Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Excerpted from a post by Hare Krsna dasi to the Cow discussion group on PAMHO.

“There was an interesting documentary on the PBS show "Nature" on Sunday night, called "Holy Cow." It looked at different aspects of cows in different cultures around the world. It looked at both positive and negative things. It talked about the pollution caused by industrial cattle raising, and the environmentally preferable methods of modern grass pasture management…”

“I did not agree with all of it, and was disappointed that there wasn't more about the value of ox power -- and that no great civilization on earth has ever been established without the engine of ox power, whether China, India or Rennaisance Europe...”

Here is a link to the website about the show. It is possible to buy a copy of the video. Sometimes these shows rotate back thru so check local schedules.

PBS special on the Holy Cow

About 8,000 years ago, the relationship between cows and man began with the revolutionary advent of domestication in Mesopotamia, the Indus River Valley, and Africa. There were many possible candidates for the job but only the cow fit the specific criteria humankind needed: not too flighty, breeds well in captivity, grows at a good pace, not aggressive, requires a low maintenance diet. Our ancestors chose wisely: Cows provide just about all of our basic needs, from milk and meat to muscle.

Today there are about 1.5 billion cows in the world. In many different countries humans and cows have formed close relationships. In England, dairy farmer Mark Evans spends all of his waking time with his cows, milking, feeding, and otherwise nurturing them. The African Masai tribe believes that all cattle were given to them from the great god N'gai at the beginning of time -- a belief which today remains at the heart of their culture. India is home to a quarter of the world's cow population. One major reason for this is that India's majority Hindu community reveres cows and considers them to be "second mothers."

NATURE explores how we've changed the cow and how the cow has changed us.


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