Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bhumi Part 2

Bhumi’s excursion yesterday went very smoothly. A lot more smoothly then I was even praying for. It was very easy to sneak Bhumi out of the herd before they noticed. When Valerie arrived I had Bhumi tied up at the end of the lane by the barn happy eating a bale of second cutting hay. Valerie is the very nice lady who hauled us and Jaya to Columbus, Ohio for his surgery. This time Valerie brought her youngest son, who is a very nice boy.

All we had to do was hook up the trailer to her one ton pick-up truck and then load Bhumi. Luckly, I remembered how to do the hook up correctly. At first Bhumi did not want to get into the trailer, but she did want to finish that bale of second cutting. So, she finally got in and we were off to see the vet out in St. Clairsville at Mr. Young’s farm. Once we started driving she settled down and watched the countryside go by. It only took us about an hour to reach St. Clairsville which is a lot better then 3 ½ to 4 hours to Columbus where we had to take Jaya for his operation.

Dr. Moore was waiting for us at the turn off to the farm and he led the way to the barn. By this point, Bhumi wanted out and she came out very easily. Now the tricky part was getting her into the stockade. The opening for the chute was very narrow and at a weird angle so Dr. Moore opened up the side of the chute for her. I walked in first and Bhumi followed me right in. At the end I had to walk out, angle her head and horns, and not let her body out. Dr. Moore then closed the hydraulics of the chute so that only part of her neck with her head and horns were though and the rest of her body was in the chute. This would make it harder for her to move and easier to operate on her eye. The first thing the Vet did was to give her a general pain killer. He then took off her halter and lead rope and put his on Bhumi, and then he tied that to the side of the stockade so it will be somewhat easier to keep her head steady. She felt the general anesthesia very fast; you could tell she was going into la la land. He then shaved around her eye. The cancer she had was very fast growing and had grown a lot since he saw her 2 ½ weeks before. It was growing on her eyelid, in the eyelid, in the corner of her eye and behind the eye.

Bhumi was sedated nicely so Dr. Moore started doing the shots in a circle around her eye and all of us were feeling woozy. I was standing on one side of her out of the vet’s path and Valerie was standing on the other side of her. We were both talking to her and trying to keep her calm and steady. Chaitanya Bhagavat was standing by the control panel for the hydraulics. He job was to throw the switch and release the hydraulics in case she went down on her knees. If she went down with the hydraulics closed, she could badly injure herself. We were really lucky she did not go down and the operation only took 45 minutes from beginning to end.

After he was finished sewing up her eye, Dr. Moore told me I could untie her and take his halter off. I put ours back on and we walked her out of the stockade and back to the trailer for the ride home. Bhumi was moving very slowly as if she had a hangover. It was easier to load her into the trailer this time. She immediately had a couple of mouthfuls of hay. I settled up with the vet, it cost a little more then the original quote due to the advancement of the cancer. He had to take more of the eye area out then planned. Then we headed home.
Bhumi was moving around most of the way home. You could feel it in the truck when she was moving. Valerie and I would look at each other and say there she goes again. Once we got home she was fighting to get out of the trailer. I had to calm her down somewhat so that I could untie her. No way was I just going to unhook her halter and let her out in that mood after her having surgery. Once that was done she literally jumped out of the trailer and started walking really fast up the lane and past the big barn. All of the cows were really excited and happy to see her. They started mooing and walking parallel to us. We put her in half of the geriatric barn that was reserved for her. This way, she is separate but still with the herd. We did not want any of the cows to accidentally bump her eye area.

Bhumi immediately went to the gate that looks out into the silo pad area and into the big barn. She was not happy at all and very upset. Then a really sweet thing happened. Jaya came over and touched her nose. It was like they were communicating and she immediately calmed and settled down. They stayed like that for about 5 minutes. Now what really makes this sweet is that they normally have nothing to do with one another. They don’t hang out with each other at all, she has a higher standing in the herd then he does. Throughout the day either Jaya would be standing right next to her at the gate or other cows would be standing next to her or touch noses with her. It really touch’s your heart to see how much they care and are concerned about one another’s well being and state of mind and health.

Today Bhumi is doing well, eating hay, drinking water, and resting. I tried to give her pain killers but so far she does not want any. I will try again later today when I check on her again.

Submitted by Lakshmi Devi

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Bhumi part 1

Bhumi, Christmas Day 2007

Since the vet came up to see Radharani, I have been trying to coordinate getting the operation done for Bhumi. I finally got it worked out with the vet and Valerie, the lady who hauled us for Jaya’s surgery. The operation is set for December 26, 2007. For the last week I have been trying to anticipate any possible problems and their solutions that may arise. Also, I have to make sure I have everything ready when Valerie gets here tomorrow morning to pick us up. Dr. Moore has arranged that we are going to use another farm’s barn and stockade in St. Clairsville, Ohio which is about 45 minutes to an hour away. He decided on that place because he felt that the stockade is going to be big enough for Bhumi and her horns. She is very proud of her horns and does not like for them to be messed with or touched.

Before tomorrow morning I need to finish getting the inside of our cow trailer ready for Bhumi and divide up the inside of the geriatric barn so she can have one half of it. Right now Gita is in there with Asha, Shyama, and Dwadasi. Once the surgery is done we do not want Bhuni’s eye area to get accidentally knocked by any of the other cows. So Bhumi will be getting the smaller side of the geriatric barn all to her self for a couple of months. We are lucky it is winter time as there are no flies.

I am praying I will remember how to hitch up the trailer. In the past, I have helped Dad do it. This excursion is going to be hard since Dad is working in the mall this Christmas season out in California. But it has to be done and it has to be done now. The cancer growth is really growing fast in poor Bhumi’s eye so I am just going to have to suck it up and deal with it. I get sick at the sight of blood and for half of Jaya’s surgery I had my head between my knees. I am not going to have the luxury of being able to do that this time. Most likely I will have to be the one to keep Bhumi’s head under control so I am going to be right up there in the middle of the whole surgery. So everyone out there in cyber-world, please pray for Bhumi and I that we both come out of this in good condition.

Submitted by Lakshmi Devi

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Radharani has passed on

Radharani with her head on pillow. Gita, Shyama and Asha watching over her. Thursday evening.

I am sorry to announce the passing of Radharani. She passed away Friday evening between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Radharani was between the ages of 23-25 years. When she was passing and ill she was listing to Srila Prabhupada singing 24/7. I am truly going to miss her. Whenever I would enter the barn or pastures she was in, Radharani would try to pick my pockets or nibble on my clothing. She loved any and all treats she could get from anyone. Radharani was a really sweet, gentle loving cow.

One thing that really touched me in her passing was how Gita interacted with her. When ever Gita would sit down he would sit down right in front of her in her line of sight. He was a calming influence on her. He was like a meditating sage/old man giving comfort to an old friend during their illness. Asha and Shyama were also very good to Radharani. They would sit next to her or very close by. When I went to check her for the last time I knew that she had passed just by how Gita was acting. He had this look on his face saying “Radharani is no longer with us; she has gone on to a higher place”. She was not moving at all, usually when I would go to check on her I would be talking to her so her ears and eyes would move to hear and see me. I went over to her just to make sure that she had passed. I petted and stroked her like I usually do and there was no response at all. She was not as warm as she usually was. I knew for sure she was no longer with us. So I went over to Gita who was sitting right in front of her and petted him and thanked him for taking such good care of her. After I went out and closed the gates I called Mom and told her that Radharani had passed and if she could please let her adopter know of her passing.

Radharani was with the group that walked up from Gosh’s and decided to come live with us instead of returning to the big barn.

Submitted by Lakshmi Devi

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Radharani is passing

I have been very emotionally upset and drained for the last week so I have been unable to write anything. I would get ready to write and start losing control of my emotions. As it is I am tearing up right now. Radharani is passing and Bhumi needs an operation. Radhrani is one of my favorites, whenever she would see me she would come over and see what kind of treats or goodies I had for her. Bhumi has the same cancer in her eye as Jaya did. But that is another whole blog. Radharani is very inspiring to me on how she is preparing to pass. People could say, “Oh she is just a dumb animal,” but she is very aware of what is happening. She is very calm and meditative right now. Others would say you are doing too much, you are prolonging her pain and suffering, you should just put her down. (I have heard this from devotees when other cows have been passing. I have never heard it from my vet; he always tries to find ways to help me manage their pain. I always think that the devotee is not that realized at all and is missing the whole point. I always want to ask the devotees who say that to me, “How would you like to be treated when you are dying?” The time it takes for a soul to pass, no matter what body they are in, gives that soul a chance to burn off their bad karma and prepare for passing into another world. It is painful for us to watch them but how are we to understand the communication between them and God?

Gita, Shyama and Asha are holding a vigil for her right now and every night Gita sleeps right next to her. I have done everything I could to minimize her pain and make her as comfortable as possible.

Here is the correspondences Mom and I have been having with Radharani’s adopter, Vaninatha dasa.

December 5th:

Dear Vaninatha,

Hare Krishna!

I believe Lalshmi wrote you a note that Radharani's lump on her leg had gotten larger and her shoulder and leg seemed somewhat swollen. She was also having difficulty keeping up with the herd. At that point, we put her in the geriatric barn so she could easily get her food and water. We called the vet, but he only today answered our call and will come tomorrow afternoon. Since she was put in the geriatric barn, the swelling went down and she was getting around well, but just yesterday Lakshmi found her on her side unable to get up. She was lying on the side which has the leg with the lump. We thought that she could not use the leg well enough to push up. We managed to get her to sit up and she was doing fine. Then this morning Lakshmi again found Radharani down on her side unable to get up. She was shivering (it has been very cold here in the 20s and 30s). Lakshmi managed with help of two other devotees to get Radharani up and they covered her with blankets. Later in the day she was found down again. She was then braced by putting hay bales by her side to support her. A few hours ago, Lakshmi found Radharani with her head down and weak. She was still sitting up because she was braced by the hay bales.

We feel there must be something else going on in her body besides the lump on her leg which the vet had previously said was most likely a calcium deposit.. Lakshmi is feeling it is a possibility that she may leave her body in the night as she seemed very weak. We gave her Jamuna water and we have Prabhupada chanting on continuous play in the geriatric barn. Gita, Shyama, and Asha are in the barn with her.

We wanted you to know this latest development as we know you are a loving and concerned adopter. We will let you know how her health progresses.

Your servant,

December 8, 2007 :

Dear Vaninatha Prabhu,

Hare Krishna!

The vet came and said Radharani had a stroke. He feels that at her age this may be just too much for her. A year ago the vet analyzed that she was anywhere from 23-25 years old in cow years. That would be 115+ in human years. Either she will have another stroke or she will get better and get up. He gave us some medicine to give her, but although we are giving it to her it does not seem like she is getter stronger. Gita has been watching over her along with Shyama and Asha. They are all sitting around her and a tape of Prabhupada singing is playing.

We will keep you updated.

Your servant,

From: Richard M. Boyden \(Vaninatha dasa brahmachary\)
To: Lakshmi devi Dove
Sent: 12/8/2007 5:50:34 PM
Subject: Radharani............

Dear Lakshmi, All glories to Srila Prabhupada. Please accept my respects. It sounds like Radharani, the cow, is getting old and will have a hard time making it through the winter. That is not a problem. She has given her life for helping Krishna's devotees spread the word about Srila Prabhupada's mission, so she knows fully well that she is on the way to Goloka Vrindavana. She is happy and we should all be happy also. The most we can do at this point is to keep her comfortable and content. That is what CFC does, apparently. Even if they feel there is no hope, they keep trying something so the cow feels loved and comfortable. I think that is important--that the cows always feel content.
My best wishes to all.
Yours sincerely,
Vaninatha dasa (Richard Boyden)

December 10:

At this point she is very weak and we don't really know how she manages to breath. She is completely lying down with her head on a pillow and for the last few days she is not eating or drinking. Srila Prabhupada is continuously singing on the CD which we can hear from our houses which are on both sides of the barn.

Submitted by Lakshmi Devi

Monday, November 26, 2007

Number 16

Offering obeisances before lunch. Number 10

Rudra has now officially gotten 16 groundhogs so far this year. He is a little behind on his groundhog kills for the year. Last year he got 20 and the year before he also got 20.

Every morning Rudra goes with me to the barn to help with the cows. He likes to hunt for mice, or any other animal that dares to come into the cows’ home without an invitation. Also he likes to make a nest in the hay and take a nap. Sometimes though he gets bored and goes back to parents’ house to nap on the sunny yard. Yesterday he hung out with me the whole time playing in the hay and dozing.

After Rudra and I finish taking care of the cows’ yesterday morning, we started walking back to parents’ house. When we got as far as the hay barn Rudra all of a sudden took off running towards the old woodpile and the black walnut trees. As I rounded the corner I saw him with a good size groundhog in his mouth which he was shaking very hard. He then ran to the house with the groundhog in his mouth. It was still alive. Sometimes the groundhogs die from fright by the time he gets home. That may have been the case, because by the time I got to the house it was dead and there was no blood.

Now we have this funny little thing we do after Rudra has gotten a pest (groundhogs will destroy your entire garden). He really loves it when we do it. We stand there and clap our hands and tell him he is such a good boy. He really likes it when everyone does it. You are supposed to do it at least three times on the day of the catch. If you don’t do it he makes sure to bring the dead groundhog to your attention when you come out of the house.

The next stage can go a couple of ways. Number one is that he immediately starts to eat the groundhog. Two is he lets it sit there for a couple of days and then he eats stewed ground hog. This is not bad in the winter time when it is cold since it does not smell much, but it is terrible in the summertime. The third way is interesting; he buries it, and lets it ferment for a week or two. Then he digs it up and has pickled groundhog. Rudra eats almost the whole groundhog every single time. That is unless we have to get rid of it because it smells so bad before he eats it.

He is a good dog, he eats everything he catches. No waste.

Submitted by Lakshmi Devi

Friday, November 23, 2007

Putting the garden to bed. Part 2

The second part of putting the garden to bed has been accomplished. It took us several mornings and several helpers to accomplish this job. All the Yukon Gold potatoes have been dug up. Their skins have cured and now they are sitting in bushels in the root cellar.

It was a little nerve racking due to the weather. We had almost a week of cold and rainy days. The weather forecast was then calling for warm temperatures but with rain showers. What we needed was the weather to be warm and dry in order to be able to dig up the potatoes. Luckily the weather did cooperate and provide us with some really nice days for digging. The weather started to change the afternoon we finished digging up the potatoes. That evening we had a rain storm and the next day the temperature had dropped 20 degrees.

All we have to do now to finish putting the garden to bed is to put cow dung on a few more areas of the garden. We also need to take care of the asparagus patch.

Submitted by Lakshmi Devi

Monday, November 19, 2007

It is that time of Year

It is that time of year again to put the old cows or ones with special needs into the geriatric barn and not let them out till spring time. So far I only have Gita and Radharani inside the geriatric barn. Radharani is the oldest cow in our herd at 23 years of age. She developed a growth on her right front leg earlier in the year. Dr. Moore our vet came and looked at it. He said as long as it is not causing her pain, or stopping her movement, he did not want to do anything to it because of her age.

I had noticed a couple of days ago that Radharani was not staying with the herd on pasture nor was she coming into the barn with them everyday. So Rudra (the dog) and I went to check on her several times a day making sure she was getting water and enough to eat. She is a real friendly lady and she also likes picking pockets for treats. She will eat anything; you really have to watch her. We were not too worried but then it started to get cold not only at night but also during the day. So Mom and I decided that if she did not come into the barn before 4 pm then we were going to put her in the geriatric barn.

So 4 pm rolls around and Radharani has not moved from the general area she was in that morning. Mom and I suited up in our cold weather gear. Mom went for the grain and I went and put gates up at the geriatric barn so that once we put her in she could not get out. Now Radharani is not only a real friendly lady she is also a real stubborn one. When she does not want to do something she does not do it no mater what you do. That is why Mom went for the grain. The trick is to have a grain bowl or bucket and that is how you get them to move without hopefully too much drama or frustration on our part. What you have to do is let them have a taste and then keep the grain right in front of them until you get them where you want them to go. Radharani was on top of the hill behind the barn, so that was going to be a little tricky and the cows were starting to come around the corner. So we had to get her though the gate at the bottom of the hill before the rest of the cows got that far.

It was close but we did it. Radharani was happy to go into the barn, in past years she was not happy in the beginning. Right after we put her into the geriatric barn Mom noticed that Gita was coming up the ramp slowly. Gita is one of the ones that Mom and I had talked about putting into the geriatric barn due to his arthritis. So we went and got another bucket of grain. Gita is always very happy to see a grain bucket and so it went very smoothly putting him in with Radharani. They have been in the geriatric barn two days together and they are very happy. We may put one or two others in with them but I am not sure yet who gets that privilege. It will depend on how the weather progresses and the cows’ health. Right now I am waiting to hear back from the vet on when he can come see Radharani to check out the lump on her leg. We will check also on what homeopathy treatment we can put her on.

Submitted by Lakshmi Devi

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Putting the garden to bed. Part 1

Now that fall is here it is time to put the garden to bed for the winter. This is the one time of year that we are willing to pick green tomatoes. Usually with the tomatoes we dry them as premiums for our members. If we have any extra after we have filled the dehydrators for the day, I can them as tomatoes puree, chutney or salsa.

When you do the last picking before the frost, you take every single tomato that is on the plant and any that may of fallen off since the last picking. We were lucky enough to get 5 buckets of tomatoes. One and half buckets were ripe and the rest were green. Mom has a really good trick to get them to ripen. What you do is get out a table put it in a room that is cool but well ventilated. You then put a vinyl tablecloth on it and then pour out the tomatoes. Also make sure that there are none piled on top of each other. Now the key is to have patience. Check them every couple of days, throw out the rotting ones and offer the ripe ones to Krishna and enjoy.

Now if you want fried green tomatoes you don’t have to do any waiting. My whole family loves fried green tomatoes and this is the only time of year we allow ourselves the luxury of them. The trick is to use a coating that does not overpower the delicate favor of the tomato. The mix I use is just cornmeal and a little salt. You put this mix in a container with a tight fitting lid. When you are ready to fry I put the tomatoes in with the cornmeal and salt and shake till they are well covered. Put them into a frying pan and just a little bit of your favorite oil (do not deep fry) and cook till golden brown on both sides. Repeat as needed. Offer to Krishna and Srila Prabhupada, then enjoy.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Memories of Govardhan Puja past

Touring the Barn. Photo by Chayadevi Nov,1985

Ready for Puja and treats. Photo by Lakshmi devi Nov, 1985

Touring the other barns. Photo by Chayadevi Nov, 1985.

Getting back on the Ox-cart to return to the temple. Photo by Chayadevi Nov, 1985.

When I was growing up at Gita nagari, Govardhan Puja was always one of my favorite festivals. All of the girls’ asrams were responsible for decorating the temple, the barn, and the cows and making treats for the cows. Several weeks ahead of Govardhan Puja we would start cleaning the barn and brushing down the herd. We would start with the really bad cases first, the ones that needed to be hosed down as you brush them. That was really hard work and usually by the time you were done you were also soaking wet.

On the morning of Govardhan Puja we would decorate the cows and the barn. One of the really fun parts of decorating the cows was putting all different color handprints all over their coats. The paint was not harmful to the cows if they licked it or somehow ate some. Also we would spray-paint their hoofs and horns gold. After we did that we would have to run back to the asram to get cleaned up for the festival.

The really cool thing with any major festival was that Radha Damordha, the presiding deities for the farm, would come off the alter and go visit the barn. I don’t know of any other temple that the presiding deities come off the alter and tour temple/farm. Radha Damordhar would travel by ox-cart to the barn, then carried through the barn, set down on an alter, and then Go-Puja would be preformed to the chosen cow in front of them. After puja everyone would spread out and give the cows as many treats as they wanted. These were special treats, they were made out of ingredients that were not harmful to the cows no matter how much they ate.

After puja in the main barn, we usually would move onto the other barns to give darshan to the rest of the herd. Then it was back to the temple for any plays or special events before the feast.

Submitted by Lakshmi

Friday, November 02, 2007

Cutting Edge Cow Care

Doctor Harthorn first felt Nanda's back for crucial spots to insert acupuncture needles.

The needles were then connected to a current.

Nanda got impatient and Balabhadra had to hold him.

A chiropractic tool was used on Nanda's spine

Nanda was very relaxed after the treatment.

One of our oxen Nanda, who is 13 year old , has had nerve problems in his back legs for almost his whole life due to an accident at the temple’s big barn. We rescued him from there and have been nursing him ever since. We were told by 3 previous vets over a 10 year span that there was nothing that could be done for him.

We found Dr. Harthorn who does acupuncture treatments on horses and he agreed to come and treat Nanda. He had never treated a cow or ox before and was a little unsure if he wanted to start treating one now. My Dad (Balabhadra das) explained to him that Nanda was not any ox but a member of our family and we were trying to make his life easier in his golden years.

On the day of the appointment we were going though the halters and seeing if we had one that could fit Nanda. Normally none of our cows or oxen wear a halter, but when the vet visits then they have to. So we were looking and we took out the largest one we have, it is for say a Clydesdale horse. When I went to put it on him it was 3 inches short. So I just put a lead rope around his neck. Nanda is a huge boy, when I stand at his shoulder there is still a foot to go before you get to the top of him.

This is the first time we have tried this treatment for spinal and nerve problems for one of our cows. Immediately after the treatment, we could see Nanda was standing differently, not so stretched and more like a normal cow. Since the treatment, we have only seen him freeze up once. But in that situation he was facing down a very steep hill. Once we (Rudra and I) got him turned around, he just walked off as fine as can be. We have not seen him freeze up since that time.

After the acupuncture treatment Dr. Harthorn gave Nanda shots of Vitamin B 12 and Hypericum. This was injected into the same spots the needles were taken out of. We had told Dr. Harthorn that we have been giving Nanda the homeopathic medicines Ruta and Hypericum. These medicines have helped but they did not made the crucial difference needed for Nanda.

We will have to just wait and see how Nanda does, maybe he will need more treatments, maybe he will improve enough with one treatment. Dr. Harthorn said he was not sure how much he could do for him since he has had this condition for a long time.

We have also been giving him Chinese herbs which were prescribed by the Doctor. It has been about two weeks now and he is really acting better. We are thinking about having Dr. Harthorn come out again and do another session on Nanda.

Dr. Harthorn practices a school of medicine called Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TVM) that includes a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs. You can read more about this cutting edge treatment at

Submitted by Lakshmi Devi

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Moving to ISCOWP Web Site

Dear Members and Friends,

Hare Krsna!

All cow protection and related information from ISCOWP will now be concentrated at:
ISCOWP Website We have been in the process of improving the site. Check it out!

If you would like to receive web updates, contact us at:

Read the current ISCOWP newsletter in PDF by clicking the link: ISCOWP News Volume 17 Issue 2

The paper version was mailed out Friday to all donors.

In the previous Update Letter we mentioned that we were having some difficulty with the garden, read all about it at this link:

The Garden Needs YOUR Help!

See you at: ISCOWP Website

Your servant,

Balabhadra das

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Remove the Mud Campaign Finished

Because the location where we needed to pour concrete was inacessable to the concrete trucks, we had to hire a boom-pump truck. With its boom fully extended it could reach a hundred and ten feet.

We hired a local concrete contractor to help with the pour. We had hired them before and they enjoyed doing this job because of the unique nature of the project.

Halfway through the project and still going strong.

Bhima wouuld like to come into the barn and help with the pouring of the concrete. However we have a full crew for this job and Bhima doesn't have his rubber boots with him.

76 1/2 yards of concrete later and the job is finished.

"Ah, now I can come up the ramp and get back into the barn. Thanks guys, you did a good job!" Bhima exclaims.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Remove the Mud Campaign a Success

New Vrindavan crew working on the fence line

Thanks to all our donors and volunteers for the improvement of the barn at the ISCOWP farm. When the ISCOWP farm was acquired in 1996, the property looked quite different than it does today.

Original barn in 1996

Barn now in 2007

The Remove the Mud Campaign has done what it set out to do-remove the deep mud in the barn area. Because there was very little in the way of a cement floor, deep mud and pot holes prevailed. Most of the barn area under roof has been cemented including around the silo. This week we will cement the 20 foot area from the new fence line to the second line of poles that runs horizontal to the barn. June 19 we started excavating this area and it is now ready. There is more about that part of the project here Update Letter

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ummm Good!

"My friends and I rotate between two pastures on the ISCOWP farm to give each pasture some time to rejuvenate. Today, we moved to the other pasture. I must say that the grass on the other side of the fence looked a lot better than the rest of the pasture. I had to tell everyone else and they joined me in a scrumptious lunch. Maybe it is greener on the other side of the fence!" said Gita, now the King of the Herd.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Latest ISCOWP Newsletter Online

Rathi Indian breed

ISCOWP Newsletter Volume 17 Issue 1 is now available online. Click
Latest Newsletter to access the PDF file with color pictures of “Cow Protection Around the Globe.” Hard copy is also available in black and white. Let us know if you would like to be put on our web update mailing list or if you would like to receive a hard copy.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Jaya’s Fight Against Cancer

A rainbow formed and ended right above Jaya after his surgery

It has been 3 ½ years now since Jaya was diagnosed with cancerous growths in both eyes. We called our local vet back then and he came and diagnosed the growths as cancer on the third eyelid. Upon diagnosis, we immediately took Jaya into the barn and Dr. Moore surgically removed both growths. Due to the location of the growths, Dr. Moore felt there was no guarantee that he removed every cancer cell. Everything was fine for sometime. Again, we noticed some growth in the eye that previously had the larger growth. In September 2006, Dr. Moore again came and surgically removed as much of the growth as he could. The other eye remained clear. At that point, Jaya also had a spot of cancerous growth on his eyeball. Again, Dr. Moore told us he might not have gotten all the cancer, and he would most likely lose his eye in 6 months due to the spot he saw on Jaya’s eyeball.

Over the winter months, we used homeopathic remedies to see if we could minimize and hopefully kill the growth. Everything was going nicely and even the growth on his eye disappeared. In early spring 2007, the growth on his eyelid started again. It was growing slowly and then started to accelerate. It was again time to call Dr. Moore for an evaluation and possible surgery. Dr. Moore arrived at the ISCOWP farm and made an evaluation of Jaya’s eye. The cancer was now growing and pushing the eyeball back into his skull. Dr Moore recommended that we should go to Ohio State University Veterinary hospital. They could either laser or freeze the cancer and save Jaya’s eye. Dr Moore contacted the hospital and made the arrangements for us to go there.

Although we have a trailer, we do not have a truck road worthy enough to pull the trailer with Jaya in it on a long trip. Dr. Moore called one of his friends, Valerie McDonnell who hauls horses, to take us and Jaya. Valerie told us later that she was afraid to take the job because we were Hare Krishna’s. She decided to take us after Dr. Moore told her we were good people.

On Tuesday, June 5, she came and picked us up. My daughter Lakshmi, Jaya, and I were off to the Ohio State University hospital. It was a 3 hour drive. During the drive, Valerie and Lakshmi talked about caring for animals with love.

When we got there, Jaya was unloaded from the trailer and taken into his operating room. The first evaluation was that there was a tumor behind the eye as well. In order to get as much of the cancer as possible, it would be necessary to remove his eye. Of course, we were hoping that this would not be the case. Then the experts from the optical department were called for consultation and after a hands-on evaluation, they also concluded that in order to remove the cancer the eye would also have to be removed. All doctors evaluated the other eye as cancer free. He was then given general anesthesia and then local anesthesia in a 360 degree pattern around his eye.

The operation was performed and during the operation, the doctor and student interns were all talking to Jaya and addressing him by his name. Jaya is 13 years old and quite a handsome fellow what to speak of being over two thousand pounds. Nobody could believe that he was 13 years old and in such great shape. The operation took little over an hour and after the operation, we spoke with the doctor and the interns and gave them some ISCOWP literature. Everyone was very happy to meet us and to be able to be of service to Jaya. They all remarked how well behaved he was.

The doctors told us that this kind of tumor is not uncommon amongst white-faced cattle. By nature, the tumor has branches, and they thought there was a good chance they got it all. When the tumor was removed, it was the size of a softball about 3 inches in diameter, which apparently was causing a lot of pressure behind his eye.

On the way home, Jaya sat down in the trailer for the whole ride. When we got back to the farm, he was quite happy to be home. We put him in the geriatric barn with special cutting hay. Unfortunately, we have not allowed the other cows to come into contact with him for fear that his healing eye will get bumped. He is quite content in the geriatric barn. We will keep him there for the next 3 weeks until the time we can remove the stitches. In the barn, it is very cool and there are considerably less flies. The big concern now is to keep everything clean and the flies away from the wound. We were given a special spray to spray on his face to keep flies away. He is eating well and seems to be happy.

Valerie read the entire ISCOWP memorial issue for the passing of Vraja and decided to give us a discount for her services. She now wants to visit Prabhupada’s Palace and temple to understand more about the Hare Krishna philosophy.

After we had gotten Jaya secured in the geriatric barn, there was a five minute downpour of rain followed by a beautiful rainbow which ended right above the geriatric barn and Jaya. To us this was a very favorable sign and the end of successful journey to the Ohio State Veterinary hospital. We humbly request everyone to pray for Jaya’s speedy and full recovery.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Vishwa Gou Sammelan (World Cow Conference)

A rescued bull attended all events at the main pandal

We received a personal invitation to attend the World Cow Conference in Hosanagar, India. After much debate, we decided to attend. An experience of a lifetime followed. On this page we write a little about the event to just keep you informed of our activities. We have also included a slideshow of the event at the bottom of this page. More information will follow in additional articles.

Shree Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swamaji, the spiritual leader of Shree Ramachandrapuramath has dedicated himself to the preservation of the indigenous breeds of Indian cows. Part of his mission is to prevent cruelty and slaughter of cows, restore love, dignity and respect to cows, conduct scientific research on different aspects of cow rearing and breeding, educate Indian farmers and general public about the benefits of rearing Indian breed cattle, promote cow centered organic agriculture, health care and therapy, and establishment of cow centered industries.

At the conference there were scientists, doctors, lawyers, farmers, cow protectors, and others from around the world presenting their knowledge and understanding of cow protection. We felt that it was important that our spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, be represented as it has been his long term vision of cow protection that has inspired us for years to protect cows. To this end we were able to speak publicly of Srila Prabhupada's vision before a thousand people, many more by press coverage, and presented our literature to many individuals.

We want to thank all the other devotees that attended to increase Srila Prabhupada's presence. Special thanks to Govindanandana and Radha Kanta from Hungary, and Hrimate from Mayapur for their contribution of photos and assistance in making sure the devotees had a strong presence.

So much information was made available at the conference that it will take us some time to absorb fully. It was tremendously inspiring to attend such a mega event where approximately a 1/2 million people attended to just learn, share their knowledge, and see the cow.

You may view some pictures of the event by either:
World Cow Conference

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Cow Protection Around the Globe Part IV

Four of Sudevi's calves
I kept hearing about Sudevi and her cow protection program in Radha Kund, which is located about 20 miles from Vrindavan, India I kept asking different people who she was and how I could find her. When I visited Kurma Rupa's CARE FOR COWS in Vrindavan, I asked him about Sudevi and indeed he did know her and said he would take me to her place.

Sudevi is doing a similar program as CARE FOR COWS. Injured cows are brought to her for healing as well as cows being rescued from the streets so that the night time trucks of butchers don’t pick them up and take them for slaughter. Her main area of operation is Radha Kund and Govardhan and her shelter is located in Radha Kund.

Sudevi and helper taking care of a wounded leg

When I was there in the end of February she was taking care of 100 cows/oxen and calves. Her animals are very well cared for by herself and hired staff. Kurma Rupa's vet , Dr. Lavania, also visits Sudevi's shelter several times a month and gives her free medical aid for her animals.

Sudevi's project from the rooftop

Sudevi is of German descent. In her youth, her father was a German Ambassador to India. As a young girl Sudevi very much liked India, so when her parents were recalled to return to Germany she stayed on in India. She has been in India for 25 years and for the last ten years she has been caring for cows in Radha Kund.


Sudevi's shelter is run with love for the cows but is seriously under financed. She does not have a computer and relies on donations to keep her cow care project funded. Anyone wishing to place donations to her project can do so through ISCOWP and we will make sure she receives them. A very worthy project to help.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Cow Protection Around the Globe Part III

Delivering hay to the barn by ox cart

Visiting Krsna Valley (New Vraja Dhama) in Hungary has been a desire of mine for many years. Finally the desire manifested in a visit to Krsna Valley in Early March 2007.

The cows are treated with love and devotion and are one of the focal points of the community. The oxen are being engaged in many different services daily so that their usefulness is appreciated and respected by the devotees. The barns are clean and hay and other feed for the cows are grown and offered with love and devotion to the cows/oxen.

Govindanandana getting ready for a training session with Tharkurji and Haladhar, a young team of oxen

The cow program in Krsna Valley is very carefully thought out in regards to growth of herd in relationship to carrying capacity of the land, available labor force, and long term (15-20-year) planning.

The driving force behind Krsna Valley is two fold, spiritual and practical. The first driving force is Sivarama Maharaja who is pushing the community to actually live a lifestyle depending on the COW/HUMAN/LAND relationship with all of the fruits of labor being offered with love and devotion to Lord Krsna.

The second driving force is Gaura Sakti Prabhu who is a very deep thinker and planner. Over the last 14 years the community has grown from 4 devotees to close to 150 devotees. Most of the devotees live directly on the farm and some live in the nearby village.

Gaura Sakti prabhu showing Syamsundar prabhu from Bhaktivedanta Manor in England, some of the products from the farm

A strong Krsna Conscious presence and practical, grounded, and well thought out planning are evident at every turn. There is a board of directors assisting Gaura Sakti Prabhu and each department head and department staff are always thinking and planning how to reach the community’s goal of depending on Guru and Krsna. based on the COW/HUMAN/LAND relationship.

Currently the community is totally self-sufficient 5 months of the year.

A sampling of some of the products from the farm

Spiritual Purity and careful, thoughtful planning are proving to be key ingredients in the successful development of the Krsna Valley community.

The morning spiritual program is daily attended by well over 100 devotees
The grounds are clean and well maintained.
There are well over 600 fruit trees.
Hundreds of trees have been planted bringing back into the local eco system many species of birds which have not been seen in the area for decades
There is a 175 colony apiary producing 1st class honey bearing the KRSNA VALLEY label, which is becoming famous throughout Hungary.
There is a first class art department that has created one of the most BEAUTIFUL temples in all of ISKCON.
First class Restaurant.
The community is currently hosting 25,000 visitors a year with many returning visitors bringing friends and family to experience the KRSNA VALLEY EXPERIENCE.
The cow protection and maintenance of the cows/oxen is first class and carefully thought out.
The community's school program is well thought out and developing nicely.
Development of cottage industry based on agricultural products is on going.

These are just a few programs going on at the Krsna Valley community. Next year we will be having a Cow Protection Conference at the Krsna Valley community. It will mainly focus on the European countries’ cow protection and farm projects development. I look forward with great anticipation to return to visit the Krsna Valley community and to have their association so I can learn more from them.

I do believe the cow conference will be around Gaura Purnima. Stay tuned for the announcement of actual time.

Anybody traveling close to Hungary please make KRSNA VALLEY a part of your travel plans. Krsna Valley is a must go to destination for any traveling Vaisnava.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Violation of ISKCON Minimum Cow Protection Standards

In response to Madhava Gosh’s letter, I feel compelled to publicly voice my observation on the purchase of new cows to restart the New Vrindavan herd. During the course of numerous discussions with the NV cow department over the last 10 years, it was acknowledged that the breed of choice to restart the New Vrindavan herd would be Brown Swiss.

Last November a donor gave a sizable donation to purchase cows. More cows than we wanted to begin with. At that time, 2 Brown Swiss heifers were located and they were both pregnant. They were purchased and close to Christmas day, they both gave birth to bull calves during the Mangal Artik time (4:30 am). So 2 cows now turn into 4 cows. It was also considered auspicious that both calves born were bull calves, because this will be the 1st ox team for the new herd. So far so good.

About 10 days ago, Ranaka prabhu (goshalla in charge) and I again were talking about the next installment of new cows for New Vrindavan. He said it was hard to find Brown Swiss and he was thinking about the Jersey breed. There was no talk of actually buying the next installment of cows. Three days ago, I heard that 5 pregnant Holsteins had been purchased and they would be arriving on Wed. March 28th. These 5 pregnant Holsteins cost $8,000 and were delivered to the temple.

The problem lies in the fact that the temple goshalla has maxed out the little barn by the temple. The little barn has 8 stalls which will now be filled. The 2 existing calves are now living in what would be the birthing stall and within 2 to 3 months there will be at least another 3 calves. What to do with the calves when the birthing stall is needed?

When I asked Ranaka prabhu about the calves and birthing stall, he said cows could be sent to the big barn in the valley where New Vrindavan ran their commercial dairy that was shut down in 1992. At this location, 2 miles away, 150 cows were milking tied into a commercial dairy quota of milk for sale.

A few years ago, Radhanath Swami and other devotees at NV wanted to counteract the past history of cow neglect that took place at the NV big barn. The consensus was that when the cows are out of sight, less community participation in their care takes place and that’s one of the reasons that the cows were neglected. Even today, the old cows and invalid cows are staying at the big barn and do not receive proper medical attention. Guest are not brought down there, nor do the devotees go down there regularly.

Once again, the cows are being sent out of sight, out of mind.

When I asked Ranaka prabhu what the plan was for the new cows and calves, it was stated that there is no plan.

After 12 years of trying to get New Vrindavan to at least name their cows and to at least comply with the Minimum ISKCON Cow Protection Standards, it is now necessary to bring up this current violation. The purchase of these last 5 pregnant cows was a total surprise to the vast majority of community members, what to speak of some of the current Board of Trustees who had no idea that the purchase was taking place. The final straw of Managerial neglect is that there is no plan other than milk production for these cows.

I have been giving seminars at New Vrindavan for several years now entitled HOLISTIC COW CARE: NOT JUST MILK. It is unfortunate that this topic has fallen on deaf ears and that the cows are still considered as CASH COWS for fund raising, for milk production, and possibly for commercial milk sales. My position as the ISKCON Minister of Cow Protection and Agriculture is as an advisor. My advice on this purchase of 5 pregnant Holsteins was not sought. If consulted, I would have said too many cows too quickly. I am writing this letter to go on record that I was not a part of this purchase nor do I approve of this purchase.

Listed below is Standard 9, Requirements for Acquiring Cows, Not Allowed.
This is the standard that New Vrindavan has violated.

Not Allowed
• 1) Animal Acquisition
Procuring or breeding of a cow for the purpose of supplying milk without any plan for the care, training and engagement of offspring.
• 2) Lack of land and funds for animal care. Failure to provide sufficient land, cowherds, and funds to support the cow and/or offspring.

For a full view of the standards refer to: MINIMUM COW PROTECTION STANDARDS, ISKCON Law 507

Go to Section 2: Breeding Standards, Standard 1X Requirements for Acquiring Cows

Your servant,
Balabhadra das
ISKCON Minister for Cow Protection and Agriculture

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Cow Protection Around the Globe Part II

Another stop was Mayapur cow project in India. Here is an excerpt from Balabhadra’s letters while there.

“Yesterday we had a 3 hour goshalla meeting. The bottom line depends on how many bulls are working. The agriculture department will take 6 bulls and start working them. The Mayapur goshalla will use 6 bulls for agriculture and transport, and Hrimati's bullock man will take 2 for 2 months and train them and return them trained. They have now 9 bulls trained and doing service, so if all goes according to plan, 21 will be trained and working. The agriculture department showed up bright and early the next morning after the meeting and was checking out all of the oxen. Hrimati was there and she was amazed that they showed up so quickly and were fired up about picking out their 6 oxen.

Oxen are now employed in spiritual processions in Mayapur

Hrimati is a member of the animal protection committee at Mayapur. She speaks fluent Bengali and is not afraid to get involved. During the meeting, I was able to push through a lot of her proposals and projects that need done at the goshalla.”

Mahadeva, the lead bull was very sick when Balabhadra was there. He spent much time helping the devotees take care of him. An operation was performed, but we found out later he never fully recovered and has passed away. He was greatly loved by the devotees there.

Mahadeva right before he became very ill

Hrimate with Abhay Charan who will replace Mahadeva as breeding bull.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Cow Protection Around the Globe

Balabhadra at Wenda's: "All of Wenda's cows/oxen are rescue. One of these 3 Holsteins was so sick that Wenda slept with him in the barn for 6 months. He is now quite healthy and as sweet an ox as can be. "

Being a simple cowherd at heart, Balabhadra now realizes he could have taken a laptop with him and updated you all as he traveled. Now that he is in Estonia taking a break, he has sent some photos of his trip.

The first stop was Wenda Shehata’s project in East Sussex England.

Another cow protector, Labangalatika in Raigad India, wrote us about her. That’s how we found out about her and decided to visit her.

“Do you know about Wenda in England who has a cow rescue place and 34 cows and bulls? When she was a small girl she freed some calves meant for slaughter and had to hide all night in the bushes to avoid being caught but got severely beaten anyway. She vowed when she grew up to have a place where nothing would ever be killed and when she was 35 she did this with help of Matthew whom she met after her son was grown up and on his own. They have this place for 13 yrs now and she does Agnihotra every morning and makes 500 cow dung cakes a day. The two of them do all their own work.

She is a devotee, and uses homeopathy in treatment of cows. She also was an activist to stop the veal trucks at Dover. She came to India this year to research how to use gobar and mutri and give some talks. She went to Kurma Rupa too and she has a book contract in Europe. She was to come and visit here but the Nasik riots held her up and she had to get her plane back to UK and have police escort from Nasik to Mumbai!!! “


Balabhadra: "The brown cow was terribly abused and was full of fear for a long time. Due to Wenda's sensitive and gentle care she is quite well now. She asked me to name her and I named her Vrindavan Isvari."

When Balabhadra visited he felt that the quality of cow care was exemplary and that we can all learn from their loving and efficient cow seva.

Submitted by Chayadevi

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Cow Protection in a Cold Climate

This winter we are having below freezing temperatures. The cows have grown furry coats to keep them warm. Some of them are hard to recognize in comparison to how they looked in the summer with their sleek shiny coats.

They voluntarily go outside the barns in the cemented area between the geriatric barn and the old barn, but they are not going as far as the barnyard. They prefer to stay close to the food, shelter, and water.

Because the temperatures have been well below freezing (one day it was -20 below 0), there is ice almost entirely sealing the water troughs that must be broken twice a day even though we have trough heaters. This afternoon the ice was so thick in one trough that I could only break some of it. With slightly lower temperatures the next day, the water heater was more effective.

Dwadasi taking a drink before I broke the ice

While I feel that I am fighting for survival in the cold and snow, I will see a cow standing in the cemented area chewing her cud covered in snow with some of it freezing on her ears and chin. She will remain contented, as if it is no big deal and she isn’t bothered in the least.

Shyama chewing her cud

Taking care of cows in a cold climate is definitely full of challenges not found in a warm climate. Hay has to be grown, harvested, and moved to the cows. Shelter has to provided from the wind, snow, and ice that is sufficient for the long winter months. Labor is needed to feed the cows daily. Frostless water hydrants and troughs must be operating to supply water. For those cows that are old and diseased, separate yet connected shelter gives them comfort in the cold months. All this and more as opposed to constant grazing on green pastures that is allowed in a warm climate.

submitted by Chayadevi

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hay = Food for the Winter Months


Feeding out a big bale by unwrapping

The first step in harvesting hay is mowing the standing crop and laying it in windrows. A rake is equipment used to move the mowed windrow across the soil surface or remaining crop stubble, creating a narrower windrow that will dry more rapidly. Hay balers are farm machines that pack and tie field-dried hay into more dense hay bundles, called bales, for convenient handling, storage, and transportation. Hay balers are grouped by the type of dense bundle or "bale" produced; small square/rectangular, large round, and large square/rectangular.

Large hay bales were introduced with large round balers during the 1970s. Large round bales with diameters of 4, 5, or 6 feet and widths of 4 or 5 feet can contain between 1000 to 2000 pounds of hay (roughly the equivalent of 20 to 45 small square bales) and are too heavy to handle manually.

Compared to small square bales, making large round bales reduces the number of bales the farmer/rancher needs to handle and may save in reduced handling and labor costs.

We receive large round bales from the New Vrindavan cow department since the majority of our cows come from the New Vrindavan herd. Once these large bales are placed in the barn, the twine can be cut and removed and the hay placed in the feed aisle with a pitchfork. Either the round bale can be unrolled and plates of it put in the feed aisle or the hay removed from the bale by simply manually unwrapping and then placing it in the feed aisle.

Our barns are designed with an upper floor above the feed aisle where the large bales are placed. This makes it easier as there is a downward thrust to place the hay in the feed aisle. Gravity is working with us. However, it is still a labor-intensive service and takes about 3 hours everyday in the winter months. That time includes covering all the cow dung with old hay each day. We have a system of bedding that layers the dung and hay creating a soft warm bed in the winter.

Friday, January 19, 2007


Balabhadra riding plow at Bhaktivedanta Manor, England

ISCOWP News, Volume 16, Issue 3 is now online at ISCOWP Website. Take a look at the memorial issue for Vraja. If you would like a hard copy just email us your snail mail address.
You can contact ISCOWP at

Remove the Mud Campaign has been a success with all the needed funds collected. Construction on the non-cemented area of the barn will begin this spring or summer, depending on the weather.

Balabhadra and Lakshmi (daughter) have been in the mall since September to earn income for the personnel of ISCOWP. That will be over in a week. Balabhadra will then travel, as the ISKCON Minister for Cow Protection and Agriculture, to England, India, Hungary, and Czech Republic to visit the various ISKCON cow protection centers. If you would like to meet up with Balabhadra, contact us and we will see what can be arranged.

Act Now! Stop Cow Slaughter! Something you can do for the cows.

Here on the farm, winter is upon us and the cows are now restricted to the barnyard as there is no grass on the hillsides to eat. Daily feeding out of hay is great exercise. We will write more on taking care of the cows in the winter in the next entry.