Home Editorials Meat Economics

Meat Economics


So, ‘Devbhoomi’ will now be a meat exporting state! Who comes up with these cockamamie ideas? Worldwide, the meat industry is being discouraged because of its adverse impact on global warming, but trust Indian decision makers to enter sunset industries merely because there is easy money at various levels. Only recently a study was released and published everywhere on climate-safe eating habits. It envisages a person consuming just a burger a week and similar portions of fish, etc., if global warming is to be prevented!
So, now, Uttarakhand will promote the ‘Satvik’ Char Dhams, Haridwar, Yoga, AYUSH and Spirituality along with the very ‘Tamasic’ practice of marketing meat! How it coincides with the ‘Hindutva’ of the BJP-RSS one cannot say, but in practice, it is clear the leaders are not very different from the slaughter house owning ones of the Congress!
It is one thing for the goats and sheep grazed on the meadows by the hill people to be consumed locally, quite another for their meat to be marketed as ‘pollution free’, even ‘organic’, to the rest of the country and the world. If the product becomes popular, the herds will grow well beyond the state’s very limited carrying capacity, with a host of negative consequences. Nothing will remain sacred as the slaughter-houses come up, encroachment on forests and other lands will become rampant. It will only be a matter of time before fodder other than meadow grass will be ‘arranged’ – free ranging stock will be kept in confined spaces – the USP of ‘Uttarakhand’ will have created the market. Leopards and other predators will be drawn to them and will ‘need’ to be eliminated.
Slaughter houses create pollution in vast quantities. How will it be disposed of? The way plastic is by being dumped on the hillsides, today? Soon, it would be appropriate to say that blood will flow in the Ganga from its source, threatening the very sanctity of the river. The social consequences of slaughter house economics are even worse. A lesson can be taken from what has happened in Western UP, where the culture was of ‘milk and honey’, but today has been entirely subverted by the demand for meat, including beef, for export. Whereas, the local meat-eating population was served through traditionally established ways, now the demand has meant encroachment by cow-smugglers deep into the agrarian economy as far as even the Uttarakhand hills. This has caused the violent conflicts that have become the bane of the region and worsened community relations. Camels are being slaughtered in Rajasthan to satisfy palates in foreign lands, endangering entire species. (Pakistan is now killing its donkeys to pay off its debts.)
Not everything that makes money is a good idea. Those who have not applied their minds while making this decision should ask, what else are they willing to sell? There will always be those willing to buy!