Let’s look into the significance of Jallikattu and why Jallikattu should stay! Since it is bulls and cows issue, let’s start off from the end product milk.
Different types of protein in milk
There are two types of beta-casein protein : A1 and A2 protein.
Most of the breeds in Europe, US, Australia and New Zealand produce milk rich in A1 protein while native breeds in Asia and Africa produce milk rich in A2 protein.
Why A2 Protein?
Our Human Digestive System processes these two proteins differently. Based on these differences, researchers believe that A1 milk protein could be the cause for various chronic diseases like type-1 diabetes. Most researchers believe A2 milk is more beneficial than A1 milk.
Production of A2 milk
During breeding if one of the bull or cow were an off-springs of a cow that produce milk rich in A1 protein, then the new off-springs will also have this trait. It has been scientifically proven that the gene which causes cows to produce milk rich in A1 protein is a dominant gene.
In India, there are 37 native breeds and of these 36 have the A2 protein gene in them. 6 native breeds found in Tamil Nadu have the A2 protein gene in them.
What happens to the bulls during the Jallikattu?
The bulls used for mating need to be virile. This is where Jallikattu comes in picture.
The time when the bull is released, it experiences a great adrenaline rush which boosts it’s testosterone levels. This increases their virility and this is one of the most fundamental of all necessities for selective breeding.
Can this be done without an activity like Jallikattu? Possibly but then the mating rates the bull can accomplish decreases significantly.
Why can’t we resort to Artificial insemination?
Artificial insemination is an expensive process and we rely on semen imported from countries like US, Australia, Denmark and New Zealand from Jersey bulls and other such breed known to have A1 protein as the dominant gene. This essentially means that our generation and future generation will then have to live with milk rich in A1 protein and also the associated problems like type1 – diabetes, autism and so on.
I think this article clearly explains why thousands of students has gathered at Marina Beach. It is more than up keeping the traditions of Tamils. It is to save the A2 milk for our next generations.