Thursday, March 30, 2006

In Praise Of Cow Dung

In Praise of Cowdung
By Vandana Shiva ZNet Sustainer Program November 20, 2002
In India we worship cow dung as Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Gobur-dhan puja is literally the worship of gobur(cowdung) dhan (wealth).
Cow dung is worshipped because it is the source ofrenewal of soil fertility and hence the sustainability of humansociety. The cow has been made sacred in India because it is a keystonespecies for agro-ecosystems -- it is key to the sustainability ofagriculture.

Here in the Willamette valley, which has a lot of fertile river bottom land, the big money crop is grass seed, and it has replaced a lot of the small farms that were throughout the valley. Large co-operatives and money interests, have bought up many of the small farms, and removed the fences and hedge rows, creating grass crops of sometimes hundreds of acres. These crops require that there is absolutely no weed seed in with the grass seed, so a lot ofherbacide and pestitide is used on them. This along with there being no hedge rows for wildlife to hide in, has impacted the environment. The Oregon state bird, The Western Meadowlark, is now rarely seen, allthough years ago they were prolific here.

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