In reading your recent series of articles on Cow Protection, particularly Drinking Milk From Cows That Are Slaughtered Is Impious submitted by Madhava Gosh (December 17, 2002), I have been wondering what the real price of a gallon of milk is, coming from a protected cow.
Let's face it. There are many devotees living out there in the world who do not have a cow nor live on a farm, nor have the training, ability and resources to have their own cows, and therefore they buy their milk from the dairy industry.
I would like to propose a plan to subsidize the growth of our cow protection program in ISKCON whereby the devotee community would voluntarily pay a tax to ISKCOWP or other suitable organization. This tax would be equal to the difference between the market value of a gallon of milk and the real cost of the same gallon of milk if the cow were not slaughtered when she is no longer productive (nor her calf.)
For example, if the real cost of a gallon of milk is $5.45, but we can buy a gallon of milk at the store for $2.09 then my voluntary self-imposed tax would be $3.36 for that gallon of milk. And if our family drinks 12 gallons of milk in a month then we would write at check for $40.32 to the Cow Protection program of our choice.
This is something my family would be happy to do. We are already members of the Gita-Nagari Cow Protection program. Every month we send a donation of $30.00. Our family Deities would be much happier if we were to offer them milk products that support the protection of Their beloved cows. All that we need to know is what is the real cost of a gallon of milk, in terms of our Vaisnava standards. For this we require the expert guidance of devotees like Madhava Gosh, Balabadra or Hare Krsna Dasi Prabhus.
The other option is to give up dairy, which I think is "an impractical suggestion."
Prema Bhakti dasa, Tapati dasi and family