Aapa Divas..World’s Water Day

I had written a shorter version of this on quora and thought of sharing this on an environmentalists’ favourite day ‘ World Water Day’.

It should be no surprise that our kings and kingdoms valued nature’s elements. Be it water or animal or human. Be it Pandavas or Pandyas. Varuna is our water God.

Q. What can I say to my Hindu friends who eat beef? I have no problems with their personal beliefs, I just want to convey how or why they should care about their religion.

Answer:

  1. Beef (and meat at large) is water intensive industry. The next war they say will be on water. Water is a precious resource and basic necessity too. Water footprint like carbon footprint is taken into account. The next range of agriculture developments focus on usage of minimum usage of water to grow crops.
  2. If one reads Economic survey 2015-16 one can notice how in India, we utilize more water per crop in export. To quote the few parts of the interesting aspect on agriculture [6].

    To adapt to these changes, agriculture requires a new paradigm with the following components: increasing productivity by getting “more from less” especially in relation to water via micro irrigation; prioritizing the cultivation of less water-intensive crops, especially pulses and oil-seeds, supported by a favorable Minimum Support Price (MSP) regime that incorporates the full social benefits of producing such crops and backed by a strengthened procurement system; and re-invigorating agricultural research and extension in these crops.

    Although water is one of India’s most scarce natural resources, India uses 2 to 4 times more water to produce a unit of major food crop than does China and Brazil (Hoekstra and Chapagain [2008]). Hence, it is imperative that the country focus on improving the efficiency of water use in agriculture.

    It is also noteworthy that India, a water – scarce country, has been “exporting water” as a result of distorted incentives.

     

  3. Now, I shall quote from people’s favourite organization called ‘United Nations’.

    Accelerated urbanization and rising living standards, increased demand for water, food (especially meat) and energy from an ever-growing global population will inevitably lead to the creation of jobs in certain sectors (i.e. municipal wastewater treatment) and to the loss of jobs in others. [1].Dietary habits greatly influence the overall water footprint of people. In industrialized countries, the average calorie consumption is about 3,400 kcal/day (FAO, 2011); roughly 30% of that comes from animal products. When we assume that the average daily portion of animal products is a reasonable mix of beef, pork, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products, we can estimate that 1 kcal of animal product requires roughly 2.5 L of water on average. Products of vegetable origin, on the other hand, require roughly 0.5 L of water/kcal, this time assuming a reasonable mix of cereals, pulses, roots, fruits, and vegetables. Under these circumstances, producing the food for 1 d costs 3,600 L of water.” [2].

  4. Where did Article 48 like that of the constitution of the Weimar Republic of Germany (1919–1933) come into Constitution of India, especially when we had liberator and reformist like Ambedkar?
    When cow slaughter ban article was proposed , under the ambit of ‘secular’ India they placed that article in the Directive principles for state policy. The very purpose of introducing this was because the bovine population dropped back then thanks to the British who devoured beef/steak and also because our agriculture was not mechanised enough. [3] [4].
  5. These are few strong reasons why one must avoid beef at all costs. Red meat, in the medical world too is not very healthy.[ 6].
  6. In the Anusasana Parva of Mahabharata, Bhishma tells Yudishtra the merits of building ponds: “He whose tank is full of water in summer and is used by human beings, animals and birds to slake their thirst, acquires the merits of an Aswamedha yaga. The gift of water is superior to every other gift.” While the Mahabharata emphasises the importance of the gift of water, inscriptions show that those who plundered natural resources were looked upon as sinners. [7].
    There are references in the puranas and inscriptions on temple walls that tell us how important it was to maintain clean water in temple ponds.  It was राजा’s dharma.

    S Ramachandran, noted epigraphist mentions a story in Tiruvilaiyadal Puranam as an example. The rains fail, and the Pandya king imprisons clouds. In the battle that ensues, Indra is defeated. Ramachandran says that there is an inscription approximately of 12th to 13th century, in a place called Irunchirai near Aruppukottai. The inscription refers to Irunchiraiyaana Indira samaananallur. So we have the name of Indra in the inscription.Engineer S. Rajendran says that Rajendra I, did not erect a jaya stambha — pillar of victory, when he defeated the king of Bengal, but had a lake cut instead, establishing a jala stambha!In second article epigraphist Kudavayil Balasubramanian explains in depth about its structure, dimensions and how water from temple ponds were taken to nearby village for agriculture. Violation of nature’s rules were offensive adharmic acts.

    Our kings didn’t pull arrows or raise an army haphazardly. Every प्राणी was respected. Every drop of water counted. The two articles are worth reading and also debunks ‘invasion’ theories.

  7. A Hindu who has bhakti will need very little evidence why he or she must not consume beef. Reason is simple for such folks, gau is our mata, we worship her and there are several such evidence that point why she was and has been worshiped. I am not going to cherry pick those because losers will try to quote me otherwise.
    Beef is water intensive and that is why people avoid it.
    In case of meat back then it was not a formal industry. Running hens would be caught and people would eat. This is still the case in villages unlike cities where Venky’s provides endless supply of meat. You catch it, slaughter it and eat it. As simple as that. And, ask that secular Hindu if he’d be happy to slaughter his pet dog. Will he? No. He won’t but cow being ‘worshiped’ is a problem and just to make a point they’d eat beef. Do not argue hard. throw facts. if they do not buy it, let it go. There is nothing you can do beyond that. Because one can run behind chicken and catch it.
    We do not want to sling mud on ourselves fighting with animals who love mud.

[1] http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002439/243938e.pdf
[2] http://waterfootprint.org/media/downloads/Hoekstra-2012-Water-Meat-Dairy.pdf
[3] Crimes Against India: and the Need to Protect its Ancient Vedic Tradition
(https://books.google.co.in/books?id=7wqH__QPbBUC&pg=PA101&lpg=PA101&dq=first+slaughterhouse+India+in+1760&source=bl&ots=DTINKS-MRK&sig=BFSEQ1X6Eo8-tOUxApp5cU1a72U&hl=en&sa=X&ei=z3d9UvKbJYazrgftz4HoBw&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=first%20slaughterhouse%20India%20in%201760&f=false)

[4] http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/debates/vol11p1.htm
[5] http://indiabudget.nic.in/budget2016-2017/es2015-16/echapvol1-04.pdf
[6] https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/risk-red-meat
[7] http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/history-and-culture/temple-tanks-are-vanishing-due-to-urbanisation/article8393383.ece
http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/much-water-has-flowed/article8417860.ece

 

 

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