We can begin a radical departure from beef consumption

Mrs. Chinwe Ezirim who popularized cucumber farming in Imo State in one of her presentations talked about FLESH  EATING COWS.  She went back memory lane to unearth the Biblical narrative about the dream of  “almighty”  Pharaoh, where tin cows ate up the fat cows. According to her, it was quite unusual that cattle which were supposed to eat grass turned to eat flesh of fellow cows. When cows begin to eat flesh instead of grass, it portends great danger to the survival of the ecosystem.  This was therefore the reason why Joseph was quickly drafted in by Pharaoh to prevent a looming crisis occasioned by famine.
Many centuries after Pharaoh’s dream, Nigeria is witnessing her own flesh eating cow phenomenon in the most wicked, brazen painful bloody and divisive way. Humans are being kidnapped and slaughtered by herdsmen simply because they want their cattle to graze unrestricted on other people’s land and farm. Villages have been wiped out as a result of this.
Another worrisome matter about this flesh eating cows is that the very people being slaughtered and terrorized for cows are the same people funding the billions of Naira cattle business.  It is a popular knowledge that the average cattle herder does not eat cow meat but ram or sheep. So they kill us, take over our land and sell their cows to us! Goodness me!
WHAT THEN SHALL WE DO? Have you heard and seen the average Igbo man boasting that he or she cannot eat any meat except cow meat? Good for you, Mr. Ori-efi, keep eating cow meat while the killers are plotting to take over your territories through a brazen dubious clandestine vigilante group and Ruga. Does your killer want to protect you or wants to secure his business? It is sad that almost every responsible Igbo man or woman that dies must have at least a cow slaughtered for the funeral. Must we do that?  Will heavens fall if we don’t?
Think of the number of cows slaughtered in Owerri, Umuahia, Onitsha, Aba, Portharcourt and Awka each day. Isn’t that in billions? Think of how much that leaves our pockets to the far other places each day. It is estimated that about five thousand cows are slaughtered each day in the South East Nigeria. Multiply this by a modest sum of a hundred thousand Naira per cow… Wow!
I strongly advocate that since we cannot stop eating cow meat, we can stop our children from doing so. There are a lot of better meats we can begin now to introduce to our children and farming or breeding them in South East is cheap and affordable. In the area of birds we can farm chicken, geese, duck, guinea fowl and quails.
Piggery which gives pork is a good delicacy, cheaper and tastier than beef unfortunately is being cajoled and demonized. Do you know you can grow all the meat you need without having a smelly backyard which is offensive to your neighbor? Do you know that there are modern methods of breeding goats without going everyday to fetch fresh fodders? (Urie-ewu). Do you know that the meat of rabbit and guinea pigs are far much healthier than poultry, beef and pork? If we don’t want to eat them let us teach our children to farm them and eat them. After all, part of the training process of the Igbo child was to teach him to care for the goats, efi-Igbo and aturu. The child pastors the flock while the elders supervise, hence the saying that  “okenye anagh ano n’ulo ewu amaa obu”_ -I don’t think this can be interpreted in English.  Our future is in our hands. Must it be cow meat? Let us all join hands to produce our own meat and reduce the number of “flesh eating cows.”

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