Monday, March 24, 2008
Tragically, we live today in a world where all 3 Upanishadic commandments are observed more in the breach than in obedience.
The clearest example of large-scale abuse of food one can find is in the industrial rearing of cows, sheep and goats meant for slaughter far more than for dairy. Cows are reared on modern, "scientific" methods of dairy farming. Instead of letting cows to natural pasture, they are fed with artificial steroidal diet to boost tissue-growth and body-weight. Way back in 1995, there was a worldwide disaster called the "mad cow disease" which was a direct result of industrial dairy-farming. Thousands of cattle afflicted with the "mad-cow" disease were forthwith slaughtered and destroyed. It was Man who had mindlessly abused an important food-source of the world but blamed the insanity of it all on poor cows. It was a brutal violation of "annam na nindhyAth!".
Early this year in 2004, close to 2 million chickens raised in poultry-farms across countries such as China, Thailand and Taiwan, and meant for sale to worldwide fast-food retail franchisees like MacDonald's and KFC, were all thrown into incinerators and destroyed whole-sale. Reason? Because they were found to have contracted a deadly epidemic called "bird-flu." Once again, this was a direct result of greedy, profit-driven, industrial approach to poultry farming. Two million poultry were farmed mindlessly and then slaughtered equally mindlessly. This in a world where 2 million children are known to suffer from severe malnutrition every year! There cannot be a more glaring example of "annam na pari-chaksheeta!" in this world!
In the late 1980s and early-1990s, in the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Mahrashtra, there was a craze amongst farmers to switch from cultivating paddy to prawns. They saw there was far more profit to be made from intensive-farming of prawns on their fields and exporting them to US, Europe and Japan than in growing rice and selling it to the Government of India. The result was a dangerous decline in food-stocks in the country's warehouses not to mention environmental degradation of some of the most fertile coastal-belts of rural India. This was a case of farmers getting more excited about "greenbacks" than about "green revolution" and it was a grim reminder of what happens when man does not abide by the Upanishad dictum: "annam bahu kurveeta!."
Read more articles submitted by: Sudarshan Madabushi
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Copyright ©2008 Jennifer Jayanthi Kumar