Cow Dung for Sustenance in India
The cow dung (organic manure) helped us to help grow food in farms and kitchen garden, to cook our food (energy), and helped us to protect our mud houses; thus helped us to sustain (ecology). We used cow dung wash on the floors and walls. Even the ashes from “Chulha” – cooking hearth made out of mud and finished with cow dung wash – were used in the farms to rejuvenate the soil.
And finally the used cow dung in all its forms as a waste went back to the earth.
All the actions predominantly used human energy, besides animal energy, which is abundant in the Third World India. The governments, though, may not acknowledge while craving for fossil fuel and atomic energy sources. Indeed it explains how cow has been sacred to Indic People for millennia.
There is much interest in “cow dung” worldwide, which is welcome sign in view of “carbon tax”. However, the western attitude to recycling cow dung is to use mega industry, mass scale production, centralization... that are basically harmful to very concept of sustainability. (Deceases due to nuclear-electromagnetic radiation, mad cow disease, Bird flu, Swine-flu etc. HIV-Aids, apart: Some of them travel by airplane.) On the contrary, the “processing” cow dung in India is decentralized at a household level. This, of course, is a matter of lifestyle! How helpless!!
Inevitably the industrial society goes for mass production, be it cattle, pork, meat or poultry for food, or education, or leisure... that leads to centralisation of power. To save environment – energy – ecology the invent machinery that destroys the very purpose of such intention.
Could modern science and technology replicate this cyclic process, by learning from the people, rather than exploiting the Nature, even after so much of their so-called advancement? Could, at least, any economist verify the cost, price, value and benefit of cow dung in terms of Energy-Ecology-Environment at micro-meso-macro levels? At least I am not aware of any, neither at home or abroad.
Read more on cow dung and its relevance to Life and living:
1. Clay–Cow dung Grain Silos of Saurashtra, Gujarat
2. Cow dung, Rice and Amartya Sen (a critique): Challenges of 21st Century
3. Collecting cow dung for Energy 3
4. Collecting cow dung for energy 2
5. Collecting cow dung for energy
Remigius d Souza
(18 June 2007)
© Remigius de Souza, all rights reserved.