No sacred cows?

March 28—In India, a nation that’s majority Hindu, the cow is sacred and its slaughter is a crime.

Nonetheless, India has recently become the world’s largest exporter of meat—mostly flash-frozen water buffalo. But in an effort to protect the cow, India’s far-right Hindu government has started to close buffalo-processing plants, a largely Muslim industy, claiming the plants sometimes illegally process cows. Opponents cite government corruption and interference in commerce. Since the development of the meatpacking plants a decade ago, the quality of life for local workers has improved. “[Prime Minister] Modi has said he wants economic development for everyone,” one worker said. “This job has allowed my children to eat and go to school. All we want is peace.”

Image credit: Andrea Bruce for The New York Times

Source: Ellen Barry and Suhasini Raj, “Buffalo Meat Industry Facing Government Shutdowns in India,” The New York Times, March 24, 2017