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India to Introduce Cow Urine Beverage

India's Next Big Export: Cow Urine Soda

Holy cow. India's oldest, biggest nationalist Hindu group, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), plans to introduce a new soft drink made from cow urine.

The radical RSS group has long campaigned against beverages such as Coke and Pepsi, foreign imports that it believes to be a corrupt influence and a symbol of Western imperialism. In India, bovine urine is considered medicinal and is, like the cow itself, seen as sacred, particularly at religious festivals. In some traditional rituals, cow urine is consumed to purify those who belong to the lowest rung of the Hindu caste system.
Although the group hasn't confirmed flavors or pricing for the drink, to be known as gau jal, or "cow water" in Sanskrit, the elixir will be mixed with aloe vera, gooseberry, and other herbs that allegedly combat diabetes, cancer, and other diseases. The RSS and its offshoots have been promoting gau jal as a cure-all since as early as 2001, but Om Prakash, the head of the RSS's Cow Protection Department, said the drink will be introduced "very soon, maybe by the end of this year." He added:

Don't worry, it won't smell like urine and will be tasty, too. It's going to be very healthy. It won't be like carbonated drinks and would be devoid of any toxins. We're going to give [American soda brands] good competition as our drink is good for mankind. We may also think of exporting it.

How do you feel about this? I think it's disgusting, but at the same time, I've promised myself that I will try anything once. Would you drink cow urine for its purported health benefits?

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