On my way to the airport last April, my stomach was doing a dance, tying itself into a knot that, even with all the deep breathing, I could not undo. I was taking the flight to Bangalore from Delhi, where I live, at the invitation of Clementien Pauws, a Dutch woman who is President of the Karuna Society for Animals and Nature in Puttaparthi, a small semi-rural town near Bangalore. Accompanying me was Kunal Vora, a film-maker. Our mission was to see for ourselves an operation that Clementien’s shelter was about to conduct on a cow. I knew it was not going to be a happy experience.

At Karuna, all ...


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