Poison Pill: The Mysterious Die-Off of India’s Vultures

Submitted URL: https://www.sciencehistory.org/distillations/poison-pill-the-mysterious-die-off-of-indias-vultures 

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For religious and cultural reasons, most people in India don’t eat beef. Cows are precious and even revered assets, pulling plows and carts, giving milk, and producing dung used for fertilizer and fuel. Slaughtering cattle is taboo to Hindus, so aged animals are allowed to die naturally, with the carcasses left in open fields or taken to dump sites for vultures and other scavengers to consume.

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