Sunday, 8 November 2015

Analysis of Beef-Ban Debate-

I would like to analyze the arguments made in for and against of Beef Ban debate, before presenting my views. It is better to think and analyze the points instead of aggressively debating over the issue

For the Motion- Arguments

1) Scientific research reveals that meat of cow/bull MAY turn out to be a serious health hazard, in addition cattle meat industry is a serious threat to the environment.
Though, science can't certainly say that every beef eaters will suffer from a health hazard caused by beef consumption and so the word MAY has been used.
2)Cow if not raised for beef, can be used as a great asset for the farmers, cow gives milk ,manure and also product of Ayurvedic value.
Now, here it has been assumed that all the cows can be used by the farmers as an assets for the entire life of the cow, so there is no need to abandon the cow or sell it for slaughtering.
3) Cow is holy for Hindus and it hurts the religious sentiments by of the Hindus when the cow is eaten by other people as beef.
(Probably, this is the weakest argument) Hindus worship cows, even rats (carrier of lord Ganesha), Owls, banana tree (Regarded as wife of lord Ganesha), Snakes, etc. So as per this argument, rat killing, selling of rat poison, rat trappers, banana, selling of any product of banana tree, harming Owl, will also hurt the Hindus sentiments. But, ironically, the Hindus sentiments are not hurt by all these, but, it is only in case of 'Cow'. As per this logic, any product harming religious sentiments should be banned, and it is practically impossible because, then, eventually, we will see that 99.9% products have been banned.
4) Cows are tortured, skinned, sometimes even when they are alive. So, beef should be banned on grounds of animal cruelty.
Here, in this argument,imposing ban is a wrong solution to eradicate cruelty on cows. If you are against the cruelty done before killing them for beef, then try to bring a law banning the cruelty and not banning beef.
Against the motion- Arguments
1) Banning Beef will create unemployment, and Govt. shouldn't ban beef unless they provide the people with alternative employments.
If, you remember, Arun Jaitlely used this similar argument justifying why the govt is not going to ban tobacco products.
2) Right to choose their own food- not hurting any religious sentiments-
Well, this argument seems to be a bit logical. In a democratic country, when meats are available, you have every right to choose which meat you are going to eat and which you are not. If x meat hurts your religion, don't eat x, eat y. And, if u regard cow as god, you don't eat beef, but, why should other's give up eating beef for your choice of 'god'. It is like, you will fast for 14 days and you are telling others/or the govt to ban all food products, because, or else it will hurt your sentiments of fasting.
3) Export of Beef Continues-
This argument raises a good question, why then export of beef continues to operate ? Is it not hurting the hindu's sentiments ? hindu's sentiments are only hurt when beef is sold in the domestic market ?
4) Beef is a source of cheap protein --
Though there are certain reasons for beef being cheap, but, the fact is that beef is cheap and banning it will surely affect the people's health & income.
5) " When cows grow old or for some other reason can no longer give milk they are often driven out and left to fend for themselves. I have seen cows eating filth and garbage by the side of roads. I have seen cows so thin that their ribs are protruding out of their flesh. If cows are made to starve is that also not cow slaughter? But nobody is bothered about that. " --Markandey Katju
So people are hypocrites ? At one side they want beef ban to protect their religious sentiments and on the other, they want to drink the milk of cow, without allowing the calf to drink her mother's milk, without thinking that the cow will be a liability for the farmer when it will loose it's ability to produce milk, and will be abandoned by the farmer.

6) If eating beef is hurting religious sentiments of Hindus then why also the government is not banning products which are made by the skin of cow ?
This argument is trying to expose the dual nature of government, alike the argument of beef export.Today most leather is made of cattle skin but many exceptions exist.Though, the argument is not so strong, because, skin of cow is used after the cow dies, and the cow is not killed for leather. But, if hindus really worship cow then, i guess, they would like to promote cremation for a dead cow following all the rituals, so that the soul of the holy cow rest in peace. Is it done ?  

My Personal Stand --
I have tried to present all the possible arguments above.
Well, I want to ask you why tobacco is not banned ?
There must be some reasons. Our is a welfare state and we enact and implement policies for the welfare of the society. Scientifically, tobacco MAY cause cancer and lead to death. But, no one can say with certainty that every smoker will die out of cancer. Similarly, no one say with certainty that eating beef will be fatal. And if person X eats beef, it won't be a threat to the entire community. It's Mr X's personal choice.
There are people who are making religion a issue. But, being Hindu and Being Muslim, now a days actually doesn't affect our food choice. There are many Hindus who prefer eating beef, and there are many Muslims who don't eat beef (And I personally know them, i am not stating it merely for the debate). If you like eating beef and can afford it, then go for it, not an issue.
Now, Govt is imposing beef ban in selective states (and not all), Govt is promoting beef exports, and this clearly exposing the dual nature of Govt.
From childhood the Hindu children have been taught, cow is our mother, we worship cow, for us even uttering the word 'beef meat' is like a sin (forget about eating). And there are many obedient children who just like to follow anything blindly, and so i don't blame them. And on other side, there are many who have later realized that how irrational this notion is.
People eat beef, because, they like it, can afford it. They don't eat it for hurting anyone's religious sentiments. People of all the religious communities need to be broad minded and accept the choice of others, and shouldn't try to impose their believes, customs, food habits in the entire nation, for the entire population, with compulsion.

And, if I may say so, it is absurd and cruel to say that - 'We consider cow as our mother because it gives us milk and many benefits' -- because, it shows that Hindus  worship cows as because, it gives them benefit, or else they wouldn't have worshiped that domestic animal. It's just for the selfish motive.

--Arghya Samaddar
Comments are invited

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