I am taking interferon/ribavarin treatment which means a once weekly shot which I took Wed. night. One side effect is irritability. Hence my initial perhaps over reaction to this cow purchase. 545 posts on my blog and this is the first time I let temple politics enter into it. On one level, I regret that. I am a recovering online debater and fell off the wagon.

I stipulate that New Vrindaban and its associated boards and managers had no legal obligation to either discuss or advise me of this cow purchase.

I have no absolute objection to buying cows. We do have the capacity to handle more. We are down from a peak herd of 360 cows to about 80, so capacity is there.

But I am realizing that it caused me a flashback of when we had 360 cows and Kirtanananda pulled the plug on the financing and walked away and a lot of really rough years and a lot of unnecessary deaths. I had refused to go along with his expansion plans in the years prior, but felt compelled to get involved again with the cows in that emergency situation. Not only having to endure the results of that abandonment along with the cows, but to be criticized while doing it by people who did nothing for the cows, and who were working half the hours I was, that the care was substandard.

I may have a little PTSD about that. Do the math: 360-80 = 280 deaths. A lot of devotees were able to ignore them better than I was.

My post was not to be construed as any criticism of Ranaka who has done way more for the cows than I have for even less appreciation. He carried out an instruction to purchase the cows.

And a big shout out to all the donors who did step up and contribute these last 15 years. Without them a tough situation would have been disastrous. All the cows died natural deaths; none went to the slaughter house. The donors have really made the difference. The fact that we still have 80 cows is a living tribute to the donors.

What to do now:

Establish a irrevocable trust fund with open accounting with the cows as beneficiaries to provide for their lifetime care, which would include a plan for providing for human caretakers.

Build a calf barn next to the milk barn so the calves can be raised near their mothers. The alternative is moving them away from the community center to the industrial barn where they will be out of sight, out of mind. Calves are good tourism, best if they are part of the center of tourist activity.

Build an oxen facility, in combination with the calf barn and/or one by the Garden of Seven Gates. The training of oxen where it can be observed has educational value.

Preserve existing pasture from encroaching suburbanization and expand existing fences into underutilized areas by the temple barn. I had engineered this with a previous barn manager but he never acted on it.

An educational program for devotees, guests, and donors that stresses cow protection instead of milk production.

Hospice facility near the temple for elderly cows.

If those things happened I would unreservedly support the purchase.