Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Holy Cow; in the Latest in His Series on Striking Images Our Columnist Looks at the Pernicious Side of Cattle

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Holy Cow; in the Latest in His Series on Striking Images Our Columnist Looks at the Pernicious Side of Cattle

Article excerpt

Byline: Charles Saatchi the naked eye

CATTLE are considered sacred in Hinduism, and revered as a symbol of health, abundance and selfless giving. So when two artists created an installation entitled Bovine Divine in Jaipur, India -- a cow made of Styrofoam suspended from a balloon -- they were quickly arrested.

Taken to the local police station for refusing to bring their sculpture down, they claimed the message of the artwork was a respectful one, highlighting the dangers of plastic to cows. The cattle apparently digest too much of it while scavenging on garbage dumps and poison themselves.

However, outraged protesters urged the police to act firmly, insisting that the floating cow was "portrayed inappropriately". The work is available for sale, if you wish to install it hovering above your home, and attractively priced.

More worryingly, across the rest of the world the cow is seen by environmentalists as a fearsome enemy.

The UN has identified the rapid expansion of the cattle population as a greater threat to our planet's wellbeing than cars and aeroplanes. This is apparently due to the emissions they expel. They are responsible for about 20 per cent of gases that cause global warming, more than all the world's transport put together.

Our 1.5 billion cattle emit so many unwholesome windy pops that they are now officially public enemy No 1 to the environment. Experts who wish to highlight the risks of global warming say much of the danger is caused by the cow's formidable vapours. Livestock are producing a vast number of air pollutants, including methane and ammonia, one of the leading causes of acid rain.

Major cow farms are seen as a "leading cause of deforestation", and the endless grazing land cows require is turning a fifth of pastures into deserts. They also consume too much water, the anti-cow factions claim, citing that it apparently takes 1000 litres of water to produce a single litre of milk. …

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