Hindus contend that instead of taxing cow burps resulting in mistreatment of cows, the New Zealand Government should persuade Kiwis to change their eating habits, forgoing meat and shifting toward plants.
Reacting to "Pragmatic proposal to reduce agricultural emissions" announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Arden, Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor and Climate Change Minister James Shaw in a release on October 11; distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed is urging them to rethink and re-evaluate the proposal and find better and humane ways to eliminate methane emissions; before the final roll out of the plan.
Although Hindus were very much aware and understood that curbing methane emissions would help fighting climate change; but they think that rather than managing cow burps by unnatural means causing discomfort to already maltreated cows, New Zealand should make efforts in reducing meat intake; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out in Nevada (USA) today.
Rajan Zed indicated that instead of happy cows living on green pastures and leading carefree lives; cow farmers might resort to unnatural solutions to save burps taxes; like poking them with anti-methane vaccines, controlling microbiomes, enforcing plastic face mask to neutralize methane in breath, unnatural food additives, etc.; thus affecting their comfort and natural behavior.
Zed further said that New Zealanders urgently needed to be encouraged to consume less meat to slow down climate change and reduce animal suffering at factory farms. The environmental impact of meat production needed to be taken much more seriously than just trying the quick-fix of taxing their natural burps instead of addressing the root cause. Moreover, increasing craving for meat resulted in more cattle production leading to further deforestation. Maybe exploring further into meat alternatives would help.
Furthermore, under this proposal, farmers would ultimately end up passing on this cost of controlling cow burps to consumers, Rajan Zed added.
Cow, the seat of many deities, is sacred and has long been venerated in Hinduism; which is the oldest and third largest religion in the world with about 1.2 billion adherents.