Friday, July 22, 2011

Do Cows Roam Free in India?

Why yes, yes they do. So do stray dogs, cats, donkeys and buffalo. Quite possibly more animals but that's what I see moving around here on a typical outing. There are parrots everywhere flying wild and more pigeons than a Wal-Mart parking lot.

I get asked this question a lot by family members and friends in the US. They hear about it, but it's still unbelievable. In America it's rare to see a cow in the road but it does happen. Mostly when someones fence gets knocked down and the cow wanders to see if the grass really is greener on the other side. Lol, all cows do in America is roam around and eat green, green grass all day. (I'm not getting started on dairy farms, I'm not in the mood to post anything angry right now and things like that upset me.)

Now, I should mention I have not verified this fact but hubby says that the cows run free is because the female cows are used for milk and the bulls aren't as valuable here so the drop the bulls off in the city and let them wander until needed for baby making purposes. That could have been his silly way of telling me he didn't know or care, but it sounded funny, so I thought I would share.

The cows wander up and down the road, lounge wherever they want, feed off the leftovers in the streets. It's quite a fascinating thing. You can be driving along and all of a sudden there is a cow right in the path you must dodge. There are many on the sides of the road, seemingly oblivious to the traffic going by. This is a stark contrast to the image we in the US have of bulls in pastures or charging matadors. They seem quite peaceful here.

I missed a really good picture recently of a cow laying in the shade chilling by the side of the road. It would have been great to share. But I did get this one. At first I didn't realize there were 2 cows there. I only saw the one and was very pleased he was looking right at my camera when I took the shot. I was on a moving motorcycle at the time lol. He doesn't even seem to care we are coming right at him. He just posed his best for the camera lol.

Amritsar, Punjab, India, cows, buffalo, intercultural, expat

I'm not into cows normally, but this one is quite fascinating to me. I see him in that same area often. He lays on the median there in the middle of the road a lot and watches the oncoming traffic. There's a place across the road that has a lot of dirt, shade and water on a daily basis so I'm guessing this is his little slice of heaven.

Even though I've been here 5 months I still haven't gotten fully used to seeing the cows and dogs roaming free, the lizards scurrying across the house walls or the monkeys ganging up on the side of the road (I usually only see those in Delhi though). It's like visiting the zoo without the drive or the fees to get in. I grew up in the middle of nowhere and didn't see this much wildlife as a child. I usually only got to see the chickens, cows and cats and dogs we owned. Those didn't seem the same since they were behind fences, in cages or in the house (in that order lol).

What else can I say but India is a fascinating place to live. Each day brings new adventures, things you never thought you would see or a new perspective on the things we never noticed in life.


  1. Did you know that according to the Indian Motor Vehicle Act (Law) domesticated animals like sheep, cows and other animals have legal right of way over motor vehicles. Regardless of the circumstances, the legal liability is always on the driver in case of accidents involving an animal

  2. I had no idea but that fascinates me! I think I've grown a little attached to the cow in my photo lol. I look for him every time we go by. They are becoming like pets that I don't have to keep in the house.

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