Effect Measure

Cow water: an unforgettable bouquet

Mix a little hard line nationalism with religious fundamentalism and what do you get? The formula for cow piss soft drink:

A hardline Hindu organisation, known for its opposition to “corrupting” Western food imports, is planning to launch a new soft drink made from cow’s urine, often seen as sacred in parts of India.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), or National Volunteer Corps, said the bovine beverage is undergoing laboratory tests for the next 2 to 3 months but did not give a specific date for its commercial release. (Reuters)

The Hindu Taliban want to desecularize Indian society and cow urine soft drink is one of their more benign campaign promises:

The movement has often been accused of using more violent methods, such as killing 67 Christians in the eastern state of Orissa last year, and assaulting women in a pub in Mangalore last month. (AP via TimesOnline)

Also on the political menu is getting rid of the foreign influence represented by Coke and Pepsi. And no one will need Dr. Pepper, either, since cow piss soft drink will do the trick:

“Cow urine offers a cure for around 70 to 80 incurable diseases like diabetes. All are curable by cow urine,” Om Prakash, the head of the RSS Cow Protection Department, told Reuters by phone.

Did we mention it can also cure cancer?


“Don’t worry, it won’t smell like urine and will be tasty too,” he told The Times from his headquarters in Hardwar, one of four holy cities on the River Ganges. “Its USP will be that it’s going to be very healthy. It won’t be like carbonated drinks and would be devoid of any toxins.”

Don’t get me wrong. I am sympathetic to wanting to hold on to your culture. I’d be unhappy if someone tried to substitute some foreign stuff for my native foods like felafel, egg rolls or grape leaves, not to mention General Gau’s chicken.

But I’d be especially unhappy if the substitute for my Mountain Dew was “gau jal” (Sanskrit for “cow water”). It’s one thing just to taste like piss. But to actually be piss? I’ve got my limits.


  1. #1 Justin
    February 15, 2009

    I love this story. I love the fact that it makes us ask if cow piss could actually be better than stuff that now contributing to an explosion of diabetes in the subcontinent. It won’t cure cancer, but you won’t lose a foot.

  2. #2 tony
    February 15, 2009

    True story: Many years ago at the Union Square farmers market in NYC a dairy farmer brought down a cow for show and tell. During the day the cow of course had to urinate. As a stream of urine left the animal a fairly well dressed man ran up, cupped his hands in the urine and began to wash his face. Needless to say the farmers jaw (all spectators really) dropped to the floor. The man casually told the farmer “don’t you know it’s great medicine, even better for your skin.”

  3. #3 Ramakrishna
    February 15, 2009

    If you really look it to the sources of “ancient” texts, you can find no basis at all for this kind of information (the great medicinal values of cow urine or dung). Use of dung is a question of practicality. I have seen on documentaries how horse dung was used for house construction in England, and dog droppings for some thing else. When there is cement, bricks, nylon rope etc. for those purposes, no one in England/west uses those ancient materials.

    These RSS fanatics are interested in their self preservation than hindu religion. How could assaulting women be justified as “hindu” just because they were drinking in a pub?

    The BJP supporters in other professions such as police, judiciary etc. do not enforce laws. When Richard Gere kissed Shilpa Shetty in public, a judge admitted a case against that as offending hindu culture. Exchanging gifts on valentines day becomes very offensive. But all the technology, jobs, money the western companies are bringing to India are not against “hindu” culture?

  4. #4 Cuttlefish
    February 15, 2009

    I don’t like the taste of Pepsi,
    I don’t like the taste of Coke;
    Dr. Pepper’s not the drink for me right now.
    7-up and Sprite are dreadful
    Every Root Beer is a joke;
    What I really want is urine. From a cow.

    If you like the taste of urine, you’re in luck!
    If you think the taste of piss is bliss, it only costs a buck!
    If you want to float your kidneys, you can buy it by the truck—
    If you like the taste of urine, you’re in luck!

    I don’t want to drink the Kool-Aid
    I don’t want a mug of juice;
    I don’t even want a tall glass of iced tea.
    I’d really hate a cold V-8—
    That’s vegetable abuse—
    What I really want’s a cup of bovine pee!

    If you like the taste of urine, you’re in luck!
    If you think the taste of piss is bliss, it only costs a buck!
    If you want to float your kidneys, you can buy it by the truck—
    If you like the taste of urine, you’re in luck!

    It’s a cure for diabetes,
    It’s the finest healer known—
    You will never need another drink than this!
    In the battle of the soft drinks
    This elixir stands alone,
    And I guarantee it really tastes like piss!

    If you like the taste of urine, you’re in luck!
    If you think the taste of piss is bliss, it only costs a buck!
    If you want to float your kidneys, you can buy it by the truck—
    If you like the taste of urine, you’re in luck!


  5. #5 revere
    February 15, 2009

    cuttle: I’m thrilled and honored to have inspired this. Your shallowness has real depth (or as people often say about me, way down deep I’m shallow).

  6. #6 Lea
    February 15, 2009

    You’re full of it revere, piss that is. Like my Grandma used to say to me, “you’re full of piss and vinegar”.
    As far as drinking carbonated drinks, like Mountain Dew, you should know better. Carbonated drinks are not good for the digestive system.
    The Indian people need to realize that “western” does not denote all people’s in the “West”.

  7. #7 Siddharth
    February 15, 2009

    I am sympathetic to wanting to hold on to your culture.

    Hey hey…. this is not Indian culture. You shouldn’t extrapolate the crazy beliefs of a few nutjob religious fundamentalists as the majority opinion!

    The RSS is a laughing stock in most of the urban areas in India.

  8. #8 victoria
    February 15, 2009

    Is drinking cow piss any different from injecting poison into one’s skin to plump up beds of dried up smiles? Methinks not. Each to his/her own.

  9. #9 g336
    February 16, 2009

    I have a pretty high tolerance for public health stories about poo and so on, and often read this and other related blogs whilst having a snack. No problem.

    However, the thought of imbibing cow pee was enough to elicit a puke reflex.

    If all these religious extremists want to do away with Western influences (in India), scientific modernism (in the USA), and so on, they should put their money where their mouths are and give up Western money and Western medicine and all the benefits of science along with.

    But it’s not about that. It’s about enforcing their own backwardness upon others by coercive means wherever possible.

    And if someone wants to make health claims in relation to drinking pee or washing one’s face with it, fine: find some consenting adults to join their local branch of the Guinea Pigs’ Club and try it on them. With their consent. And see what cures what.

    As for me, I’m quite sure that drinking pee would prevent me dying of cancer or diabetes, because in all probability I’d spin around, projectile-vomit a few times, keel over, and drop dead on the spot.

  10. #10 revere
    February 16, 2009

    Siddarth: That comment of mine was tongue in cheek. Notice all the “native” foods I listed were products of different cultures.

  11. #11 Crudely Wrott
    February 16, 2009

    Oh yeah. This aught to go over big. Cancer curing cow piss? How can it miss?

    And we all know that when the guys driving the scheme are like the RSS (who never meet a problem they can’t solve with knives or fire or thuggery), every one will want to get on board! C’mon, gang! Let’s off the man!

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