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Yamini Narayanan

Cow Protectionism and Bovine Frozen-Semen Farms in India

Analyzing Cruelty, Speciesism, and Climate Change

Yamini Narayanan


Global warming and livestock farming are intertwined, and both call for radical policy changes that recognize animal rights. India has the world’s largest bovine head count, and is exceptionally vulnerable to climate change. It is uniquely placed in having cow protection legislations, though the focus is limited to the end of the bovine lifecycle by criminalizing slaughter and beef. However, breeding programs, the start of the industrial animal lifecycle, also need to be abolished for animal rights and environmental protection. Using the exploitation of bulls in bovine frozen-semen farms, this article critiques the practice in terms of cruelty; speciesism; and climatic change. It argues that with an expanded moral baseline on protection that is explicitly embedded in animal rights, India is well placed to respond with radical action by abolishing nonhuman animal husbandry as an outdated food production system that is inconsistent with planetary and ethical realities.