Bovine Politics

2017 Sep 15, Friday
Seminar Hall, 10th Floor, Pixel A (Azim Premji University)

About the Lecture

The year 2017 until now has witnessed the highest number of incidents of lynching in the name of cow –protection, than ever before. The violent bans on cattle slaughter and inter-state cattle transportation, the drive to shut-down slaughter houses in the name of 'illegality' and recent rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, to criminalise the sale of animals for slaughter in animal markets nation wide, are not only Anti-Cow but Anti-Farmer as well. These skewed directives of the state, deprive farmers of any resale value for non-productive cattle, which are not bought by another farmer. This resale value exists because of all post-farm downstream economic values of the cattle economy post-slaughter: cattle beef as a critical part of food cultures and a cheap source of protein, cattle skin the basis of India’s thriving leather industry, and other offal used in manufacturing. The sale of non-productive stock enables farmers to procure replacement animals to sustain their dairy and draught-based livelihoods. Bans forcing the closure of these post-farm economies are driving declining cattle populations, and livelihood loss for millions. The cow can only be saved by withdrawing all bans on beef consumption, cattle slaughter, trade of animals for slaughter, inter-state transportation of cattle, along with pro-active strategies to protect the ecological cultures that sustain India’s bovine economy.

About the Speaker

Sagari Ramdas is a veterinary scientist, a member of the Food Sovereignty Alliance, India, and learning to be an agro-ecological food farmer. She is a popular educator with social movements in the areas of women and food sovereignty, Adivasis, indigenous resilience and Buen Vivir and agro-ecological livestock production in the context of Food Sovereignty and Climate Change. She has published widely on gender, ecological governance and resistance struggles. She is involved in developing a Community Learning Centre in Telangana, India (

The Food Sovereignty Alliance is a solidarity platform of adivasi, dalit, pastoralist, landless, small and marginal farmer social movements and co-producers, working towards a common vision of food sovereignty, in defence of peoples sovereign rights to food and the rights of mother earth (