Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cow v/s Buffalo

Cow v/s Buffalo

India was a country covered by Jungles. The 10 Awatara theory of Hinduism describes the evolution of human from a Fish to a Modern man. 6th Avatara, Bhagvan Pharsuram has been associated with removing kshatriya (cutting trees) 27 times through Pharasu (his weapon) and opening the way for Agriculture. 8th Avatara Bhagwan Krishna mechanized agriculture with plough, initiated irrigation facilities and popularised animal husbandry through the milk products.

There were stories of conflicts between Devas and Danavas. Cow was a Kamdhenu for Devas and Mahish (Buffalo) was a life line for Mahishi (Danavas). The story of Mahishasur Mardini, Goddess Durga, might be a story of fights between these two cultures. Bhagwan Rama and Ravana may be representing these two different cultures.

Hinduism always talks about all scientific formulas through religious rituals because except few (2-4%), mostly people were illiterate. They couldn't understand right and wrong through logics. Therefore, all codes and rules were implemented through religious directions, keeping good health and happy long life in mind.

Eating non veg food is a common practice in India. It is a rich source of Vitamin B, protein, iron and other nutrients. Ayurveda describes characteristics of different meat. But which meat to eat was a question of choice for a family looking at the availability and their economic condition. (Jungle King Lion kills and eats deer, therefore Human Kings started hunting and eating deer and added Singh as suffix to their names!!!).

As thoughts are considered the most micro form of the food, there were lot of discussions and analysis done by Ayurveda and the Indian religious organizations. Amongst them, Jainism has popularised vegetarianism in the Country with scientific and convincing arguments.

Beef is a sensitive subject in India. Hindus have linked it with purity of rituals. Therefore, people used to take bath, or wash Idols with Ganga Jal if somebody (beef eater) had touched the person or the idols. The nutritional and health message has taken a wrong and conservative approach.

I don't know, but to promote cow culture for getting milk, milk products and using oxen in agriculture, the ban on beef eating might have imposed with the support of religion. Some people might have studied the adverse effect of beef on human health.

Somebody has compared the nutritional value between beef and bison (buffalo meat) and found out that Bison has less fat, less cholesterol, more protein, more iron and more polyunsaturated fatty acids (healthy Omega-3, Omega-4), more zinc, more magnesium, more phosphorus, more potassium than beef. Beef contains more sodium and folate than bison. Bison meat is more likely to be organic than beef because buffalos graze grasses only. Those who can't afford Chicken, Fish and mutton in their nutritional diets; bison meat is an affordable choice.

It is to note that, Gujarat White Revolution has been lead by collection of Buffalo Milk.

Feeding of non productive domestic animals is a big economic challenge of the Country because, most of their rearers are BPL or little above the BPL people. The way Gujarat has imposed prohibition and found out alternative means of revenue, the community if more sensitive to the issue, shall pay for enhancement of Panjara Poles with grazing land - grass availability and give away business of meat export of $ 5B/annum. However Panjara Poles preserve the cattle only. Unproductive Buffalos have no guard.

The way population of domestic animals is increasing, and uncertainties of rainfall due to climate change, growing of grass may take important position in agriculture India.

Eating or not eating meat is linked with the faith and belief of each individual. Let us hope for better harmony amongst all communities in the Country.

18 October 2015

NB: Beef v/s Bison (per 100g): Fat/Lipid: 21.83, 15.13; Cholesterol: 84, 83; Calories: 295, 238; Proteins: 23.05, 23.77; Iron: 2.42, 3.08; Fatty acids/polyunsaturated: 0.656, 0.711.


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