A bull ran away from Slaughterhouse 8 on Beaver Road in Jamaica about 10:30 am on October 18th.  New Yorkers were surprised when they saw the bull, for this is not a typical sight in the Big Apple.  Unlike other stories about bulls, this one has a happy ending.  The bull, which was named Shankar, was successfully captured.  Shankar was taken to an animal sanctuary in Wantage, New Jersey  Now Shankar will live happily.  Unfortunately, many bulls are not as lucky as Shankar.

We should listen to Shankar, for he was teaching us a lesson about conserving the environment.  As he salvaged his life, he was also helping to save our planet.  The demand for beef is contributing to global warming.  According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 18 percent of greenhouse gases come from animal agriculture.  Animal agriculture depletes forests and wildlife.  It also creates ammonia, which causes acid rain.  Since land must be removed to raise cows, deforestation occurs.

Cows are also treated with pesticides, antibiotics and hormones.  The chemicals, that are used to treat cows, get into our drinking water.  These chemicals pose risks to our health.  The animal waste from cows contaminates our rivers and streams.  It also destroys the coral reefs in the sea. Most of the animal waste ends up in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the second biggest threat to the environment is animal agriculture.  More than 51 percent of  greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture.  If we stop eating meat, we can help save the planet.  It is a change that we should make so other generations will inherit a cleaner world.

Not only is the demand for red meat hurting our planet, it is also unhealthy for us.  According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), people who eat red meat have a higher risk of developing colon, prostate and pancreatic cancers than those who do not consume red meat.  They recommend that people eat a diet of vegetables and fish in order to prevent colorectal cancer and other types of cancer.

Since Indians do not consume red meat, they lead healthier lives.  Since the cow is sacred in India, many Indians are vegetarians. The majority of Indians practice Hinduism. This religion teaches its followers not to hurt animals.  They are not permitted to eat beef in many Indian states of the Indian Union.  There are many festivals dedicated to cows, such as “Mattupongal.”  During these festivities, cows are revered and garlanded.  At Gaushalas, they care for aged and ill cows.  In India, there are approximately 44,900,000 cows.  India is the country in the world with the most cows.  Krishna, the Indian God, came from a family of cow herders.

The Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, is in India.  Many tourists also go to the Ganges River, which is a very holy place for Hindus.  All animals are protected in India. It is a mysterious place where peacocks roam freely.  As for the cows in India, they receive royal treatment.  If you have gazed into the eyes of a cow, you can see the sweetness of Mother Nature.  No wonder the Indians love them, for their eyes are symbols of love.