Posts Tagged “cow”

Chaurasi Devataon-wali Gai, or 'The Cow with 84 deities' by Raja Ravi Varma / Ravi Varma Press (1897, Life: 1848-1906) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia CommonsFor the second time in a few days, I came across a story of religious excess in the supposedly-highly-spiritual country of India. For the last couple years, sanctimonious Hindu nationalists have attacked beef-eating Muslims. Among many Hindus, cattle are sacred or divine or something, for some reason. It hasn’t always been this way, of course. In ancient times, Hindus had no objection to butchering and eating cows, however, this changed sometime in the middle of the first millennium CE (Archive.Is cached article). It’s usually attributed to the spread of non-violence in Indian culture, although it’s difficult to really say that India ever became non-violent; and other forms of livestock continued to be butchered and eaten. Only cattle was reserved as divine or sacred or whatever. So that doesn’t exactly fly as an explanation.

At any rate, while Hindus comprise a majority of India, there are religious minorities there, especially Muslims, who do consume cattle. (By contrast, they refuse to eat swine. Go figure.) This has aroused the ire of Hindu extremists, who don’t want anyone consuming cattle. That fervent impulse has led to the rise of “cow protection” rackets, and violence has ensued — especially after the election of Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi in 2014.

Modi’s government has been accused of dragging its feet where Hindu nationalist violence is concerned. As Reuters reports, India’s Supreme Court has directed the government to intervene meaningfully (cached):

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered central and state governments to appoint police officers to stop hardline Hindu activists from attacking people to protect cows….…

Chief Justice Dipak Misra said federal and state governments must take effective steps to contain the cow-protection groups.

“Appoint police officers to stop cow protection groups from taking law into their hands,” Misra said after hearing three public interest litigation cases.

Reuters notes that Modi did speak out against “cow protection” violence in June, but the Court’s directions would suggest that hasn’t been sufficient.

As I’ve noted previously, India is not the pacifist, spiritual paradise many westerners think it is. Quite the opposite, it’s home to more than a little primitive savagery. And religious extremism isn’t limited just to the Abrahamic religions. As we see, it can be — and is — found within the dharmic faiths, as well.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Hat tip: Dispatches from the Culture Wars.

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A calf was recently born here in Connecticut with what appears to be an unusual marking … which of course is getting a lot of play among the religiously-minded. The Norwich Bulletin reports on this:

Sterling dairy farmer Brad Davis woke Dec. 1 to find his cow licking the head of her newborn calf. There was a white furry splotch on his head, and Davis took the calf to a heated room in the barn to dry.

A few hours later, he returned and found the animal sitting up in the sawdust, the white mark dry and in the shape of a cross. …

Neighborhood children visited and named the calf Moses.

Here’s a picture of the calf in question:

Aaron Flaum /

Aaron Flaum /

Naturally, this has been deemed so remarkable as to defy explanation:

His father, Andrew Gallup Davis, 70, said he’s seen thousands of calves born, but none with a marking like this.

“It’s not one you look at and you try to make something out of it. It’s pronounced,” he said.

A bona fide animal expert, however, said it’s not that far out of the ordinary, as the Bulletin went on to explain:

Ric Grummer, chairman of the Department of Dairy Science at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, said white markings on the head of Holstein animals are common.

“I think what this is really ending up being is a coincidence,” he said. “Sometimes that marking is in the shape of a triangle. Sometimes that marking may be very irregularly shaped.” …

“Clearly, if you get a nice unique cross, it’s unique, but it’s not totally surprising that something like this would happen,” Grummer said.

Another example of coincidence and pareidolia. Nothing to see here, folks. Move on.

Hat tip: WVIT-TV in Hartford CT.

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