pure’ Hindu Indian state. It is the indistinguishably interconnected religio-political and commercial value of bovine bodies that are vital to the state, rendering the ethical and moral obligation for their wellbeing irrelevant.
Death and dairy: the reality of cow slaughter
India has the highest livestock population in the world at 485 million, of which cattle – including cows and buffalo – comprise 185.2 million1, making it also the largest global owner of cattlehead.2 India has no formal broiler cattle industry to serve the beef industry; rather it is the former dairy cows and the ‘useless’ bulls and male calves that constitute India’s beef economy. The government claims that the exported beef is sourced from buffalo; while there is no moral difference between a buffalo and a cow (and a goat and a chicken), evidence suggests that cow beef is also exported in substantial amounts3. Notably milk is sourced from cows as well as buffalo though dairy’s direct link to slaughter is obscured. Akin to Amartya Sen’s4 conception of ‘missing women’ in South Asia to explain the region’s skewed sex ratio due to female infanticide and foeticide, it is possible to conclude that there are also “missing cows” in India due to illegal trafficking and slaughter. Slaughter of cows is thus as inevitably profligate in India as elsewhere. Chilkoti & Crabtree calculate the birth-rate of the total estimated population of cows in India over a 5-year period between 1997 and 2002, based on a 15-18 monthly calving rate.5 They estimate that there is a shortfall of seven crores cattle head (70 million), which cannot be attributed to natural death, even allowing for an exaggerated infant mortality as high as 50 per cent. They write of the recent beef exports:6
In 2010, for instance, India claimed to export 653,000 tonnes of buffalo. Curiously, global imports of the same meat came to just 169,000 tonnes. Much of the gap is assumed to be made up of contraband cow, cleverly disguised until it arrives on foreign shores.
India’s Constitution was framed immediately after Independence in the 1950s when the nation was severely food insecure. In spite of being an agrarian economy, the country was heavily importing grains as well as milk; recovering food security therefore was a national priority. The preservation of cattle through a prohibition on their slaughter was a strategic agricultural policy decision, rather than one arising out of any religious sentiment. The cow for her milk, and the bull for his traction power and genetic material, were regarded as the backbone of India’s agricultural economy. The state was to focus on protecting and improving the genetic material of India’s bovines in the interests of agriculture and animal husbandry – not in the interests of the animals per se. To this end, the two Directive Principles contained in Article 48 of the Constitution instruct animal husbandry to breed scientifically for dairy, and prevent the slaughter of cattle, where they recommend that the State ‘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.7
The reality is that the twin mandates of the Indian Constitution – to prohibit cow slaughter, and to improve the dairy sector – are mutually incompatible. A profitable dairy industry must necessarily slaughter its spent animals. As early as the 1960s, Verghere Kurien, the father of India’s White Revolution had argued that if India wished to have cheap and plentiful milk, it must be prepared to slaughter its spent bovines en masse. India’s cattle breeding programs are not designed to serve a beef industry, but entirely to create a profitable dairy industry. Mission Milk, the report of the National Dairy Development Board estimates a demand of about 100 million sperm doses by 2017, which is expected to jump to 140 million doses in the next 15 years. The use of artificial insemination to breed dairy cattle means an extraordinarily high number of animals will be born. Where in natural impregnation, the ejaculation from one bull may lead to one pregnancy, a ‘single ejaculation, triggered with the help of a teaser animal and collected in an artificial vagina, provides 500 to 600 sperm “doses”8 – in other words, as many pregnancies, but it bears repeating – from one ejaculation. The shelf life of working sperm appears to be forever, as long as stored correctly – which means, the ejaculate from the bull can continue to impregnate cows even after he is dead.
There is, quite simply, nowhere to keep these staggering numbers of spent female and unproductive male dairy cattle. Gaushalas or the traditional sanctuaries for retired cows and bulls are simply unable to keep up with the inflow of former dairy cattle. Traditionally villages in India had commons or grazing lands for cattle, which are now subsumed by urbanisation. Between 2013 and 2015, some 2,254 square kilometres of forestland became urban, leading to loss of ecosystem diversity.9 Incredibly, the current BJP-led government has drastically reduced funding to the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) by a whopping 64 per cent, from Rs 21.7 crore (US$ 4 million) in 2011-12 to Rs 7.8 crore (US$ 1.44) in 2015-16.10 As per AWBI Board member Jayasimha Nuggehalli, 80 per cent of these funds are allocated to gaushalas around the country.11
In gaushalas too, animals are typically kept in a continued state of incarceration by tying them with short ropes in zero-grazing conditions. During my visits to innumerable gaushalas across India, it was all too common to see highly frustrated, young cattle, especially the bulls and bull-calves snorting and pacing in agitation along the cruelly short length of their tight ropes. At a Calcutta gaushala, I saw a female cow keel over and suffer an epileptic fit, foaming and frothing in the unswept dung and urine for more than 30 minutes. The workers continued about their business without pausing; apparently she had a fit every morning after milking, and she would be ‘fine’ soon. Almost every gaushala functions as a dairy farm, separating tiny calves from their mothers.
All too commonly, gaushalas are death-mills for the ex-dairy cattle and as a slow substitute for slaughter, are simply starved to death. A large gaushala in Barsana near Mathura houses some 20,000 cows and bulls, many of whom were skeletal when I visited in 2016. In 2016, the horrifying news emerged of nearly 10,000 cows and bulls simply being starved to death at the state government-owned Hingonia gaushala in Jaipur.12 In 2013, the venerated Simhachalam Temple in Visakhapatnam city was in trouble when it was discovered by the animal rescue organisation Visakha Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (VSPCA) that the temple had been auctioning the male calves in its gaushala for decades, or starving unproductive cows to death.1314 The New Indian Express reported,15 the deaths have occurred due to scarcity of fodder and water, cramped spaces and the unbearable heat turning the cowshed, which houses more than 500 cows and calves, into an oven.’ The gaushala faced the all-too familiar situation of severe resource and space scarcity, with a daily intake of baby male calves. The VSPCA further reported:16
The temple goshala is unimaginable in its horrific conditions. Up to 700 calves – many injured, diseased, and handicapped – are boxed into less than half an acre of land, competing for a [sic] limited hay and dirty water. Stress and competition for food regularly leads to stampedes [among the baby calves]…
Such violence and trauma are entirely unaccounted for in cow protection legislations. Cow killing bans in India have merely been rendered a speciesist single-issue campaign, which only ‘focus on particular use of animals, or some form of treatment’ as a way of ending that abusive treatment.17 Rather than criminalising the incarceration and exploitation of animals altogether, they only focus on ‘exceptionally horrendous acts of exploitation’.18 The moral inconsistency, and confusing messages (crate-free sows; free-range hens; stunned slaughter – or slaughter bans) in single-issue advocacy campaigning in fact supports animal-exploitation by legitimising the idea that the violent treatment of some animals, or other forms of violence to animals is acceptable. The single-issue campaigning against only cow slaughter has led to a situation in India where the suffering of bovines for the milk industry – increasingly recognised as a more deeply entrenched violent commoditising process than even meat19– is completely hidden and unacknowledged.
Patriarchal violence in dairy, and the milk of Hindu nationalism
The great anxiety arising from President Donald Trump’s election in 2016 was the real concern that women’s control over their reproductive system and the right to make their own reproductive choices could be eroded. The commodification of reproduction, the disruption of the mother-child bond, and safe motherhood are one of the earliest and most enduring anxieties of the human feminist movement. The reality is that these traumas are no more human traumas, any more than they are distresses exclusive, for instance, to white women, and not to mother and children of other races. Human colonising of these traumas is as nonsensical as racial appropriation of these traumas for these are species traumas.
Kathryn Gillespie’s forthcoming book The Cow with Ear Tag #1389 on the eviscerating violence embedded in the dairy industry in the United States provides innumerable examples of the grief, as well as physical and mental traumas that cows undergo to repeatedly birth their children, and lose them immediately. Feminist psychology literature on motherhood dwells at length on theories on attachment and separation anxieties. Mari Jo Bhule’s Feminism and its Discontents: A Century of Struggle with Psychoanalysis explores the actual (and frequently contested) nature of anxieties involved in separating mother and child, for both mother and child. At the least, such analyses give a deeper sense of the emotional violence suffered by dairy animals – a trauma that was vital to frame as a core violence in the (human) feminist movement. This specific emotional trauma of mother-child separation is fundamental to sustain animal agriculture per se, and particularly so for dairying.
The consumption of nonhuman animal lactation, one of the greatest unexamined oppressions, is so prolific in human species so as to be completely institutionalised, and thus invisibilised. The core of violence comes from the fact that diverting infant lactation of any species from its sole purpose of nourishing infants of that species is profuse with cruelty and violence to all members of that species, especially mother and child. The ceaseless cycle of pregnancies and relentless lactation heavily deprives the cow of calories, nutrition – and her children. The calves, male or female, necessarily have to be removed from their mother to divert their lactation for humans. Male animals are slaughtered, starved to death, or incarcerated in zero-grazing confinement in frozen bovine semen farms for sperm extraction, to impregnate cows.
In India, the sacralisation of cow milk – another form of commodification – further serves a specific form of Hindu patriarchy. The purity of the sacred cow – much like the purity of Hindu women – has always been invoked as a political tool by right-wing Hindu groups for the creation of an ideologically ‘pure’ Hindu Indian nation. Indian feminist sociologists note that Hindus use women’s bodies more strategically than Muslims to intensify communal and casteist differences.20 In a similar way, bovine bodies, especially the indigenous breeds, have been burdened with the task of preserving a pure, upper-caste Hindu culture. Cow protectionism is thus routinely mobilised to perpetuate atrocities against Muslims and low-caste Hindus. In 2016 alone, two Muslim women, a Muslim couple, and four Dalit men were severely beaten by self-stated cow vigilantes for allegedly possessing cow beef and/or hide.
Political analyst Shivam Vij21 regards cow protectionism as one of the most polarising tools of political segregation between Hindus and Muslims, even above the horrific and enduring implications of the destruction of the 500-year-old Babri Masjid mosque in Ayodhya by Hindu fundamentalists in 1992. The cow protectionism narrative thus becomes exceptionally problematic when such a failed, oppressive, violent discourse is coopted by animal activists as an advocacy strategy. Unconsciously or even strategically then, Indian animal activism that mobilises cow protectionism for advocacy, implicitly supports sectarianism, casteism, patriarchy – and speciesism.
The sacral deification of the cow, bull and their products in Hinduism – milk, curd, clarified or unclarified butter, urine and dung – is indistinguishably linked with their economic value,22 whether in dairy or agriculture. The criminalisation of beef in many Indian states obfuscates the culpability of the milk sector in contributing to cow slaughter. Cow milk however is regarded as crucial to all Hindu rituals, and Hindu identity itself. In Sacred Bull, Holy Cow, Donald Sharpes23 notes, ‘Deifying the cow was a natural acknowledgement of an economy that placed cattle at the apex of wealth…’ Religion and capitalism form compatible partnerships, which renders the idea of the ‘sacred cow’ highly complex, fraught and problematic. Religion and nature scholar Catherine Albanese24draws attention to the crucial distinction between nature as sacred, and nature as sacred resource; in the latter case, violence toward nature is an inherent part of the religious practices.
The Hindu community consumes calf lactation not only as ‘food’ but also uses it prolifically in rituals. Several millions of litres of animal milk ‘literally go down the drain’ each day in Hindu temples throughout the country everyday.25 Hundreds, if not thousands of litres of milk and ghee are utilised in major temples every day for consecration and prasad. The Hindu co-convenor Mahiraj Dhwaj Singh of the Muslim wing of the Hindu nationalist party RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) announced that their 2017 iftar feast for breaking the daily Ramadan fast would consist entirely of dairy products from the cow to drive the message of ‘save the cow’ to the Muslims.26 In a terrible and unconscious twist of irony, the RSS was implicitly advocating cow destruction to the very community that is frequently accused of cow slaughter.
Very few Hindu thinkers have directly addressed the immense cruelty to cows in dairy production. As early as 1917, Mahatma Gandhi had noted the terribly cruelty of dairies in India from which cows have never had any ‘protection’. Gandhi did not advocate veganism, the notion of which he presumably no awareness; certainly, it was a still time when belief in the health benefits of consuming animal milk were unquestioned. However he vowed never to consume dairy from cattle, and his reasons were motivated by his horror at the abuse of cattle in India. He regarded the fact that he had once consumed dairy, unknowing of the consequences to kine as ‘the greatest tragedy of his life’. He took to consuming goat’s milk instead, and later acknowledged in his autobiography that he had indeed ‘broken the spirit’ of his vow. Gandhi repeatedly spoke against the great violence done to cows by Hindus for milk as part of his campaign against violence: 27
Hindu society has been inflicting terrible cruelty on the cow and her progeny…I shudder when I see all this and ask myself how we can say anything to our Muslim friends so long as we do not refrain from such terrible violence. We are so intensely selfish that we feel no shame in milking the cow to the last drop. If you go to dairies in Calcutta, you will find that the calves there are forced to go without the mother’s milk and that all the milk is extracted with the help of a process known as blowing. The proprietors and managers of these dairies are none other than Hindus and most of those who consume the milk are also Hindus. So long as such dairies flourish and we consume the milk supplied by them, what right have we to argue with our Muslim brethren?
In a later speech at the Bettiah gaushala in 1920, Gandhi repeated,28
What is really needed for protecting the cow is that the Hindus themselves should care for her, since they, too, kill her. The barbaric practice of blowing for extracting milk to the last drop, of tormenting oxen, which are the progeny of the cow, by using the goad, and of making them draw loads beyond their strength —these things amount to killing the cow. If we are serious about cow-protection, we must put our own house in order.
However cow protectionism, as it currently is practiced, completely absolves Hindus of any responsibility towards the cows, and in fact, sanctions the violence that they perpetuate on animals, in the name of Hinduism. Moreover, the narrative of sacrality as a precursor for cow protectionism has profoundly complicated India’s animal protection movement. Sacralising an animal as divinity/mother/goddess can also be regarded a process of objectification, and objectification, regardless of purpose or process, is generally profuse with violence.29 Many animals designated as sacred in Hinduism, such as elephants, cows, monkeys and cobras, among others, suffer significant violence as a direct outcome of their exalted status. Further, the implicit mundanity of other animals, especially those designated livestock/‘food’ – places buffaloes, pigs, chickens, goats and sheep in an exceptionally precarious position, and removes them even more decisively from an animal protection movement that mobilises sacrality for its advocacy.
‘Cow protection…the gift of Hinduism to the world’: excavating a vegan, animal liberationist ethic
‘The central fact of Hinduism is cow protection…and cow protection is the gift of Hinduism to the world’, wrote Mahatma Gandhi, the most secular of Hindu thinkers. The substantial work on nature religion, and greening of religion has noted the ways in which select scriptural passages that sanction the exploitation, rather than the protection of animals has been mobilised to justify environmental violations. Scholars of environmentalism and nature of secular and religious faith have then sought to reflect upon nature-friendly interpretations.30 In a similar way, the burgeoning work on veganising religion seeks to excavate and reflect upon animal-friendly interpretations of faith.31
The cow and the bull are unarguably resonant figureheads in India, and cow protectionism can offer two vital inroads for a broader animal protection advocacy. One, the legendary story of the churning of the ocean of milk, the greatest of the milk mythologies contains a vital, and entirely invisibilised aspect. As per the parable, the gods and demons wished to obtain ambrosia, the nectar of life and immortality, and realised that neither could do it alone. Together they decide to churn the ocean, and through increased churning, the waters first turn milky, and as per the natural process of churning milk, the ocean yields butter and ghee. Critically, however, the milky ocean is described in the scriptures of created out of the churning of the ocean water, and herbs and plants32 The holiest milk of Hinduism would appear to be vegan and plant-based, rather than animal lactation!
According to the great Hindu story of the Churning of the Ocean, milk assumes a pure and simple guise as a limitless source of bounty. The tale begins with a quest for an elixir of immorality, when Hindu gods took charge of a still chaotic world and decided to stir things up, literally. Using a snake as a rope and a mountaintop as a churning stick, they pulled and writhed as the sap from plants from the mountain mixed with water from the sea. As the swirling progressed, the ocean water turned to milk and then – following laws of an ordinary dairy – butter. From a rich, congealed mass emerged the sun, moon, and stars, along with Surabhi, the Cow of Plenty. Her offspring have assumed sacred status as four-legged carriers of perfection and reminders of this extravagant genesis.33
The Mahabharata likewise describes the milkiness of the churning ocean as born out of the intermingling of sacred herbs and trees with the water of the seas:
After the churning, O Brahmana, had gone on for some time, gummy exudations of various trees and herbs vested with the properties of amrita mingled with the waters of the Ocean. And the celestials attained to immortality by drinking of the water mixed with those gums and with the liquid extract of gold. By degrees, the milky water of the agitated deep turned into clarified butter by virtue of those gums and juices.34
Two, in the Bhagvad Gita, Lord Krishna pronounces that the bull represents dharma, variously understood as ‘duty’, ‘law’, ‘righteous conduct’, or ‘justice’.35 Dharma is depicted by the four legs of Nandi, the bull of Lord Shiva. With each increasing breakdown of human morality through the ages, Nandi loses a leg, and in the current era of Kali, Hindus believe that the cosmic bull stands on one leg. With the total breakdown of human morality, Nandi will finally collapse, calling for a renewal of a new moral order. The cow and the bull encompass the Universe itself, and cow protection is indistinguishably linked with humans’ dharmic duty to ensure the protection of all entire living creation. The suffering of the ‘bulls of dharma’ epitomise the need for a renewal of politics that foreground universal values of compassion and recognition of nonhumans.
Can the cow protection movement contribute to a rigorous animal protection movement in India? Akin to the powerful symbolism of Mahatma Gandhi’s spinning wheel as a rallying cry for a self-reliant nation, can the Mother Cow – the mother of all living creatures – also stand as a figurehead for the protection of all life? This offers the secular Indian state, which conceptually draws upon the universal values of all faiths an in-road for critical engagement with not only a green, but a vegan national discourse based on the collective multifaith regard for compassion. When single-issue campaigns are thoughtfully constructed, they may speak to larger issues very effectively. The campaign for the protection of polar bears neatly represents the grave issue of climate change that causes their endangerment.36 Variations of environmentalism and eco-citizenship are increasingly interwoven with nation-building narratives. Configurations of eco-governance are beginning to variously unsettle and reframe the nation-state,37 and cow protectionism, carefully framed, can contribute to critical thinking towards a nation-building discourse on animal liberation in India.
Theologically, the protection of the cow symbolises the protection of the universe, and all its living constituents. Instead of weak welfarist interpretations, cow protectionism can contribute to a reconceptualisation of civil liberties itself that recognise all nonhuman animals as members of our moral, political and legislative communities. While cow veneration (as other forms of animal/nature/even human worship) may be resonant in Hindu cultural practices, protectionism as a legislative enactment must be replaced by progressive, forward-thinking laws for animals that frame ‘protection’ as freedom from all exploitation. ‘Protection’ is currently undefined in the Indian Constitution, and needs to be analysed against a “vulnerability” discourse, to comprehensively identity the multiple vulnerabilities – biological, historical, socio-cultural, patriarchal, ecological and scientific, among others – that bovine and other nonhumans experience.
This can form the foundation for deconstructing the multiple – and shared – oppressions between nonhuman and human animals. This can offer the basis for forming critical allegiances with other social movements, especially the women’s movement and the Dalit rights movement, both of whom – like the cows – have suffered oppression from Hindu patriarchy. Animal liberation politics has been so strongly tainted by right-wing appropriation in India, that consciously owning and forming strategic and meaningful allegiances with the left is vital. Through deconstructing cow protection as a mega-politics for animal liberation, India can be well placed to respond with radical action that addresses animal agriculture as an outdated food production system thoroughly inconsistent with planetary and ethical realities.
Banner image: A typical overcrowded gaushala in Hyderabad where former dairy cows and rescued bulls are saved from slaughter but go on to endure a life of continuous confinement or even tethering for life in small concrete enclosures. (2017)
All photos: Yamini Narayanan, taken during field research in India, 2015 – 2017.
- Chhabra, A., Manjunath, K., R., Panigrahy, S., & Parihar, J., S. “Greenhouse gas emissions from Indian livestock”, Climatic Change, 117, p 329-344.
- FAO. (2015) Dairy Production and Products, Accessed 18th December, 2015, http://www.fao.org/agriculture/dairy-gateway/milk-production/en/#.VnNyQaO4Ybw
- Chilkoti, A., & Crabtree, J. “India’s beef battleground sizzles ahead of election”, Financial Times. Accessed 29th September, 2016, from http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/033680fa-027d-11e3-880d-00144feab7de.html#axzz3ki4Hdyc2
- Sen, Amartya, “More than 100 million women are missing”, New York Review of Books, 20, p 61-66.
- Chilkoti, A., & Crabtree, J. op cit
- DAHD, “Chapter III – Administration of Cattle Laws.” Accessed 4th June 2015. http://dahd.nic.in/dahd/reports/report-of-the-national-commission-on-cattle/chapter-iii.aspx
- Biswas, S. (2015). “The bull whose semen is worth $3,000”, BBC News, Accessed 8th December, 2015, from http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-31107115
- India State of Forest Report, Forest Survey of India, 2015. Accessed 15th December, 2016, from http://fsi.nic.in/details.php?pgID=sb_62
- Thakur, Atul & Jayashree Nandi, “Cry for holy cows fails to draw funds for gaushalas”, The Times of India. Accessed 28th May, 2017, from http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Cry-for-holy-cows-fails-to-draw-funds-for-gaushalas/articleshow/52921244.cms
- “8,122 cows died since Jan at Hingonia gaushala: Rajasthan govt.”, The Tribune (India). Accessed 5th January, 2017, from http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/8-122-cows-died-since-jan-at-hingonia-gaushala-rajasthan-govt/276859.html
- “Calves offered to Simhachalam temple found dead”, The Times of India. Accessed 15th December, 2014, from http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Calves-offered-to-Simhachalam-temple-found-dead/articleshow/20057450.cms
- .“100 cows starve to death at Simhachalam Temple”, The New Indian Express, Retrieved 26th December, 2014, from http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra_pradesh/100-cows-starve-to-death-at-Simhachalam-Temple/2013/05/15/article1590412.ece
- ”Simhachalam Calves: 2013 Update – 12 Months of Liberation for Thousands of Male Calves”, VSPCA, Accessed 5th January, 2015, from http://www.vspca.org/programs/calves.php
- Francione, G., L. (2010). Is Every Campaign a Single-Issue Campaign?”, Abolitionist Approach, Accessed 2nd December, 2016, from http://www.abolitionistapproach.com/is-every-campaign-a-single-issue-campaign
- Wrenn, C., Lee, & Johnson, R., “A Critique of Single-issue Campaiging and the Importance of Comprehensive Abolitionist Vegan Advocacy”, Food, Culture and Society, 16 (4), p 651-668.
- Gillespie, K. (forthcoming). The Cow with Ear Tag #1389. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Gupta, Charu, “Hindu women, Muslim men: Cleavages in shared spaces of everyday life, United Provinces c. 1890-1930”, The Indian Economic and Social History Review 37 (2): p 121-149.
- Vij, S., ”New symbol of Hindutva project: Is Gau Raksha the new Ram Mandir?”, Hindustan Times, Accessed 21st September, 2016, from http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/the-new-symbol-of-hindutva-project-is-gau-raksha-the-new-ram-mandir/story-fPqg5TL2XBE16Po0S4kZeM.html
- Simoons, F., J., “The Purificatory Role of the Five Products of the Cow in Hinduism”, Ecology of Food and Nutrition, 3 (1), p 21.
- Sharpes, D., K., Sacred Bull, Holy Cow: A Cultural Study of Civilization’s Most Important Animal. New York: Peter Lang, 2006.
- Albanese, C., L., Nature Religion in America: From the Algonkian Indians to the New Age. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.
- Sharma, N., Kumar, “Miracle under the Lord’s feet.”, The Times of India, 28th May 2013, Accessed 5th November, 2013, from http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-05-28/news/39580718_1_water-harvesting-system-temple-priest-shiva-temple
- “To teach Muslims ‘save the cow’ message, RSS to organise Iftar with only cow milk products”, First Post. Accessed 28th May, 2017, from http://www.firstpost.com/india/to-teach-muslims-save-the-cow-message-rss-to-organise-iftar-with-only-cow-milk-products-3462918.html
- Gandhi, M., K., Speech on Cow Protection, Bettiah, October 9, 1917
- Gandhi, M., K., Speech at Bettiah Goshala (December 8, 1920, in Mahadevbhaini Diary, Vol. V. Ahmedabad: Navajivan Publishing House, 1920
- Nussbaum, M., Objectification. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 24, p 249-291.
- Taylor, B., Dark Green Religion. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010
- Kremmerer, L., Animals and World Religions. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012
- Valenze, Deborah. Milk: A Local and Global History. Yale University Press: New Haven, 2011.
- Ibid, author’s emphasis
- Mahabharata, Book 1, Section XVII, p. 59, author’s emphasis
- Flood, G. An Introduction to Hinduism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
- Slocum, R. (2004). “Polar Bears and Energy-efficient Lightbulbs: Strategies to Bring Climate Change Home”, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 22 (3), p 413–38.
- Yeh, E., “Greening Western China: a Critical view”, Geoforum. 40 (5), p 884-894.