Return To Land & Cow Economics
“In the beginning if there is a plot of land and a cow—your whole economic question is solved. Why you should work so hard day and night? So we have created a civilization simply working hard day and night, and the purpose is sense gratification. That’s all. That is prohibited. Make your life simplified. Save your time for Krishna consciousness. That is the program. Don’t be implicated with sinful activities. Simple life.”
~Srila Prabhupada (Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.1 — Los Angeles, January 20, 1969)
More than 50% of world population depends on agriculture and cows for livelihood even today. This way of life is very conducive for preserving ecology, culture and human values.
We wish to quote Srila Prabhupada, founder of the Hare Krishna movement who strongly advocated this God-centred model of living, based on land and cows.
“nayam deho deha-bhajam nrloke kastan kaman arhate vid-bhujam ye.... Kaman means the necessities of life. You can get your necessities of life very easily. By tilling the field, you get grains. And if there is cow, you get milk. That’s all. That is sufficient. But the leaders are making plan, that if they are satisfied with their farming work, little grains and milk, then who will work in the factory? Therefore they are taxing so that you cannot live even simple life—this is the position—even if you desire. The modern leaders will not allow you. They force you to work like dogs and hogs and asses.”
(Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.5.1-8 — Stockholm, September 8, 1973)
“That is the system that in India every man is producing his food grains independently. Now it is stopped. Formerly, all these men, they used to produce their food grain. So they used to work for three months in a year, and they could stock the whole year’s eatable food grains. Life was very simple. After all, you require to eat. So this Vedic civilization was that keep some land and keep some cows. Then your whole economic question is solved.
Now, in this country, Geneva, I heard there is... I am tasting the milk, first-class milk. I think the world’s best milk. Unless one has got his own cows, one cannot get such nice milk. But I hear also that because there is excess production of milk, they have decided to kill twenty-thousand cows.
Just see how much foolish proposal it is. So for want of God consciousness, this mischievous intelligence can be found. The whole economic question can be solved. If you have got excess, then you can trade, you can send to some place where there is scarcity.
What they are doing? In Australia, in Africa, they have got enough land, but the government... Maybe they have no sufficient men to utilize the land, but they won’t allow any outsider to go there who can produce. I have seen in Africa. Very, very large tract of land was lying vacant, nobody is producing any food. They are producing coffee. That is not the local men. The Britishers who have gone there, they are producing coffee, tea, and keeping some cows for slaughtering. This is going on. In Australia also, I have seen.”
(Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 13.35 — Geneva, June 6, 1974)
“Annad bhavanti bhutani. Simply by dry lecture, how they will feel happy? There must be sufficient food grains so that people may live happily, the animal may live happily. Especially in India you will see. No animal is fatty, either cat, dog or cow. They have no eating. So annad bhavanti bhutani. They must be given sufficient food, annad. Krishna does not say that “You fast and chant Hare Krishna.” He does not say. Krishna is not so impractical. He says, “Eat very nicely, keep very nicely, and chant Hare Krishna. Make your life successful.” That is Hare Krishna consciousness movement. Krishna consciousness movement is not one-sided. It is all-embracing. Sarve sukhino bhavantu. Krishna consciousness movement wants to see everyone happy. Without being happy, how you can remain peaceful?”
(Lecture on Bhagavad-gita 4.1 — Bombay, March 21, 1974)
“So our Krishna consciousness movement is not a sentimental movement. It takes care of all-round social organization. It is not something like religious sentiment. Everything should be taken care of. Therefore we say cow protection. Just like this Western civilization has created so may slaughterhouse for eating purposes. But wherefrom they are getting? From mahi , from the land. If there is no pasturing ground, grazing ground, where from they will get the cows and the bulls? Because there is grass on the land and the cows and bulls eat them, therefore they grow. Then you cut their throat, civilized man, and eat, you rascal civilized man. But you are getting from the mahi , from the land. Without land, you cannot. Similarly, instead of cutting the throat of the cows, you can grow your food. Why you are cutting the throat of the cows? After all, you have to get from the mahi , from the land. So as they are, the animal which you are eating, they are getting their eatables from the land. Why don’t you get your eatables from the land? Therefore it is said, sarva-kama-dugha mahi . You can get all the necessities of your life from land. So dugha means produce. You can produce your food. Some land should be producing the foodstuff for the animals, and some land should be used for the production of your foodstuffs, grains, fruits, flowers, and take milk. Why should you kill these innocent animals? You take. You keep them muda, happy, and you get so much milk that it will moist, it will make wet the ground. This is civilization. This is civilization.”
(Lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.10.4 — London, November 25, 1973)
“In U.S.A. also, there are so much land vacant. They’re not utilizing... Whatever production, they... Sometimes they throw it in the water. And I, I have heard in this Geneva, that there was excess of milk production. Therefore they want to kill twenty-thousand cows to reduce the milk production. This is their brain. Actually, there is no brain. So for brain, they should come to these Sastras. They should take guidance. Produce. Produce, utilize. But they’ll not utilize. Rather, the limited number of people... At least in India, all the villagers, they have been drawn in the city for producing bolts and nuts. Now eat bolts and nuts.
Solve your problem like... Produce your food wherever you are there. Till little, little labor, and you will get your whole year’s food. And distribute the food to the animal, cow, and eat yourself. The cow will eat the refuse. You take the rice, and the skin you give to the cow. From dahl you take the grain, and the skin you give to the... and fruit, you take the fruit, and the skin you give to the cow, and he will give you milk. So why should you kill it? Milk is the miraculous food; therefore Krishna says krsi go raksha vanijya….[Bg. 18.44]. Give protection to the cow, take milk from it, and eat food grains—your food problem is solved. Where is food problem? Why should you invent such civilization always full of anxieties, running the car here and there, and fight with other nation, and economic development? What is this civilization?”
(Lecture at World Health Organization -- Geneva, June 6, 1974)