The Animal Welfare Board of India has issued an appeal to couples to celebrate February 14 as “Cow Hug Day”, it stated that it “will bring emotional richness” and “increase individual and collective happiness”. Board officials said that the appeal was issued on the Union fisheries and animal husbandry ministry’s direction.
Signed by Dr Sujit Kumar Dutta, secretary of the board, the appeal reads, “We all know that the cow is the backbone of Indian culture and rural economy, sustains our life, represents cattle wealth and biodiversity. It is known as ‘kamdhenu’ and ‘gaumata’ because of its nourishing nature like a mother, the giver of all providing [sic] riches to humanity”.
The appeal also said that “Vedic traditions are almost on the verge of extinction due to the progress of west [sic] culture over time. The sparkle of western civilisation has made our physical culture and heritage almost forgotten.”
The appeal also read that “In view of the immense benefits of the cow, hugging [the] cow will bring emotional richness and hence will increase our individual and collective happiness. Therefore, all cow lovers may also celebrate February 14 as Cow Hug Day, keeping in mind the importance of the mother cow and making life happy and full of positive energy. This [was] issued with the approval of competent authority and on the direction of the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.”