Animal husbandry is one of the most important occupation in India and a large number of farmers in depend on this for their livelihood. In addition to supplying milk, meat, eggs, and hides, animals, mainly bullocks, are the major source of power for both farmers and drayers. Thus, animal husbandry plays an important role in the rural economy. The number of animal indicates the economic status of its members. The more the number of animal is owned, the better is the economic position. In general, to maintain high milk production, a dairy cow must be bred and produce calves. Depending on market conditions, the cow may be bred with a “dairy bull” or a “beef bull.” Female calves (heifers) with dairy breeding may be kept as replacement cows for the dairy herd. If a replacement cow turns out to be a substandard producer of milk, she then goes to market and can be slaughtered for beef. Male calves can either be used later as a breeding bull or sold and used for veal or beef. Dairy farmers usually begin breeding or artificially inseminating heifers around 13 months of age. A cow’s gestation period is approximately nine months. Newborn calves are removed from their mothers quickly, usually within three days, as the mother/calf bond intensifies over time and delayed separation can cause extreme stress on the calf.
In India and Nepal, the Hindu majority holds the cow a motherly figure. Hinduism is based on the concept of omnipresence of the Divine, and the presence of a soul in all creatures, including bovines. Thus, by that definition, killing any animal would be a sin: one would be obstructing the natural cycle of birth and death of that creature, and the creature would have to be reborn in that same form because of its unnatural death and also not killed due to reverence towards Krishna who was a cow herder and god (vaishnavism ). Cow slaughter is banned in parts of India and remains a contentious issue in states where it is legal. Spent dairy cows don’t go to slaughter, but are often seen as roaming on the city streets, and they die of old age or disease. Some pious Hindu organizations manage “old age homes”
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