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   Undertoad  Wednesday Jul 26 02:55 PM

7/26/2006: Hindu ritual sacrifice



"Hindus perform a ritual sacrifice for good health and safety on the south coast of Java, Indonesia", says the official caption on this from the WaPo Day in Pics.

I don't know how common this sort of practice is, and can't get any idea from Wikipedia on it. I would have to just say it's terribly sad and ridiculous, if not outright repulsive. In a culture where scarcity is not uncommon, why just drop a beast into the sea when it could provide several hundred meals? How can such a practice survive when it is clearly superstition - and worse than ineffective?



barefoot serpent  Wednesday Jul 26 03:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
In a culture where scarcity is not uncommon, why just drop a beast into the sea when it could provide several hundred meals? How can such a practice survive when it is clearly superstition - and worse than ineffective?
Do they eat sharks?


tully  Wednesday Jul 26 03:18 PM

Could it be the scarcity that drives them to these practices? I think so. The practice survives everyday another fisherman comes back. If he doesn't return? It was a bad cow. These things are just part of what they believe, they aren't hurting anyone, but they do believe they are bettering themselves.



Kitsune  Wednesday Jul 26 03:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
"Hindus perform a ritual sacrifice...
Hindus? The people that consider the cow a sacred animal?


Shawnee123  Wednesday Jul 26 03:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by tully
Could it be the scarcity that drives them to these practices? I think so. The practice survives everyday another fisherman comes back. If he doesn't return? It was a bad cow. These things are just part of what they believe, they aren't hurting anyone, but they do believe they are bettering themselves.
If you love something...set it free. (Insert pretty butterflies here)
If it comes back to you...make a steak.
If it does not, it was a bad cow. Bad, Bad Cow!

(Just struck me funny)


Clodfobble  Wednesday Jul 26 03:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune
Hindus? The people that consider the cow a sacred animal?
Wouldn't be fit for sacrifice if it weren't sacred...


Kitsune  Wednesday Jul 26 03:40 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clodfobble
Wouldn't be fit for sacrifice if it weren't sacred...
Huh. You're spot on.


Happy Monkey  Wednesday Jul 26 03:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
How can such a practice survive when it is clearly superstition - and worse than ineffective?
It's only "clearly superstition" from the outside. Just ask James Randi.


Brooke of the Land  Wednesday Jul 26 03:42 PM

Alright... I get the scarcity part, and I believe it to be mostly true. However, did anyone else notice the guys in the background with the videocameras?



Shawnee123  Wednesday Jul 26 03:49 PM

Well, it's for the family movies.

"Ahh, dear progressive great granddaughter...here is film of your great great grandfather drowning a bad cow. These are the times we need to share."

Sniffle...



xant  Wednesday Jul 26 04:55 PM

The world is a place of scarcity, and we live in it, and yet: McDonald's. Who am I, as an American, to pass judgement on a waste of good meat?



Trilby  Wednesday Jul 26 04:58 PM

I'd like to dangle one of them over a boat, say a prayer and drop the line. jerks.



Shawnee123  Wednesday Jul 26 05:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brianna
I'd like to dangle one of them over a boat, say a prayer and drop the line. jerks.

Yeah, and if they come back, then it means they weren't bad!


milkfish  Wednesday Jul 26 06:27 PM

It's all part of the great circle of life, when it sinks the crabs get to eat the bovine, the fishies eat the crabs, fisherman catch the fish, prosperity and happiness abound.

Why does it look like a couple of the guys are throwing gang signs, though?



Kitsune  Wednesday Jul 26 06:33 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawnee123
Well, it's for the family movies.

"Ahh, dear progressive great granddaughter...here is film of your great great grandfather drowning a bad cow. These are the times we need to share."

Sniffle...
Why do people find it strange that someone is videotaping the event? Why does no one find it odd that someone took the still image of it that you're looking at right now?

They're drowning a cow for their religion. Big deal. These days plenty of people videotape another popular practice that is "clearly superstition" for home movie purposes that they do share with their family after the event: the circumcision of their newborn son.


Wombat  Wednesday Jul 26 06:47 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xant
The world is a place of scarcity
Actually there is more than enough food and wealth for everyone, it's just unevenly distributed.


ajaccio  Wednesday Jul 26 09:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by tully
... These things are just part of what they believe, they aren't hurting anyone...
Not hurting anyone? Ask the cow.


seakdivers  Wednesday Jul 26 09:45 PM

From one picture, do we really know what is going on here? If they planned on drowning the calf wouldn't they have weighted it down? The one guy is still hanging on to the leash like thingy around it's neck - why do that if you were just going to dump it overboard?
I dunno.... seems like there's something else going on there.



spooke  Wednesday Jul 26 10:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by seakdivers
From one picture, do we really know what is going on here? If they planned on drowning the calf wouldn't they have weighted it down? The one guy is still hanging on to the leash like thingy around it's neck - why do that if you were just going to dump it overboard?
I dunno.... seems like there's something else going on there.
Maybe holding it so they can slash its throat first before dumping it into the sea?

I doubt it's as simple as a sea-rescue of a cow that couldn't swim.


wolf  Thursday Jul 27 02:43 AM

The guy on the far right, in the leather jacket, he's clearly saying, "Hey, I got 100 rupees says that the calf drowns in 7 minutes!"



Shawnee123  Thursday Jul 27 09:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitsune
Why do people find it strange that someone is videotaping the event? Why does no one find it odd that someone took the still image of it that you're looking at right now?
I thought about that, but the video cam is off another boat...like maybe it's National Geographic filming an ancient ritual or something. Dudes on the boat should be concentrating on the "holiness" of it all.

BTW, I wouldn't want to see a circumcision, either!


Pie  Thursday Jul 27 09:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
In a culture where scarcity is not uncommon, why just drop a beast into the sea when it could provide several hundred meals? How can such a practice survive when it is clearly superstition - and worse than ineffective?
Hindus practice religious vegetarianism. Beef is especially forbidden, so the calf could not provide "several hundred meals" in any circumstances. It is very likely male, and like most other newborn male cattle, is destined to die very young. Since it will never produce milk (the only "useful" thing produced by the cow) they are sacrificed, or allowed to starve to death. Take your pick.
UT, the line between superstition and religion is hard to pin down. Every person who goes to church on Sunday looks awfully superstitious to me.


Undertoad  Thursday Jul 27 10:08 AM

To me, any follower of any religion is superstitious, and when we look at religions outside our own culture, it becomes more obvious.

That calf could certainly provide several hundred meals. It's rich in protein, and certain amino acids that are quite beneficial for human life.

Humans are built to be omnivores, and religious vegetarianism is a faulty anomaly in behavior. Sorry! If you look at your own teeth #6 and #11 you will find that they are ideal for tearing flesh and that truly vegetarian species don't have such teeth.



MaggieL  Thursday Jul 27 10:24 AM

At first glance I thought it was a maritime deer-strike.

Can't say I've ever seen a video of a bris. (I'm assuming it's Jews who do this?)

I do remeber the SNL parody of the 1978 Mercury Grand Marquis ads with a diamond cutter working in the back seat on a rough road. In the parody the gemologist is replaced with a Mohel...

"Poifect!"



Pie  Thursday Jul 27 10:31 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
Humans are built to be omnivores, and religious vegetarianism is a faulty anomaly in behavior. Sorry! If you look at your own teeth #6 and #11 you will find that they are ideal for tearing flesh and that truly vegetarian species don't have such teeth.
While you are correct that humans evolved as omnivores, describing vegetarianism as "faulty" goes a bit far. In India at least, it evolved in society as a way to allow *more* people to eat -- the lower down the food chain you eat, the less acreage is necessary to support you. While it may not be the best nutritional plan for an individual, as a society, vegetarianism helped India avoid starvation and malnutrition for the masses.

Why the value judgement?


Kitsune  Thursday Jul 27 10:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pie
While you are correct that humans evolved as omnivores, describing vegetarianism as "faulty" goes a bit far.
I was actually taken aback by this logic, too, since there is only one other argument in which I hear it that tends to piss me off: "If you look at penis A and vagina B, you will find they are ideal for sexual reproduction, therefore homosexuality is a faulty anomaly in behavior. Sorry!"


Undertoad  Thursday Jul 27 10:44 AM

I don't understand much of history, but I don't count India as one of the cultures that effectively worked out its starvation problems.

My values are rooted in science and trying to work out the truth. I admit bias there. If humans evolved as omnivores, we are still omnivores. Meat contains proteins and amino acids that make it easier to live.



Pie  Thursday Jul 27 10:50 AM

Sure, evoultion made us omnivores -- but does that make vegetarianism wrong?



Undertoad  Thursday Jul 27 10:52 AM

My guess is that homosexuality is a built-in behavior to regulate human culture in its early tribal societies.

We now have scientific evidence that homosexuality is more evident in younger brothers of brothers. This means it would show up in tribes where there was a lot of birthing going on. I bet it created a different male behavior in such tribes, which may have made the tribe operate better.

Homosexuality is not a fault and vegetarianism is not a fault in people who have made that choice. Both would be faults in cultures that encouraged them somehow. Not faults of the individual people who have made that choice, but faults in the culture.

If a culture overencourages homosexuality it may die off completely. There are examples of cultures who did such things!

Cultures often make such mistakes and my own culture is totally laden with massive mistakes, some of which I can't see because I am in it.



Ibby  Thursday Jul 27 11:05 AM

The way I see it, as a vegetarian, is this:

If you can survive without the meat, if you don't need it, I don't think you should eat it. If you're starving to death but still worshipping your cow... there's something wrong here.



MaggieL  Thursday Jul 27 11:24 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
My guess is that homosexuality is a built-in behavior to regulate human culture in its early tribal societies.
There's plenty of biological evidence that it goes back a heckuva lot further than that.


Shawnee123  Thursday Jul 27 11:30 AM

From About.com who references Achaya, K. T. (2002), A Historical Dictionary of Indian Food, Oxford University Press, ISBN 019565868X.

"Literature on Lord Krishna, one of the Hinduism's most important figures who is believed to have lived 5000 years ago, depict him as a cowherd. He is often described as bala-gopala, "the child who protects the cows." Another of Krishna's names, Govinda, means "one who brings satisfaction to the cows." Other scriptures identify the cow as the "mother" of all civilization, its milk nurturing the population. The gift of a cow is applauded as the highest kind of gift."

"The export trade in Indian leather is worth about $1.7 billion and India's export share of the leather market has been on the increase. Germany is the largest importer of Indian leather (19%) followed by the UK (17%)."


"It used to be illegal in India to kill a member of the genus Bos, but now, many slaughterhouses operate in big cities like Mumbai or Kolkata. While there are approximately 3,600 slaughterhouses operating legally in India, there are estimated to be over 30,000 illegal slaughterhouses. The efforts to close them down have so far been largely unsuccessful."

I guess I just don't understand whether sacrificing cows is GOOD or BAD according to Hinduism. I claim ignorance so if anyone can enlighten me I would appreciate it.



Kitsune  Thursday Jul 27 11:43 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
My guess is that homosexuality is a built-in behavior to regulate human culture in its early tribal societies.
An interesting theory. How does this extend to homosexual behavior in creatures that have no such structured living?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
If a culture overencourages homosexuality it may die off completely. There are examples of cultures who did such things!
Care to cite an example? I'd never heard or read about these instances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
Cultures often make such mistakes and my own culture is totally laden with massive mistakes, some of which I can't see because I am in it.
No doubt. You want to talk about culture and diet? While you might think the encouragement of vegetarianism in some cultures is "faulty" and will lead to their downfall, I think you need to look no further than to see decades of shunning it in this country and supporting the consumption of the foods we eat isn't exactly doing us a lot of good, either. Anthropologists have examined this and most agree that people in the US are eating themselves to death thanks to the values we underline and enforce. Everyone here is eating perfectly well. Would you consider this faulty?


Happy Monkey  Thursday Jul 27 12:10 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggieL
There's plenty of biological evidence that it goes back a heckuva lot further than that.
You could probably replace "tribal" with any situation where it might be helpful to have a higher population, but less sexual competition.


Undertoad  Thursday Jul 27 12:28 PM

One rarely hears about the practices of dead cultures because... they're dead. But there are tons of 'em -- more cultures gone than currently exist, I would expect.

Sometimes it's obvious. There was a school of thought that believed that no living things should be eaten *including* plants. After a generation, that school of thought no longer existed. You know, like duh.

I'm trying to find better clearer documented examples... I know they exist. A lot of cultures died off by being weak and thus conquered, and the weakness is not considered a mistake. A lot of them were just abandoned.

Quote:
While you might think the encouragement of vegetarianism in some cultures is "faulty" and will lead to their downfall, I think you need to look no further than to see decades of shunning it in this country and supporting the consumption of the foods we eat isn't exactly doing us a lot of good, either.
It's not the "shunning" of vegetarianism that causes the overconsumption of other foods. I'm absolutely certain that certain food practices in our culture are basically faulty, but overconsumption/production is IMO less of a mistake than throwing good food overboard when you are underproducing to begin with.

And this culture's mistakes do not mean that other cultures don't make mistakes.


funkykule  Thursday Jul 27 08:23 PM

So they're drowning a cow....no I don't like it, no I wouldn't watch it and no I definitely wouldn't participate in it, but we kill thousands of animals daily for food. And I bet this cow has had a hell of a better life than many animals we breed for food, seeing as she has been worshipped etc. The method of killing the animal is not what we are used to and is probably much more drawn out and inhumane that killing it with a bolt gun, but even by those standards, not all animals get the 'First Class bolt gun treatment'. Plus people drown puppies all the time....



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Jul 27 08:40 PM

Maybe that's why they still have to rope on it? Bovine drowns...sacrifice completed. Haul it aboard, meat to Mc Ashok's and leather to Germany.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ibram
If you can survive without the meat, if you don't need it, I don't think you should eat it.
Why? There are a lot of foods you don't need, but why not eat all of them?
We have omnivore capability, like bears, so why not take advantage of that, to enjoy the variety and personal efficiency?


funkykule  Thursday Jul 27 08:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
There are a lot of foods you don't need, but why not eat all of them?

I'm on a diet...stop tempting me....


xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Jul 27 11:03 PM

Excuse me...I meant to add, "in moderation."



Ibby  Thursday Jul 27 11:20 PM

Hey, I'm not gonna go all soapbox on you, I'm not that kind of vegetarian... as long as you're not trying to force me to eat meat, I wont tell you not to. Dont encourage me.



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Jul 27 11:35 PM

I was just wondering.
I've had veggie promoters tell me meat is unhealthy, unethical, a sin, economically inviable and several more.....usually only one or two reasons per person, though.
I'm not going to tell you what to eat.



Ibby  Friday Jul 28 12:40 AM

I know, and thats why I'm not gonna tell you what not to eat.



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