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Tough Calls by Linda D. Henman

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CHAPTER 2

Sacred Cows Make the Best Burgers

No one seems to agree about the origin of the term “sacred cow.” Before it emerged as an idiom in America in the latter part of the 19th century, some believe the term simply described the elevated place cows enjoyed in Hinduism. Or, the term may have originated with the legendary hero, Prithu, who assumed the form of a cow to encourage his subjects to raise more vegetables. But some also accuse Prithu of chasing and capturing the earth goddess Prithvi, who fled in the form of a cow and eventually agreed to yield her milk to feed the world. Greeks and Egyptians also have their own references to goddesses who took the form of cows. As often happens with legends and organizational myths, history gets ...

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