Hindu extremists promote cow-urine soft-drink

Radical Hindus in India are attempting to cleanse the nation of foreign soft-drinks by promoting an "ayurvedic" beverage made from cow urine:
The bovine brew is in the final stages of development by the Cow Protection Department of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), India's biggest and oldest Hindu nationalist group, according to the man who makes it.

Om Prakash, the head of the department, said the drink – called "gau jal", or "cow water" – in Sanskrit was undergoing laboratory tests and would be launched "very soon, maybe by the end of this year".

"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."

The drink is the latest attempt by the RSS – which was founded in 1925 and now claims eight million members – to cleanse India of foreign influence and promote its ideology of Hindutva, or Hindu-ness.

India to launch cow urine as soft drink (Thanks, Sherryart!)


  1. Interesting. I wonder what kind of confectionery treat they would come up with if they were attempting to cleanse the nation of foreign chocolate bars.

    “Don’t worry, it doesn’t smell like feces, and is actually quite tasty.”

  2. So called “Indian Yellow” paint and dyes were colored with cows urine for years. Until it was decided that feeding cows nothing but mango leaves to produce the hue was inhumane. I wonder if the RSS had anything to do with that…

  3. Urine is generally sterile in completely healthy individuals, yes, but it certainly isn’t once it’s passed through the urethra.

  4. #5, Raj77:

    it certainly isn’t [sterile] once it’s passed through the urethra.

    So boil it. Job done.

    A Hindu friend of mine was shocked (after eschewing caffeine for years) to find Coke/Pepsi being sold in the Krishna temple in Vrindavan. I’m not sure that he’d have preferred cow urine, though.

  5. Sterile and non-toxic are two rather different things, especially in this context. (Rubbing alcohol is sterile — you probably won’t find any microorganisms living in rubbing alcohol, but it’s not a good idea to chug a bottle or two, as it’s…highly toxic.)

    Urine, by its very definition, contains many of the soluble toxins that the kidneys filter from the body. They might be sterile (as in a lack of micro-organisms living in the liquid) — but if the body doesn’t want or need those fluids, I’d like to hear why it is that we should put it back in the body.

    Doubly so as to why I should want to put toxins filtered from a cow’s body into my body.

    I’m not even going to go into the taste/appeal issues.

  6. At least they promote their religion through peaceful means. I would much rather drink cow urine than have my head cut off.

  7. Ad campaign:
    UREAlly gonna like it!

    Odd sounding, but I agree Cola isn’t a healthy beverage. And the ick factor on this vs. eating sausage would be pretty close if both were completely unheard of foods.

  8. @#3 (Moriarty)
    Not to forget Calpis water, the tasty Japanese delicacy, which when pronounced in the traditional manner sounds like – “karupiss water”

  9. To the comment #7 posted by ironcrow

    Now the RSS and its offshoots stand accused of orchestrating a wave of violence against Christians, mainly in the eastern state of Orissa, opening a new chapter in India’s long struggle with Hindu radicalism.

    Oh Really

  10. What all would you have to add to urine (sterile or not) to actually make it taste good? And even if they’re going the astronaut route and just purifying it to make water, why not start with water in the first place?

    There aren’t many foods i’d pass on without giving it at least a try, but i don’t think they’ll convert me away from Coke with this.

  11. Unfortunately I can’t find any reason to believe this is a hoax…

    Somehow I think even hard-core Hindus will find this idea… hard to swallow.

  12. Whether or not its sterile doesn’t negate the fact that piss is unhealthy and not so fun to drink.

    Why? Why would anyone want to drink cows piss when water is available?

    And don’t tell me its because its supposed to be healthy or something like that – its not. Drinking urine has no medical benefit. Anything that exists in piss is already in your blood and you don’t need it.

    And i disagree about sausage – sausage is Holy meat – its fat and blood and meat ground up and preserved in a tube. Sausage has an amazing amount of “Food value” (for lack of a better term)

    Drinking piss is a really really stupid idea. It cant taste good, its not good for you and its just freaky and gross. I get it they made it into a food product – How do you ensure quality in the goods like they do for milk? How do they ensure the health of a herd of cattle’s renal systems? Im just sayin – its an iffy idea at the get go.

    I get that coca cola inst good for you either but crud! Just because i like to smoke doesn’t mean i want to buy a bag of car exhaust.

  13. Braindance, this in itself isn’t what makes them extremist. It’s the violence against people of other religions that makes them extremist.

  14. Wanna drink urine? Fine, whatever. Wanna know what bugged me more?

    Devoid of any toxins?

    Can we PLEASE get off this ‘toxin’ kick, everyone?
    Even when we found mercury in high fructose corn syrup (which the vast majority of soda uses) it was 3 parts per trillion!

    You’d have to eat 100 pounds of ketchup a day to go over the safe limit for consumption.

    The plus side about this article is I’ve discovered something about myself:

    I’m a lot less bothered about cow urine going into someone’s mouth, then the bull shit coming out of it.

  15. Urinalysis is a pretty studied concept, and fluids are easier to work with than solids. It’d be easier to process and make safe than meat is, if it was done right. They might dialyze the urea and other metabolites out. I’m curious what they’d leave in.

  16. I know that Hindus revere cattle, but is this what people mean when they say “nectar of the gods?”

  17. All – firstly lets separate the discussion of whether cow urine is good or not, from the discussion of the motives of Hindu extremists.

    These guys are not the first to figure out the beneficial properties of urine. Urine therapy has been around for a while, not only in Hindu / Indian cultures, but in many others, including consumption of human or animal urine. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urine_therapy

    On the question of the motives of the Hindu extremists who are suddenly promoting this: If this is all they did, I’d be cheering for them; since lord knows Coke and Pepsi have done much damage to India – depleting water tables in places where they have bottling plants; introducing arsenic contamination etc. There’s a pretty strong grassroots movement against Coke and Pepsi – see more here: http://www.indiaresource.org/

    Sadly – not only are these Hindu extremists late to the party, they are also being disingenuous. It was during the rule of the BJP, the political wing of the RSS – in the 90s and early 2000s that India saw massive unfettered globalization, that allowed Coke/Pepsi et. al to expand enormously in India, without any checks and balances. The only state where Coke plants have been closed (after much protest) is Kerala, where the Left is very strong and where the Hindu extremists have no presence whatsoever.

    And lastly – lets not be calling these guys “Hindu extremists”. There movement is not a religious movement but a fascist one where they seek to wipe out all minorities from India. This was the group that assassinated Mahatma Gandhi. This is the movement that carried out pogroms in the Indian state of Gujarat against the Muslim population in 2002, resulting in more than 2000 dead. As someone else pointed out, most recently they have been unleashing violence against Christian communities in the state of Orissa.

    They draw their inspiration from Hitler and the Nazis. More about this fascist movement and its history here: http://stopfundinghate.org/sacw/appendixa.html

    And btw – the post about the “Pink Underwear” campaign that appeared on Boing Boing on Feb 9 is in fact a response to an act of violence unleashed by yet another group aligned to the above movement.

  18. “Don’t worry, it won’t smell like urine and will be tasty too,”

    Still….it’s from cow’s urine: “ewww”!!!

  19. I have a great advertising slogan “This Gau Jal’s For You!”

    STUCKINKIEL#4 “Urine is sterile.”

    I love these people who claim urine is sterile. I heard a someone make that claim and then offered him $500 to drink my pee. He replied, “I said it was sterile. I didn’t say it tasted good.”

  20. @ 27

    Not only this but there is no evidence that urine has any health benefits. Good survival experts (read Not Bear Grylls) Will tell you that drinking your urine will kill you.

    There is no benifit to drinking urine. Just drink water. Water is better for you – it tastes better – it sounds better – its cleaner and cheaper (well in india who knows…)

  21. I dunno, I think eating dead cow flesh is messed up myself, so I guess it’s all a matter of perspective…

  22. Why did you use the terms “extremists” and “radical” in the post? And why did you put the word “ayurvedic” in quotes. Sure, you might not agree with their religion or health practices, but this kind of xenophobia seems pretty out of place on Boing Boing.

  23. Paulehoffman at #34, I’d agree with your exception on the quotes around the word “ayurvedic”. But “extremists” and “radical” are entirely appropriate labels for these guys. See my post at #25 (which took a while to show up since it was held for moderation) for details.

    Lemon #36 – I *WISH* that was their only goal. That would make them xenophobic but not much more. Sadly – the only “foreign” influences they are actively working to cleanse India of are native Indians who happen to be muslims or christians, that too by violent means. And their political wing embraced multinational corps like no other while they were in power. This is nothing but an electioneering gimmick if you ask me.

  24. Hi, I’m available for Hindu extremist mixers. I’m very clean and my diet produces a rich, nutty flavour. I’ll get into a blow-up kiddy pool, lay on my back, put up all fours and create delicious fountain drinks.

    GG Allin

  25. so Ramkum @25, you are saying these women-bashing, piss-drinkers are behind the Mumbai massacre by provocation? Nice people.

  26. Takuan @#43 –

    Some women bashers might be piss-drinkers, but not all piss-drinkers are women bashers! Morarji Desai, one of India’s ex-prime ministers and generally a good soul, practiced “auto-urine therapy”.

    Also – I wouldn’t go as far as saying that these fascists were behind the recent Mumbai massacre or directly provoked it. [but they have been directly behind other massacres] But certainly groups like these help divide the communities and create alienation, which ultimately drives more recruits to other crazy extremist groups that seek to exploit the situation.

  27. At least they promote their religion through peaceful means

    The RSS idolize Hitler and are responsible for almost every anti-Muslim pogrom of the last 50 years, and there have been a lot of them. Think the Ku Klux Klan of India and you’ll have an idea of just who the RSS is and what they believe.

  28. Ayurvedic medicine was one of the first attempts by humans to seek cure for illness by medication, diet, and even immunisation!

    Some evidence suggests they were the first to discover the cowpox/smallpox situation, and it is they who willingly built up resistance to snake venom.

    I imagine the ‘drinking urine’ thing started at a time when the health risks of the organisms in the water outweighed the health risks of waste concentration, so:

    The wealthy pay someone to drink a lot of water, and collect their pee, which is actually nearly clear and relatively light on urea, ‘toxins’ and micro-organisms. The guy you paid, on the other hand, is suffering from parasites, but so it goes, right?

  29. Well Hindoo extremists can be chauvinists, but at least they do not wish to convert the Muslims, nor anyone else, to Hindooism.
    And thus I find them more…refreshing?No…well, better, anyway…than those who seek to convert us to their religion and who would hurt us if we were to refuse. Yes, I’m looking at you Christian and Muslim extremists. I don’t think the Jewish Buddhist Taoist or Confucian extremists are looking for converts, either.
    But all these extremists, of every kind, are looking for something, and what makes them “extremist” IMO is that they will ignore the screams and cries of those they physically hurt while they seek their goal. Of course were they not hurting others, we would leave them to luxuriate in the obscurity which they do so richly deserve: we would ignore them.
    And so: is our ignorance therefore leading to the suffering of those whom the extremists hurt so as to gain our attention?
    As an aside, my guess is that many extremists would be much less so, if they had gotten more attention and approval whilst they were children…

  30. @44, Antinous; zinged by a mod, privileged I guess. “floats like a butterfly, stings like when I pee.” What I meant was that the urethral opening is no more sterile than any other externally-facing body part, i.e. not very sterile at all. Once the urine’s been through there, it’s not sterile.

    FWIW my junk’s a paragon of non-infectedness. No herpes even!

  31. 100 points to Raj House!

    Whizz slurping has been around. The Romans imported Spaniard urine as the best dentifrice and Chinese mandarins swore by gargling with baby piss as mouth wash.

  32. Adds new meaning to that reply to people who are totally beyond the pale, ya know, “You’re full of ****”. You literally can be now for your cause.

  33. Does this mean that Budweiser will now be unseated as “The King Of Piss”? And, if you filter it through yourself, can it be marketed as Miller Genuine Recycled Draft? If your last name is Miller, anyways.

  34. @ # 60 — So they should clean their water rather than spend a shitload of money putting piss in drinking bottles.

    I will say it again – there is no benefit to drinking urine. Bad water cannot be avoided – Drinking your urine is not hydrating, nor healthy.

    If you can distill water from the urine then fine, but why wouldnt a normal person just distill the water.

    I don’t care how bad the water is – they aren’t surviving because of consuming pee.

  35. wasn’t India the recipient of well intended aid for water wells that proceeded to poison whole villages with arsenic?

  36. This is why you must temper your viewpoint with cultural relativism. In the villages of India, drinking cow urine is no big deal. Though it hasn’t been bottled and marketed before, cow urine has been consumed as part of ritual and as medicine for ages.

    Consumption of one’s own urine is also not as taboo as it is in the west. Indeed, we had a prime minister who lived to be a hundred drinking his own piss.

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