The Plastic Cow focuses on the plight of cows, who are increasingly becoming unwitting victims of the ubiquitous plastic bags, which we use and carelessly discard every day.
It’s very common now to find scores of cows, stray and abandoned by their owners because they’re unwilling to feed them, walking about unattended in cities and towns and, usually, congregating around garbage dumps. Among the junk they feed on there are the plastic bags that we’ve put our garbage and kitchen waste in and discarded. And, because cows can’t open these bags, they eat them whole for the rotting scraps of food inside them.
Unlike us, and many other animals, cows have a complex digestive process that doesn’t allow these plastic bags to pass out of their system. As a result, the toxic plastic accumulates inside their stomachs for years and, eventually, leads to a slow and painful death of the animal. Unless, of course, the cow is operated on and all the plastic waste is extracted from its stomach. In a surgery shot for the film, 53 kilos of plastic waste were extracted from one cow’s stomach! But, surgery, which is expensive and lasts many hours, is not the solution to this problem.
While this documentary looks at various issues, such as the cultural and religious importance of cows and the widespread use of plastic in almost every aspect of life today, and the amount of garbage we generate every day, the focus of the film is on the human cruelty to cows, who suffer because of our excesses and carelessness.
The Plastic Cow was directed by Kunal Vohra and produced by Karuna Society & Kindness Trust. Find out more about the film at karunasociety.org.