Yak Issues

As part of our ongoing fund-raising we often exchange Nepali products, most always a product made of Yak hair, for a suggested donation usually in the range of $50.00.  We have been doing this for some time but just recently caught wind of a new take on this that we feel is a proper direction to now head.  Robert Thurman gave a talk on Tibetan Culture (can be found on Netflix; http://www.netflix.com/Movie/Robert-Thurman-on-Tibet/60022624) and in one section had some insight into Yaks and their important role in sustaining Tibetan culture.  Yaks play a central role in Tibetan nomadic society.  Information found on another blog says that the Yak is built for tough environments as they have three times the red blood cells than normal cows which allows them to comfortably survive in the highest elevations in the world on the Tibetan Plateau.  They have the perfect build for carrying goods across the Himalaya's, with the ability to carry loads of 154lbs.  Tibetan Nomads keep yaks in herds between 20 and 100 and their by-products are used in many, many ways.  Because of there being no trees in the high elevations, dried yak dung is used for making fires.  Yak hair is woven into yarn and used to make tents, rope, and blankets.  Yak hide can be used for boots.  Yak meat is eaten by nearly every Tibetan family and is high in protein with only 1/6 the fat of regular beef.  Yak milk is high in fat and is usually made into butter, yogurt, and cheese. 

Please go to this link to see where I got this information from,
http://kekexili.typepad.com/life_on_the_tibetan_plate/2006/10/yaks.html

Robert Thurman also spoke on the subject of China slaughtering yaks to slowly eliminate a key aspect of Tibetan culture.  It is our wish to begin promoting yak hair sales and spreading word on the importance of sustaining this part of a truly wondrous culture that is in danger of constant attack.  

Here are some pictures of Yaks, Yak life, Tibetan Nomadic life, and Yak Products we offer for donation.  Help us to preserve Tibetan culture through the spreading of knowledge and yak hair products.  For now the money will still be pooled into our project funds, which means it will be going towards a school in a rural village in Nepal.   Simply the continuation of buying yak products is what we are now stressing.  In the future, maybe on the April 2011 trip to Nepal, we can investigate a direct source for yak hair and creating more influence on the preservation of Tibetan culture.