The first was from Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond, Chapter 9. He is discussing the tribulations of domesticating wild animals.
For example, in the New Guinea villages where I work, I often see people with pet kangaroos, possums, and birds ranging from flycatchers to ospreys. Most of these captives are eventually eaten, though some are kept just as pets.I understand what he is saying but it is still jarring, as if pets and protein are essentially interchangeable.
Last night I was reading an old book, Battles of the Indian Mutiny by Michael Edwards, now out of print. In the Introduction, Edwardes is discussing the various incidents which presaged the actual Mutiny.
But the fire was to spread, and, on 29 March, there was trouble in the 34th Native Infantry when a sepoy ran amok, calling upon his comrades to join him. When he shot the adjutant and threatened other officers, the guard refused to disarm him. The sepoy finally attempted to commit suicide but was revived and later executed.Again, I understand, but the elision is just too tight between the tragedy of suicide and the requirements of justice. But I must admit, there is a peculiar logic to the prevention of the sin of suicide in order to meet the requirements of justice, even when the outcome is but the same.