10/17

1. “Joe Shiner said if that steer loved his home enough to walk back to it all the way from Wyoming, he wasn’t going to drive him off again” (387).

I continue to be amazed by the intense loyalty and persistence of animals. In addition to Sancho’s tale, I’ve heard numerous stories about the extraordinary lengths to which animals go in order to maintain their loyalty to their human companions and their home. My favorite is the amazing story of Hachiko, a dog who, for nine years, waited for his deceased owner at a train station. Even though Hachiko perhaps waited due to his inability to comprehend the death of his owner, his constant loyalty is still inspiring. Imagine if we, as humans, applied a 1/3 of such perseverance and love to our lives?

Bronze statue commemorating Hachiko in Tokyo
Bronze statue commemorating Hachiko in Tokyo

2. “Hindu scriptures tell us that the cow is a gift of the gods to the human race. It is a celestial being born of the churning of the cosmic ocean” (428).

Wow, I knew Hindus considered cows as sacred, but I never understood the depth of their reverence. The disparity between the treatment of cows in the west and in the east astounds me. While the reading covers the spiritual significance of cows from Egyptian to Celtic mythology, all I can think about is the brutal indifference we often show cows in America. While I’m not ready to light protective fires and fashion cows with ornaments like the Nuer people did (417) or give up leather shoes like the Jains (427), I definitely believe a middle ground can be reached in the west. Cows do provide us with significant assets, and we should appreciate their contribution.

Hindu follower prays to a sacred cow
Hindu follower prays to a sacred cow
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