DHALPUR, KULLU TOWN, HIMACHAL PRADESH, INDIA.

Like your lawn mowed? Call in the cows.

In villages and small towns across India, employing a large pool of manpower to keep sidewalks along the highway and inside public grounds free of overgrowth has never been a priority or an economically viable and sensible option. Instead the job of mowing the lawn has traditionally been left to the cows.

Cows are in fact excellent gardeners. They not only keep the grass in check by feeding on it but also nourish the soil with droppings lacking chemicals certifiably hazardous to fragile ecosystems.

Not all, however, hold a favourable view of the role cows have come to play. Modern environmentalists for long have raged over the consequences. In a recent report published by the United Nations growing herds of cattle was one of the chief contributors in the degradation of the environment. See the Independent bulletin “Cow emission more damaging to planet than Co2 from cars‘.

India’s association with the domesticated ungulate continues to be of a sacred nature. One that started when the Vedic forefathers reasoned a long term supply of milk and dung (that could be used as burning fuel, medicine and fertilizer) was more beneficial than a quick meal of tenderloin steak. Since then the cow has been strictly kept off the dining table and worshiped in the form of a sustenance providing divine mother.