28 December 2015

Cow dung patties selling like hot cakes online in India

Cows that have been rescued from smugglers are seen at a rescue shelter November 7, 2015 in Ramgarh, Rajasthan, India. The local 'cow vigilante' group, headed by Nawal Kishore Sharma, is one of dozens of such hard line Hindu cow protection vigilante groups operating across India. The members work various day jobs such as teachers, lawyers, marble sculptors, politicians and by night they patrol on watch for smugglers illegally transporting cows for sale and slaughter. Many also work at the cow shelters where the rescued cows are taken.
Like consumers around the globe, Indians are flocking to the online marketplace in droves these days. But there's one unusual item flying off the virtual shelves: Online retailers say cow dung patties are selling like hot cakes.
The patties — cow poop mixed with hay and dried in the sun, made mainly by women in rural areas and used to fuel fires — have long been available in India's villages. But online retailers including Amazon and eBay are now reaching out to the country's ever-increasing urban population, feeding into the desire of older city folks to harken back to their childhood in the village.