Why are liberals pained by plight of dogs, but apathetic towards cows?

Known journalist and filmmaker Pritish Nandy has identified an urgent issue: Nagaland has dog markets and dog restaurants, some Nagas consume dog meat. Eating dog meat, according to the eminent personality, is inhumane. He urged his followers on twitter to send emails to the Government of Nagaland demanding a ban on the consumption and selling of dog meat. Many such pseudo-liberals rushed to flood Twitter with their concern for dogs and the brutality they are subjected to.

Reportedly, the stray dogs shown in the image were being taken to Nagaland from West Bengal in June to be sold for meat. As soon as the news broke, numerous netizens expressed their outrage and wrote to the Nagaland government condemning this practice. And they succeeded – Nagaland has now banned the import, trading and sale of dog meat.

We welcome this move. There are some animals which should not be eaten for meat, and the dog is certainly one of those.

No one can deny the brutality involved in the practice (dogs are reportedly clubbed to death in live/wet markets), but the outrage of liberals over this issue exposes their blatant hypocrisy. The same crowd of Twitter users had raged against the BJP government when it tried to implement the beef ban already in place and better regulate the sale of cattle, back in 2015. Bollywood celebrities in Mumbai had mocked the decision in the most derogative ways imaginable.

This confuses us. Why are these educated, modern, liberal self-proclaimed animal lovers so inconsiderate toward the cow, but empathetic towards the dog? Has the steak-loving Sumona Chakraborty ever been around a live cow or spoken to villagers who know share a special bond with the animal akin to how urbanites love dogs?

Pritish Nandy himself had expressed his grief for those who would lose out on their jobs on account of banning the slaughtering of cows.

Sumona Chakraborty and Pritish Nandy are not alone in demonstrating this double standard. Superficial elites usually suffer from cognitive dissonance on a host of issues, but let’s move beyond the chatterati and Bollywood celebrity class to more pressing issues related to the illegal cow slaughter trade.

West Bengal, the state from where this pack of stray dogs was being transported to Nagaland, has become the hub of the cow smuggler mafia and rampant cattle smuggling across the border to satisfy the demand in Muslim-dominated Bangladesh. As per some estimates, about 5000 to 15,000 cows are smuggled from West Bengal to Bangladesh every day; the malpractice generates an income of $20 per cow for the smuggler.

Cow smuggling in West Bengal; image source: Hindustan Times

The Central Bureau of Investigation, Kolkata, had conducted an investigation on the rising instances of cow smuggling along the 2216 km long Indo-Bangladesh border. The order came from Home Ministry after the Border Security Force described a spike in such smugglings. The smugglers have not limited their misdemeanors to transporting cattle illegally but are well-armed and routinely clash with security forces – a BSF jawan had lost his hand when he was hit by a crude bomb at Bashirhat, North 24 Parganas in 2019. This constituency is represented by MP Nusrat Jahan of the TMC party.

Other hubs of cattle smuggling are regions like Mewat-West UP-NCR, south Karnataka, central & southern Maharashtra and many more – in all these places, the deadly cattle smuggling mafia routinely murders policemen, farmers, gau rakshaks and ordinary bystanders. The condition in which cattle are transported by the smugglers, stuffed in trucks and vans with no place to even stand or breathe, would make anyone’s stomach turn.

But these horrific instances have never been able to shake up the selective humanity in our left-liberal celebrities and influencers. Forget empathizing with Hindu religious sensitivities over the cow, even the animal rights they claim to support goes missing when the discussion moves to cow slaughter.

If there is one food festival, the Indian left-liberal enjoys the most, it is the ‘beef festival’. From Kolkata to Kerala, and from JNU to University of Hyderabad, organizing beef festivals to mock Hindus is a passion among the ‘progressives’.

‘Beef festival’

The cultural decay in parts of Kolkata and other metros mirrors the shallow attitude shared by liberals countrywide. The crying and whining of this sect pick up around around Diwali and Holi – the crackers pollute and traumatize pets, gulaal is bad for the skin and water is wasted. But, they go quiet when calfs are stolen and stuffed into the trunks of cars.

For left-liberals, loving a dog makes one cool, but having the same emotions of love and kindness towards a cow makes one ‘orthodox’, unfit for the ‘hep’ English-speaking society.

“We have a German Shepherd,” a 10-year-old will say with pride to his classmates in a posh Delhi school. But, his friend in the same class will hesitate to share that his grandparents in their ancestral home in the village domesticate a couple of lovely Sahiwals. If he does, he might not be considered cool enough to sit with the ‘cool kids’.


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