Cow Killed at Hare Krishna Temple: Day One

We received the shocking news this morning that one of our cows had been killed, completely unnecessarily, by the RSPCA in an act which betrayed the trust they had gained from us the day before. Although they worked clinically to the letter of the law, they had not considered the religious sensitivities of the community they were dealing with, nor shown any intent to do so, save to calculate how to avoid any scenes of public protest.

They have made a stupendous and completely avoidable error of judgment and now, unfortunately for them, the full glare of public, political and legal scrutiny will be theirs for some time.

After our exchanges on the phone with the chief vet one hour after the killing we fell into  composing a press release which was hurriedly sent to 300 media contacts. All day long the phones were ringing and interviews given to national newspapers including the Guardian, Telegraph, Mail, London Metro and websites like BBC News.

A BBC outside broadcast unit arrived to do a spot on the London lunchtime television news, then ITN came in the afternoon to do a live spot for the evening, as did the BBC again.

Politically, things also began to move. Barry Gardiner MP tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament titled: “The Putting to Death of Gangotri at Bhaktivedanta Hindu Temple” and is asking his fellow MPs to join him in condemning the action.

Tonight we held an emergency meeting of a small number of close Hindu community leaders and tomorrow we will be phoning around to gather together every Hindu, Jain, and Sikh leaders for an emergency meeting on Sunday afternoon.


1 Comment

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One response to “Cow Killed at Hare Krishna Temple: Day One

  1. Hare Krishna Prabhuji,

    What a sad, shocking and irresponsible act by the authorities? I had just spent some half an hour educating someone on the need to protect the cows and then I read this post on what happened at the temple.

    I read it many times and my anger and incapacity to do anything only increased. I am very very far away from you Prabhuji and I am not able to do anything to assist you in your follow up of this incident there. If there is anything, please let me know.

    Also, I sincerely hope that ISKCON and particularly the devotees do not take this incident lightly and forget it with time. I see Gangotri as a devotee, just like a human devotee. You must keep your motivation up on this issue and attain the necessary answers no matter what. I only hope that you are getting enough support from your immediate devotee network there. ISKCON needs to lead. We cannot take a passive role on this one. I would like to see how much we all really love Sri Krishna, His creations and our beloved Guru.

    Prabhuji, can you/anyone else please educate me on the laws related to such actions by RSPCA? Can they enter someone’s property and put down the animal that belongs to its owner if they feel that it’s suffering? Like you said, can they do this to a pet dog or a cat? Can they resist you by force or trick while they kill your/our “pet”? It seems so dictatorial to me. What is their reasoning for such an action? Does it make sense? When I talk about cow protection to people, some people go into a mindset that it’s all religious and superstitious and that nothing will happen to anyone if it’s killed. Do you think they put this initiative to protect Gangotri in the same way? If it was a non-temple facility, would they have looked at the issue as a “normal” human sentiment that needs to be taken seriously and employed other measures?

    Cow protection is a part of devotional service. Explaining this concept to others is also an act of service. Like chanting and mangal aarti, this should also be followed everyday, every moment. Else whatever we do is not worth it.

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