The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

No Sacred Cows

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The Dish

In a long essay on the ethics of eating animals, Namit Arora explains the intellectual and cultural backdrop to the West’s comparative indifference and even cruelty to the creatures we raise for food:

What might have arrested this decline in the fortunes of farm animals are big cultural ideas, both religious and secular, that for whatever reasons opposed killing animals. But those did not arise in the West as they did, for example, in India. Depending on whom you ask, Western monotheistic religions, while seeing humankind as God’s special creation, ranged in attitude from passive disaffection to active malice towards animals. Christian doctrine has practically no injunctions against treating animals as a means to human ends, so no sin is committed when mistreating or killing animals. Rather, animals were declared vastly inferior, incapable of possessing souls, and created for the use of humans, who stood right below the angels. And…

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Author: Daniela

I was born in Croatia, at that time Yugoslavia. My family moved to the US when I was very young, but I still treasure the memories of my grandfather teaching me how to protect myself against the "evil eye," my grandmother shopping early every morning, at the open air market, to buy the freshest vegetables for the day's meals, and the traditions that were the underpinnings of our society. Someone once noted that "For all of us that want to move forward, there are a very few that want to keep the old methods of production, traditions and crafts alive." I am a fellow traveler with those who value the old traditions and folk wisdom. I believe the knowledge they possess can contribute significantly to our efforts to build a more sustainable world; one that values the individual over the corporation, conservation over growth and happiness over wealth.

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