The Vultures in India:
A Lesson to Learn
Over the last 10 to 20 years,
vultures in India have gone from numerous and widespread
to almost completely extinct. Some sources report
that just 0.1% of the original population has survived
(99.9% gone). Many possible reasons have been
cited, such as habitat loss, ingestion of DDT and other
pesticides, and poisoning or shooting. The most
likely culprit seems to be an anti-inflammatory drug
called Diclofenac, which is given to cattle in large
amounts and has been proven to be very toxic to
vultures. When the vultures eat the remains of the
drugged cattle, it causes renal failure, and they soon
starve and die. Regardless of the specific reason,
however, what is certain is that the decline is
Some have hailed the disappearance
of the vultures as a blessing, as the birds are often
considered unclean, aggressive, and undesirable.
However, it is now being realized that they played a
vital role in the ecosystem as carrion eaters and
scavengers, and the loss of this role is having a direct
and deadly effect on humans:
"A research programme led by Anil
Markandya of the University of Bath, UK, has calculated
that the decline of vultures made way for at least
5.5 million extra feral dogs in India between 1992
and 2006. During this period, these extra dogs would
have been responsible for at least 38.5 million bites. National surveys show that in India 123 people die of
rabies per 100,000 dog bites, suggesting that a minimum
of 47,300 people may have died as a result of the
vulture die-off (Ecological Economics,
DOI:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2008.04.020). Taking account of
the cost of treating bite victims and dealing with the
extra deaths, the researchers calculate that the use of
Diclofenac has indirectly cost India an unforeseen 34
BILLION US Dollars in extra health costs."
always taught that one of the reasons behind
Kosher rules is that many of the unclean animals are
carrion eaters and bottom feeders, and reducing their
numbers will cause devastating problems. The loss
vultures in India and the effect it has had is a poignant example of this.
eats (or destroys by other means) the animals whose Dharma it is to clean up waste
and garbage, they have no one but themselves to blame
for the consequences, such as the environment becoming polluted and unlivable,
or, in this case, creating room for even less desirable
animals to flourish.
Our contact in British Columbia,
Andrew Harris, was the one to send us this information
and see the lesson within it (all thanks to God).
It is indeed an excellent example of what happens when
God's Laws are ignored. It also reminds us
that His Laws always have reasons behind them, and we
should follow them because we know that they are Logical
and for our own good.
They are here for us; not to bind us, but to free us, to
show us the path to our greatest potential.
Hopefully disasters such as these will help humanity
remember this, and return to God's Way. All thanks
and Glory to Him.