As the winter months come to an end and the chill in the air has lost its edge, the time to welcome spring has come. As nature recovers from the freeze, tiny blossoms and hints of fresh green start to pop up all over the place. Life is renewed and soon there will be a riot of colours, fresh fruit and vegetables everywhere… Spring is here!
That’s the way it is supposed to happen. These days even in a place like Bangalore, the winter is short. So short one could hardly call it winter. It’s really not cold. Nothing a light shawl couldn’t handle at it’s very coldest. And there is hardly a few hours of spring before the full on assault of summer heat starts.
This is the hottest March that I remember in the last 20 years. And the warmest winter. I don’t remember spring happening at all.
Towards the end of March, Holi is celebrated. It’s the usual good triumphs over evil – the darkness and chill of winter fading into the brightness and warmth of summer festival. It is celebrated all over India with colour and water. People drench each other in copious amounts of water and apply all sorts of colours all over each other and celebrate the coming of spring. Top that up with great food, meeting friends and a few days off from work right at the start of the year and you have got a festival that’s a super hit. It’s crazy, colorful and ultimately supremely satisfying.
I personally stay far away from the horrific synthetic colours that are used these days and prefer the naturally made colours and sandalwood powder to play Holi. What I absolutely love about Holi is the water. Getting soaking wet and spraying water on friends is just soooooo much fun… or it used to be until the environment conservation watch dogs started talking about the scarcity of water and what a sin it was to waste so much of it on Holi.
I do enjoy the water and I do really care for our planet and the environment. So I sat down and did a bit of research.
Prof Pimentel is a celebrated professor of ecology and agricultural science at Cornell University, who has published over 500 scientific articles, 20 books and overseen scores of important studies. He says to produce 1 kg of beef, it requires 100,000 liters of water!! Compare that to around 200 liters of water required to produce 1 kg of potatoes. The meat industry of course denies this and says it requires just 1500 liters of water to produce that 1 kg of beef. They use a lot of fuzzy maths and subtract the water that is “given back” to the earth from urine and cow dung and so forth.
Further poking around revealed that 51% of the planet’s surface is being used by the meat industry. That’s a LOT of land being used for all the animals that some humans want to eat.
Apart from that more than 90% of the meat consumed is produced in factory farms where animals are kept in the most horrifying conditions. They are genetically modified to yield more produce and are given tons of antibiotics, which are still floating around in their flesh when they are consumed. This makes treating diseases a doctor’s nightmare because the bugs inside a meat eaters body have already developed immunity to a lot of drugs.
There is plenty on this planet for everyone. The resources are vast… they only need to be managed well. A few people need to realize the unusually high price everyone else has to pay for their greeds. If the population of the US of A went vegetarian (and they account for just 5% of the population of the world), there would be no hunger left in the world!! There would be more than enough food for 800 million starving people.
I could go on, but let me come back to Holi and water.
If you do a bit of calculation, the amount of water required to take a shower for 6 months, flush your toilet for 3 months and have 1 (!!!) non-vegetarian meal is about the same.
You could leave your shower on, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and still not use the amount of water that a person having a meat based diet manages to consume.
These very same presstitute “environmentalists” that tell us it’s a sin to play Holi with water because water is so scarce never ever say have a meat less Eid or Thanksgiving. One meat less Eid, Thanksgiving or Christmas would save far more water than quite a few waterless Holis.
I sincerely feel that the paid media is continuing what the British and the Mughals had been peddling here in India for a few centuries – discrediting India and her customs and traditions. Fooling the common people into believing that their rituals, festivals and the way of celebrating them are barbaric and outdated.
Do not get taken in by these lies. Any one who says they will eat meat shouldn’t ever even talk about conservation.
There is absolutely no need for the celebration and tradition of an entire country to die just so a few people around the world can get to eat animals.
If many more people turned vegetarian, maybe we will have cooler winters, pleasanter summers and Spring may get a chance after all.
Do play Holi with a LOT of water. Just don’t eat meat.