The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

India to be World’s Largest Beef Exporter in 2012 Due to an Expanding Dairy Herd…

Posted on June 11, 2012 by Nina Casalena, The VRG Blog Editor

According to the U.S.D.A., “India is forecast to become the world’s leading beef exporter in 2012 due to an expanding dairy herd, efficiency improvements, increased slaughter and price-competitiveness in the international market particularly vis-à-vis Brazil.”

A related article said India will be the world’s largest exporter of beef. The story stated, “India also prohibits killing of milk-producing water buffalo, but male buffalo and female buffalo once they stop producing milk can both be killed. And, based on the stats from the USDA, they increasingly are, at least for export.”

Tanuj, a VRG volunteer in India, had this to say about the articles. At first even I was a bit surprised and confused when I read that article on beef exports. First I thought about the holy and sacred status that the cow is given in Indian society. On seeing various statistics, what I found is that we have to consider the real picture and facts to understand India’s growing beef exports.

First of all I would I would like to tell you that, not all the societies in India have the same mind frame regarding the status of cow. There are certain States in India like Kerala and West Bengal and some north-east Indian states where the cow slaughtering is legal and so the people there also have different thinking.

When I saw the major companies in India which export beef, I also analyzed that most of them are in south India and the north east states where the cattle killing is legal. It’s interesting to note that some parts consider beef as an integral part of their diet. Now there are some facts that according to me can be responsible for India to be the largest exporter of beef.

On analyzing the chief producers and consumers of beef in the world, I found that U.S, Brazil, China, Argentina and India are the major producers of beef and at the same time U.S, Brazil and China are also the largest consumers of beef in the world. As very few people in India like or prefer to eat beef, so the major share of Indian beef produced goes for export, which is not the case with these other countries. Further, India has the highest population of cows in the world followed by Brazil, China and U.S. Another factor pertaining to India is its neighboring countries. The large part of India’s export( including buffalo meat) goes to the Middle East and the South Asian market, which needs cheaper meat which can be provided easily by India. A majority of it is consumed in Bangaladesh. It’s a matter of concern that due to not legalizing the cattle slaughtering (as Hindu sentiments are involved in it), this leads to a lot of smuggling of cows.

Here was the original article.
http://www.fas.usda.gov/psdonline/circulars/livestock_poultry.pdf

Also see:
http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-agriculture/india-worlds-largest-beef-exporter-2012.html

For information on the calcium content of Indian foods that don’t
contain dairy, see
http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2009issue4/2009_issue4_calcium_indian.php

Here are some vegan Indian recipes.
http://www.vrg.org/recipes/vjindian.htm

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