|Tibetan Buddhist Monk Dusting Off a Cow Which Had Rolled in Monsoon Mud Earlier in the Day|
Cows are everywhere in the streets of India. It took some time for me to realize that the western concept of "sacred cows" is not quite accurate.
While cows are indeed considered sacred, and the sale and consumption of beef is illegal in many parts of the country (including McleodGanj)...in fact, one often hears people talk more openly about consuming heroin than beef...the "sacredness" is more accurately the mere act of co-existence.
Cows are left to wander freely. And wander they do. Usually into rubbish piles to dine on discarded scraps as well as cardboard and plastic, and into the streets to sleep. Which makes navigating the steep narrow streets of McleodGanj a true challenge.