New Vrindaban has the oldest cow protection program in North America. It is home to the first slaughter-free dairy both in ISKCON and the Western world. Our cow and ox protection program has been in continual operation since spring 1969. ECO-Vrindaban has been serving in this capacity since 1998.
Today, ECO-V manages 900 acres of land with 260 acres of pasturing grounds for the herd and 150 acres of land for growing hay. Our growing herd, which consists of approximately 60 cows, oxen and bulls, is housed in our four barn facilities that are spread out throughout our property.
During the warm months, the herd can be seen happily grazing in our pastures. In the winter, they are comfortably sheltered in our barns, always with the option of going outside. Every member of the herd is lovingly cared for, even after retirement, throughout the duration of their natural lives.
ECO-V has an outstanding dairy production facility; our cows produce high-quality of milk due to the care our cows receive. Our cows are affectionately cared for throughout their lives. They are bred naturally here on the farm by our two breeding bulls, Madhu and Dharma. The calves are kept by their mothers’ sides until they are old enough to graze with the rest of the herd. The cows are milked by hand twice daily, at our milking barn, by our expert cowherds. When the cows are not being milked, they are free roam, graze in the pasture, or rest beneath a tree.
The milk produced by the cows goes to their calves first. The remaining milk is sent to the New Vrindaban temple kitchen to be offered to the deities, and made into yogurt, butter and ghee by our cowherds.
At ECO-V, we stress the importance of engaging the oxen in working the land. Just as the cow is like our mother as she provides us with nourishment through her milk, the ox is like our father because, through his work, he helps us grow our food.
In their training program, oxen are taught to respond to voice commands. As they learn these commands they are gradually introduced to the different tasks to which they are suited. They can be engaged in work such as bringing firewood from the forest, plowing the field, pulling a trailer packed with produce, and more. When using ox power instead of modern machinery, we cut down on both pollution and damage to the delicate fabric of the soil. In fact, cow dung is in a potent fertilizer that replenishes the soil. Therefore, the ox is the ancient answer to modern agricultural problems. He is worthy of loving care throughout his entire natural life.