Love and death of cattle : the paradox in Suri attitudes toward livestock

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Love and death of cattle : the paradox in Suri attitudes toward livestock

Type: Article / Letter to editor
Title: Love and death of cattle : the paradox in Suri attitudes toward livestock
Author: Abbink,J.
Journal Title: Ethnos
Issue: 3
Volume: 68
Start Page: 341
End Page: 364
Publisher: Taylor & Francis, Abingdon
Issue Date: 2003
Keywords: Ethiopia
Ethiopia; attitudes; Suri; pastoralists; cattle
Ethnic groups
Violence
Abstract: Livestock herding peoples are known for their close involvement with their animals, valuing them in multiple ways. This paper addresses the issue of the nature of emotional and moral commitment to livestock animals, particularly cattle, among a group of livestock herders in southwest Ethiopia, the Suri. From certain cases of cattle and sheep sacrifice it could be concluded that the Suri exercise particular cruelty towards their animals on ritual occasions. How do Suri themselves see the issue of 'affection vs cruelty' towards livestock animals? How do Suri attitudes toward animals relate to their attitudes toward humans, notably neighbouring ethnic groups with whom they are in conflict and who accuse them of using excessive violence? The paper argues that notions of affinity and equality indeed define human-animal relationships among the Suri, but that these do not resolve the tensions inherent in the fact that cattle for them has both economically useful and emotionally rewarding features. The author compares human-animal relations among the Suri with those found in industrial societies. [Journal abstract]
Other Identifiers: oai:ascleiden.nl:075287668:1885
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/9488
 

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