Thursday, July 26, 2007

Please Save Shambo!

I am following the story of Shambo, the bull kept by the Skanda Vale Hindu community, Wales, UK.

As a vegetarian myself (and a Hindu), the death of any life is abhorrent to me, but this case is the worst. If anything the bull is NOT a health hazard. The disease is curable, and the people taking care of the animal are willing to treat it.

I think its just the killing culture of the west. Sadly most wouldn't have even seen the way they kill these animals. What do you expect from people who kill Iraqi children for breakfast?

I am following the story here.

UPDATE: The temple website has confirmed that the bull has been removed to be slaughtered. Well, I certainly didn't expect a miracle, but I prayed. Karma may not be as kind as me though.


43 comments:

Fidothedog said...

Its a danger to health, infested with bovine tb that used to cause 200 deaths a year in the UK.

It needs to be culled, as per the law of the land.

gangeticus said...

"The disease is curable, and the people taking care of the animal are willing to treat it."

Now, which part of that didn't you understand?

spunkydelilah said...

you are the one that also said if shambo is holy he will rise again my comment than was fidothedog you are an idiot my comment now is that you need to research before you give your opinion

Smad said...

Tuberculosis is in fact very difficult to treat, and requires very specialised and continuous care that would probably be beyond the capacity of the members of this group.

Just because Shambo belongs to a religious group doesn't mean she is above the law.

Also, I'm intrigued about this "killing culture" of the west. Is it much different from the killing culture of the east?

gangeticus said...

"Tuberculosis is in fact very difficult to treat" Really? Have you had any member of your family contract TB? My grandfather died of it (back in the 60s, before I was born), and my brother who used to cuddle up with him had it and was cured.

What makes you think people are not willing to go that extra length to take care of the poor creature? Maybe it doesn't happen in your household or community (see what I mean about the "killing culture"?), but it sure happens around mine!

BTW its not a "she", its a "he".

Smad said...

Whoops, it is indeed a he.

TB, without a doubt, is very challenging -- although not impossible -- to deal with. I'm very sorry to hear that your grandfather succumbed to it. And that your brother survived is probably testament to the hard work of clinicians (and that he was young, I assume, when he contracted it, which makes it much easier to deal with).

But TB in an adult animal is a whole different ball game. I'm sure the people in the religious community are caring indeed and would be willing to try their hand at nursing it back to health.

But public health (especially in the veterinary sphere) is a complex science. If Shambo is allowed to incubate TB in his system, there's every chance the bacteria will mutate into a drug-resistant strain. And what about his faeces and other secretions, which could be highly infectious? How can they guarantee they won't be released into the general environment to infect other animals (washed into the water table, for instance)?

The fact is, public health laws have to be quite strict for a reason: to prevent outbreaks of infectious diseases based on scientifically-sound epidemiological models. And this practice often leaves little breathing room for exception.

Plus, the fact remains: Shambo is not above the law. Regrettable (for the community) but true.

In regards to a "killing culture": if I knew one animal had to be slaughtered to protect the health of several others, and indeed myself, it would be a regrettable decision that I would certianly support.

gangeticus said...

There you go again making assumptions. The test shows that Shambo might have TB. Indeed he may have the TB antibodies, which again may or may not be the result of a confirmed test.

You say "If Shambo is allowed to incubate TB in his system,...". How about if he does not have it in his system? I don't think you'd understand this part.

The fact is, cattle rearing is intensive, especially in the west and South America, and causes more problems that mere TB. Its this "culture of killing", where you rear animals for the sole purpose of killing it that causes much of the problem. And when problems arise, you conveniently blame it on the animal. The kind of animal rearing in the west is absolutely horrendous, more like mass production of meat. Absolutely no concern for the environment in the broader sense. All you want is your meat, and who gives a damn what happens.

When someone asks me why I don't eat meat, I tell them I don't want to be stupid: I can get 10 times more nutrition from plants (and I got a body to prove it!). I don't need the animal to convert it for me, nor do I have the need to kill it. (See what I mean about the ....)

How about if you try not to eat meat for a day of the week, for instance?

PS: Thanks for your kind words about my gramps. He was apparently a favorite in the family. Sad I didn't get the chance though.

Smad said...

You seem to be veering away from the issue at hand. I'm not exactly sure what this has to do with my preference for eating/not eating meat, or the viability of industrial agriculture. In fact, tuberculosis was a major public health problem well before intensive farming.

This is purely a public health issue. The law is quite clear about what needs to be done, whether Shambo is genuinely infected with TB or not. I understand the issue with antibody analysis perfectly clearly. The TB bacterium has a very long incubation period. The reason the rules on slaughter are so clear is that if there's a reason to believe Shambo is infected, there is a real risk to public health. Again: that is the law.

I think the crux of the problem is that you think Shambo should be spared because of his special significance. In fact, you think all animals should be spared from slaughter, and you are certianly entitled to this view.

However, the majority of UK citizens do not, and they live in a parliamentary democracy where the rule of law is paramount. And again, neither Shambo, nor the religious community, are above the law.

gangeticus said...

Wow! You must be a real stand up citizen. You have an OBE or what? Where do you live? I wouldn't want to live there; in case you come by and take me away for suspected something!

Anyway its purely academic now. The animal will be killed no matter what I say or do. All I can do is pray that I have not contributed to any pain or death, and apologise for any harsh comments I might have said. Thanks for all your comments. Its close to 1:30 am here FYI.

Karan said...

I thought only cows were sacred to Hindus? How did this bull get the status? I do not know the whole story, but if this disease was easily curable, I don't think the govt would have insisted that it be culled. The government has a right to protect life stock. As for the vegetarian argument, if your ancestors had not eaten meat to develop a bigger brain, you would probably be swinging on trees with the Chimps or the Bonobos

gangeticus said...

Its not cows or bulls, its life as a whole. Its a sacred duty of Hindus to protect all life.

And your argument about meat for brains. LOL! Elephants have larger brains than humans and I suppose they hunted deer? Have you seen the study on intelligence levels of vegetarians? I speak 4 languages (fluently, one of it does not even use roman characters!), I have 2 first degrees, one masters and a PhD. I can even tell you the results of 88 X 96 in about 5 seconds! Lets see if you can match that, with your oh so powerful meat eating brain.

Hey, but then again, you are free to swing from any tree.

Karan said...

And so much for Hindus beleiving that all life is sacred. In India we have destroyed nearly all out forest cover. Hardly 1500 tigers and 300 Asiatic lions remaining in the wild. We pollute the very Mother Ganga that we consider sacred. We dam mother Narmada and flood out the fields of thousands of poor tribals so that rich farts in Ahmedabad can have running water. We kill our girl children and abhort female fetusus, and burn our wives that do not bring enough dowry. So much for holding life sacred

gangeticus said...

From your diatribe I take it you are unable to match me. And all you could do is to come up with a asinine diatribe against Hinduism.

Bah! Sore losers are a dime a dozen.

gangeticus said...

I think I'll have to make a rule in this blog:

1. Show me your face. If you blog anonymously, I may remove your comments (no warning or reason needed or given)

I can't stand idiot sore losers who are so ashamed of their tragic faces. So take heed.

Karan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
gangeticus said...

Don't say I didn't warn you!

Karan said...

very brave of you!! Darpok Gaonwala!!

gangeticus said...

I have absolutely no idea what that means. I don't think its any good though, but then I expected as much. Or as they say in my country: "kokok berderai-derai, ekor ngelumang tahi". Thats not too bad, but it ain't good.

Karan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Karan said...

And the brave intellectual that you are, you have carefully removed the posts in which I thrashed yr stupid elephant comment. Yeah make a cut and paste of the argument so that you seem to win. Where did you buy yr Ph.D. From? Jadavpur?

gangeticus said...

You keep saying "so long, so long" but you keep coming back! Well, its alright.

I am not bengali, FYI. Why do you hate them so, anyways?

gangeticus said...

I have no idea where is Javadpur. I am not an Indian. And with regards to your "monkey brain" argument, I must have inadvertently deleted it. Why don't you repost it? Without the diatribe this time.

Karan said...

I don't hate anybody Nepali!! Just morons like you

gangeticus said...

Again, I am not a nepali either. Can you repost that earlier comment?

Karan said...

The argument was simple. The size of the brain is not as important as the size relative to the body. The elephant has a large brain but it is small compared to its body and so it can only use it to eat, drink, fart, shit and mate. Our ancestors decided to eat meat a million years ago and thats what seperated them from the Bonobos. At that time agriculture was not developed so there was no source of plant protien. So if yr ancestors had not eated meat you would be swinging in the trees. Like the Orang Utan. How's life in Bumi-land. Do the Bumiputras still slap you around

Karan said...

ena Tambi!! No reply!!

gangeticus said...

OK, that would mean that you assume two things:
1. That bonobos don't eat meat
and/or
2. Homo sapiens (or their ancestors) ate solely meat.

Would I be correct to assume these?

PS: Please don't hate the bumis. They are the best of folks. I work with them everyday (even if think the politics should change)

Karan said...

I am not assuming anything. It is a fact that Bonobos do not eat meat, just termites. Chimpanzees eat meat but very rarely, only if they can catch a monkey, or they sometimes eat their own. Homo Sapiens did not eat meat only but a large part of their diet became meat. It was the only ready source of concentrated protien available to them at the time. If you read the Mahabharata and the Puranas, you will realize that the ancient hindus ate meat regularly

Karan said...

I don't hate the bumis. Just think they should change their stupid rules so that everything can be on merit. No special privileges just because you are Malay

gangeticus said...

"Homo Sapiens did not eat meat only but a large part of their diet became meat. It was the only ready source of concentrated protien available to them at the time."

Ok, I get it. You say that by eating meat, your brains grows. Can I assume that then?

gangeticus said...

With regards to the Malays, I believe that they are being manipulated. But that can (and will) change. Although many times I felt disheartened by some of the policies, I would never trade my experience or the hardship I went through to achieve what I have.

gangeticus said...

Ok, I am gonna make coffee. I am beginning to like this. Reminds me of my first degree: ecology. So hang tight for a couple a minutes.

gangeticus said...

Ok, your argument is more meat + body/brain ratio is proportional to intelligence. That would be patently false I am afraid.

gangeticus said...

Plus if you factor in the "more meat" cases, you'd find carnivores (and not to mention some dinosaurs and reptiles) had been doing it longer than "we" have.

If we brought your logic forth, we would have the tigers, lions and wolves would be ruling the planet, wouldn't we?

But whichever way your argument sways, are we not sufficiently developed to produce protein-rich food without killing?

Subash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gangeticus said...

"A protien [sic] rich diet is one of the important factors for brain development, not the only one."

So now its one of the factors? I thought it was the only factor. My bad.

gangeticus said...

If protein rich diet is just one of the factors, then what are the other factors? Are these factors mutually exclusive or mutually dependent? If these factors are dependent, which of the factors affected the Homo sp. first?

Actually all these "facts" that is touted here are not facts, merely conjecture. As my microbiology lecturer (I still remember his name: Dr. Harcharan Singh Sidhu) used to say, "Any microbiology before Thonius Philips van Leeuwenhoek is merely conjecture".

I believe that there were two main factors that helped the early humanoid to be "self aware". One is indeed the environment, which I would consider the engine, but the driver has to be mutation.

Indeed if you consider the fact that the early humanoid lacked the physiological and physical makeup to survive entirely on meat. They cannot outrun the other predators, they had no anatomical features that enabled them to grasp on to prey, certainly they were not carrion feeders (or were they?). But if you say that they had the brains to devise methods of capture, then thats putting the cart before the horse, isn't it?

Karan said...

It is amazing how ignorant people are and how happy they are to pass on their ignorance to others. The ancestors of mordern human human beings did start off scavenging. I think it began with Homo Ergaster about 1.7 million years ago. Plus it does require a big brain to catch a squirrel, rabbit or bugs. As their brain grew they could develop crude weapons like the stabbing spear. Mastery over fire and the ability to communicate effectively also played a part. I do not have the time to educate you. Here is a link from a Berkeley professor. I think you are smart enough to google up the info. Ofcourse you will always come across some vegetarian kooks who will try to have stupid counter points. Humans are simply not designed to be pure vegetarians, or we would have compound stomuchs like the herbivores. We still have canines, thogh they are no longer very sharp, because we learnt to cook meat a million years ago. here is the link and happy farting.
http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/99legacy/6-14-1999a.html

Karan said...

Also I did not say that man was a Carnivore. He has always been an omnivore. The simple fact is One kg of meat gives you more energy that one kg of vegetables. If you were only a herbivore you would have to eat most of your waking hours. Only after agriculture was developed around 5000 years ago could we grow food like lentils that are high in protien and get milk from domesticated cattle. If you want to be totally not cruel to animals, then you should stop drinking milk, as the cow produces that for her calf, and not for you. And milk cows are kept in sheds unable to move. Avoid all animal products .

gangeticus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karan said...

Great the stupid Idiot who worships the cow's anus is finding grammatical and spelling errorsm, since he has no scientific point. Forget it, go drink your gomutra and eat goprasadam.

Subash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gangeticus said...

=::It is amazing how ignorant people are and how happy they are to pass on their ignorance to others.::=

LOL! Is it more amazing than failures (who choose to hide behind anonymity) who actually think that they know everything? I am not asking you to improve your pitiful life or anything, just don't pull your bull on me. LOL! Why do you hide? What repercussions are your afraid of? I say set yourself free!

=::The ancestors of mordern (sic) ... human beings did start off scavenging.::=

And what do you think they were doing before that? You seem have it all completely messed up. We couldn't have started off scavenging, because you conveniently forgot about our anatomy! I got a quick question: what kind of an environment did the early hominids were suitable for? Hint: Its not the forest floor nor the hot desert sand, neither the sharp rocks of a hill.

Early on we were eating something. Can you guess? Its what our anatomy was designed for. Species like Nasalis larvatus, another primate, is totally dependent on this.

Actually we gained our independence because of one factor, and it is this factor that is most important, not meat eating! Walking upright doesn't even come close. LOL!

This particular factor is now the focus of almost 95% of all primate research. And it is this factor that actually allows us to have this discussion! I can tell you with certainty that there are absolutely no serious research done on the meat eating capabilities of primates. Why? Because the scientific community unanimously know that the most important factor that allowed us to be self aware is that factor. Thus the overwhelming focus on that particular factor.

=::Humans are simply not designed to be pure vegetarians, or we would have compound stomuchs like the herbivores.::=

LOL! I wouldn't even what to start on this one.

=::We still have canines, thogh they are no longer very sharp, because we learnt to cook meat a million years ago.::=

LOL! "Take a hippopotamus. Those things have huge sharp teeth, but they're herbivorous. Same with gorillas. The first red panda in captivity almost starved to death because the naturalists that brought it back to Europe thought it was carnivorous by looking at its teeth, but it was actually a herbivore. Chimpanzees, our closest relatives, are omnivorous, though it was thought for a long time that they ate only plants.

Teeth are only a useful tool in guessing what a given animal might eat, but it is absolutely not definitive." - Source

I bet hippos learnt to cook their food too! LOL!

Quote: "It may take a while," says actress and vegetarian Mary Tyler Moore, "but there will probably come a time when we look back and say, 'Good Lord, do you believe that in the 20th century and early part of the 21st, people were still eating animals?'"

More to come: I am flying to Penang tomorrow for my dad's second year thevasam.