Holy cow!

Holy cow! December 14, 2007

MONKS of the sort who brought us the Shambo shambles are accusing the RSPCA of having killed another “sacred” animal – this one a Blue Jersey cross cow called Gangotri – in secret.
Gangotri was put down yesterday. She lived at Bhaktivedanta Manor in Hertfordshire and had “suffered a crippling injury which left her unable to stand”, according to a story in Britain’s Daily Mail.

The monks there have been looking after Gangotri, keeping her comfortable and giving her a daily wash. Butshambo.jpg Gangotri was nonetheless suffering, according to the RSPCA. She’d suffered a back injury while being mounted by a bull some weeks ago, and was expected to die within weeks.
But it’s not just out of a love of the animal that these monks wished to keep her alive: to them she was sacred, and the RSPCA were guilty of “shocking and duplicitous behaviour”, according to the temple’s president, 46-year-old Gauri Das.
When RSPCA inspectors visited the animal – along with the rest of the 42-strong herd – on Tuesday, they were not happy with Gangotri’s condition: the 13-year-old animal was suffering crippling muscle damage and was unable to stand.
“Yesterday morning, a team from the RSPCA, flanked by police, returned to the 80-acre estate near Aldenham – donated by the Beatles’ George Harrison – and put Gangotri down,” says the Mail.
The monks believe the inspectors did the deed while they were distracted. But their main objection seems to be that the animal was put down at all:

“We have had our trust betrayed and our community is in shock [says Das].
“It is a very, very sad day. If you come to our temple you will see people here grieving as if their mother had died.
“This is shocking and duplicitous behaviour.”
He added: “In our religion, the cow is treated like you would treat your mother, it is considered to be at the top of civilisation.
“If you kill a cow you have to be reborn in hellish conditions for as many times as there are hairs on the cow’s body.”

We’re all entitled to our beliefs, and these are considered barmy in the extreme by some, but the only decent fate for an animal in distress is the vet’s needle. It’s not nice if the animal is close to you (this contributor has been in that position, and seen a loved Jersey die, so writes from experience), but it’s quick and it’s humane.
Shambo was the steer at a Welsh temple, Hindu Skanda Vale Temple near Llanpumsaint, Carmarthenshire, who was put down in July, much to the chagrin of monks there. It turned into an undignified squabble as a standoff developed between monks and RSPCA inspectors helped by police.

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