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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Goat notes

By Rwandan law, goats must be tied up when left to graze. People mostly adhere to the law, much to the chagrin of this particular goat.

Incidentally, it is taboo here to drink goat milk. Rwandans’ disdain for goat milk stems from their utter reverence for cows; goat milk is seen as a disparaging substitute for cow milk. People who consume goat milk do so in utter secrecy for fear of being shamed by their communities. In a country where many struggle with malnutrition, this situation is particularly unfortunate: goats cost $10-20 whereas cows cost at least $100.

The taboo against dairy products does not extend to goat meat, which is a common food, although many Rwandans believe goat meat will cause women to grow beards.

If you’re curious about cows in Rwanda, my Colleen posted an excellent essay on the topic.

1 comment:

  1. Strange custom, very interesting. It really is too bad considering the malnutrition. It reminds me of being India and seeing untouchable sacred cows roaming freely amongst clearly starving people.

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