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Marvin Harris
 
Date of birth: 18 August 1927
Date of death: 25 October 2001
Country Of Origin: America
Profession:

Anthropologist

Writer

Biography:
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Top quote contributors for Marvin Harris: Contenter(79)
Approached topics: art age say human

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Marvin Harris quotes

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Marvin Harris quotes
All human beings at one stage of their lives have to be able to digest the lactose in their mothers' milk. But for almost all mammals, as you get older the ability to synthesize the lactose enzyme diminishes until you get to a point where you simply can't digest milk.

Marvin Harris
Although pigs were originally domesticated in the Middle East, and they were raised and consumed for five to six thousand years before the writing of the prohibitions, they were adapted to ecological situations which were rather rare in the Middle East and which became rarer as time went on.

Marvin Harris
Another benefit that comes from this prohibition on the slaughter of cattle is that it puts a barrier between the farmer and his cattle when there are droughts or other agricultural crises. It is essential that farmers hold on to their plough animals and not give them up for slaughter.

Marvin Harris
Briefly, the argument is that it is inadequate to say that the reason why Hindus don't consume beef is that their religion prohibits it.

Marvin Harris
But with the Industrial Revolution and introduction of various industrial techniques for purifying sugar, we have a situation in which what we are consuming is not good nutritionally or ecologically.

Marvin Harris
But with the passage of time, my position has become generally accepted, in India at least, as being the best way to understand the prohibition on the slaughter of cattle and consumption of beef in India.

Marvin Harris
Cattle occupied an essential position in Indian agriculture as power animals, and a choice had to be made between raising cattle for plowing purposes and raising them for meat production; the Indian ecosystem and production system couldn't support both functions.

Marvin Harris
Eating is a very sensual aspect of our lives. It can also be a very puzzling one; for example, why for a Hindu is beef a tabooed item, whereas in Canada and the U.S.A. and most of the Western world is it considered to be a very honorific and delicious food?

Marvin Harris
Every theory presented as a scientific concept is just that; it's a theory that tries to explain more about the world than previous theories have done. It is open to being challenged and to being proven incorrect.

Marvin Harris
Food, like sex, is one of the principal kinds of human activity that engage people when they wonder about how to account for different kinds of human behaviour.

Marvin Harris
For example, in southern India, there are more cows than there are male cattle, whereas in northern India there are more male cattle than there are cows. This is related to the different demands made by the regimen of planting wheat in the North versus the regimen of planting rice in the South.

Marvin Harris
For example, meat versus lettuce -or spinach. Second, on the ecological level, under particular circumstances or given certain kinds of production systems, what is the effect of utilizing one kind of resource and not utilizing another?

Marvin Harris
Good to Eat is another extension of a perspective on how to account for cultural differences and similarities on a global basis, an application of certain general principles for understanding human social life to a particular set of what appear to be unanswerable questions about food preferences.

Marvin Harris
Here you do have forests, where pigs could be raised by letting them root about in the forests for a good part of the year. Therefore, you have a different attitude toward them compared with what continues to exist in the Middle East.

Marvin Harris
However, further research has shown that it is the normal condition for humans and for most other mammals. It seems pretty clear why this is the case for most mammals and for most human beings.

Marvin Harris
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