NASIK, India and CAIRO: The narrow road is large enough for two rickshaws to pass one another, but only barely. Here in India's desert region of Maharashtra, around three hours from Mumbai, the open space of land being tilled is in stark contrast to the bustling cities that mark India.
To the left, however, the stench of manure begins to creep in. It isn't
trash, nor is it a field being fertilized. Rather the howling of cows begins
to meander its way inside the head. Upon approaching, this partially covered
cement block of stalls, all no larger than the cow herself, come into full
view. The animals can't turn around and have little view of the outside
world. They are stuck, and their purpose is simple: provide milk products
for the over one billion Indians in the
For a country where killing a cow is illegal, it belies reality to think that these animals, sacred for Hindus, are confined, struggling to maintain their footing on the hard pavement below their hooves. This facility, which had no sign, and only one young man moving through the area to ensure the animals were being milked on time, is part of the growing dairy industry that has been taking their advice from the factory-farming industry in Europe and North America.