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Sacred cow

[ 2009-12-08 11:32]     字号 [] [] []  
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Sacred cow

Nancy Matos

Reader Question: “One of our biggest sacred cows is the national social security program which pays many older Americans a pension. This program costs more money every year. But politicians are afraid to touch it because older folks have a lot of votes.”

Could you explain “sacred cow”?

My comments: Something that is immune from criticism because it is highly regarded is called a “sacred cow”. You would not want to tamper with something considered a “sacred cow” because you could be faced with public outcry. In the example provided, that would be the American national social security program.

The term “sacred cow” comes from the high regard for cows in the Hindu religion. Hindus do not eat cows as they are considered sacred. Whereas in other parts of the world the cow can be found on many people’s dinner plates, Hindus would never dream of eating a hamburger. In India, cows are believed to be symbols of the earth because they give so much yet ask for nothing in return. When you consider that cows are vegetarians and don’t rely on other species to survive, you can see why they are held as sacred and why some people refuse to eat them.


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About the author:

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.