Mother Cow, Mother India

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A Multispecies Politics of Dairy in India

Yamini Narayanan

  • ISBN: 9788195838530
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Number of Pages: 424
  • Size: 6 x 9"

Violence against cows in India conceals a dark truth as white as milk.

 What is the role of milk in cow slaughter? How is the cow commodified for dairy production and also deified as a mother and goddess?

India is home to the largest dairy herd in the world. It is a global leader in milk production. India also deploys a rampant cow-protection discourse against beef consumption and cow slaughter. Shifting the focus away from this contradictory zeal to the reality of the maltreatment of bovines, Mother Cow, Mother India shows us how their brutalization is integral to the functioning of the dairy industry. The calf is dumped aside, never allowed to suckle, while the mother fuels the wheels of profit. Industrialized violence against the “holy” cow is now a norm that sustains society, and like all norms it remains invisible.

Yamini Narayanan’s multispecies ethnography frames animals as key political subjects than as mere objects of analysis. This book illuminates new ways in which anthropocentrism, casteism, communalism, and fascism operate together, in India and elsewhere.

Yamini Narayanan is Senior Lecturer in International and Community Development at Deakin University, Australia.


In the Media:

‘Commendable exposé of the cruelty entrenched within the industrialised capitalist Indian dairy’—The Wire

A report in The Print on the launch of the book organised by Indian Animal Studies Collective and Animal Left.

‘Brahminical nationalist assumptions of dairy-as-strength are exposed. Thoroughly researched … a timely call to action’Suraj Yengde, author of Caste Matters

‘Narayanan exposes how in the interests of nationalism and capitalism the cow herself is continually exploited’—Carol J. Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat

‘A ground-breaking work. It is truly the first of its kind—a great gift to the world’—Kathryn Gillespie, author of The Cow with Ear Tag #1389