Beast and Man in India: A Popular Sketch of Indian Animals, in Their Relations with the People by John Lockwood KiplingExcerpt from Beast and Man in India: A Popular Sketch of Indian Animals, in Their Relations With the People
It is not a pleasant subject to dwell upon, but there is no more fitting adjective than cruel for the India of the late Mogul and the Pindari. We may allow that through centuries of trouble the Hindu system availed to preserve Brahmanical ordinances, but these only affected a limited portion of the community. The masses of the people, who really have to do with animals, could not but be demoralised. SO general precepts of mercy for the many shrank into ritual Observances for the few. Moreover, such precepts as exist have been exaggerated in report.
Strictly speaking, the Parsee religious code alone, among those of Oriental races, directly enjoins a humane and considerate treatment of all animals during their life, as may be fully learned from the Book of Ardha Viraf, the Dante of the Zoroastrian Inferno. The Hindu Worships the cow, and as a rule is reluctant to take the life of any animal except in sacrifice. But that does not preserve the ox, the horse, and the ass from being unmercifully beaten, over-driven, over-laden, under-fed, and worked with sores under their harness nor does it save them from abandonment to starvation when unfit for work, and to a lingering death which is made a long torture by birds of prey, whose beaks, powerless to kill outright, inﬂict undeserved torment. And the same code which exalts the Brahman and the cow, thrusts the dog, the ass, the buffalo, the pig, and the low-caste man beyond the pale of merciful regard.
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Beast and man in India ; a popular sketch of Indian animals in their relations with the people
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