Home > India 2012 > Emerging questions about cows

Emerging questions about cows

Cow on street

Cows are, of course, one of the things everyone knows about India.  That’s why I wasn’t quick to mention them: why reinforce the cliche?  But I did make some discoveries on the subject.

I was in India for a day and a half before I saw my first cow.  That’s because our cohort was staying in the new, highly corporate part of Bangalore.  It was when our guide for the Walking Tour took us into the streets and alleys of the older part of the city (meaning >10 years old!) that we saw cows like this meandering along.

Since we were on foot, they posed no problem (well, except for the obvious.  We watched our step.).  The local people didn’t pay them much heed.  We watched a grocer cutting stems off cabbages and throwing them on the street for cows to consume.  The cows also chewed away on piles of unidentifiable garbage.  The guide told us they have their routine spots to graze, and they know they way home in the evening.

That was a surprise to me.  Home?  Someone owns these cows?  I’d never thought about that.  But they are milked twice a day, just like all cows.  Later on we saw a motorcycle riding slowly behind a group of five cows.  It took me a minute to see that the motorcycle rider, presumably the owner, was herding them–urban cowboy style.

We passed by some cows grazing in a vacant lot and our tour guide engaged a nearby woman in conversation.  It turns out that her house had stood there until the week before, when she had had it razed.  She owned the cows that were hanging around there, and she was doing well enough from selling milk to build a bigger house; she wanted to have a place for the cows and her on the ground floor and an additional floor for each of her two sons to use when they got married.  The woman was all smiles, and we got the impression that she’s doing quite well for herself.  Here’s a bit of video that shows the action on the lot where the house was (and will be).  The woman in blue is the owner.

Who owns all those cows wandering the cities of India?  That’s a question I never thought to ask before.

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Categories: India 2012
  1. Deborah Marion
    September 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Love it Tina. Keep it coming, whenever you have a memory to mine….

  2. November 7, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I’d never thought of that either! What a great little bit of detective work 😀

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