Importance of Cow

Cow (Cattle) was one of the first few species domesticated by humans (or evolving modern humans) after dogs and horses. Few civilizations like Aryans and Indian were so much dependent on cattle over a period of time that they started worshiping them like mother and Goddess.

The designation of mother was given because of her ability to give milk which was suitable for human consumption. Milk and its products then became one of the base material for almost all Indian food and sweets, which we still have.

Cattle dung as manure for agriculture systems. Before industrialization the main source of manure for agriculture was cattle dung, which was decomposed in specific ways by Indians and used in their fields. Still the modern concept of Organic farming promotes this way which was earlier used in all Indian subcontinent.
Medicinal and Pesticide properties of cow urine. In Ayurveda (An Indian system of healing) there are many uses of cow urine. Cow urine can be fermented with some herbs like Neem and Mahua to make effective pesticide for agriculture.

Indian agriculture has variety. There is no farm-product that we don’t cultivate. Our land grows all kinds of grains, pulses, vegetables, fruits, flowers, cotton and silk.About 70% of our population has embraced agriculture as profession. Cattle are integral part of the huge canvas of agriculture. We use oxen to plough, to pick and move harvested crops, in irrigation, cow manure as fertilizer, and cow urine as insecticide.

Unique Role of Cow in Agriculture

1.    In our country with small holdings and small scale farming, there is no better alternative to employing cattle in farming.

2.    While ploughing, the oxen stride with gentle gait, not harming the surface of the earth, unlike tractors. Even as they plough the land, the oxen defecate and urinate, fertilising the land.

3.    Cattle Manure : organic manure, green leaf manure, earth-worms, and slurry manure with cattle manure bond with the nature and make the land fertile. They do not create the challenge of chemical waste.

4.    99% of the insects in nature are beneficial to the system. Insecticides prepared from cow urine or well fermented butter milk do not affect these helpful insects.

5.    Dung from one cow is adequate to fertilise 5 acres of land and its urine is can protect 10 acres of crop from insects. As per the Supreme Court, cow dung produced by one oxen can support a family for 4 years. Oxen do not pollute the atmosphere.

6.    Fertilizers made from Cow-dung and Cow-urine increases the quality and yield of crops. Fertilizer made from Cow-dung saves water to the extent of 5-times compared to using other fertilizers.

Role of Cows and Bulls in economy

1.    Cattle are India’s greatest natural resource. They eat only grass, which grows everywhere and generates more power than all of India’s generating plants. They also produce fuel, fertilizer, and nutrition in abundance.

2.    India runs on bullock power. Some 15 million bullock carts move approximately 15 billion tons of goods across the nation. Newer studies in energetics have shown that bullocks do two-thirds of the work on the average farm. Electricity and fossil fuels account for only 10%. Bullocks not only pull heavy loads, but also grind the sugarcane and turn the linseed oil presses. Converting from bullocks to machinery would cost an estimated $30 billion plus maintenance and replacement costs.

3.    The biggest energy contribution from cows and bulls is their dung. India’s cattle produce 800 million tons of manure every year. The Vedas explain that dung from cows is different from all other forms of excrement. Indian culture insists that if one comes in contact with the stool of any other animal, they must immediately take a bath. Even after passing stool oneself, bathing is necessary. But the cow’s dung, far from being contaminating, instead possesses antiseptic qualities. This has been verified by modern science. Not only is it free from bacteria, but it also does a good job of killing them. Believe it or not, it is every bit as good an antiseptic as Lysol or Mr. Clean.

4.    Most of the dung is used for fertilizer at no cost to the farmer or to the world’s fossil fuel reserves. The remainder is used for fuel. It is odorless and burns without scorching, giving a slow, even heat. A housewife can count on leaving her pots unattended all day or return any time to a preheated griddle for short-order cooking. To replace dung with coal would cost India $1.5 billion per year.

Today milk and milk products are most essential part of the food not only in India, but also in the whole world; due to the nutrients in them. A mother nursing her infant depends on cow’s milk for her own nourishment. A mother feeds her child for a year or two; then cow is lifelong refuge for us all. Cow feeds its own calf and spares plenty for us too.

Different popular beverages like coffee, tea, etc. require milk as an important ingredient. Scores of sweet dishes in India are milk based. Curd, butter, and ghee are essential part of Indian meal. Taste of items deep fried in ghee is unmatched. Butter milk quenches thirst in addition to being a base for many popular dishes in our cooking.


Cow unine which has a unique place in Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine. Commenting on the chemistry of gau mutra, Cow urine is used to produce a whole range of ayurvedic drugs, especially to treat skin diseases like eczema. Besides, gau mutra is a well known disinfectant. Anti-septic property is also the attribute of cow dung or gobar which is mixed with clay to form a plastering medium for mud huts. It is a proven fact that mud huts plastered with gobar keeps insects and reptiles away. This is the reason why people in the countryside still store grain in huge earthen pots plastered with gobar and gau mutra to keep it free from insect manifestations.

In Mahabharat era Nakul was known as the famous cow urine therapist. Indians believe that cow urine enhances holiness and purity when spread in courtyard and home. Makes there is need to refocus, in a creative enterprise, on cow as a source of health, wealth and happiness. Cow urine has wonderful properties. It is used in purification of many strong poisons, sub poisons, metals, and sub metals, ras, maharas, and astrologist stones. Poisonous materials become poison less within 3 to 7 days if purified with it according to the Indian method.

Ancient scripture state that “Suryaketu” nerve on cow’s back absorbs harmful radiations and cleanses atmosphere. Mere presence of cows is a great contribution to environment. India has approximately 30 crore cattle. Using their dung to produce bio gas, we can save 6.0 crore ton of firewood every year. This would arrest deforestation to that extent. African deserts were made fertile using cow dung. We can reduce acid content in water by treating it with cow dung.Hence we can say that cow dung has important role in preserving environment.

When we burn cow dung, it balances atmospheric temperature and kills germs in the air. Cow dung has antiseptic, anti radioactive and anti thermal properties. When we coat the walls and clean the floors of house with cow dung, it protects the dwellers. In 1984, gas leak in Bhopal killed more than 20,000 people. Those living in houses with cow dung coated walls were not affected. Atomic power centres in India and Russia even today use cow dung to shield radiation.

Cow dung fertiliser is important in helping to improve the structure of the soil(aggregation). Animal manure has been used for centuries as a fertiliser in farming, improving the soil structure so that it holds more nutrients and water and becomes more fertile. Animal manure also encourages soil microbial activity which promotes the soil’s trace mineral supply, improving plant nutrition. It also contains some nitrogen and other nutrients itself which assisst the growth of plants.

“Cows provide approx 100 million tonnes of dry dung a year costing Rs 5000 crores which saves 50 million tonnes of firewood which again means that many trees saved and more environmental damage prevented. It is calculated that if these 73 million animals were to be replaced, we would need 7.3 million tractors at the cost of 2.5 lac each which would amount to an investment of 180,000 crores. In addition 2 crore, 37 lakh and 50 thousand tonnes of diesel which would mean another 57,000 crore rupees. This is how much we owe these animals, and this is what we stand to lose by killing them.” – Maneka Gandhi

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