The Plastic Cow Project and the Team.
We at Karuna, having realized that all cows on Indian roads are full of plastic, wrote an appeal on the Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisation (FIAPO) network, to find ways to stop this cruelty. Philip Wollen responded immediately, telling us to continue the rumenotomies (to remove the mass of plastic waste from the cows’ stomachs), with the assurance that the Kindness Trust would fund 100 surgeries as a pilot project.
Soon after this, four people, seriously concerned about the ban of plastics and violation of animal rights, came together to form a team and launched the “Plastic Cow Project.” It is a work in progress, with multiple strategies being devised to end this problem. The ‘plastic cow’ represents an icon for all animals exposed to the human garbage system.
For purposes of strategy, the team consists of people with different skills:
Clementien Pauws – President of Karuna Society, is directly involved with animals and lives in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh. www.karunasociety.org
Pradeep Nath – President of VSPCA in Vishakapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. He has direct contact with animals, especially cows and endangered marine animals. www.vspca.org
Philip Wollen – Kindness Trust, Australia. Not only did Phillip Wollen fund the 100 rumenotomies, he is also taking financial responsibility for the production of the documentary and the litigation. http://www.kindnesstrust.com/
Rukmini Sekhar – Writer, social/animal activist in Delhi, is involved with the concept and strategy of the campaign. firstname.lastname@example.org
A CITIZENS’ INITIATIVE TO SAVE THEIR OWN ANIMALS
The Plastic Cow Team in India reports that the Jaipur Chapter is launching its campaign against the plastic bags which cows and bulls are picking up in the streets and ingesting, with terrible effects. They are hoping that more chapters will be set up in India.
Rohit Gangwal at Raksha Jaipur reports:
The Plastic Cow Campaign was launched in the city of Jaipur on 30th June.
We have persuaded a local monthly magazine owner to make us a charity partner at his 100 days celebration and to provide space for the campaign.
We will start the campaign by showing the Plastic Cow video to 50 students, followed by a painting competition for children on remedial measures to save the cow; then we will have a ten minute audio-visual with the press and some leaflets on the topic will be given to them.
The chief guest of the magazine event will take the first pledge to save the cow.
More activities are planned – both theoretical and practical:
- Presentations on the topic to increase the awareness of people and explain what they can do;
- Video showing the shocking severity of the problem;
- Grass Root Campaigning to bring this to an end;
- Pledges to stop animal suffering.
- Visiting fruit and vegetable vendors in order to discourage them from using plastic;
- Colony to Colony Campaign with the aim of persuading people to put discarded food in paper, not in plastic;
- Establishing edible food bins for cows in colonies.
- Lobbying the department concerned to provide effective waste disposal.
A profoundly moving documentary, The Plastic Cow examines not only the current plight of the cow, but also the long history of the cow in India, going back through thousands of years of reverence for the sacred cow.
One young boy in the film, Vishnu, sums it up by saying, “Cow is God.” The traditional worship of the cow contrasts sharply with the circumstances of the cow in India today. Although the life-saving surgery performed on Lakshmi is shown in graphic detail, the film is beautifully done, with great dignity and perception, and a remarkable lack of blame or negativity.
The music, the narration, and the cinematography are extraordinary. The film speaks with the gentle voice of India and gives a very moving presentation of reality, with statements by well-known animal advocates; among them Clementien Pauws, Philip Wollen, Rukmini Sekhar, Dr. Chinny Krishna, and Pradeep Nath.
It is a true vision of India, encompassing all its multiplicity of paradoxes, with its beauty and its tragedy, and a call by the group, the Plastic Cow Team, to do away with the use of plastic bags which inflict such suffering on the cows and other animals of India.
The Winsome Constance Kindness Trust, in Australia, has provided funding for all the cow surgeries performed by the Karuna Society for Animals and Nature and for the production of the documentary.
To see the DVD: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SifRIYqHfcY
Rohit from Animal Protectors sent this update on July 5:
To promote the campaign, a video screening of the movie was organised for 150 people, of whom 50 were school students, demonstrating the severity of the problem. This was followed by an interactive audio-visual presentation and art competition on remedial solutions to help the cow.
The event concluded with everyone taking the pledge to save the cow.
We wish to do video screenings in schools in the next phase and then target fruit and vegetable market traders to raise their awareness of this extremely serious problem.
~ QCA Note: press reports yesterday revealed that here in Britain the use of plastic bags, which had been declining, is again on the increase. We could do with such a campaign here.