In Nepal – like in big brother India – the cow is a sacred animal. You’d think that animals with that status would live a golden life out here. Appreciated and praised by everyone. But nothing is further from the truth. If this is the way a four-legged sacred animal is treated, I am extra happy to be an ordinary mortal.

The sanctity of the cow in Nepal and India means above all that they can go wherever and whenever they want. And many of them have an incredible ability to move in unusual and particularly awkward places and even lie down there.

On a crisp morning many cows find the asphalt of the few roads that have such a top layer quite pleasant. Drivers should be really careful. Hurting – or worse – a cow (the four legged variety) is sacrilege, and very bad for your karma and it brings unhappiness for a long time…

While traveling I seen cows walk or lie or the porch of a house, in the middle of a busy road, in front of the entrance to the departure hall at the airport, right on the football field causing the game to stop, right in front of a store so no one could get in or out…

Because of her holiness you will never ask or force a cow to go away, change places or that sort of thing. The cow always has priority and everything will move for her, not the other way around. So if a cow decides to lie down in front of your door, you just have to deal with it. Once traveling by train in India I was delayed for hours because her sanctity decided to lie done on the track and stay there…

But to be honest, being sacred brings little advantages really. At least for cows who decide to live in the city. Here in Kathmandu there is little fresh grass and what little there is doesn’t look very appealing. So many cows are condemned to eating garbage, which is readily available. The result is that many cows eat plastics that causes them to suffer a slow and painful death. Boohoo!

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