Adopt a cow

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By Antony Brennan

Krishna by His practical example taught us to give protection to the cows, and Srila Prabhupada spoke often with great force and feeling on the need to protect cows. As time progresses and as more and more of us live in urban environments, cow protection seems as if it could slip through our fingers and disappear.

ISKCON has played a pioneering role in advocating and practising cow protection by establishing farm communities and goshalas, all over the world. In these difficult economic times we should try and not forget the request of Krishna, the Vedic literature, and the Srila Prabhupada, that we protect cows.

It can seem that there is little those devotees living in urban areas can do, but there is something. Quite a few cow protection organisations have web sites which allow you to adopt a cow.

Cow protection is not usually a profit making business, so donations to programs such as adopting a cow can be very important. Donations help provide for the general feed and care of cows, this is a very useful and helpful contribution to carrying on the business of protecting cows.

Click on: and choose the ‘How to Adopt a Cow’ link. Here you will find photos of some cows who can be adopted and details on how you can make a payment.

The ISCOWP web site says: “5000 years ago, Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, appeared on earth to protect His devotees and to demonstrate His pastimes. Among those pastimes was his childhood role as a cowherd boy. The cows were very dear to Him because of their affectionate and gentle nature as well as their contributions to human society, and He was kind to them in return and protected them. We should follow His example.”

Click on: and choose the ‘Adopt A Cow’ link. Then choose the adoption program link. There are a variety programs and payment options you can choose from.

The Gita Nagari website says: “If You Drink Milk, You Have a Responsibility: This responsibility cannot be assumed by someone else. If milk from protected cows is not available, then compensatory donations should be made on a regular basis to support cows and cowherds on a devotee farm. Large-scale commercial milk production is likely to result in over-breeding and future neglect of retired animals; therefore it should be strongly discouraged.”

Click on: and choose the ‘Adopt-a-Cow’ link. Choose from the donation options that suit you.

The New Talavan website says: “New Talavan has been protecting cows for over 30 years. We cannot do it without you. Please contribute and be one of Bhagavan Sri Krsna’s eternal cowherd boys and girls.”

Click on: and click on ‘Adoption Options. Here you will find the options available and the cows who need your help.

The Save the Cow website says: “Every cow and ox protected by Save the Cow’s dedicated staff and donors lives a happy, natural life. Feeling secure, each one expresses a unique personality. Some are shy and some playful. Some are explorers and others pranksters. When Krishna tended cows in Vrindavan He knew each of them by name and treated them as individuals. Through cow protection, Save the Cow creates a Vrindavan atmosphere in North Central Florida at New Raman Reti farm.”

It may be that due to the current economic climate adopting a cow may be beyond your means. The web sites mentioned above also allow one off donations to the amount that you can afford

Click on:, another site where even a small amount will be put to good use.

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1 Unregistered

Hare Krishna.As a committed farmer for over 30years now i have seen the different ideas behind cow protection.There have been many well intentioned devotees trying to run the cow protection programmes.The idea of adopting a cow meaning sending money to maintain a cows life and protection is not new.I think this is a cop out.
My insight to cow protection is purely agriculturally,as a farmer.And i speak on that level.Firstly we have to understand our relationship with cows is symbiotic,we depend on each other.I believe we can take our relationship to the point of economic development with cows.Not that they need subsidising by donations per se.Thats ok.
Symbiosis is the key to our relationship.Relationship is two way and cows are always giving their part of the deal but we humans let them down by not keeping our part of the deal.Because we dont know how to protect cows through symbosis and relationship all our cow protection schemes have never worked.
Cows give us 3things.Milk,Draught Power and Go-Mutra,Go-Bar.We utilise these 3 offerings.But we dont do it and let the cows down all the time.They offer but we dont accept so our symbiosis and relationship are not complete.
When we eventually establish communities based on cow protection then we have to be serious about our symbiotic relationship until that time comes we are just playing at cow protection.Cow protection is our basis for economic development and stable rural community living life style which can be a fabulous example of not killing animals.But we have to have the living example to show people for their eyes to see.
Just imagine going to the hare Krishna farm where everything revolves around our prized possessions,the Cows and we make a living out of it and its self sustainable and we have a community built on Cows and the most amazing thing is that it is do-able.
The point is that what is stopping it happening is the human side not the cows.
We have to utilise the milk and process.Use the Bullocks for all our Draught need but the secret in the economic development is to utilise the Cow pooh and urine for all out energy and fertiliser needs.Cows pooh is specifically designed for this.Its the best pooh for methane gas production and the resultant fertiliser is the best for the earth.
We are sitting on a gold mine with cows that is self-sustainable and now more than ever is relevant.
I remember reading “somewhere” the goddess Laxmi lives in Go-Bar.

Comment posted by dusyanta dasa on March 26th, 2009
2 Madhava Ghosh dasa

>The idea of adopting a cow meaning sending money to maintain a cows life and protection is not new.I think this is a cop out.

I sense some frustration in the use of the word “cop out”. It is true that we are far from the ideal, but unfortunately that is the reality we have been dealt.

In the era of consumerism, most people are trapped in the cities and suburbs, either by social conditioning or economics. They don’t have facility to do hands on cow protection. The idea behind adopt a cow is that every one can be involved, even if they don’t have access to land or other tools to protect cows.

I can say that at New Vrindaban, we have a lot of facility in the form of land and barn space to protect more cows than we currently do.If more devotees donated more cows could be saved.

If cow protection is limited to what the cows can provide as an economic entity, then fewer cows will be spared the slaughterhouse than if devotees make donations to save cows.

The lack is people willing to live a subsistence lifestyle under the crushing weight of the consumer society. Should cows be killed just because we can’t obtain the highest ideal?

In the Bhagavad Gita, the highest ideal is espoused, but it isn’t the only option. There is a series of do this, but if you can’t, then do this other thing. Like it is best is to work for Krishna but if you can’t then give the fruits of the labor to Krishna.

Donating to cow protection programs is not the highest but it is the next best thing, and the only practical thing for most devotees. Even if we can’t come to the highest level of living off the land with the cows, we can still save cows from the slaughter house, and that is also a noble thing to do.

Keep the ideal in mind but lets also keep the opportunity for all to help protect cows regardless of their current socio-economic status, and that is by supporting programs that do save cows.

There are cows dying today that could be saved if devotees donated to save them. Most devotees don’t even do that, so let’s not discourage them by saying it is a cop out. I see it more as a transitional stage on the way to the highest ideal.

I applaud your determination to have have kept farming all these years despite the enormous pressures you have surely endured. Let’s work together to increase cow protection in as many forms as possible.

Hare Krishna

Comment posted by Madhava Ghosh dasa on March 29th, 2009

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Post Date: Monday, March 23rd, 2009
Categories: Cow protection
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