Don’t be surprised; you read it right. The story goes like this; on Saturday the Garbage Management Minister Michael Lobo of Goa stated that– veterinarians had been requested to treat stray cattle in the state’s tourism savvy coastal belt. It covers famous beach villages like Calangute and Candolim “non-vegetarian” and “turn them into vegetarian” again. He stated that these cattle now only consume scraps of chicken and fried fish.
He was addressing at a function in Arpora village in North Goa. During his speech, he said that 76 animals from Calangute were rescued and relocated to a gaushala for treatment.
Lobo, a BJP MLA from Calangute assembly seat, said that they withdrew to eat gram or other vegetarian food when they were taken to the gaushala.
“The cattle from Calangute and Candolim are used to eating non-vegetarian food like leftover chicken scraps, stale fried fish from restaurants. Due to the consumption of such non-vegetarian food, their system has become like that of humans. Earlier they were vegetarian, pure vegetarian. They would smell non-vegetarian food and move on, but now cattle from Calangute only eat non-vegetarian food,” he said.
Lobo also said that it would take around four to five days for these cattle to turn entirely back to vegetarians and that they are currently under treatment. He continued, animals have been feeding on the leftover chicken scraps and stale fried fish from restaurants, their system has become like that of humans.
It is noted that the beach villages of Calangute and Candolim yearly receive the highest number of tourists, both domestic and international. Moreover, these villages have a large density of restaurants and eateries. The two villages also have a large number of cattle, many of which have met with road accidents.
Stray animals of Goa have been a threat on the road for more than two decades by now. The increase in vehicles, poor lighting on roads, a waning interest in agriculture, errant cattle owners who abandon the animals when they become unproductive has lead to this.
The Goa government had launched many schemes while addressing this problem in 2013. They introduced incentives to village panchayats and municipal bodies to seize stray cattle and fine their owners.
However, if we look through the current situation, the above-said plan seems to have not worked well. These innocent animals are suffering due to the evil activities of the humans; be it the owners who abandon them or people who dispose of garbage inappropriately. The irony is that now when people are turning towards veganism animals are becoming “non-vegetarians.”