Lifescapes Gallery

16 / Dec / 2009
A Cow in Goat’s Clothing
Goats, Kabini Photograph: Shivu K Story: Rajesh Ramaswamy

A Cow in Goat’s Clothing

You are looking at a picture of Kabini’s most prized cows. Now, now…hold your horses! Before you think we’ve been grazing on a different kind of ‘grass’, allow us to clarify. Goats, in much of rural India, are considered the ‘poor man’s cow’, and Kabini is no exception to this belief. A herd of just a few hardy goats can feed and sustain a small family in relative comfort. While goats’ biggest contribution to humanity has been as active, albeit reluctant, participants in the field of gastronomy, the humble Kabini herder values them more for their multi-tasking abilities as earning members of his family. For starters, their milk is nutritious, and finds a ready market. They’re also prolific manure machines, and their droppings are a precious fertilizer that can earn a pretty paisa or two. In fact this prodigious production of manure ensures that finding good grazing is a lark. Farmers queue up to let out their fallow land to goatherds, as the droppings fertilize the fields and the grazing provides a free de-weeding service before sowing season. Quid pro quo, in the truest sense! In this peaceful co-existence, there’s just one thing that gets the herders’ goat: the popular assumption that their charges eat almost anything. Nothing could be farther from the truth, as goats are fastidious eaters who’ll starve rather than touch anything that’s fallen on the ground, or has been half eaten. This touchy topic apart, the goats, and their native Kuruba herders, go about their lives as they’ve done for millennia. While the rest of the world may be well into the digital age, in places like Kabini, these images of a perfect rural idyll look set to continue…until the cows come home.

We at Orange County have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you one every fortnight, as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 16th, 2009 at 10:00 am and is filed under Kabini, Mammals . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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User Comments
  1. shastri says:

    Responsible tourism! I wish more & more people understand the importance. Wonderful picture. Keep ‘going green’.

  2. Prashant Sanil says:

    REally kool pic….and a good imagination…

  3. ARUN says:


  4. vijay valabhdas says:

    Bloody marvellous



  6. divya bharadwaj says:

    really wonderful

  7. Srinidhi Odilnala says:

    dear very very superb……………

  8. raosgmysore says:

    Nearer to natural life photography…Let your tribe increase and give more photoes such to us.

  9. Manju says:


  10. Pramod PT says:

    Congrats Shivu. One more feather to your cap 🙂

  11. prashanth says:

    Picture perfect Shivu

  12. bharath says:

    the photo is excellent…..

  13. devarajan says:

    go(a)t the point, good one

  14. Chandru says:

    Shivu sir, really wonderful photograph. Congratulations that Orange Country selected this for display.

  15. Ansh says:

    I love the picture and the write up.

  16. jitendra says:

    wow ! colourful india!

  17. Tejaswini Hegde says:

    Awesome! …. beautiful work. Well Done Mr.Shivu.

  18. HS Prabhakara says:

    Very nice & best picture! This is called “gooDhuli samaya” in kannada language!!
    Shivu you are realy exelent photographer.

  19. Gauri says:

    Interesting ‘droppings’ about the goats and goatherds…:)

    Some similar legend is heard in Maharashtra too where a particular ‘holy man’ obliges farmers with his herd of goats to do their fertilising duties in farms…apparently allowing this godman’s goats to graze in their farms, yields better crops!!

  20. Michelle says:

    Shivu, you are a really gifted photographer!

  21. Preeth says:

    Excellent lighting! Fantabulous photography!!!

  22. Sameer R. Rao says:

    Beautiful image

  23. Vicky says:

    I love this – it should be called ‘cow dust hour’! The way you have captured the light is amazing.

  24. payal kurian says:

    Exceptionally beautiful photograph. Orange County, Kabini rocks!

  25. Aishwarya Mohan says:

    A simple picture shot brilliantly and kudos to rajesh for once again making something as common as this also in a very intresting reading material….hats off guys….:)

  26. Jagadish.M.Bopaiah says:

    Very good write up and good picture.I am gone back to when I am kid.

  27. Diwakaran Nair says:

    Wonderful Picture. And a fabulously evocative write up. Its gets better and better….!

  28. Sudarshan says:

    I am spellbound.. Excellent composition. With standards so high expectations are ever increasing !

  29. Rafeeq says:

    A very good read…nicely written


  30. Nikhil says:

    dear friends of orange county. i really feel proud of your effort. natural process recycling system. This is the way it should be.
    picture is awesome.
    i love getting messages from you, time and again.

    with lots of LOVENATURE

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