To analyse Gadhimai purely in terms of a religious motivation to please the voracious appetite of a carnivorous goddess is to miss the desperate economic realities that undergird India's agricultural economy and motivate the disposal of economically "unviable" animals. Religious superstition undoubtedly plays a major -- but not the only -- role in animal and human rights abuse.
Yamini Narayanan is an ARC DECRA Research Fellow at the Alfred Deakin Research Institute, Deakin University, Melbourne. Her work explores trans-species feminist urban planning, examining the significant and yet often invisible role of animals in urban development. Her book Religion, Heritage and the Sustainable City: Hinduism and Urbanisation in Jaipur (Routledge) was published in 2015.
The bulls in a frozen semen farm are magnificent creatures, deemed genetically the most superior of their species for their capacity to sire high-milk yielding daughters. At about 18 months of age, healthy young bulls are inducted into dairy slavery. In a single holding stall of a bovine frozen semen factory, 40 to 60 bulls at a minimum, across species and breeds are tethered tightly, with barely two or three feet of space separating one bull from another.
08/06/2015 8:15 AM IST
SIGN UP FOR OUR GLOBAL WOMEN'S NEWSLETTER
Get the best stories of women challenging the status quo around the world in your inbox each week. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more