The Hindu stance on Shambo


by Sunny
31st July, 2007 at 3:36 am    

On a mailing list I’m on, a teacher of Hinduism from the Vivekanda Centre in London sent out this message about the recent furore around the cow Shambo. I thought it was worth reading.

*******
Hinduism places a great deal of emphasis on the idea of reverence for life. The conclusion of esoteric Hinduism is that what religions are seeking for as an invisible being (God) in an invisible plane is actually very visible here and now.

It is God (or spirit) that sparkles as consciousness in the eyes of every living thing. It is this God that has become the universe and becomes more visible as all living things. The most transparent manifestation of this God is men and women. This is called spiritual humanism.

This is a marvellous concept that becomes encapsulated in the term: Ahimsa meaning: Not to hurt, harm or kill. That is the theory, now comes the practice. Here, Hinduism reveals its maturity by saying that ideas of reverence for all life can and should be put in to practice after taking in to account the over-all situation. There is no simple prescription that fits all situations.

The bull that tested positive for bTB falls in to this special situation category. If there are any sure-fire quarantine arrangements or bovine hospitals that can isolate and treat this animal and if the temple body felt that they had the funds and inclination to use huge amounts of funds to isolate and treat this animal, they were welcome to do so.

Though a more sober view may be to use the same funds to save a much larger numbers of cows that die in India because they live off dumps and swallow plastic bags which blocks their digestion system leaving them to die in great agony. Now, we understand, that two more animals in the temple complex may also have caught the bTB infection, we wonder who will take responsibility for this further needless loss of life.

Hinduism insists that we do not switch off our rational faculties when dealing with religious issues.

The rationality of this situation was that there was a clear possibility that the life of this one bull may endanger other lives in the temple complex as well as outside, hence something had to be done. The temple body responded by saying that the bull was isolated in the temple grounds.

This is hardly a sure-fire quarantine arrangement! They also suggested that the bull did not have bTB. That too is seen as wishful thinking as the post mortem revealed. There were further comments that this bull should have been transferred to India. Transferring live animals suspected of bTB across international borders is hardly an option.

Since a strict regiment of culling animals suspected of infectious disease was introduced in the UK, the cases of TB in humans fell dramatically. All citizens enjoy TB free milk products. The regiment is very strict because it errs on the side of caution. If any Hindu body was questioning this strict regiment of culling all UK animals or was prepared to fund more research to find remedies for stopping the spread of bTB, they would have our sympathy.

If they were fighting the issue of poor treatment of animals bred for human consumption, they would have our support but that does not appear to be the agenda. These Hindu bodies are only fighting for special privileges for animals at Hindu temples!

Save the bull campaign did not save the life of Shambo and in the process it undermined the credibility of this majestic Hindu religion by offering over-simplistic interpretation like: All life is sacred hence killing Shambo is sacrilegious (without any thought for lives of other animals that were being endangered)! It then made a great deal of fuss about the Welsh assembly desecrating the temple.

They could have easily led the bull to the temple boundary and handed it over as the law required but they preferred a bunch of policemen to go stomping on the temple grounds so that they could scream ‘desecration of the temple’ and curse the Welsh Assembly.

What should be on line is not lives of some poor animals suspected of infectious disease but the credibility of Hindu Forum leadership that wound up this local issue in to an international campaign. It did not succeed in saving the life of this bull and in the process has damaged the credibility of Hinduism.

To give you an example, the BBC driver who took me to the studio asked, ‘Are you people kicking up a fuss because you worship bulls?’ It is understandable if the man on the street now thinks that Hinduism is a bull-worshipping religion!

The BBC Wales interviewer also said, Mr Lakhani we know little about Hinduism and this issue will show it in a distorted light’. Not only has the image of Hinduism been damaged, tens of thousands of Hindus who were persuaded by Hindu Forum and the Skanda Vale complex to sign petitions to save the bull will feel let down, they cannot be blamed if they think that the Welsh Assembly is somehow anti-Hindu! Hardly a prescription for community cohesion.

Yet, the secretary of Hindu Forum works for a Government commission that is supposed to foster community cohesion! What is at stake is the credibility of Hindu forum to represent a Hindu view despite all their hype. It has not only managed to dupe the Hindus in to supporting a misguided campaign it seems to have duped the Home office and the Media in to thinking that they are fit to represent Hinduism.

Jay Lakhani
*******

Undoubtedly he hits the nail on the head. What usually annoys me about some religious people is when they reduce usually benign and compassionate ideals to stupid, dogmatic rituals. And the furore around the culling of Shambo was a perfect example – Hinduism reduced to worshipping a possibly infected cow. These people have no brains.


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  1. Raul — on 31st July, 2007 at 9:02 am  

    This is pure bull, the first 3 paras are sublime, oh how noble, where can I sign up?

    He may says all that and whatever fancy esoteric sounding rubbish one may care to hear but the situation on the ground reflects a different reality, either Indians are not too religious or are the biggest hypocrites in the world, and hypocrites more often than not need to create fiction to feel good about themselves hence great philosophical concepts that are so detached from reality its not funny anymore.

    And we encourage this and let it pass at the expense of the appaling indifference to human life, basic values and suffering that goes on under the cover of this crap. I have spoken about this before on this board, the motherland of corruption is also the most religious country in the world, the most spiritual people also happen to be the most materialistic people on the planet. The total absence of individual integrity does not square with pretensions to culture and all the grand claims of hinduism and ancient civilization. This baggage is clouding the mind and preventing, forgot solving the problems, even identifying and owning up to them. And this is intentional from people whose only object in life seems to be to feel good about themselves.

    We don’t even care for human life, what’s a bulls life, all this is empty posturing, as usual.

  2. sofia — on 31st July, 2007 at 10:18 am  

    Raul, I actually thought this piece put a lot more into perspective. Your opinion on people of spirituality is based on personal experience? Since there are always exceptions to the rule, I know plenty of people who are spiritual and not materialistic..I also know people who are not spiritual at all, but still not materialistic…your point being?

  3. Max — on 31st July, 2007 at 10:23 am  

    This irritating problem is solved quite quickly by the soothing application of veganism (cool cookbooks). No milk, no killing, nada.

  4. sofia — on 31st July, 2007 at 10:26 am  

    what has veganism got to do with sacred cows?

  5. Raul — on 31st July, 2007 at 10:35 am  

    I think the perspective is broader than a personal experience, this is a condition that exists and the results are there for the interested to see in Indian scoiety. I don’t have a grouse against religious or spiritual people, there is a difference between being spiritual and claiming to be. Using it as a feather on your cap to cloud reality is what I was referring to.

    Most of our opinions are based on a mix of personal experience, self awareness and knowledge, I don’t know any terrorists but I do have an opinion on them. What’s your point?

  6. sofia — on 31st July, 2007 at 11:24 am  

    “the motherland of corruption is also the most religious country in the world, the most spiritual people also happen to be the most materialistic people on the planet”…Raul, i just thought this was a bit generalistic and that is what my point was. What country are you talking about? What do you mean by “most spiritual”…i just find these definitions a bit lazy…don’t mean to sound rude or anything

  7. Raul — on 31st July, 2007 at 12:13 pm  

    I am referring to India, and I may have hijacked the original topic with the rant actually, sorry about that, but they are connected.

    I do think morality, spirituality culture, and other such loosely used words have become a crutch here in the absence of real achievement and infact an alternative to real progress on the ground and this is preventing us from addressing the massive issues that face us and those first 3 paras in the post actually pissed me off, the pretension inherent in that and how we can glibly speak like that and ignore the reality that India has become. However this is off topic now.

  8. sofia — on 31st July, 2007 at 12:55 pm  

    ok I understand a bit more about where you are coming from and although it is off topic i suppose it is relevant when discussing dogma versus reality? That’s a topic all on its lonesome:)…i think what i liked about this article is how he shows that practicality where possible should not be thrown out of the window when religious practice and belief are in some way challenged. It should (again where relevant) be offered as an alternative to blindly following scripture, which itself may offer other solutions. I think that applies to all belief systems.

  9. Estrada — on 31st July, 2007 at 5:25 pm  

    Max, I’m with you there.

  10. Natty — on 31st July, 2007 at 7:47 pm  

    If life is so sacred as the writer claims then what about the lives of untouchables whose mere existence is made a misery due to Hinduism. This is religious terrorism at it’s worst and has been going on for many years now. People’s lives are choked to death over many years. This needs serious reform.

    Even when untouchables get educated getting a job is difficult due to the caste system.

    So clearly even at a human level the claim that life is sacred doesn’t hold up, let alone the greater picture concept that is being presented.

    It would be interesting to know if the teacher spoke up during the Shambo debacle or afterwards. If he spoke up afterwards then it may have been to cover up the shambles.

  11. Peter Pune — on 1st August, 2007 at 8:41 am  

    … it´s a shame what the welsh assembly government have done. I cannot believe it is just about TB!! Why didn´t they allow to retest Shambo the bull then? This is the least that could have been done, when more than 20.000 people asked for it. This very special case would have deserved a very special solution. But for some reason (which is the real reason here???) no exception was made by the officials. How strange and how sad.
    But almost as strange as that: the statements of Mr. Lakhani … he thinks that the farmers – who are commercialy killing animals – are better in tune with hinduism than the monks of the temple (see several articles in the net).
    Everyone should realise that a Religion in its core is not represented by people who just talk about and probably know a lot about it in theory, but by people who live and seriously practice it, especially when it really counts, when it really comes down to the basic ideas of it, which are usually beyond human “rationality” (what do we know anyway?). This religious approach however, can be dangerous when fanatic people are involved, who don´t value life and don´t understand its true laws. But this is not at all the case here, for the monks were absolutely nonviolent. One must understand that a religion that deserves its name isn´t a human invention, but a product of some revelation of truth to special people, lets call them “saints”, who then teach others what they have come to know. Religion in its true meaning has nothing to do with the “rationality” that Mr. Lakhani suggested to “inject” into that case in his TV interview (see google video) – a rather nonsensical suggestion with rather some unworthy diplomatic calculus behind it. Other voices from the Hindu Community , i.e. Ramesh Kallidai or Anil Bhanot, seem to have a better understanding of “the context” in which this drama takes place and what it means especially for the Hindus. Why haven´t they been called for an interview with the BBC as Mr. Lakhani has been?
    I repeat: religion has mostly to do with topics beyond the reach of the human mind and its “rationality” (which is not rational in a higher sense at all by the way) … and the sanctity of life is a concept from a much higher level of consciousness than “rationality”. Would you trust a saint or a scholar when it is about religious topics? Please understand this…
    The temple we are talking about here was founded by a, recently passed away, saint; recognized as a spiritual leader by many Hindus and also some Non-Hindus in the UK, India, Sri Lanka and other countries. He made this temple a sanctuary for all life (read the website of skandavale.org for this).
    And now comes Mr. Lakhani and states that the monks acting in this spirit are making “a mockery out of hinduism” and that “the farmers were actually better in tune with the tenets of Hinduism”.
    I can only shake my head…what a lot of nonsens and disrespect this is…
    Best wishes anyway!

  12. Ullam Ruddinas — on 1st August, 2007 at 11:47 am  

    There is nothing reasonable or “rational” or sober about the views of Mr. Lakhani. He is simply misguided and doesn´t understand the real “context” of the story of Shambo. I think the Hindus in the UK should quickly do something about the now created situation. Thanks god they are not only represented by Mr. Lakhani.

    Mr. Ramesh Kallidai seems to have better understood what it is about and he now wants to talk to the government about a special law for temple animals.

    To say the things Mr. Lakhani does, only shows, that his understanding of religion is rather a theoretical than a substantial one. He should be removed from his post as educational director of the Hindu Council of UK.

    If someone really understood what his Religion is about, he wouldn´t anxiously care too much about the credibility of it in the public. And now the statement about the welsh assembly government: of course their decision was also a Anti-Hindu one, because 20.000 signatures and voices of several Hindu-Organisations where not enough to allow a second TB test or at least make them seriously talk about alternatives. So obviously the Hindu viewpoint doesn´t count anything to the government (although Mr. Lakhani tries to make people believe that its only the viewpoint of some “naive” monks down there in vales). Please check your values and don´t look away from this and fool yourselves. Community cohesion on that basis would be a great illusion anyway. Better tell how you really feel and THEN find a basis for true community cohesion.

  13. Jake — on 1st August, 2007 at 11:49 am  

    I agree with Jay Lakhani’s piece. It’s a very balanced argument. If killing Shambo was sacrilegious why didn’t the Hindu Forum make any earlier complaint about the thousands of other cows that have been slaughtered because of suspected TB? By creating such a fuss about this animal and trying to start some international campaign to save it they were actually trying to make this a fight for Hindu rights. The Hindu Forum chose to fight for this cow simply because it was in a temple and that only weakened their argument. This kind of argument by the Hindu Forum subtly mimics the ideology of the Hindu Right in India except in the UK it is harder to expound such hard line views and get away with it. This time they failed with Shambo. A few years ago they got Royal Mail to withdraw a Christmas stamp because it was offensive to Hindus. Whatever next?

  14. Don — on 1st August, 2007 at 1:13 pm  

    I agree with Peter Pune on one point:

    ‘Everyone should realise that a Religion in its core is not represented by people who just talk about and probably know a lot about it in theory, but by people who live and seriously practice it, especially when it really counts, when it really comes down to the basic ideas of it, which are usually beyond human “rationality” ‘

    Quite so. Not the subtle and rareified abstractions of theologians, or the smooth assurances of media-savvy front men, but what people actually believe and do. Whether for good or ill, that’s how you judge a religion.

    However, while adherents are free to be as non-rational as they please in their beliefs and devotions, a government agency charged with protecting the public health must only consider rational arguments. Anything else would be unworkable.

    As for Ullam’s claim that the decision was anti-Hundu and that ‘obviously the Hindu viewpoint doesn´t count anything to the government’; has it occurred to you that the case was in fact heard at some length, was given sympathetic treatment by the courts and that in the end the case was lost because it simply wasn’t strong enough? Or is any argument you lose invariably because of anti-Hinduism? It doesn’t matter how many signatures you get on a petition, the judgement must be based on a rational assessment of the case and an even-handed application of the law.

  15. Ullam Ruddinas — on 1st August, 2007 at 1:44 pm  

    The bull shambo was in posession of an organisation which holds up “sanatana dharma”…the basic Hindu teachings about life, its cause and meaning and its values.
    The bull shambo was never treated as nor ever meant to be a “commercial farm animal” as other cattle is in wales and elsewhere…..except by the welsh assembly government, who failed to discriminate.
    Shambo had a very special, religious meaning to the temple – as all life does there (but especially cattle is revered by Hindus), and probably should be doing anywhere else (that´s maybe what this temple is trying to tell us, even if it is “simply” a temple).
    Although anybody who is serious about (not just Hindu-)spirituality would agree that the slaughtering of animals is not a good thing to do in general, there is hardly anything that can be done against it, when one simply doesn´t own them.

    But Shambo was owned by an organisation that did care about animal-life (as well as any other life) and holds it sacred. So of course the temple had to fight for shambos life, following sanatana dharma.

    I cannot find any mistake in that action, and I wonder why Mr. Lakhani does.

    Where in the world should sanatana dharma seriously be practised then, if not even in temples?

    Or is the message of Hinduism nowadays “When life is ill, you are allowed to kill”? … for some abstract “greater good”? (How about you, if you were killed for some “greater good” this way…think about it, please).

    And: The “greater good” was probably not even at stake here, because shambo could have been cured and the risk to the public was not very high – that is at least what David Taylor, an international vet, said on the 15th of June.(http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/society/law_order/shambo+timeline/628072)

    I think there was a lot of irrational fear of TB introduced, which can anyway not be erradicated by killing all the suspected cattle.
    Finally, an example was set at the cost of the temple, which has tried everything in its power to stay true to its convictions and the rules set out by sanatana dharma.
    I think, the Hindu community should be affected by this!!!

  16. Sunny — on 1st August, 2007 at 1:51 pm  

    Where in the world should sanatana dharma seriously be practised then, if not even in temples?

    Do you understand the concept of ‘the law of the land’? This isn’t a VHP run locality in India where Hindutva mob rules.

    And even then, the point made about the hypocrisy of these people, as if the life of one animal is more sacred than another, is succint.

  17. Ullam Ruddinas — on 1st August, 2007 at 3:05 pm  

    …the law of the land was not affected here, for a completely lawful exception could have been easily made for this animal. But it wasn´t; the welsh assembly government did not even want to talk about suggested alternatives to killing. And finally the temple did not at all break any law of the land…

    The point rather is, that there was no political will to consider the viewpoints of the many Hindu Organisations that wrote letters and emails to the welsh officials/politicians, and asked for an exception for Shambo, as did the temple. Well, probably I expect too much here…
    But I think the whole story shows a lot and brings up a lot of important questions for the future.

    Hopefully this will also bring a better understanding for each other.

  18. Sunny — on 1st August, 2007 at 3:12 pm  

    Ullam, can you answer this point:

    If they were fighting the issue of poor treatment of animals bred for human consumption, they would have our support but that does not appear to be the agenda. These Hindu bodies are only fighting for special privileges for animals at Hindu temples!

  19. A N other — on 1st August, 2007 at 3:42 pm  

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/rod_liddle/article2159206.ece

    hey any good debate these days has to involve muslims. to give the debate to credibilty. this comment only reltates to the article, see link above.

  20. Ullam Ruddinas — on 1st August, 2007 at 4:13 pm  

    We are getting further and further from the point, but I will still answer because we are not yet OffTopic:
    Yes, there is a “fight” for a special treatment of temple animals here as well (zoo animals are specially treated by the way) and the fact that Mr. Lakhani uses the word “only” in this case is just one further evidence for his misintepretation of the situation.

    “The issue of poor treatment of animals bred for human consumption” is not a primary concern of Hindu Temples, because they don´t own “animals bred for human consumption” – and have good reasons why this is not so.

    To me it seems to be rather rhethorical that question.

    Anyway: Don´t mix up Mr. Lakhanis view with “The Hindu stance”.

  21. Jake — on 1st August, 2007 at 5:10 pm  

    I find it difficult to believe the majority of Hindus actually wanted to save Shambo. If that was the case it would have caused a bigger uproar in the Hindu community than it did and many more people would have protested at the Skanda Vale complex. Yes, cows may be holy to them but I reckon most Hindus would have been quite happy to see the law of the land prevail than fight for a dying cow. It didn’t affect their human rights. It only incensed the Hindu Forum who took it upon itself to make it a fight for Hindus in general. Why should there be one rule for farmers and another rule for Hindu temples? I don’t believe that the sensibilities of Hindus were trampled on.

  22. Ullam Ruddinas — on 1st August, 2007 at 6:03 pm  

    “Why should there be one rule for farmers and another rule for Hindu temples?”

    Because Hindu temples keep their animals for a different reason, treat their animals in a different way than any farmer would probably ever do.
    Life is not looked at there as something, that you only consider in terms of how it can be best exploited and bring yourself a lot of money and that you can kill whenever it suits you.
    And that difference in attitude makes the monks so concerned about their animals not beeing slaughtered.
    Is this really so difficult to understand; is this so bizarre?

    I think the temple has and had every right to urge the officials and politicians to make an exception.

  23. Tking — on 1st August, 2007 at 6:20 pm  

    It was a stupid news story really and presented the Hindu religion as a joke. The monks and the 20,000 petitioners should have clubbed together to get the animal privately tested for a second time and then treated; with prophylaxis for the other animals and demonstrable cross-contamination precautions. No other media attention was required and Hindus have to accept that this sort of story does nothing for the religion and that anti-Hindu attitudes will always prevail in this country for various reasons not worth going into here.

  24. Ullam Ruddinas — on 1st August, 2007 at 6:38 pm  

    “The monks and the 20,000 petitioners should have clubbed together to get the animal privately tested for a second time and then treated; with prophylaxis for the other animals and demonstrable cross-contamination precautions.”

    …the monks would have loved to do this even before the 20.000 petitioners where involved (didn´t you get that, still), but the welsh assembly government DID NOT ALLOW IT….so they started the petition which made the Hindu Organisations step in ….who is the joke here finally: temple or government?!?

    And yes: there will still be some anti-Hindu or anti-somethingwhatever attitude in the UK; but this is still no reason for the government to kill their temple-bulls.

  25. Don — on 1st August, 2007 at 8:21 pm  

    Ullam,

    The policy of ‘test and cull’ may be harsh, it may be inflexible, it may be distressing to those who lose valued herds, but it is also a proven way of eradicating a killer disease.

    A second test would have made no difference as the post mortem showed that the animal was infected.

    As far as I can make out (via PubMed) there is no reliable prophylactic. I could be wrong, of course, but I’d need to see reputable studies before I risked the return of TB to this country.

    Isolation is well and good, but as any warm-blooded vertebrate can be a carrier you would have to ensure that the infected animal never so much as exhaled in the presence of a starling or a dormouse, let alone a badger or a human. This is not something the farming community is going to regard as realistic. We’re talking Porton Down levels of isolation.

    Of course the temple kept the beast for non-farming reasons, but that makes no difference to it’s potential to spread the disease. You are fully entitled to press for a review of the regulations, but not to demand an exemption from them. I’m sure you appreciate the difference.

    ‘there will still be some anti-Hindu or anti-somethingwhatever attitude in the UK…’

    Yes. The latter. It’s called racism. I seriously doubt that there is an anti-Hindu attitude in the UK. Or anti-Sikh. I’ll concede there may be an anti-Islam or anti-semitic attitudes, but that is another story. Are you seriously suggesting that the Welsh Assembly was motivated by a hostility to the tenets of Hiduism? A desire to offend Hindus?

    If you are saying they are racist, then step up and say it. Make your case.

    It was an infected animal. The rule is that it gets culled. If you can make a sound, rational, scientific case for changing the rules, that is your right. Claiming exemption on the basis of personal belief is not.

  26. Ullam Ruddinas — on 2nd August, 2007 at 3:56 pm  

    Hi Don,

    David Taylor, a renowned vet said there was almost no risk of shambo to spread the disease http://www.methodinit.org.uk/methodinit/2007/06/23/shambo-the-bull-update/

    And of course Shambo showed “lesions typical of TB” in the post-mortem-examination; who would have expected something else!!! I´m not an easy believer, neither in the field of religion, nor in the field of so called “science”.
    —————————————————–

    “These Hindu bodies are only fighting for special privileges for animals at Hindu temples” says Mr. Lakhani, as if this was a crime.
    What does a religion mean in the end, when it is not prepared to do what it can, to keep up its basic values at least in its temples.
    This is also a question of values somehow. I wonder what Mr. Lakhani or anybody else of his opinion would do, if they were to be slaughtered for some “greater good”, instead of being treated, when they are ill (please think about this point very well, even if you feel somehow unconvenient with it).

    (some kind of “Irony” now following:)
    The money saved by not treating such ill people could be used to save children in africa from dying of Hunger.
    (“Irony” end.)
    That´s what he suggests in his letter shown above (example with the money, that should be used to save cows in india instead); not for humans but for animals, that is his way of thought. But I think it is completely wrong, this attitude towards life, especially when you are claiming to be a Hindu following sanatana dharma. How can one claim authority in religious questions with such a view om life.
    ——

  27. sunray — on 5th August, 2007 at 12:28 am  

    This is what Hindus are all about.
    A lot of noise but no action.
    Hindus are peaceful people and not easily led astray by anyone.

    Its funny how anytime someone crtisises the Hindu or even other relgions for NO GOOD reasons the band of merry men on this forum join in to praise the big mouth (who probably just wants name and fame.)

    J Lakahni is a guy who says he is ashamed to be a Hindu.

    This is a case of Human nature and not a Hindu nature.
    But he or anyone else here wouldnt understand this.

  28. Don — on 5th August, 2007 at 1:10 am  

    ‘But he or anyone else here wouldnt understand this.’

    I certainly didn’t.

    Ullam,

    ‘…who would have expected something else!!!’

    Are you seriously suggesting that the post mortem was fixed? Really? Three exclamation marks is a pretty strong allegation.

  29. ullam ruddinas — on 6th August, 2007 at 10:04 am  

    don,

    I really seriously doubt the post mortem results.
    Imagine what would have happened, if the government would have announced, there was no sign of TB found.
    So they found “lesions typical of TB”, which is not a real proof for TB, I think you agreee with that.
    But that doesn´t change too much, we all have to accept it finally. For even if shambo had TB, still he could have been treated.

    What is your opinion about David Taylors statement then?
    ———-

    and the statement of sunray might contain a lot of truth about human nature.

  30. Don — on 6th August, 2007 at 8:02 pm  

    Ullam,

    I suggest that you are doubting the results, and traducing the integrity of the pathologists in question, without a shred of evidence. Skepticism is a fine trait, but to accuse experts of lying just because you don’t like the result is something else.

    ‘So they found “lesions typical of TB”, which is not a real proof for TB’ Agreed, but a strong indication, when added to the initial positive results.

    If a case can be made for provisions to be put in place for an alternative system in exceptional circumstances, then by all means lobby for it by building a strong case. It will take time, but the system allows for it, I’d be sympathetic towards that. But my point remains that you can’t demand exemption on the hoof, as it were. The rules are inflexible because the consequences of laxity are so serious.

    As for David Taylor, I am happy to accept that he is an expert in his field, but I’m rather cautious about a scientist who says that the chances of something happening are ‘less than zero’. That is rhetoric, not evidence.

    I don’t dispute that Shambo could have been treated, although my understanding is that this would not have been as straightforward or as certain of success as you seem to think. However, that’s just google-wisdom and I could be wrong.

    Truly, if you are going to lobby for a change to the rules which can stop this happening again, and which is safe, rational and acceptable to all fair-minded parties then good luck. I imagine the government would welcome a chance to avoid friction with religious groups, that does seem to be the pattern.

    As for sunray, I couldn’t make head nor tail of his point.

  31. ullam ruddinas — on 6th August, 2007 at 11:14 pm  

    None of us will probably ever find out the truth about the post-mortem-results. I might be wrong, you might be right.

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