India is often referred to as a country of contrasts. or a country of extremes. There is great beauty and rich history, and only a few steps away, there is great poverty and hardship. This is true for the animals here, as well as for the people and there are more than 5 million stray cows that wander the streets. They seek food in composts and garbage bins and on vacant lots where a few blades of grass grow. The cows are sacred to most of the people in India and their faith prohibits them from eating the meat of cows. Impoverished farmers cannot afford to feed or care for the animals that they rely on for milk and the cows wander, eating what little they can find. Unfortunately, cows often ingest garbage and plastic and their digestive tracts become blocked, causing them to become malnourished. This prevents them from producing milk and they become more of a burden to the farmers than they can manage. Farmers have little choice and they release the cows to fend for themselves. The cows roam free, often relying on the kindness of strangers. They are fed bread and table scraps by those who can afford to pass on some kindness for these gentle beasts. This Canadian tourist has watched this dairy cow as she wanders, obviously looking for a meal. She takes pictures of the unusual sight, but she cannot walk away without doing something to help. She finds a nearby vendor who is selling alfalfa, a sweet grass that is high in protein and other nutrients. She buys two large bunches and then goes back to find the cow in an alcove where it seems to spend the nights. The cow is quite happy to munch away on the alfalfa and this kindly Canadian leaves the both bunches at her feet to be enjoyed at her own pace. The dilemma in India continues to get worse as conditions for farmers get more unmanageable. the number of stray cows increases constantly. Many organizations collect donations to help provide the cows with food and a place to live so they will not suffer and present a hazard to motorists in the busy streets.