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An Open Letter to the Holy Cow

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Dear Holy Cow,
You are worshiped here, in my country. Did you know that? Oh, you aren’t familiar with the concept of the nation in the first place! Okay, let me try to explain. Humans, unlike you and your kind, have the ability to think. Which was a good think to start with. We don’t have to hunt for food everyday. Our ancestors, even before they could speak, began to use their intellect to make sure they and their children won’t have to go out looking for food everyday. Well, that leaves us with a lot of time and this dangerous thing called ‘nothing to do’. So, we get infested by this deadly germ called boredom and as a result do a lot of crazy things. Like inventing gods and nations. I’ll tell you about this god and religion syndrome later (you are an integral part of it, my dear). But for now I’ll explain how nations came into existence. One fine day, a bunch of powerful men got affected by the boredom virus and they decided to start drawing lines between stretches of land and decided to call them ‘countries’. So, millenniums later, I happened to take birth in a certain place that has a set of lines around it and thus, I’m expected to follow a certain set of rules and be ready to die for this piece of land. Humans call that culture and patriotism, respectively. Makes any sense to you? Well, never mind. It doesn’t make sense to me either.

I know you’re wondering why I’m writing a letter to you and explaining the ‘insanities’ of mankind. Well, a controversy has cropped up in your name. You see, within a country, there are again little lines dividing the land into something called states. This piece of land I come from does not have any problem about you being killed for meat. Please don’t get me wrong, but I have enjoyed with your meat with a variety of dishes exclusively made in my home piece of land. That doesn’t mean we are all wicked. Of course, it is sad to see anybody/thing (yeah, we have this distinction between human and non-human pronouns. Quite fucked up, isn’t it?) dying or getting killed. But it would be unfair to say that everybody should stick to vegetarianism because killing animals is a bad thing. That would require us all to turn a blind eye to you and your kind being killed by other animals (like the almost extinct tiger). And not turning a blind eye to that would mean questioning the law of nature. Oh, I’m sorry for the digression. I was just telling you how you became a reason for controversy among humans.
There are a set of insane humans, I mean a bunch of them more insane than the rest of us, who are obsessed with this thing called religion. There is a piece of land two lands away from my home land where these humans are more in numbers. They worship you and thus, consumption of your meat offends them. So, they came up with this law banning ‘beef’. Anybody who consumes your meat will be punished. Sounds like a wonderful thing, doesn’t it? Here is the catch. They are not going to stop people from killing you for your skin so that they can make branded leather goods and sell it off at an insane price. The same religious people are going to continue wearing the shoes for interviews and functions and show off their economical status. Nobody’s going to raise any voice against your mutated cousins being paraded around cities so that certain temples get an extra income. Nobody’s going to start worshiping your less privileged cousin, the buffalo, but everybody’s going to have a problem when its meat is being consumed. Can you see what they did here? Yes! Anybody can see that, right? They are just using your name to judge the lesser ‘insanes’.

I was just wondering whether or not Christians (oh, I am not a practicing Christian, but my parents believe in that revolutionary gentleman whose ideals were totally against what people practice in his name today), should be offended by the consumption of mutton. You see, Jesus was the ‘Lamb of God’, and lamb is a young sheep and sheep and goats belong to the same category and mutton is the meat of goats… You see, my dear Cow, one can always find reasons if one is determined to get offended. I was kidding about that mutton part, though. There’s no way I’m giving up the yummy idiyappam and mutton stew my Mother makes!

Don’t assume I’m a wicked human. While I occasionally cause the death of your kind for my appetite, I am strongly against you and your kind being slaughtered for the vanities of mankind like fashion and beauty. But I and many others like me are not going to stop showing our love for you on the dinner table till the cultural vegetarians get cured of their religious fanaticism and condemn the killing of animals for nobler reasons. I don’t love you. I don’t hate you. We are bonded by the most primitive instinct- survival.

A Lesser Insane


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