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 Where Is the Beef?

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1PostSubject: Where Is the Beef?   Tue May 24, 2016 5:55 pm

Siggy the Piggy just started a thread with this title on his "School of the Spirit"Yuku Community:

SigmundH Ivarsson
where is the beef?
Lead
05/23/16 21:29:37

well we know that we can google that
all the countries who export beef are
listed by rank and mostly they are also
the source of the hides we turn into leather
goods like shoes and furniture but wait what
is this one of the top exporters is India. Holly cow

Siggy didn't include any links in his OP, but I ran a Google on "countries that export beef" and found the following article:

http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/05/news/economy/india-beef-exports-buffalo/

article excerpt

Holy cow! India is the world's largest beef exporter
by Virginia Harrison
August 5, 2015: 2:36 PM ET

A country where cows are sacred is exporting a record amount of red meat. India was the world's top beef exporter last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, widening its lead over other more established suppliers such as Brazil and Australia. That's because India exports large quantities of meat from water buffalo -- a member of the bovine family classified as beef by the USDA. The buffalo trade has been growing rapidly and now earns India more export dollars than basmati rice. India's buffalo meat -- a chewier and cheaper alternative to beef -- mostly ends up on plates in Asia and the Middle East, where rising wealth is spurring demand among diners for animal protein.

But India's role in the global meat trade sticks out in the largely Hindu country where vegetarianism is widespread. The cow is revered in Hindu culture, the religion observed by roughly 80% of India's 1.3 billion people, and restrictions on cattle slaughter apply in most states. Buffaloes largely fall outside those bans.

Still, the $4.8 billion annual export trade has almost developed by accident -- the animals are needed to keep India's huge domestic dairy industry going, said Rabobank analyst Pawan Kumar. This is unique among countries with large bovine exports, Kumar said. It also means buffalo meat from India is cheaper. That helped the country generate record export earnings from the beef last year, although growth is moderating from the 30% annual rate seen between 2010 to 2013. Here's where it all goes: Vietnam is the top importer, with Malaysia, Egypt and Saudi Arabia other key markets. Then there's China, which may actually be the largest consumer of the meat, according to Rabobank's Kumar. Some 40% of Indian buffalo is sent to Vietnam, before large quantities make their way across the Chinese border. That trade doesn't show up in official statistics.

end of excerpt

However, reading this still leaves several major questions in my mind, so I've decided to start my own thread here for discussing the subject.

First of all, what do water buffaloes have to do with the age-old industry of raising ordinary domestic cattle to produce milk, which has always been an important part of the Indian diet? I've always assumed that the Indian milk industry revolves around herds of dairy cows that are "freshened" by a bull when this becomes necessary, and that when these cattle die of natrual causes, they are burned or buried the same as human corpses are.

Second, in pre-industrial times, buffaloes were used as the primary means of freight transportation, but I assume that in the modern era, trucks and trains have made them much less important. So it would be logical to assume that fewer buffaloes would be raised, and the land where they used to graze used to produce crops of use to the present Indian economy. And if this hasn't happened, I'd like to know why not.

And third, I'm also curious about who slaughters these millions of buffaloes and processes the meat for export. Are there Hindus who don't feel it's sinful to do this, or are these jobs given to Muslims and other non-Hindus?
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