Philosophy   > Rise of Slaughter in India


It may be hard to believe, but "Independent" Hindu India now kills more animals than ever before!
Even more than the enslaved India under Christian British rule, or even the very ruthless Moslem emperors . . .


More animals have been butchered in the last decade than any previous decade in India's history!!


After independence, we have tried to catch up with the industrialization of the 20th century. For that we needed foreign machinery, for which we needed foreign exchange, for which we had to export many of our resources -- even the ones scarce to our poor masses or important to our future generations. Most lately we have resorted to exporting meat. The government has issued licenses to huge slaughterhouses with an eye on the market in Arab countries. We have ignored that ours is a culture of nonviolence and this business does not fit in it at all. This has raised a big cry in the animal-loving community of Hindus and Jains. Here are some of their thought-provoking views.


The first one is from "Jain Mitra," dated 15-Oct-98, pages 375-376. It describes "Alkabir," a major slaughterhouse in Andhra Pradesh. Maneka Gandhi also has talked about this one, at our Chicago Convention.


Killer Alkabir: Inhumane Tyrannies on Helpless Animals


This mechanized slaughterhouse is located 15 miles from Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh, on 300 acre land. This efficient modern plant can process up to 10,000 animals a day.


The central and state governments have issued licence for 'useless' 500 buffalos and 2000 sheep and goats, of which 50% have been canceled by the supreme court; but who is counting all these animals, and who is there to judge their 'uselessness?' There is no supervision of that. That is why in reality, thousands of healthy animals are annihilated there daily. This also is a murder of law.


Tyranny: Don't think that these animals are killed easily and painlessly. Their agonies start long before they are dead. They are brought to Alkabir in trucks, from far away distances. For economy, 20-25 huge buffalos are stacked up in each truck. Nobody cares to feed them food, or even water while in transit. They are packed so tightly in the truck, that they are hurt by each other. By the time they arrive, they are no more capable of standing on their own feet! They are moved with force of whips . . .


They are brought into the final ground, where at least a thousand animals are stored. This is their last open air. They are kept here for four days, hungry and thirsty. Then their legs are broken and eyes poked, so that a 'certificate' can be obtained about their uselessness. The hunger and thirst of four days cause the hemoglobin to move from blood in to fat. The meat with higher hemoglobin fetches better prices.


Now these animals are pushed into washing showers. Extremely hot water (200 degrees!) is sprayed on them for five minutes, to soften their skins, so they will be easy to remove. The animal faints at this point, but it is not dead yet.


Now it is hung upside down with one leg, on a chain-pulley conveyor. Then half of the neck is slit. This drains the blood, but does not kill the animal. After death, the skin swells thick, which sells for a poor price. But the skin of a live animal is still thin, which has better economic value. On one side the blood is dripping from the neck, and on the other side a hole is made in stomach, from which air is pumped inside. This causes the body to swell, making it easier to peel the skin. After removing the leather, the animal is cut into four pieces: head, legs, body, and tail. The machines remove bones, and pack small pieces of meat into cans for shipping to Alkabir's headquarters in Hyderabad. From there it is shipped to Mumbai for exporting to its final destination.


Personnel? Most of the people working here are Hindus. The Director, Subhash Sabarwal, is an NRI in Dubai, and his brother, Satish Sabarwal, manages the plant. The other principals are Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh (Dubai), Dilip Himmat Kothari, B.N. Raman, etc. Even though the main workers on cutting machines are from Kerala and Muslims from Mumbai, the administration, security, etc. consists mainly of Hindus. There are several other equally large (or larger) plants in India, owned and operated similarly by NRI's and Arab citizens in cooperation.


The people working here are paid very handsomely. This is a big attraction. A monthly salary of Rs. 50,000 to 75,000 is common. At the site, there are many veterinarians, but their job is not to save healthy lives. Their only concern is to see that the meat does not carry any germs which may hurt the customers. In fact, there is a small army of government veterinarians, whose job is to see that healthy and useful animals do not get butchered. But these corrupt officials write false certificates according to wishes of Alkabir.


You cannot easily enter Alkabir, because outside people are not allowed in there. Even the local veterinarians and police cannot go inside, so there is no question about the other local poor people even coming close to its boundaries . . . Security is tightened at nights with hunting dogs. Now the neighboring people do not even come close to it.


Depleting our Animal Wealth?


Alkabir alone holds permits to export 15,000 tonnes of meat a year. The other permit-holders are even bigger: Frigorico Alanali (Aurangabad) has permits for 24,000 tonnes, Hind Industries (Aligadh) has permits for 25,000 tonnes, and Alana Sons (Delhi, Andhra and Maharashtra) have permits for 45,000 tonnes. These are just legal numbers. Illegal business is even bigger. Alkabir, even though originally licensed only for export, now sells meat in India too.


Besides all these authorized establishments, there are many smaller unauthorized butcher houses. In addition, animals are butchered on certain rituals too, by various religions, on certain days, by millions. Again, let us make some estimates.


Right now, there are 36,000 slaughterhouses, of which 10 are highly automated, where daily 250,000 animals are hacked. One estimate is that annually 300,000 tonnes of meat are eaten by the flesh-eaters, for which 10 million cows-buffalos and 40 million sheep-goats are killed. At this time the population of buffalos in the country is only 75 millions, and cows 200 millions. The situation of sheep-goats is even worse. Their population is depleting the fastest. Alkabir alone is licensed to kill 600,000 a year, but Deonar (Mumbai) is licensed to kill 2,500,000 a year, in addition to 120,000 cows and 60,000 buffalos. Calcutta located slaughterhouse kills 1,200,000 cows and buffalos per year. These are just official numbers for a few large facilities. There is no count for thousands of smaller unmechanized facilities. But one thing is very clear: The sheep and goats will not survive the next century. We may see the end of our animal wealth in early part of the next century.


Strange - But True!!


    • India is the only country in world that provides in its Constitution for mercy and care of the animals.


  • According to its laws, only those animals can be slain, which are older than 16 years of age, and are useless. However, now meat of       young healthy buffalos between 4 months and one year is allowed for exports.


  • Meat of one cow/buffalo is worth Rs. 20,000. However, the same animal may produce, in its 18 years of life span, goods (milk, butter,       and manure) worth Rs. 300,000. Thus, the country has to suffer a loss of Rs. 280,000 for each animal slaughtered.


  • We get foreign exchange for meat. However, we also pay foreign exchange for chemical fertilizers, manure, urea, milk powders, etc.       which cost several times the price of meats. Then why export meat?


  • The government encourages certain businesses-industries with financial supports. The government has announced 100% supports       for opening new slaughterhouses, and the agriculture department has already approved several slaughterhouses. The Indian meat       fetches only 40% of international prices. Then what is the meaning of supporting this industry?


  • The government argues that if we don't kill the animals, their population will go on increasing. However, according to the same       statistics, the number of animals per capita is rapidly decreasing.


  • The world trend is towards vegetarianism. The developed countries are learning the dangers of meat-eating. Britain has not opened       any new slaughterhouse since 1980, whereas the Indian government is opening new slaughterhouses and modernizing the older       ones.


  • According to laws enacted to prevent cruelty to animals, it is considered a crime to treat any animal with cruelty

  •       (beating, over- burdening, inflicting pain, etc.). At the same time, however, butchering them is permitted! Does this make any sense?


  • Central Food & Technological Research Institute (Mysore Government) has concocted a concentrated meat, with an objective to       alleviate the shortage of 'quality' protein for masses. The government still thinks that meat provides superior proteins...


Message from Acharya Shree Vidhyasagarji


Slaughterhouses don't kill animals only; they also murder 'humanity.' The government of this Ahimsak country, by murdering animals and selling its meat, is converting this country's face forever. India has always been a country of playgrounds, farmers, agriculture, and shepherds taking care of their animals with love; never a country of butchers and butchery. Bloodbath is foreign to Indian culture.


The country can never prosper by selling meat, wine, eggs, fish, etc. because there is gross violence involved in all these businesses. The wealth produced by this violence, this bloodbath, will bring many disorders of mind, and all the money will be spent in repairing these disorders. So how will there be any real prosperity?


Industry of violence will spread only violence in the country, not nonviolence. The government wants nonviolence, but condones the violence! Can we establish nonviolence with violence? Today, we need peace not cruelty, because we can not live without peace.


And, what kind of economic policy is this, that we kill milk-producing animals to export their blood and meat to other countries, and then import milk powder and manure from other countries? Rulers of this nation need to change this 'economic' policy, because in reality it is an 'uneconomical' policy.


The nation that used to export gold, silver and diamonds, is now exporting bones, blood and meat. Our Bharat will never thrive with wealth in this way. We need sanctuaries, not slaughterhouses. It is so absurd that we kill our cows to feed foreigners, when our own people don't get enough to eat, and we have to use artificial milk! These artificial foods also bring their own killer diseases. We should provide for pure and healthy food for our masses, and for that, we must save our cattle.


Freedom means giving right to live to all lives. What kind of freedom have we achieved, in which we talk about human rights, but define animals as 'useless' and annihilate them? Humans have no right to attack other species and take their lives. Everyone has a born right to live, and the death sentence is given only to those who have done big crimes. But these animals are innocent. Those who have done no crime, why are they being killed? There should be a penalty for this atrocity.


Religion is not ringing bells in temples. Religion is compassion and kindness. Protect the animals that are being packed in trucks for sending to slaughterhouses. Saving their lives is true religion.


Our literature has always focused on nonviolence, our culture has always professed nonviolence, then why is our government now moving to violence? This butchery and bloodbath are a big shame to our nation. We can never feel proud for such activities. There is no prestige in such businesses. World peace can never be achieved on foundation of animal massacre.


There was a time when we did not even sell milk - we just gave it free. Where is that Bharat gone? Today we have arrived at selling blood and flesh!