India is having a debate about its national animals.
Currently, the mighty tiger is the national beast and the peacock is the national bird. But the cow has recently been proposed as a replacement for the tiger because of its status as a holy animal.
And this week, both bird and bovine have caused an internet explosion that touched on reproductive issues, education and science.
On Wednesday, Justice Mohan Chand Sharma of the western state of Rajasthan, put in a good word for the peacock. Peacocks don’t have sex, he told a TV reporter on his last day as a judge. Instead, he said, peahens are impregnated when they swallow the tears of the peacock. Citing religious texts as the source of this intel, he indicated that the peacock is pure and chaste and therefore deserving of its status.
The tiger not so much, according to the judge.
He thinks the cow should be the national animal. Its dung can cure cholera, he said, and its horns absorb “cosmic” energy.
Sex and science educators were reminded that they have their work cut out for them.