The Plastic Cow

Ratings: 8.29/10 from 28 users.


The Plastic CowThis documentary film looks at the impact of our almost complete dependence on plastic bags, which we use and discard carelessly every day, often to dispose our garbage and kitchen waste.

Not only are these bags a huge environmental threat, they end-up in the stomachs of cows, who, either because they've been discarded because they're not milking at the time or because the dairy owner is unwilling to look after them, have to fend for themselves and forage for food, which, like other scavengers, they find in community garbage dumps.

Owing to their complex digestive systems, these bags, which they consume whole for the food they contain, get trapped inside their stomachs forever and, eventually, lead to painful death.

The film is also a comment on the religious hypocrisy of the cult of the holy cow.

More great documentaries

142 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Justin Lesniewski

    im confused... there is a cow eating plastic bag epidemic? This is the kind of thing that makes environmentalists look silly. This issue could be extrapolated greatly to include the damage to our oceans, and the subsequent damage to us because we eat from the ocean... I refuse to watch a documentary about the dangers of cows eating plastic bags, that is just failed farming? lol "the cows arent laden with milk so the farmers let them wander around and eat trash" huh?

  2. kevdok1955

    I agree, Im not going to waist my time watching this doc. What happened to the quality material.?

  3. Malchik

    India? Fields? HA! The country barley has any room left humans let a lone fields for cows to roam.

  4. Malchik

    Trust me, if plastic bags were somehow hurting Christ, we'd be seeing the same centric view from the religious who's icon is endangered.

    The only issue here now is that cows are real.

  5. LnatalieC

    Well, this documentary isn't exactly what I expected either, but it is an interesting depiction of an unexpected problem being faced by a particular place. I enjoyed it after I realized that it wasn't even meant to be a global commentary on plastic waste.

  6. harry nutzack

    holy cow, batman!! loved the 115 lb load of indigestables pulled out of that cow's gut. why not "nationalize" stray cattle and ship them off to more rural environs? a ban on plastic bags for garbage seems kind of unlikely, as commercial hospitality/food service waste kind of relies on them, with few practical available substitutes. interesting, if rather regionally pertinent doc, thanks TDF

  7. brianrose87

    When I visited Sri Lanka for a volunteer experience teaching young monks and pre-schoolers English I lived in the city of Kandy. Kandy is home to The Temple of the Tooth where the Buddha's wisdom tooth is said to be housed. No commoner will ever view the said tooth because it is glamorized and covered in gold and gems; a clear contradiction to the Buddhist principle that idol worship negates the path to enlightenment.

    Outside the Temple of the Tooth an elephant is chained to a tree. I have pictures, and in these pictures it stands, chained. In front is food, to the side a chain from foot to tree, in back a pile of dung. This is this elephants life. Once a week it is meshed in cloth and participates in a festival through the streets.

    I discussed this with the young Monks I taught in Digana. I said it was very sad the life the elephant had. They looked confused, and did not understand my reasoning. These young Monks held the view that this elephants life was blessed because it had been chosen for such holy practices. This is directly contradictory to Buddhist concepts of non-attachment and allowing other beings to live their lives without egoistic interference.

    My point is that any religion or culture can justify any action. I use this example because it is so apparent that the custom of chaining an elephant, 7 days a week, to a tree, outside a Buddhist temple adorned in gold, is all completely contradictory to Buddhist teaching. Yet, in Sri Lanka it has evolved into a custom that is a blessing upon the elephant. I doubt the elephant feels the same way. I'm no PETA representative, nor am I even a vegetarian, but what I saw was torture for the being that experienced such treatment.

    In the household I stayed in ants could not be killed even if they drank our tea and consumed our food (both these actually happened regularly), yet the same religion was contorted to allow the chaining and imprisoning of an elephant.

    The illogical connection between "holy cows" and the environment they are exposed to is no different than the chained elephant I passed daily while I lived in Sri Lanka.

    Religion is not the answer because it has, and always will, be hijacked by whatever culture it evolves in.

  8. KatySK

    I think you're missing the point. Yes, the issue sounds silly without any context, but the documentary is more social/cultural commentary than environmental horror story. I'm not saying you have to watch it, but I'm sure you'd be a lot less confused if you did.

  9. dewflirt

    Plastic cows! There are concrete cows in Milton Keynes, much hardier. They eat all the builders rubble and produce cement. Apart from the cows, is anyone else bothered by the fact that charities from other countries have been set up to deal with their stray/sick animals? Why not just put them down and spend the time, money and effort on people instead. Really gets my goat :)

  10. Nikhil Danak

    When faith transform into beliefs there the paradox of religion starts! Having affectionate approach towards other living being is a natural phenomenon. When the plastic was invented as a byproduct of oil refinery process, it was considered to be a revolutionary replacement of metal domain. Nevertheless the inventors are not allowed to declare dangers of such invention. That’s where Albert Einstein repented discovering nuclear molecule. The fact is greed of our politicians & business leaders have totally put our environment upside down. The parliament and constitutions are more in control by these groups than people in democracy. We HUMAN have lost our sanctity & sanity. The last scene of this video is perplexing!!! India is not the only paradoxical land but the entire globe is becoming paradoxical where ideologies are divided on the platform of Communist, Capitalist, Socialist, and Tyranny. I adore all these institutes for contributing in such a global cause.

  11. LInda Tisue

    I really like your idea of hemp bags,, renewable, and hemp grows like crazy there. We should not be using plastic bags. In some places there is a charge for any plastic bag, it make one think about bringing a bag. To answer your question, they have cows roaming the streets because 1. the slaughter of cows is nearly forbidden and highly regulalted. 2. Cows are holy animals, sort of like how the U-S congress forbid the slaugher of horses, because of thier historic use in the U.S. 3. In Hinduism, freeing a cow is a way to bless an event such as a wedding, death or birth, ( it is making an offering to Shiva)

  12. LInda Tisue

    How can you condem the documentary with out watching it? Judging a book by it's cover, and an issue by it's head line, cause too many snap judgements and misunderstandings in our world.

  13. Josh Perez

    Hamburger helper makes a grate meal....

  14. kdalavur

    Animals feel pain and suffering too. They deserve care and attention. If efforts were stopped with animals, that energy would not necessarily be transferred to humans. Helping animals and helping humans are not mutually exclusive. Many of us have the ability to do both and chose to do neither. I applaud people's efforts with animals. I think love and care are feelings that when developed begin to spread. If you start working with animals, and feel the satisfaction of helping a living being in might start to care about people in need more than you did before because via working with animals you learned to care about the needs of others.

  15. kdalavur

    Your ideas are good. But implementation and enforcement are difficult. That's "why" there is a problem.

  16. kdalavur

    Another good idea, but also one that takes $, and manpower. After watching this program, I can also say, the status quo exists because some profit from the current situation, and because of current corruption and bribery in gov.

  17. dewflirt

    It's not the caring I have a problem with, well I do a bit but I can deal with that. I have a problem with resources being wasted on livestock when the people in that area are obviously skint. I'd rather they made more effort with humans. They've got their priorities all wrong. If anyone really cared about the cows they wouldn't be eating plastic to start with. Cheaper to kill them, sorry :)

  18. kdalavur

    It's cheapest to do nothing. I can think of many other bad, cheap options. The cost of a "solution" is not the only concern. Most people try to avoid cruelty. Also killing the cows wouldn't be a permanent solution unless you also fix whatever allowed the cows to become feral/wandering. I am curious about why you have a problem (even if slight and surmountable) with caring about cows in pain. You keep outlining the situation in what I believe is a fundamentally incorrect way: You can either help the people OR the animals in this area. Of course there is an opportunity cost in every decision. If I spend one dollar on this, I cannot simultaneously spend the same dollar on something else. But consider the issue of optimization: say I am a vet. I cannot do much for the people, but I can treat the animals. Also, you have to judge each action on its own merits. I believe that helping the animals is good, in and of itself. You would say: Helping the humans would be Better. Fine, a valid point, but also extraneous to the central issue. I can say that you, helping people, immediately, Right Now, would have been Better than taking the time to reply to my previous comment. But this would be a moot point. That was never, realistically, an easy option for you, something you would have just as easily done at that minute. You replied, and judging that action in and of itself, well...I have no problem with it. If you had used those man-hour minutes to help someone in economic or physical need, that would have been Better. But, that wasn't realistically going to happen for a variety of reasons and preferences - so it's a silly point to make. These people mobilized on this issue according to their abilities and sympathies, I think it is a disservice to them say they could have done better, when they are already doing more than most of us.

  19. dewflirt

    Good evening kdalaver, I like animals. I've had a few pets and have worked on farms/riding schools. I am a qualified riding instructor. I've seen a lot of of mangled animals, injuries, lambs born the wrong shape etc and I've killed a few too. They are farm animals, future dinners, milk makers, food for the hunt hounds. A cow there is no more special than a cow anywhere else. If it's ill, why spend anything at all on it? They aren't even fit to eat, their milk is bad and nobody want to care for them or they wouldn't be eating bags in the first place. Why not spend it on the kids that scratch a living in the dump. I just like people more than animals, that's all. Finishing something off is not the same as being cruel. Cruel is spending money on a cow, knowing people are going hungry. Sorry, but i stick by what I've said on this. Also, you'd be hard pressed to find a farmer in the UK that would foot the kind of vet bill that would be! :)

  20. kdalavur

    "They aren't even fit to eat, their milk is bad..."
    I believe the surgery is done and the centers for animals exist because these people care about the animal's well-being, not only about their utility. Similarly, post "pets" do not feed people, or otherwise provide for them, yet people still care for and about them. There Are people and organizations working to assist those (humans) living in poverty in India. Those concerned about the cows seemed to see the current problem as cyclic and deep and affecting humans negatively. Surgery on the sick cows is only one of the things they do. They were working to bring about legal changes, so that they do not have to treat cows on a one-by-one basis, but can get them off the streets, without them filling up again just as fast. I bet you spend your money on a variety of things, while people are going hungry, for example: you are likely using a costly computer, eh?, but I don't think that makes you cruel. I do think there are cases in which animals have to be put down - this doesn't seem to be one of them. Human negligence caused cows' problems, I am glad other caring people, with it in their means to help did so.

  21. Ferenc Csicseri

    One of the most spiritual Country like India and the way they worship the Cows like they Deities,it's hard to watch what happened to these peoples in the 21st Century maybe time changed their beliefs about how to take care of these animals and not to let them running wild on the City's streets.I'll guess the beliefs is change if they don't serve the purpose to serve them and make money for them.I' guess it's collective responsibility not to let those Animals to exes to garbadge on the street but in the same time so many people going through the same experience we loose focus what is right anymore

  22. anagdul

    Plastic bags are becoming a problem? Big surprise, that.
    Years ago, when the question of "Paper or Plastic?" was posed to me, I always asked for paper bags, and I even offered to pay extra for them. I also felt compelled to point out that Paper is a renewable, recyclable, biodegradable, sustainable American made product, while plastic is made from the precious imported petrochemicals we purchase from obscenely wealthy oil barons so we can turn them into garbage that takes decades to deteriorate. This seemed to me to be ridiculously obvious at the time, I guess I was wrong.
    As long as you stupid, lazy human beings continue to despoil your environment, your society, and yourselves for the sake of greed and blissful ignorance, you all deserve what you get.

  23. southab403

    I have a BRILLIANT idea! How about castrating the male calves around weaning time so there aren't thousands of unwanted cattle roaming around. In a short order of time, the over population of cattle could be solved. Rather than turn the old milkers out to roam, the "underground butchers" could use the old cows for meat. Probably not the best meat, but it would probably still be equal to half starved males living on garbage.

  24. Shari Pashilk

    Grow and use hemp instead of plastic.

  25. Zarmina Tirmzi

    Where can i buy this film?

  26. Vanillagold

    Probably because it would be an insult ironically to the religion of the people, so despite what you say the charities are helping to relieve suffering and at the same time respecting the RELIGION. They are not allowed to kill them as they are sacred to them but obviously not enough to care about their welfare. Thank you.

  27. Todd Thoms

    We need to educate our cows not to eat the plastic, cows are so ignorant.

  28. madscirat

    Saying that the internal contradiction sustained in the human brain in order to perpetuate an irrational belief is glorious, is like saying a wrench jammed in the midst of a machine's gears is efficient.

    I honestly lost interest at this point because the idea that anyone who does not value coherency in thought, could have anything insightful to say about modern problems that find root in cognitive dissonance seems night impossible. I mean why not just imagine the plastic isn't there? Sure, there's no evidence for it, but it would make for such a glorious internal contradiction.

  29. Elisabeth de zagon

    A healthy cow produces healthy milk. It is natural to keep them in a place where they can graze naturally. Like most cities in the developed world, any animal should be protected and controlled. I cannot bring up chicken in my backyard unless I have a permit and this would also mean the space and care they would need. Same fo any larger farm animals, be it for their meat or milk or whatever. No animal (or human) should scavange for food in the city! And the city is repsonsible for its cleanliness and goverments for the rules that forbid certain chemicals or toxins or plastics... I was in India recently and wish they would do something about the garbage for the health of all. The problem there is huge. And it's not only about the cows, but the whole cycle of trash and environment, health and poverty and beliefs...

  30. Susan McCauley

    This is excellent work and I commend you for sharing this issue.

  31. Martin.Gorringe

    This problem can in large part be laid at the doors of one company.
    Dupont was instrumental in lobbying the U.S. government and world trade organisation to get the hemp plant banned because it was a direct threat to their profits.

    now we have to deal with this environmental disaster that was completely unnescessary and driven by the greed of a handful of petrochemical companies

  32. Eve Vee

    I loled at "charities from other countries". As if whichever country you are from has a homeless population of 0 and you are speaking to a local audience. How about time money and effort spent on not belittling peoples attempts at bettering the planet. Or even better, a little on understanding different regions might have different social issues than you. India has lots of humanitarian organizations, they aren't a country full of beggars, why would you think they are doing this at the expence of human beings. they can focus on other issues within their society. Thinking they live in some horrible third world poverty where every cent needs to be dedicated to human aid is just ignorant. You think a civil, modern, progressing country wants stray animals making themselves sick on trash? Especially when these "strays" are their so-called sacred animal. In the beginning of the film it says until recently india was but a collection of steriotypes from the west. Seems in your mind it still is.

  33. dewflirt

    From an article in The Telegraph - April 2013.

    While new figures show that the number of those in extreme poverty around the world - surviving on 82 pence per day or less - has declined significantly, India now has a greater share of the world's poorest than it did thirty years ago. Then it was home to one fifth of the world's poorest people, but today it accounts for one-third - 400 million.
    Holy Cow!

  34. Eve Vee

    Poorest-schmoorest. Let's say that everyone in india was stinking rich... so how do they feel about the stinking holy river with mounds of trash being eaten by bloated sacred cows? All things are interconnected. Its not only impossible, but not feasible to focus on only one thing. In fact, I think if any country were to gear all their social programs towards one endevor it'd spell disaster regardless. What exactly is "effort on people" anyways? The cows eat trash that is being improperly disposed of. Seems having trash in places cows can't get to would benifit humans as well. It takes five seconds to google some stats, but a little more to step back and think critically. Its very easy to say "spend it on people" but harder to say how. If you cannot see how helping the cows is not, as you see it, some hippy dippy love of animals, but a greater effort of cleaning up a city, reviving a faith, revitalizing and restoring a people and conserving india's national pride and treasures.... well, then we have some beef.

  35. Eve Vee

    Also here is another issue, sure its cheaper I agree, but what are they going to do with all the cow corpses in a country where most don't eat beef? (you may have noted that hindu are not supposed to kill or harm cattle which would be the reason they have so many cows wandering around to begin with.) the cows are eating trash because garbage is being contained within city limits often in areas that are nothing more than an open air garbage pit. What do you think happens when you start putting thousands of corpses averaging at 1600 lbs each into said pit to rot?

  36. dewflirt

    Doll, you're managing to have an argument all by yourself, take a breath and start again. I'm not going to answer the 'lets say' part, I play the 'imagine if' game every day whilst walking my youngest to school. I care about all living things but if I have to order my caring, humans come first, of all the critters I've ever kissed, humans taste the best ;) India's national pride and treasure? Firstly you should check the history of sacred cows, then you should have a quick look at India's illegal beef trade. Such reverence. Do we have to have beef? It's still early and I prefer coffee in the morning :)

  37. Eve Vee

    You seem to like that game when we are pretending we can kill all the cows despite religious restrictions. See, its funny how you dont respond to that other than trying to.discredit me for using a theoretical situation. The fact that a child imagines does not make imagination childish. In fact, its those who play every game by their own rules but never notice who are like children. Like maybe a game where its ok to live in fantasy when it works for your argument ( ignore religious values) but completely silly other times. (Like when it would force you. to think in a.different way...?)
    Really i'm curious as to your answer.

    You said kill them all. Their religion doesn't allow that or theyd probably have already done it. You are operating in an imaginary land far removed from mine. A world where hindu have no reason to care for a cow? So you are asking a religion to change now? Sounds like a "lets say" situation to me. And secondly, no one is arguing. This is called a discussion. And of course i am having a discussion"all by myself". This is a complicated issue with a.lot of layers of considderation.I dont believe i have all the answers, or that ive thought off all the issues, OR that the simplest answer wont have unforseen concequences. Moreover, my morality leaves me at a loss for an answer. This is an issue steeped in religion and culture. You can scoff but that makes me think you didnt watch the documantary. The entire thing is a comentary on what you just said; india is.neglecting things that are supposed to be holy. How do you think they will treat people if this is how they treat god? Why would i need to "check the history" when i just watched something that clearly demonstrates the level of neglect and indignitty indias so-called 'sacred' cultural icons are suffering (ie the cow and the river) you are misunderstanding that the goal is "saving cows", its a much deeper issue. Ok, let's just kill all the cows and drain the river. Im willing to play pretend. Ill call japan and let them know they don't need to restore himeji castle and should get back on earthquake stuff, and the italians will be happy they don't need to fix that cieling.
    Or is it just the cultures of poor countries you see as unworthy of preservation or restoration?Let's let all the things we held dear in the past turn to dust. And when the values we once held dear fall into disaray we should forsake them completely. Let's forget the past, not like "history repeats itself" or anything.
    Would you like a little cream for that, dear?

  38. dewflirt

    Ceiling ;)

  39. Eve Vee

    I am on a tablet, it is difficult to see if I have mistyped as the text box constantly re-adjusts. You may notice I put periods instead of spaces or miss spaces all together sometimes as well. This is on longer messages where I can no longer see what I have typed. In the day an age of spell check, correctness does not equal intelligence. There were many more spelling errors than that. So do you have something to say about the issue at hand or are you just trying to find ways of feeling superior? I would like a conversation with a human being, not a proof reading please.

  40. pwndecaf

    You are being awfully pushy for someone with seven comments. Dewflirt has standing here; you do not.

  41. Pysmythe

    No kidding, and Dewy's been awfully easy on her, thus far. But I'm sure that doesn't matter a whit to @Eve Vee. Let's just see how it shakes out if she persists, however... I think the expression goes "to suddenly find you've bitten off more than you can chew."

  42. pwndecaf

    Been there!

  43. Pysmythe

    Done that!

  44. oQ

    DewF is always awfully easy, funny and witty. I've verified that a few times in our exchanges, no matter what side of the exchanges i was on.

  45. Pysmythe

    Yep. And I'm thinking she won't allow herself to be led into a confrontation, actually. But her wit and her word skills are such that I'd hate to be on the receiving end of them, if she were pushed too far.

  46. oQ

    I guess it goes with being a knitter and patchwork artist. She knows how to weave a discussion in order to get a good end result, and if no result seem possible, she'll tease the cat.

  47. Pysmythe

    Or string her up by her tail? But we're yet to see that from her here, I admit, and I hope we never do.

  48. oQ

    She's had a few tangled in some yarn before.

  49. Pysmythe

    She has... But she's going to get pissed at us for talking so much about her, lolol.
    I know I don't want that! :)

    edit- So have you, by the way...

  50. Eve Vee

    I am confused what you are all talking about. I am trying to have a discussion. I don't care about "standing" nor "here", was under the impression I was joining a conversation, not a club. Simply put, and since she has "standing" even more-so; I'm curious as to dewy's thoughts on my opinions, not my spelling. As well as how she proposes to kill all the cows and dispose of them within realistic parameters.

  51. Eve Vee

    I guess this shows how out of touch I am with the world. I'm sorry, you are right. I should come back when I'm qualified with enough comments to express my opinion.
    I've shown nothing but respect to dewflirt, Even agreeing that in her perfect world killing all the cows really is the best solution. I've seen things from her perspective, and maintained that I still see things differently. Meanwhile she doesn't have enough respect for me to respond in the manner you would to a human beings face. Trying to belittle me over something a squiggly line could tell me.
    I want to move past an emotional conversation about our opinions on towards to a real discussion about a solution. Which isn't happening when you say "ceiling"

  52. docoman

    I'll discuss this doco with you if you wish.

    I just watched it. Frankly, what a load of deluded, religious apologetic cr@p. This is part of why.

    At the 29:11 it says;
    "But what about the hundreds of thousands of other cows, that are consuming plastic on the streets across India. Ever wondered why these cows are on the streets in the first place, where they are exposed to plastic waste, and traffic accidents. It's because of the demand for milk, milk products and meat."
    Bullsh1t !!!

    It's as it stated early in the doco, because of the religion of 80% of Indians. Almost every other nation on earth has demand for milk, milk products and cow meat, no one else has them roaming around eating rubbish though. It's their religion, and if you wish to call it, culture.

    So why should animal welfare groups be running around to fix up what their religion caused? How about spending some of the money they no doubt receive in their religion on a problem they cause, after all it is their 'gods'. Their problem by their own doing. Fix their own, religious caused BS.

    And that's just talking about the cows. How about the mess they've made of their own country. Their human population is the cause of many of their problems, but that would impact on their religion and culture though.... bugger worrying about the future hey, look after what's important now, our unsustainable way of life and outdated belief systems.

    Dewflirt was correct, the solution is for them to wake up to the BS their religion really is, clean up their place a bit and eat or slaughter and export the extra cows they have. If not, do the decent thing and shoot/put them down. It's time they got realistic, not religious.

    They hardly mentioned the Ganges River. That that is a much more interesting topic, especially the bacteriophages in it and their possible potential. Something that may be of huge benefit to India and the world. But it's wasted on excusing and trying to solve their religious caused problems instead.

  53. docoman

    How to get rid of them? If you don't want to slaughter them for food, ask the UK, the mad cow disease outbreak has caused them to slaughter something like 4.4 million cattle.

  54. dewflirt

    The only fantasy here is that saving the odd cow will somehow 'preserve and restore' a nations culture. You might like to tell that to the cattle mafia, after all, they have the lives of those sacred cows not only in their hands but jammed into trucks and heading for the borders to some of the cruellest slaughter houses in the industry. Not to worry though, there's a whole bunch of self righteous vets on a pointless, spit in the ocean crusade to save the magic cows. What heroes they are, dashing about in their white coats and skillfully ignoring the culturally insignificant, untouchable children. You and I have different ideas on what is and is not worth saving. You might see some romanticism in the pickling of a people in their own religious juices, you may see the children of the tip as a quaint little tourist attraction, all skinny, dusty and doe eyed. Perhaps you feel some nostalgia for the caste system and you might see cattle as national treasures, Not I, I see hungry children as our shame. As for the cream, keep it, it may come in useful should your conscience ever prick.

  55. oQ

    One point for you here! Standing counts for nothing when someone wants to debate in TDF, we have long standing people i would rather shut up sometimes but i am sure some feel the same way towards me.
    Dew, i am certain of this, enjoys every new comers, the more the merrier! (enjoying doesn't mean agreeing)

  56. Eve Vee

    What does that have to do with anything? So you are saying we should infect the cows, or pretend that they are infected so they can be destroyed? The issue is that hinduism doesn't allow the killing of cattle.

  57. Eve Vee

    Again, you are focusing on the actual physical act act of "saving" cows. I agree, that is useless and s*upid. Saving cows is as useless as "saving" children. It doesn't matter how many orphans I take out of war torn areas, as long as people are thinking the same the war will rage on. You need to change the mentality of the country.
    There is a reason these cows are filled with poison, just as there is a reason and its a metaphor for india itself. On the outside a sacred veneer, but under just an inch of mortal flesh is a rotting mass of s*it. You need to open the cow, remove the poison, and show it to the world. And that uncomfortable feeling you get after seeing all that horror and gore. That is the feeling that will change the world.
    But india is seeing things from within the cow. India doesn't need to be told again how dirty it is. How well has that worked? it needs to see the potential for being clean.
    The fact is, these are people doing things within their skill to try and help an issue. You want vets to treat humans instead? So, all vets should be doctors...? Because I really doubt these people trained to become vets for the express purpose of pulling trash out of cows. So now you are saying we need to limit the professional and educational options available in poorer countries so that people would be restricted to only taking jobs you feel have some social value? Why can you criticize these vets so harshly as "self righteous" putting their actual time and effort into a cause they believe in? Meanwhile how many pop stars, cricket players , etc live in india? So if someone decides to become a restaurant owner they are exempt from scorn. But if someone decides to become a vet and then speak out about an issue they see when they dont even need to they are "self rightious".
    I'm not saying you aren't right. But you are just making statements. Its very easy to say you should pick a child over a cow, that's super obvious. That's what concerns me. You've observed the situation and all you have is a comment. No solution. No critical thinking.
    Yes, I agree with you.whole hearted... so what do we DO? The only thing you suggest is that other people change their personal goals. I agree, it'd be fantastic if in every poor country people just decided to do the jobs that needed to be done. But that isn't how life works. Humans have their own interests and dreams. The fact that you, though ashamed of hungry children, have your own life, children, job, friends, etc. and are able to cook and enjoy a nice meal with your family despite hungry children in your city is a good example of this. Cleaning up cows isn't a solution, but its the closest I've seen to a philosophical revival coming out of india (lol) . And actually opening a cow and removing this stuff is a lot more effort and passion than anything I've seen come from someone who just says "save the children" . These people are DOING. It might not be what you want them to do, but they sure as h*ll are doing a lot more than I've ever done.
    There is no corner of the earth untouched by a needy hand (or paw or hoof). I agree with you, but you arent operating in reality, you are just saying absolutes. So.
    What can be DONE

  58. Eve Vee

    The cows are free to wander that is why they are on the street.
    Their religion did not cause the trash.
    The bigger topic of this doc is cleaning the trash... are people not seeing that?
    How could the ganges be a more interesting topic.... its the same topic... they don't mention it because it doesn't work for the symbolism.
    this doc is about garbage. About garbage penetrating the culture and making it filthy (like how trash is stuck forever in a cow) that these problems will just sit in india until we cut it open and do surgery.
    No one sees the metaphor? you are under the impression that they are planning on cutting plastic out of all the cows and that's it? Or that the point was the cows were sick? I'm starting to understand why the comments are going the way they are.
    I don't think the doc is about "cows".
    Its a greater commentary on the social issues of india and the hypocracy of religion.

  59. thinkagainagain

    Whether the discussion is of cows or of the social issues of India the reality is that the cows are going nowhere. There are two reasons for this; political and cultural. On the political side there are 827 million Hindus and India is a democracy. On the cultural side there are 827 million Hindus and they like their cows.

    Now there are two options for the plastic cow problem. Do nothing or get rid of the plastic bags.

    So I'm with you on this. It's pointless to discuss "thinning the herd".

  60. docoman

    What does that have to do with anything you ask?? It was answering one of your questions;
    "As well as how she proposes to kill all the cows and dispose of them within realistic parameters."

    You wanted to know how, so I gave you a recent precedent as an answer. It's how a discussion works hey. How do you get I'm saying they should be infected? I didn't. Large numbers can be culled and disposed of if need be.

    I'm also aware the issue is Hinduism and their attitude towards cows, hence my pointing out the reason given in the 'doco' is BS, that being their uses for milk and meat.
    The description of the doco in the first and last sentences point out the heart of it. Rubbish, and religious hypocrisy.

  61. docoman

    You may see the bigger issue with this being the rubbish, and you may be correct, but as it's about the cows and the effect eating plastic has on them, and animal rights groups and what they're doing, one could argue the biggest issue as far as the makers were concerned is the cows. Many of the 'solutions' offered were just keeping the cows and rubbish separated. Not clean up the rubbish, or put the cows back where they belong, out of the cities. They obviously tried fairly hard to not offend the religion, and I agree with your last sentence, it's a comment on it's hypocrisy.

    Traveled much have you Eve? You'll find that India is not the only country with chronic rubbish problems. But they're likely the only ones with hundreds of thousands of cows roaming the cities eating plastic, because of the religious influence.

    How could the Ganges be more interesting you ask? Did you look up Ganges River bacteriophages?

    A phage 'eats' bacteria, kills it dead. Even with all the pollution that goes into that river (including about 250 partly cremated bodies per day) there is a natural quality it has in it's bacteriophages that kills bacteria. It's been shown to kill E. coli, cholera, some staph infections to name a few. (Ironically the more polluted the water, the more 'food' for the phages, the greater their numbers.)

    I've read it kills E. coli better then boiling water does. The sailors used to fill up their water barrels if they could from it years ago, it stayed sweeter for longer apparently.

    Tapping into an ongoing evolutionary war, billions of years old, between phages and bacteria, to possibly help us as our antibiotics start to fail, is not at all interesting to you?

    It gives some of their religious tales about the healing properties of that river some credence. Maybe they got some things right after all in their religion, (the effect, not the cause). I find the river much more interesting then their self caused religious stup1dness and cruelty to their 'gods'.

  62. Pysmythe

    I wouldn't have picked the word "standing," as that implies some kind of hierarchy that doesn't apply, but, you're right, things can get a little clubby around here occasionally, a natural enough result even for this sort of community for those who've been posting a while. I don't intend it to be rude, but my little analogy is that you seem a bit like a newcomer joining a group of old friends for drinks, and then making some assumptions about one of them from one or two remarks, which is bound to seem both a little amusing and annoying for those who know the person better. And a lot of people here obviously feel a constant need to prove something, and generally it's that old all-too-human standby: How much smarter they are than the next guy. There's a great deal of intellectual buffoonery about, as a result, but it's entirely understandable. One of the great appeals of this site is the opportunity it provides someone to show off. I've certainly been guilty of it a few times, myself. But Dewy isn't like that at all, and is therefore well-liked. She has a style completely her own, comprised of a lot of levity and an obvious love of people, but which, it gradually begins to dawn on the perceptive reader, comes from a place of very sharp intelligence, indeed. Someone once said that "the secret of being a bore is to say everything," and she never does that. Stick around for a while, and I'd be willing to bet that you'll learn to love and appreciate her for these things, as well.

  63. thinkagainagain

    It is easy to say standing counts for nothing yet we all know that it does. It's human nature and there is nothing we can do about it. Any time there are two or more humans there will be standing.

    Even on TDF not only do humans have standing but certain subjects have standing also.

  64. thinkagainagain

    Don't try to shade it. It is standing. I find nothing wrong with it for it is most important to humans and human survival.

    Call it for what it is and enjoy it and use it. As you say "Stick around for a while".

    (And you too will have standing).

  65. Pysmythe

    Well, that's true, but what I had in mind is something more like: Whereas very few of us would dare to slap the Chairman at his table, we might be perfectly willing to do so here. But the table we sit at is round, and in that sense we're all equal enough. So if the next person throws a drink in the face of one of our beloved knights, he might well expect to receive a few more in his own. Out there in the real world, the king would just have them all drawn and quartered and their heads put up on spikes... literally enough, when he can get away with it.

  66. thinkagainagain

    Yeah, that King thing - not only will he get in your face he will get your face.

  67. Pysmythe

    I used to work for one of those kings... One of the largest commercial real estate developers in the Southeastern U.S., and one of the richest men in the state. Everyone tiptoed around that guy at meetings, let me tell you.

  68. Eve Vee

    Oh. I generally just call them like I see them. I do not mean to seem like I am judging dewy as a whole person, that'd be contrary to my point about this issue being about more than one thing, really im only judging a few lines of thought. In fact, if I seem frustrated it is because I feel as though I've been robbed of a conversation rather than over difference of opinions. Like I said, her points are valid but not feasible in the real world. And so when I am curious as to how her plan would be adjusted to fit the real world, even changing circumstances to fit her points (I.e poor people are more important than cows; so let's say everyone is rich. Nothing has changed about the cow or hindu situation, what do you do?) , and I get told I'm playing pretend and my spelling is bad... well I might be a little grumpy over that one hehe.
    I think dewy is intelligent, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered commenting, in fact this might be the first time I've said anything. So with that in mind, I think she could handle being called on twisting tactics to her benefit. Haven't we all done the same? What is to debate? Its not that the scaffolding exists, but that we've glimpsed behind the curtain right? Haha.
    I just want her to play my game now too hehe
    As for the "standing" bit, I have an involved and outspoken view on most any topic and when it comes to matters of social standing and respect I have very anti-confucian views. I think it is when we can make a statement, rather than engage others in a conversation is where we go wrong. So, I think we need to have our views and opinions challenged each time we say them. I want to see the same passion in everyone I speak to when we are discussing our thoughts. Its disturbing to me that someone could just make a one word comment. Is itt because they think they are correct? Maybe but i dont think so.... perhaps they don't care to continue talking. That's what makes me worried. I will never have standing because I seem like I have no authority or hard views, and yet will "argue" to the death. In reality I think delving to the depths of another person's point of view gives us better perspective on our own. Which is part of why ive adjusted my stance to allow myself to hear the fullness of her argument from her perspective. On the whole, killing them is best, how to do that in the real world?
    If I stick around id rather not have standing, rather id like you all to see my charm. Which is that, as deep as my convictions run, one need only blow on the surface for the grainy sands of debate to smooth over and become a fresh plane for another topic. (Well, I think so at least... I've been told its my butt)

  69. pwndecaf

    I'll go along with that. I chose my words poorly. Hard to not stand up for some people, and equally hard to "stand" some people. lol

  70. Eve Vee

    Might I also add that I find the human tendency to equate opinions wit ones "self" very odd? No wonder why it seems like so many people float through life trying not to offend. If opinions change they can't be "us" and if they can then "we" don't really matter very much do we?
    I think why a person clings to opinions says a lot more about them than whatever those opinions are.
    For future reference, I see each and every one of us as that golden little child we were the day we came into being. Golden, but fool hearted, short sighted, children. I'm mostly curious about observing where we go rather than judging where we are.

  71. pwndecaf

    If you read your words from yesterday as if someone else wrote them, you might see how p!$$y they sounded from someone no one here knows yet.

    It happens to us all. I hate the Mac/PC debates because the PC is obviously better! hehe

  72. Eve Vee

    See that is where I feel a disconnect from other people. I don't believe I sounded pissy. Especially since I was enjoying myself. I love debates. To me, dewy and I are pretty much buddies now though I suppose they might feel attacked by me? The entire thing seemed very light hearted from my perspective. I especially liked the doe eyed tourist attractions bit, it was a good line.
    This sort of thing happens a lot, in person as well as online, and is part of why I stay out of things usually. I'm not really seeing where my comments were different from hers other than mine were trying to engage a response. Is it not appropriate to want to know more about someone else's thought process?
    I guess I'm confused as to what the original purpose of the conversation was and where I went off track. Because to me I thought we were having a good conversation and a nice time until I realized people thought I was being... pushy? But I was asking questions...
    I guess where.some people would "agree to disagree" and let it be id rather hear more things I disagree with haha.

  73. Pysmythe

    Ok, I think I see where you're coming from now. I think basically what you're saying is you're a big fan of the Socratic Method (not to be too pedantic here, or anything, I'm certainly not an expert in it). Or something close enough to it. Yeah, that technique has been known to very often irk people for, oh, quite some time now. As valuable as it is, I think it runs a little contrary to human nature to be all that congenial towards it, since it can come off as kind of a threat, rather than simply a means of finding out the true extent of a person's knowledge, or depth of sound thinking about a subject. Or, indeed, as a way of perhaps getting them eventually to modify their views on their own through some logical connection. That is, I think it can seem a little combative, if not handled very tactfully, especially if the person might not realize ahead of time the method being employed. But I'm not saying these things necessarily apply in this circumstance (that is, if I'm even right about them at all), only just that they might, to some degree.

    As for giving you any kind of input on the situation in India, I really can't, at least at the moment. I haven't watched the doc since last year, can't really recall the impressions I got, and haven't thought about it since, honestly. I did, however, watch a very good doc earlier today on youtube about (very slowly) changing political and social conditions in Saudi Arabia that I'm thinking of recommending for this site. I don't have any doubt at all that that one would spark a whole heap of interesting perspectives and debates from a great many here, considering recent history and the whole Islam/West dichotomy, generally.

    That's a charming, well-written last paragraph. As a man, if I want to keep my wits about me, I'd probably better just leave it at that, lol. But I will say this, that this site can always use more strong-willed women on it, and I think there are a lot who'd agree with me. We've got some, but not enough, and there is too much of the male voice here for my comfort, sometimes.

  74. Pysmythe

    Oh, I know exactly what you mean. ;)

  75. pwndecaf

    Fair enough - thanks for clarifying.

    I like my Dew, is all...and Diet Coke!

  76. Eve Vee

    I don't mean the river isn't interesting, I mean it doesn't fit the metaphor and would crowd the doc. And keep in mind i am using the words "doc" loosly. Its a doc the same way "reefer madness" is a documentary. Its a doc made for india, not for you. to learn about india. . (Read on)
    I think not wanting to offend is why much of the comentary is done through literary device. This is particularly true of asian cultures and I think this doc did a great job of not using words, but images and contrasts, to criticize. This doc would be utterly useless to an indian market if they were to put hindu or indian culture in a bad light. Think of what indian eyes would see viewing this film. Would an indian person want to hear about how gross and unsanitary things are compared to the west? Would you like to be portrayed in a way that makes your normal life (ie cows in the street and garbage in the road) seem like the third world trappings of despare?
    Or would you like to see it as a social issue that can be solved by modern thinking and technologies?
    For this film to be presented in any other way would alienate an indian audiance. It absolutely needs to be approached with the idea that "cows" and "garbage" are normal, you need to start changing thinking very slowly. You can't just come out and say "why the hell don't you find some place to put this , it is gross, they are just cows just use some common sense". Because that's rude.
    I can understand being upset with this doc if you are hoping for information, but I don't believe that is the point. Consider it a public service announcment to try and gently get india thinking about filth and trash. You can't make a people do that by making them feel dirty in relation to someone else. That's why they picked the cow.
    Everyone can see the river, and still no one cares. Now the cow has been uncovered too. It will get indians thinking, what other problems lie in my country? Why havent I thought these problems before?
    I think the fact india of the only places you can see all these cows wandering around is great! That's tourism! That's culturally unique! Why would you want to destroy such a thing?
    And to answer your question, traveling is my life. June 19 I will arrive in tokyo where I will stay for 3 months before moving on to busan in south korea for another three. By which time it will be winter and now, being a bit inspired by this doc and series of chats, I'm thinking of perhaps going to india to look into the matter further.

  77. Eve Vee

    I suppose socraties is decent enough company to keep, though I wouldn't entirely agree considering I believe the term socratic debate has the impression that there are two sides and the goal is to have them eventually be the same. I simply like to hear the other point of view and argue against it. Human interaction to me is like playing squash at the community center. You go in there for a good match back and forth, you don't care who you are playing against or what their skill level is, you aren't in it to win. You are doing exercise. This is my "workout", were my "opponent" to agree with me there would be no point to speaking. Hell, to me there would be little point in living from my perspective. I hope never to meet someone so dull that we agree haha.

  78. Eve Vee

    But getting back on the original topic... how DO you get people to clean things up? Or get rid of the cows?
    Put cows in the river then the garbage on top?
    Haha, I got nothing.

  79. Pysmythe

    You get a thrill out of playing the "devil's advocate," I gotcha. There is still "somewhat of " the Socratic Method in that sort of thing, however, although you certainly don't have to carry it to any kind of formal conclusion.

  80. docoman

    Good one mate, have fun and stay safe on your travels. :) I agree with a lot of what you say. I'm not Indian, I'm not meaning to make any value judgements, my country has it's own issues it can do better with. You may be right, and this sort of 'doco' (I agree with the loose terminology) might be a start in the right direction, to be shown to Indians. But I'm not sure that was their target audience, it was in English. ?

    In the end it's their country, their mess, their job to deal with it how they see fit.
    I'm not saying (even though I am critical of all religions) that they can't have their 'holy cows', but it's obviously a problem for the cows and the mess issue having them in the cities. If it was up to me I'd try to get the religious to agree that they should be kept out of the larger cities for the cows safety (the plastic and car accidents). Try to get the religious leaders to 'adjust' the rules a tad. The rubbish is a whole other issue, as you've no doubt seen is a problem not only in India. It's more of case of a lack of adequate infrastructure for the population numbers.

  81. Eve Vee

    No TT too gentle haha. Please pick me apart anytime i wander close to the looney bin, for example that last post had me running off at the mouth without referencing any facts. Actually i am clueless to the intended audience and that is only the impression that i got. In india english is widely spoken among the middle and upper class (what with the brits colonizing them) so much so that there are many indian films that are partially spoken in english (ie they switch mid sentence or use english for... I dunno emphasis? Still trying to figure india out, trip needed for sure). So I am just assuming with those things considered and the a- typical presentation of india (ie brittish accent, but doesn't feel like made for them) that this was targeted at middle class indians while using english to kind of harness some authoritative power. Completely assuming and likely making a fool of myself haha. Kind of a little tinged in white superiority... oh no is that my problem? Ahaha
    I think we do need to judge things, but not... erm when interacting with those we judge? What I mean is that, I personally think religion is a joke, and if people ask my opinion that is what i will say. But I feel like when a religious (or any, I guess) person comes to me with an issue they aren't asking for my opinion on the matter at hand but rather if it is operating to their own personal standard. So, I theorized it makes more sense to point out issues I might personally have with what is happening by using the equivalent emotion in the other person. Interestingly, I've found this has better success with religious people or those within a clear structured organization than those living otherwise. I am still gathering more data, as the jury is still out whether or not I'm simply abrasive and blind to my own bs (likely).
    In my view it isn't up to india what they should do. The hindu people have set a standard for themselves in their reverence for whichever thing which they are not meeting. I think it is up to the world to hold groups to their own standards.
    Of course that becomes very gray in areas like garbage, in which we as a collective whole need to decide a standard amd that just isn't going to happen amongst rapid conumption and creation of goods.

  82. TiltingAt TheWindmills

    Wow, you really are something, aren’t you? By your reckoning, Indians don’t speak/understand English? More people In India speak and understand the language than you entire lot in the US. And, I daresay, we do it better. Sure, there’s a lot of us who suck at it but, what the heck, you
    guys suck too. You’ll probably start to understand issues – even if you don’t
    agree with either the nature of the problem being projected or the solutions
    being proposed – if you were to deign to get off that mighty high horse you’ve
    perched yourself on.

    I don’t know what the motive of the people behind the film is but – and maybe I can understand better because I’m an Indian – it seems to be to point to the very obvious
    hypocrisy of the religious belief that, on the one hand, makes the believers
    among us revere the cow and, on the other, allow it to be reduced to be a
    scavenger. Clearly, you haven’t watched the documentary as well as you should
    have, especially for someone who has such a major and definitive view on the
    issue. I agree with Eve Vee, maybe it’s all symbolic of the over-spilling
    garbage India’s having to deal with. Eve Vee is right again in saying that these
    people are actually doing something to fix a problem they see. What are YOU doing?

    If the solutions to the problem were as simple as you’re making them out to be, things wouldn’t have gotten out of hand the way they have. It’s a complex issue, with each aspect of the problem leading to another. Animal rights, illegal diaries in urban areas, garbage collection from homes and disposal by the municipal agencies, manufacture and use of these thin plastic bags…these are just some of the inter-related issues that stem from the image of a cow feeding at a garbage dump. And, rather than criticise these people, maybe you should concentrate on the fact that, as Eve Vee said, at least they’re trying to DO something. They’re
    focusing on one aspect of the problem, hoping that others will wake up to the
    ticking time bomb we’re sitting on vis-à-vis the plastic. If you were to do a little search on Google, as I did after watching this, you’ll find that this documentary has been a part of an animal rights case that is now in the Supreme
    Court of India, which called these plastic bags “ticking time bombs” and which has
    announced that it is now considering a ban on the use and distribution of plastic bags. So, I guess, it’s doing some good, unlike you, who seem to have made it your business to sit here and pass judgement on a set of people and country you know little more than the clichés mentioned at the beginning of this film.

    But, you’re right about one thing. Your country’s a mess too. Not only have you
    guys created a mess in your own backyard but you’ve been creating a mess all
    around the world. You’re such an insular and inward-looking people that, as long as your own cities are clean, you don’t care where your waste is being shipped to. You’ve dumped all your hazardous waste in all the poor and developing parts of the world but, hell, who cares as long as you don’t get to
    see it. If you can, I’d like you to explain where the Great Pacific Garbage Patch came from. Who created the plastic soup in our oceans? It’s TWICE the size of the US, this plastic soup. Who do you think created it? Not us, the silly religious cow-worshipping people
    we are in India, but you, the evolved Americans and the others in the West.
    Besides, before you start suggesting slaughtering animals as a solution to the
    problem, it may be a good idea for you to try and educate yourself about what a
    meat-eater’s contribution is to the damage being caused to the environment.
    Might open your eyes a little bit.

  83. Eve Vee

    Funded by an Australian organization supporting active working groups. It seems the doc is available through the karuna society website originally? Where are my words so I might eat them? Haha
    The combination of foreign production but indian execution explains why this doc feels a bit unique. I think for indians its a good expose film.
    Which brings me to a thought on terminology. I think there should be some defenition, whether or not what we arw watching is documenting or making us aware of a situation.
    As in this case. Many here want some clear documentation on the issues of pollution I'm india, meanwhile the scope of the film seems to be simply informing people plastic filled cows exist. So, its more of an expose than a documentary... unless the documentary is about rumenotomies. In either case actual facts to draw upon are too scant for me. to .be comfortable calling it a documentary. Public awareness service?

  84. over the edge

    hey Eve Vee

    two quick things. first off i see you are new. welcome to TDF. second is a heads up. make sure you leave a space after periods. Disqus mistakenly thought there was a link in some of your posts because of the period followed by a two (or three) letter word. that is why they went to moderation. not that it bothers me but using the space will avoid the moderation time for your posts

  85. Eve Vee

    I am on a tablet =_= my thumb keeps hitting the period or missing the space. I need to suck it up and buy the keyboard attachment.
    I've been trying to edit them out but it's a new ring of hell editing posts after it gets to a certain length and the box resizes.
    My writing may become more sporadic with length due to this for the next few months of travel. Ill do my best to catch them all.
    Sorry about that, to any mod if you had to read my novellas.

  86. over the edge

    no worries just trying to improve your experience.

  87. dewflirt

    Hey Evie, I like you metaphorical cow but her horns are short and wide, going to need some big hands to tackle them :) You ask what can be done, is there any one thing that can be done to repair any nation ? Have you ever read The Old Sailor from Now we Are Six? A list of things to do as long as his arm and every one of them a priority. You seem to want to sweep clean, clear the decks and start again. I don't know how that might be achieved, I can only think now of a toddler emptying the toy box as fast as you fill it :) I guess I want to tidy up in my own way, only I see the people as a priority and not the infrastructure. I see those kids learning that there place in society is amongst the rubbish and of less value than a dumb beast. What happened to the Mother cow? She has gone from giving to taking. Worshipped to the point of uselessness. Perhaps just another example of the cost of religion to its believers. Just so you know, I didn't say kill all the cows. Just dispose of the sick ones. Saving them is wasted effort, nibbling at frayed edges only leaves you with more frayed edges and eventually a ball of pulled and tangled threads. No fabric to work with at all.
    No way to make sweeping changes to a nation, at least not in our generation. Don't know about you but I find myself disgruntled at the smallest changes, cutlery order swapped in the drawer is a bugger! I'm a creature of habit in many ways, imagine the habits that countries develop - could almost call them a culture ;) The best I think we can do... We can work to influence the next generation, if we are prepared to give to a future we might not be in. Can we get that coffee now? Milk please, not keen on cream. Maybe a little sugar too, we might neither of us be a sweet as we like to think ;))
    Edit, because I think you like them, I've left a few spelling mistakes in for you, we square now? ;)

  88. docoman

    G'day TwitoftheWindmills, a lot of assumptions you've made there.

    Hmm, so which is it, you've had a bet each way. You claim you know better because you're Indian.

    Is the show's purpose as you first say; " it seems to be to point to the very obvious
    hypocrisy of the religious belief...".
    Or your second answer; " maybe it’s all symbolic of the over-spilling garbage India’s having to deal with."

    Cows in the streets, or the streets full of rubbish? You've added nothing other then you're Indian and some BS ranting.

    We were also discussing what/why make the show, and I pointed out it's weird if it's target audience is Indians that it's in English. My apologies for offending your obviously brittle self image and not mentioning that is because it's the 2nd language, not the official language of the country, Hindi. i.e. the largest possible audience. Weirdly, isn't that the same spoken by those that beliefs have been shown to be hypocritical by this show? Maybe therein lies the answer.

    And to your claim I'm from the USA. Hmm, my avatar has a kangaroo in it. Seen many of them from the States have you? lol. Negates much of your rant, as obviously you don't know what you're talking about.

    And to your claim that the rubbish plastic in the Pacific is only plastic from western nations. How can you tell? Where does the plastic that non-western nations discard go then? It's somehow different is it? How exactly. Where does the waste India produces end up, somewhere different? Don't try to talk like India isn't as guilty as we all are in polluting our world.

    And what am I doing about it you ask. Well, I don't have cows eating trash in my city streets, I always shut our gates and maintained our fences, kept the farm animals on the farm.
    I and my society don't subscribe to absurd religious ideas about animals having free roam like that, nor have we overpopulated to the point that your country has.
    As I eluded to, a major cause of the rubbish problems is the lack of infrastructure compared to population.

    What do I do, I put my rubbish where it's supposed to go, where some of my taxes pay for it to be hauled away and dealt with properly. Not as some of the people in this show did, toss a rubbish bag in the direction of the collection bin, not caring if it went in or not. Then feel insulted if it's pointed out the cities are a mess.

    So I'm helping to keep my country clean, we have a 'Clean up Australia Day' every year, where we get out and pick up rubbish. I start by putting it where it needs to go in the first place.

    What are you doing for yours is more the relevant question, yours is the one with the cows eating plastic rubbish in the cities. It's not up to me to fix your problems of your own doing.

  89. TiltingAt TheWindmills

    Hey Docoman, sorry about assuming you’re American. My mistake.

    No, I don’t have a bet each way but, unlike the know-it-all that you are, I’m open to the idea that a film can be more than I assume or believe it to be. So, while it seemed to me to be primarily about religious hypocrisy around the cult of the cow, I also saw sense in the suggestion that the plastic waste inside
    the animal could be symbolic of the problem of waste disposal. Try keeping your
    mind open to ideas and suggestions. It helps.

    Just because you have an inflated sense of self, don’t assume that you can do anything to damage my image of myself. You don’t have the intellectual capacity for it. Yes, English is not the national language (Hindi is) but
    English is what you’d use to be understood around the country. Hindi works very
    well in the north and parts of east and the west. But not so well down south and
    in the north-east.

    See, that’s the point, I’m not suggesting that India hasn’t contributed to polluting the world. Of course, it has. I would never deny that and, in fact, am extremely critical of the direction we’re moving in. But, what really gets me is how people like you forget that your contribution to the mess is far
    greater and, instead of being conscious of it, you start pointing fingers at the developing countries. If you’re implying that India has contributed to the plastic soup, you’re either too naïve or you just want to argue for the sake of arguing. While you’re at it, why don’t you also accuse India of endangering the
    Great Barrier Reef?

    You say, “I and my society don't subscribe to absurd religious ideas about animals having free roam like that” You really want to talk about the absurdity of religious beliefs or only to the extent it's convenient for you to make a point? Christianity – yes, I’m going to safely assume you’re Christian - might not subscribe to the idea of letting animals walk about freely but what about what it’s done to human beings over the centuries? The wars it has
    brought upon people? The indigenous people of the world it has exploited?

    Incidentally, I don’t believe in religion. It’s all manmade and, therefore, deeply, deeply flawed. No one religion is better or greater than another religion of the world. But you probably can’t understand that because, for you, it’s an us and them and, of course, it’s a given that you’re always superior.

    What do I do to clean up the mess? Well, I’m part of an environmental group and we go and clear whatever mess we can. We plant trees, we educate people about the plastic threat, educate them about segregating their garbage and about garbage disposal…a fair lot more than just sit on my behind and
    pontificate about what the taxes I pay do.

    TwitoftheWindmills? Yeah, you’d probably need a little more intelligence even to insult anyone.

  90. pwndecaf

    Why does plastic in a cow's stomach need to be symbolic of the problem of waste disposal? Doesn't the picture of piles of rubbish paint enough of a picture without symbolism?

  91. TiltingAt TheWindmills

    Actually, it was more about the surgery. That so much garbage was surgically removed from the cow seemed symbolic of the kind of effort it would take to clean up the mess outside.

  92. oQ

    Cows were once used as garbage collector since all street food was sold in newspaper sheets, and street food is what most people
    ate because many didn't (don't) have a kitchen in their home (in cities). But now that has changed, street food is wrapped in plastic and people continue doing what they always did, throw the wrapper on the ground. Cows still go for the sauce left dripping, no matter how spicy or plasticy it is.
    So back to newspaper, banana leafs, or perhaps a new digestible plastic made of corn.
    That's just one little solution to a big world problem.
    Which country will be first in letting go of their religious crazyness? Most likely not India, most likely not the US either.

  93. pwndecaf

    I admit I haven't watched the doc, but the picture used at the top of the page and the comments I have read make a few things clear enough! Effort? You bet!

  94. docoman

    So once again you're telling me what I think without asking first. And you're calling me the know-it-all, lol. No, your assumption I'm Christian is wrong, true to form. I too don't subscribe to any of the religions. Some common ground maybe, but as we weren't talking about ourselves in this case, but were talking about the societies we live in, your comments about personal beliefs are not relative to the conversation, only to your attempt to make it personal.

    I've not made judgements about India, only stated what the show is about, that there are cows roaming around, eating plastic from the piles of rubbish. If you take that personal that's your problem.

    I responded to your ridiculous claim that it's only western nations that have contributed to the mess that plastic is in the world today.

    I don't care enough about your mess or your countries religious problems to play your silly games with you anymore.
    Think whatever you wish, I don't care what you do or don't believe or wish to assume you know about who or what I am. 3 posts in and I know all I wish to about your supposed intellect. They're your first posts ever on TDF are they?

  95. Eve Vee

    Again, l respect your opinion, but that isn't what I asked. Why are you reiterating what you have said several times before? I know well your opinion on cows and children. We can talk about opinions into the dirt and that's nice, but I don't care because we have the SAME OPINION. Frankly i dont feel very well read by you at this point. I don't want a fresh start, I want a solution that fits the real world. It can fit your opinions too if you can swing it, that'd be great. But it needs to be something that can actually be executed in reality. I am actually having trouble thinking how to respond since I'm so utterly baffled as to what you might think I have been asking you.

    How you would come to the conclusion that i want to "empty the toybox" is beyond me. Quite contrary there are toys in the box that are too big to get out. You cannot throw out the religious or cultural beliefs. You need to work with what we have in reality and build upon what we already have. Nothing can be taken away.
    Sweeping changes? When my whole point is that the mental identity of a nation needs to be changed slowly? I'm not asking what we are all going to do to get rid of the problem this moment, I am asking what those subtle changes we need to make that future possible. If my whole issue with your "solution" has been its lack of basis in reality why are you acting like I want sweeping changed to a country? My whole point has been we need subtle changes to the individual mind. I'm talking like a campaign to teach school children about trash disposal and how plastics effect the cow and humans or something.
    This conversation has become so circular it is utterly confusing. We have the same opinion :S that is what i have been saying this whole time. killing sick cows is an instant and unrealistic fix in the hindu world. What are the things we do to influence the next generation?
    Now that (or if) you can see we are on the exact same page this whole time can we brainstorm some ideas that don't involve disposal.of cows. I read above a good one, castrating the males. Of course this would need to be regulated since lots of people actually own the cows and you'll be hard pressed to get them to lose their herd. That is why the cows are a big issue. These are peoples cows that go back home to the farm to be milked at the end of the day. Imagine the quality of that milk being made by these cows! There needs to be some way and insentive for farmers to feed their cows proper food as well as a plan for garbage clean up. The idea that india doesn't have enough infrastructure to begin on this problem is an utter joke. If anything its been laziness on the part of humans as not seeing trash as a big deal. Hence why I wonder how we are going to get people thinking about solutions.
    As a fan of linguistics you will find spelling is utterly useless to me especially while using germanic languages which change spelling so frequently anyways. As long as I am understood it would be my preference to "rite foneticly "

  96. Pysmythe

    She has answered your question, and every permutation of it (thus far). For some reason, you simply don't want to acknowledge that.

  97. Pysmythe

    I'm not sure about stats for India on the subject, but the number of atheists and agnostics, or the otherwise unaffiliated, in the U.S. is steadily rising. There are any number of studies that show it, take your pick. As for "religious crazyness," however, that, to me, is a somewhat different distinction. For example, I'll take an Episcopalian from Charleston over a Pentecostal from Biloxi any day. And I've associated with them both, so I well know the differences. My worry is that, as the number of unbelievers in this country inevitably increases, the fanatics and the intolerant among us are going to feel more and more pressured and cornered into taking violent action. I'll even go so far as to say (as others have) that, in my imagination, and knowing this country like I do, it's not at all difficult to see a second Civil War (a religious one) arising at some point, one maybe not as bloody, but longer-lasting, and more cowardly... a kind of widespread Christian Terrorism here in Der Homelanden. You could even say that the first salvos have been fired in such things as the bombing of abortion clinics, etc. I will not be at all surprised if things in the future get much, much worse for a while. Hell, all the gun-crazy, conspiratorialist Christian country boys already know that's the real reason to be stockpiling, anyway: It's not that the gubment will take away their right to worship... but that so much fewer will feel the need to, anymore.

  98. Pysmythe

    By the way, your solution for THE GODDAMNED COW CONUNDRUM (lol) sounds like a pretty good one to me, if, between one thing and another, it could ever be implemented.

  99. Eve Vee

    I don't want her answer, I want plan of action that works to the situation, not necessarily her ideals. You or i cannot go to india and start killing cows no matter how sick, I don't want to try and be the one to make that go over. What is something that can be realistically implemented, other than surgery and attempts at prevention? Or should the problem be ignored until..? And if efforts aren't being put towards this what does she suggest those vets do then?

  100. oQ

    I was going to jump head first and reply to your comment, but the phone just rang, my grand son is coming over. I got him a second hand plastic garage with rolling streets for 3$... he can't wait to see it.
    so later gladiator!

  101. Pysmythe

    Makes me smile thinking about how excited he must be. Aren't they adorable? I'll see you when you get back.

    edit- My next door neighbor's little girl was outside in their yard yesterday while my wife and I were cooking out. They have a garden and she's only 4. All of a sudden we hear this teeny-tiny little voice saying excitedly, "Oh, wook! Stwawbewwies!" I turned to my wife and just started laughing. That, right there, is enough to make your whole day. :)

  102. Pysmythe

    In that case, then, don't accuse her of not answering it. She has given you what seems satisfactory to her as a response, and you should leave it at that.

  103. oQ

    Easy for them to go back to newspaper sheets, a little ink has never killed anyone in India before (that i know of).
    Banana leafs should be used at all the McDonalds of the world and let them eat with their finger only, India has been doing it for eons and it's fun as hell!
    Roll your cuff pass your elbows and chow down, and if you're in India or in the prairies, share the dripping with the cows.
    India will most likely eradicate the cows from the streets of cities, day! Until then watch out for holy dung, it doesn't come wrapped in plastic.

  104. Pysmythe

    You would think so, but what I'm thinking is that if there's money in it somewhere for somebody to keep things just the way they are, guess what's likely to happen?

    I ate with my fingers (right hand only!) when I was hanging out with the villagers in central and north Bali, both times I went. I also wore a sarong (the more manly type), and ran around either barefooted or in sandals. I never felt so relaxed and at home. Of course, I was a whole lot skinnier then... If I didn't have my family, I would've gotten my visa and gone back to stay and study (mostly the music) a long time ago, so, yeah, for my part, I think I could get used to it again. It's really only unhygienic if you're not a little more careful than you have to be here... in this comparatively boring place.

  105. TiltingAt TheWindmills

    That’s the trouble with people like you. You will criticise, complain and judge without so much as getting involved or committing. You have the morality of a fence-sitter and I’m not going to engage with you further. Make of it what you want and will.

    I’ve been on TDF for a while but, yes, these are my first comments here. Should we declare you the winner and give you a prize because you’ve been writing comments for longer? In your view of things, I guess that must make you right and superior.

    PS: Oh, I just had to come back to tell you that you’re just as guilty of assumptions as I am. But, unlike you, I have the decency to concede as much and apologise. You say you’re not judgemental and, yet, you think you can comment on my “ridiculous religious beliefs” without knowing whether, one, I have any or revealing your own lest you be subjected to criticism for yours. You didn’t know at that point whether I’m a practising Hindu or whether I’m a Muslim or Christian or Jew or Sikh or Jain or Buddhist or just someone with aniconic beliefs. So, don’t talk to me about my religious beliefs like you know me.

    The problem is not that you’re being critical but that you’re judging from a position of assumed superiority and little knowledge. Okay, that’s it, I’m done with you. You can now go back to your myopic world and be the king you think you are. Get off that high horse, man….you’re killing the poor thing.

  106. docoman

    Well, hang me up and shoot me. I commented on a show in the place for... comments about that show. How dare I. Ya got me! Got me goood. lol.

  107. dewflirt

    Right now I'm waiting to hear your solution. How do you propose to sort out the infighting between the various local rubbish collection teams in each city? You know, the underpaid and overworked men with their hand carts, the ladies of SEWA, paid a pittance by householders to collect trash from their homes. Most of the women have had to quit, finding the beatings from the cart men to be more than they can take. Will you be pressing local governments to give these people real employment contracts and to promise that should the collection system be modernised, they will be retrained, not sacked. Will you then turn your efforts to sorting out the landfills that pollute the air, the land, the rivers and in turn the people, the people whose lives depend on things staying exactly the way they are. I would suggest that before you take on any of the above, you might want to put an end to the corruption, the back pocket economy that keeps the whole thing ticking over. In a country that turns a blind eye to the plight of child brides, 11 year old boys working in coal mines and whose Caste Council supports honour killing - I'll be interested to see how your confrontational and demanding debating skills work for you there. Good luck with that ;)

  108. oQ

    They'll get rid of the cows, when the cows become a nuisance to them. They got used to having cows around blocking traffic, posing for tourists, eating left over, shitting all over the place, in fact the cows have no predator other than the plastic, people would rather die of hunger than eat the cows (i don't blame them knowing what the cows eat).

    Once the cows start getting diseases and pass it on to humans...the butcher block is gonna get very bloody.

  109. oQ

    Standing count for something, especially if one is standing while talking.
    In my opinion, that's what Eve Vee was doing.

    According to the numbers above, there are 200,000 subscribers to TDF, most are sitting in front of their computers and if any of them wants to stand up and say something, i don't think that person should consider the ranks of the 20 or so who come here every day.

  110. docoman

    To your late PS, I didn't comment on your personal beliefs (except to say we may have some common ground), you twit. Try to quote where I did. You hypocrite fool, taking imagined offense at remarks about some religious beliefs you yourself described as; "religious hypocrisy around the cult of the cow".
    Even if you were Hindi, they're still 'rediculous religious beliefs' in my opinion.

    Have a cry some more, then ask what's everyone else doing to help clean up your mess for you. It's the western worlds fault your holy cows are dining on your rubbish isn't it. Must be mine according to you, I'm not fixing it for you.

    Go on, tell me a 3rd time you're done talking to me, go for the BS hat-trick. You're a foolish hypocritical liar. Prove it, make up some more BS to go on to me about. lol.

  111. thinkagainagain

    I would imagine the plastic bag as being more the nuisance. The cow and the human have been sharing the streets of India since ancient times so it could be a long wait til the Indians think of the cow as a nuisance.

  112. thinkagainagain

    I would certainly consider the ranks. It is part of the dynamic of the of the discussion as evidenced by pwndecaf's comment and the subsequent flurry of comments.

    This doesn't mean people should be timid but rather understand and accept that they will encounter this dynamic.

  113. Pysmythe

    I think I have a great solution, and I'm only being a little bit facetious in saying it. I'm sure the cows are Hindu, but if someone could figure out a way to label them Islamic Radicals, I'm sure Obama could be easily persuaded into calling in however many drone strikes it took.

    Come to think of it, maybe that's what all those 'eat mor chikin' cows are really all about.

  114. dewflirt

    Send them over to us, we can label them as horse and sell them to the French ;)

    (then Tesco can sell them back to us as beef! ;)

  115. pwndecaf

    I have eaten those words several times and have now removed them completely.

    If it is a worthy topic, please continue, but I have edited out my part in it. An old Nixon trick I learned years ago. ;-)

  116. Pysmythe


    edit- Maybe that'd only be because the French are more civilized than both our countries. :)

  117. dewflirt

    Yeah, but they don't have turkey-ham ;)

  118. Eve Vee

    Firstly we aren't debating because we have the same opinion, as i have stated several times.
    Secondly I don't know, that is why I was asking you. You were the one criticizing, so I thought you had something better in mind. It inspired me a bit to see someone watching humans doing good but only having negative things to say. You seemed to have the answers I lacked, while I have the motivation to act. Funny, this response is exactly what I wanted. But why do you need to frame things so nastily? I am reminded of hearing my mother calling celebrities she saw on tv fat.
    My big fat mother who long ago forgot where she put her dreams to die badmouthing people she doesn't know. Who does nothing but sit and wait for someone more happy or motivated to wander into her sights so that she might feel the pleasure of tearing them down. She pierces her fangs into any soft fleshy bit of goodness she can find and injects her venom. She sits and enjoys while the poison of doubt cripples her victim and when it is weak and broken she suckles down the sweet remnants of optimism. Deep deep down into her gullet like a black hole where light is twisted and consumed though it tries to escape. Because there is so much light in my mother that wants to escape, she has just spend so much time consuming nothing but darkness. At some point it shone out every orifice with puritan ferver, indignant to all that is wicked in the world. But negativity forced its way down her throat and stewed in her stomach. She has opened herself and let the tide of evil in the world drown her. I can feel how distressed my mother is as she sinks further but if she tries to struggle for shore problems weigh her down. Who is so hurt by the pain of the world that she blocks it out and makes her life about making others feel as out of control as she does. Sexism, racism, pain, suffering, corruption, she has made the fact these problems exist be a reason humanity doesn't deserve her effort. She has let hopelessness be a reason to give up hope.
    I understand we are all up against a broken world that won't be fixed.
    Trying to fix it in small endless parts is what I do to not blow my brains out. I understand how for people like my mother it is the opposite.
    Either way I am booking tickets so if you do have any actual usable advice where to begin that would be nice (and while I would love to go after corruption my language skills and general ignorance about india will not allow me to. After being in the country for a while hopfully ill be able to do this myself as well as support locals who are already doing just that)I need to get into contact with someone working on enforcing in india. Are there any examples of agrarian areas who have been successfully developing their solid waste managment? If you just have a general outrage at the injustices of the world then, ya, ya I feel you.

  119. Eve Vee

    If she will tell me she won't respond in a respectful manner I would. I was told she wont play pretend as she does a lot of that with her child, not that she is opposed to having a theoretical discussion with another human being.
    I would like to think two adults would not reference each other as children or belittle each other out of the blue in polite conversation, of course it would be incredibly rude to dismiss someone you are in the middle of a conversation with as if they are on a mental par with a young child. Therefore, respecting dewy as a mature adult, that comment could not have been intended for me and she was just correcting an annoying child at that time. ;)
    As such I continue on with my conversation.

  120. pwndecaf

    What the...never mind, I don't want to know.

  121. Pysmythe

    Those stubborn Gauls just ought to learn how to surrender to a good thing.

  122. dewflirt

    Eve, that honestly wasn't supposed to sound nasty. Frustrated maybe but not b!tchy, though I will admit to a bit of a dig at the end. Sorry it upset you :) I'm really not sure what answers you're looking for, mine don't seem to tickle you. That's fine, we watched the same doc and saw different things. I agree that we agree on some things and I have no problem believing that the right person in the right place at the right time, can move mountains. I'm just not sure either of us know which mountain you want to move yet. As far as I'm concerned, humanity is always worth the effort. I think, for the most part, that we are incredibly hopeful beings. I'm sorry that your Mum didn't feel that way, I'm sorry that you had to see her so sad and at odds with the world.
    I don't need to give you answers Evie, you can Google just as easily as I can, and find an organisation that suits your fire better than I can. Sometimes it's best to just get up and go, see where the day takes you, but I'm sure you know that already ;)

  123. dewflirt

    Haha! such naughtiness! I love it ;)

  124. oQ

    I addressed the plastic bag already above. My solution is the best in my opinion.

    The cows and the humans have been sharing the streets of India since ancient times when there wasn't as many people and most of the people were either walking, bicycling or being carried on a buggy. Now the tuk-tuk are creating enormous polution and they are bound to be replaced by cars (yes, i know there are already cars in India).

    Have you been to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkota? I have, the cows are not every where, they are where they are tolerated and yes it'a bit of a tourist/religious/used to/sacred/annoying kinda thing.
    Of course it's a different story in the country side.

  125. oQ

    So what is your rank? What is my rank?

  126. Pysmythe

    I'd say part of your rank now depends upon how you conducted yourself in a previous incarnation. Some of us have already been through many lives in this world, others only a couple, and some are brand-new souls. And for those who can retain an awareness of their experiences in a prior existence, functioning at a high level in this one should be easier to achieve because of it.

  127. thinkagainagain

    Not rank but ranks which incidentally is your word.

  128. thinkagainagain


  129. thinkagainagain

    I have no problem with your plastic bag solution but I will still contend the cows are going nowhere.

    Been to India.

  130. Pysmythe

  131. oQ

    I don't want wringles just in my face, i want them inside too.

  132. oQ

    crank my rank.

  133. Pysmythe

    You're an old soul, Az, I mean...oQ. :) Pardon me all the reincarnation refs, I'm watching 'Cloud Atlas' tonight.

  134. oQ

    Never heard of Cloud Atlas, so i had to look it up. Now i get what you are saying.

    Between a and z there is o and Q keeping the rank for 1i

  135. thinkagainagain

    Interesting reading. Who wrote this article?

  136. thinkagainagain

    I did Google "terrorist cow". Among other items is a video of a comedian who calls himself "Moohammad the Terrorist Cow".

  137. Pysmythe

    About 5 min after reading your post, and after posting mine, I thought "al-cow-da," but then thought... nah, too late!

  138. thinkagainagain

    Al Cowda. Now that's good. Monty Python good.

  139. thinkagainagain


  140. oQ

    found it searching the net. A site called happycow dot net

Leave a comment / review: