Silver foil is very commonly used for decorating sweets, fruits and other food items. Below is the eye opener reality of its production process in majority of the factories.
Intestines of Cattle / Ox are obtained from the slaughterhouse. This is obtained after butchering to death the cattle / ox / cow for beef and the part, which cannot be consumed: the intestines are pulled out of the animal and handed over to the manufacturers of Silver foils (in Hindi, these foils are called Varakh).
Before handing over the intestines, they are washed in the slaughterhouse to get rid of the blood and other remains on these intestines in the limited facility that is present in the slaughterhouse.
Intestines are cut into small pieces and then are bound together as pages in a booklets and the whole thing is placed in a leather bag and sealed. Silver foils are made by hammering thin sheets of silver (within leather bag) in middle of booklets made of a bull's intestines. The intestines of bulls are so strong and elastic, that even repeated hammering do not destroy them, or they do not let the foils move around inside. Because of the hammering, some tissues of the intestine mix with the foils. This Silver foil would then be separated from the intestine pack and placed on paper. Now silver foil (Varakh) after bundling into group pack is ready to reach the market.
Foil manufacturer / distributor sells the bundle of foils to the sweets manufacturers and other vendors. These foil manufacturers / distributor sell the foils to some of the temples also. These foils is not only used for decorating sweets but now a days it is also applied on fruits. Some Ayurvedic medicines also are wrapped in silver foils.
This foil is not only dirty, it also is non-vegetarian. Even the meat-eaters do not eat intestines. Use of these foils turn even sweets into non-vegetarian food.
This aspect is also brought out in the magazine "Beauty without cruelty" and the Television show of Maneka Gandhi, "Heads and Tails".
In India, on an average an estimate indicates that 2,75,000 kilos of this silver foil (Varakh) is consumed annually. Can you estimate how many cattle/ox are sacrificed for just a bit of decoration on food items and a bit of taste?
If you are surprised as I am, then let your friends and known people to read this post and spread this awareness to those who are vegetarians but unknowingly don't consume beef in this form.
Check the following videos to see how Varakh (silver foil) are made in factories:
Video No. 1:
Video No. 2:
Please share this post with all those who claim to be vegetarians but eating sweets and other food items having silver foil (Varakh) on it.
Also read related posts on vegetarianism:
Vegetarians who eat from food chain like McDonalds etc:
Famous vegetarian personalities and their thoughts:
Offering food to Shri Krishna before eating – Krishna Prasadam