An Introduction to Koine Greek

You probably know it better as “New Testament Greek”.

With the first full week of classes at Bible College attended, I’ve been learning a lot. Most of it about the syllabus and when exams are and assignments are due, admittedly, but I’ve learnt a lot of other things, too.

For example, on Wednesday morning, I had my first Greek lesson!

Early Greek

The oldest form of Greek we know about comes from the “Linear B” writing found in southern Greece and Crete. Having looked through the Wikipedia page, I have to admit it looks nothing like Greek to me; then again, I haven’t learnt the language yet, just the alphabet, so perhaps what the writing actually says is quite Greek; I wouldn’t know.

Linear B fragment

Linear B fragment

The Linear B script was used to write Mycenaean Greek, which existed from the 16th to 12th centuries BC.

Classical Greek

“Classical Greek” is the name given to the sort of Greek which was used by people like Homer and Plato, who lived from the 8th to 4th centuries BC. According to my Greek textbook, Classical Greek was “a marvelous form of the language, capable of exact expression and subtle nuances” (Mounce, William D., 2009).

Classical Greek writing looks much more like the alphabet I am now familiar with. Unlike Linear B, which was syllabic (each “letter” represented a syllable, not a single sound), Classical Greek used an alphabet derived from Phoenician. Most of the world’s alphabets – those from in Europe, northern Africa, and the near east – are derived from Phoenician. Although there are quite noticeable differences between the European alphabets (Greek, Latin, Cyrillic) and the Afro-Asiatic ones (Hebrew and Arabic), there are also a number of similarities.

Classical Greek had a lot of dialects, but the three main ones are known as Doric, Aeolic, and Ionic. Attic Greek, which was spoken by Alexander the Great, was spoken in Athens, and when Alexander conquered most of what was considered the world at that time, Attic Greek was the language he spread.

Koine Greek

Another word for Koine Greek given to it by scholars is “Hellenistic Greek”, because it was the common trade language of the Mediterranean and Middle-East during the “Hellenistic Period”, which lasted for three hundred years from about 330-30BC, as well as the “Roman Period”, which lasted on for almost five hundred years after that. It’s also called “Alexandrian Greek”, because most evidence of it is centred around the city of Alexandria in Egypt.

The name “Koine” itself (κοινή) just means “common”, as in “Common Greek” (not the Classical “educated” form). Although it was most famously used in the New Testament, Koine Greek was also used by some scholars (such as Plutarch and Polybius), but also for other things like Alexandrian shopping lists, travel phrasebooks, and some scholarly grumblings about how the lower classes didn’t speak Greek properly (Phrynichus Arabius, 2nd century AD).

The Septuagint

Part of the Septuagint

Part of the Septuagint

The Septuagint is perhaps the first written source of Koine Greek, and was written in the 3rd century BC. Despite its fancy name, what the Septuagint really is is the Old Testament (plus the Apocrypha and some other bits).

After Alexander the Great’s death, a lot of Jews were moved from Jerusalem to Alexandria, and after some generations, began to speak Greek, rather than Hebrew, as their first language. According to the popular story, the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Koine Greek was sponsored by Ptolemy II (in much the same way King James sponsored the translation of the Bible into English).

The Septuagint is quote in the New Testament perhaps more than the original Hebrew version; perhaps because Koine Greek was the language people were speaking and writing in so as to be understood. Paul, in particular, quoted almost entirely from the Septuagint.

My Greek lecturer tells us, as part of his argument that Hebrew is unnecessary and we should devote all of our energies to his class (I’m pretty sure he’s joking), that Jesus used the Septuagint. I’m not entirely convinced, particularly because as He was dying He quoted the Psalms in Aramaic!

The New Testament

Part of the New Testament on Papyrus, dating to around 200AD.

Part of the New Testament on Papyrus, dating to around 200AD.

The original language of the New Testament was Koine Greek.

In Galatians, Paul says: “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son” (4:4).

It is no coincidence that Jesus came right as, for the first time since Babel and the last time until the present, there was a near-universally understood language. Alexander conquered as far east as India, and by the time Jesus was born, Roman rule saw the expansion of Greek as a common language (the Romans were obsessed with Greece)

No matter where Jesus, the Apostles, or Paul travelled in their ministry, they were able to speak Koine Greek and be understood by everyone.

Whatever Did Reuben Do?

Or: “Jacob’s Last Words to his Sons (Genesis 49)” In chapel today, we heard about Jacob and his hard life (and Murphy’s Law). The principal preached, contrasting Jacob’s words to Pharaoh in Genesis 47:9:

.        “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and painful have been the days of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage”

with his blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh in 48:15:

.        “God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has fed me all my life long to this day…”

My attention drifted, and I found myself reading from Chapter 49, where he calls his sons together and talks at them. It’s a bit of an amusing chapter, actually.

Reuben’s ‘words’ are mixed:

.        (3) “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.”

Three isn’t so bad. Three is quite good. But four becomes a little insulting:

.        (4) “Unstable as water, you shall not excel, because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it – He went up to my couch.”

Trying not to look like I wasn’t paying attention, I went, “What?! What have I missed?” Thankfully, I didn’t have to wonder for long, because my Bible provides a helpful cross-reference to Chapter 35 verse 22:

.        “And it happened, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah is father’s concubine; and Israel heard about it.”

Okay. This is something that wasn’t mention in the sermon, during the bit where we were hearing about Jacob’s dysfunctional family and all the things his unruly sons had done. But, then, what did Simeon and Levi do, to get such a horrible message from their father?

.        “(5) Simeon and Levi are brothers; instruments of cruelty [violence] are in their dwelling place. (6) Let not my soul enter their council; let not my honour be united to their assembly; for in their anger the slew a man, and in their self-will they hamstrung [lamed] an ox. (7) Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.”

Although I do have a helpful cross-reference for the “slaying a man” part (the Dinah incident in Chapter 34), one has to wonder about the “hamstringing an ox” incident.

Judah’s message is good. It seems Jacob liked Judah. I’d even go so far as to say that Judah was Jacob’s favourite son after Joseph. Judah gets five verses (8-12), mostly extolling him and promising him all manner of good things.

Zebulun’s message is mostly good, but short and succinct: he’s going to become a sea-port. I’m not sure what Issachar did to deserve his indictment, and my Bible doesn’t give me any helpful cross-references, either:

.        “(14) Isaachar is a strong donkey, lying down between two burdens; (15) he saw that rest was good, and that the land was pleasant; he bowed his shoulder to bear a burden, and became a band of slaves.

I can only assume this has something to do with all the years in Egypt, but surely this, then, should apply to all of the sons?

Dan’s message is good at the beginning, as Jacob tells him he’ll become one of the tribes of Israel, but verse 17 isn’t very good, either:

.        “Dan shall be a serpent by the way, a viper by the path, that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider shall fall backward.”

Gad, also, has a short message, in verse 19:

.        “Gad, a troop shall tramp upon him, but he shall triumph at last.”

My Bible not-so-helpfully directs me to Deuteronomy 33:24, where Moses is blessing all the tribes. This seems to be the “triumphing” bit, but begs the question as to what happened to Gad in the meantime.

Asher, I think, was probably Jacob’s third-favourite son; or, at least, like Zebulun, he didn’t stir up too much trouble. Asher gets “rich bread” and “royal dainties”. (Whatever “royal dainties” are).

Naphtali’s words are a little confusing:

.        (21) “Naphtali is a deer let loose; he uses beautiful words.”

I have no useful cross-reference at all here, but I’m not sure this is a blessing. “He uses beautiful words” sounds a little too much like some of the Proverbs about Satan’s enticement to me.

Then there’s Joseph. Jacob loved Joseph, of course. Joseph gets five verses, like Judah, but his are much nicer. Every blessing you can imagine is given to Joseph.

Benjamin finishes the list, and his is another mixed blessing:

.       (27) “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.” It seems that Benjamin gets a bit of wealth for himself or something, but it’s not a very nice comparison.

I’m not sure what the point to this post was. I’m certainly not going to call it a “study”, because my Bible Study Methods lecturer would have a fit. I suppose it’s just a series of observations on Jacob’s last words to his sons, which I found slightly amusing. (Quotes taken from the New King James Version)

But Wait! I’m not Seventeen!

I’ve just realised that my description still reads “the life of a seventeen-year-old girl”. The thing is, haven’t been seventeen for more than a year. For a whole year, in fact, I was eighteen, and now I’m nineteen.

I can’t actually work out how to change the thing at the top, so it seems I’m going to be seventeen for the foreseeable future.

An Australian’s Guide to Talking About the Weather in Gaelic

One of the first things an Australian learns when discussing the weather in Gaelic is that one can’t always take the dictionary definition as a translation. For example, “tioram” doesn’t in fact mean “dry”, is means “not currently raining at this exact second”. Similarly, “teth” doesn’t mean hot, it means “I’m down to just one jumper”.

So, as something as a rant – and, if anyone from my class is reading this, take note – here is one Australian’s mental chart to describing the weather – because if we used the Scottish definitions, we’d have to invent several new words meaning things like “really too hot to be alive” and “why would any sane person decide to settle in a country with this weather?!!”.
Weather 1

Here are some other mental pictures, describing, in my opinion, the meaning of some weather descriptor words:

This is “tioram”
Weather 2
“Tioram” (dry) means it hasn’t rained for months. It’s very dry. There’s no water.

This is “fliuch”
Weather 3
“Fliuch” (raining) means you’re getting one or two drops, but it’s still warm enough to be outside in your bathers, and the small of petrichor is very strong.

This is “uisge ann”
Weather 4
“Uisge ann” (wet) means that, by some fluke of nature, a tropical Wet Season storm has made it all the way south to you, flooding your city.

Gaelic Placenames for ANZ

Astràilia (us-TRAA-li-a) – Australia

Astràilia-a-Deas (us-traa-lya uh jyuss) – South Australia

Astràilia-an-Iar (us-traa-lya un yar) – Western Australia

Baile Shidni (bullya hidny) – Sydney

Bhictoria – Victoria

Bris Beinn (brish beyn) – Brisbane

Cuan Sèimh (coo-un sheyv) – Pacific Ocean

Cuimrigh-a-Deas Nuadh (coomree uh jyuss noo-ag) – New South Wales

Dùn Èideann (doon ey-jun) – Dunedin

Eaglais na Crìosd (egg-lish na kreest) – Christchurch

Eilean Siùbhairt (ellen styoo-wisht) – Stewart Island

Eilean-a-Deas (ellen uh jyuss) – the South Island

Eilean-a-Tuath (ellen uh too-a) – the North Island

Meall Bùirn (myull boo-urn) – Melbourne

na Beanntan Gorm (na byowntan gorrum) – the Blue Mountains

na Beanntan Sneachdach (na byowntan shnuck-kuck) – the Snowy Mountains

Peairt (pyarsht) – Perth

Roinn-a-Tuath (rwine uh too-a) – the Northern Territory

Sealainn Nuadh (shelling noo-ug) – New Zealand

Talamh na Banrighinn (tallav na bun ree-un) – Queensland

The Gaelics in Australia

(Yes, the plural is intentional)

A few weeks ago, I attended the Sgoil-Ghàidhlig Nàiseanta, or National Gaelic School, a weekend of Gaelic-learning and socialisation in Melbourne – or, as they say in Gaelic, “anns a’ Mheall Bùirn”.

Aside from the expected classes on grammar, pronunciation, and conversational skills, a major topic of discussion was the influence Gaelic has had on Australia and Australian English. Obviously, it’s sometimes difficult to tell which words came to (Australian) English through Gaelic and which through Irish, since the languages are so similar, but it’s fascinating to hear some suggestions of word relations I hadn’t considered before.

Due to my Research Project last year, I’m familiar with the shear reach and prevalence of Goidelic language in Australia during the early days. Whether Irish convicts or Gaelic-speaking highlanders fleeing the Clearances, Irish and Gaelic together were once the most spoken language in Australia after English. The presence of so many Gaels in Australia affected the culture in many ways, from the “traditional” Australian Bush music and dances to a near-certain connection between Gaelic Football and AFL, but I will be focussing on the language and words.

While there are dozens, if not hundreds or more, of Gaelic-origin words in English, many of these are found in all or most dialects of English. Such words include “smidgen”, “brat”, “brogue”, “gob”, “galore”, “to keen”, “slogan”, “whiskey”, and so forth.

Some may think that “ta” is simply a lazy way of saying “thank-you”, but where does it come from? It may look vaguely similar, but has none of the same sounds, with “t” rather than “th” and a long “aa” rather than the short one in “thank”. However, the Gaelic for “thank-you” is “tapadh leibh/leat”, pronounced “TA-pa leiv/let”.

But there are others which are only used in Australia. I used to think “rack off” was a fairy standard (if rude) phrase, but have recently learnt it’s only found in Australia – the Gaelic for go (imperative, plural), is “rachaibh”, pronounced “rack-uv”. Recently, sitting in class, we were working on prepositions in context, particularly “ri”, meaning “with”. My attention drifting, I just kept hearing “root”, “root”, “root”. A lightbulb moment! In Australia “root” is a slang term for sex. In Gaelic, “riut” (“with you”), is pronounced exactly the same. It’s a tenuous connection, but the best I can think of!

A sheoak is an Australian tree completely unrelated to the oak. Some have suggested that the name comes from the Irish “sí óg”, meaning “young fairy”, but an explanation I think more likely is the Gaelic “sítheag”, which means “female fairy”, and makes much more sense when you consider that some early spellings for the plant included “shiac” and “shiac”. It also makes sense to used a feminine term for sheoak when you consider that we also have heoaks.

 Two Irish words in Australian English include “didgeridoo” and “waddy”. Don’t believe me? You think they’re Aboriginal words? Just let me explain.

 “Dúdaire” or “dideaire” is an Irish word which can mean “pipe” or “trumpet” (“dùdach” is the Gaelic cognate), and it is pronounced “doodarra” or “didjarra”. Combine this with “dubh”, which means “black”, and you have “black trumpeter”, pronounced “didjarra doo”.

 As for “waddy”, which is an Aboriginal hunting stick, this comes from the Gaelic/Irish word “màide”, meaning “stick”. It’s pronounced “matcha” in Gaelic, and it’s where we get the word “match” from. However, it’s pronounced “mahdee” in Irish. It still mightn’t look very similar, but let me explain a small facet of Goidelic grammar to you. Celtic words have a habit of leniting – changing the initial sound – at every opportunity. One of these is after some possessive pronouns, such as “mo” (“my”), “do” (“yours”), and “a” (“his”). “M” becomes “MH”, which is consistently pronounced “V” in Gaelic, but is only “V” in Irish before a slender vowel. It’s “W” before a broad vowel.

Imagine that a group of Irish-speakers encounter an Aboriginal tribe – a scenario not so unlikely when you consider that a significant percentage of early settlers and convicts were Irish-speaking – and notice that they’re carrying clubs. In an attempt to communicate, one of them points to the club and says, “Do mháide?” (Your stick?, pronounced “do wahdee?”). The Aboriginal man nods, thinking that the whitefella is given the word for a nulla nulla in his own language. “Waddy,” he agrees. Later, having learnt a bit of Irish and assuming it’s the language used by all white people, he encounters the English overlords, and explains to them that the stick he’s carrying is his “waddy”.

What about “chook”, that ubiquitous word for chicken used by anyone not living in a metropolitan area and quite a few within? You might think it the word of farmers, but at my uncle’s birthday recently, I found “chook” listed as a title the menu above dishes such as “schnitzel parma” and “warm chicken salad”. The best guess for this is the Irish/Gaelic for “come”, often listed as “tiuc” in Australian documents but actually written “teacht” in modern Irish. Both are pronounced more-or-less like “chuck” or “chook”, and probably explains why I call out, “Here, chooky-chooky-chooky” when I go down to the chook house.

Have you ever wondered why you say something twigged to you? What has suddenly understanding something got to do with small bits of tree? Well, the Gaelic word for “understand” is “tuig”, pronounced “twick”. Although I’m familiar with the phrase “tha mi a’ tuigsinn” (“I am understanding”), the use of the preposition in the English is consisted with the way things are phrased in Gaelic. You don’t like something, it’s “toil leat” (“nice with you”). You shouldn’t do something, it’s “coir dhuit” (“fitting to you”). In the same way, maybe you don’t understand something, it’s “tuig dhuit” (“understanding to you”)?

In fact, in some ways the Gaelic/Irish way of phrasing things has stuck around in our speech longer than the words themselves. Why do Australians say “good on you”, rather than “good for you” like everyone else? Well, putting things “on” or “with” people is very common in Gaelic/Irish – for example, “tapadh leibh” (thank-you, Gaelic, literally “thanks with/on you”), beannachd leibh (bless you, or rather, “blessings with/on you”), Dia dhuit (“hello” in Irish is literally “God to/on you”), and so on.

Well, I think that’s about enough for now. I might get around to telling you about the Sgoil Nàiseanta one day. I might not. Christmas is coming up, so, Nollaig Chridheal!, and, we’ll see.

Edit: Here are just a few more words I can’t believe I forgot.

First, a mainstream English word: buddy. This comes from the Gaelic “bodoch”, which no means “old man”. But it’s also (or was, at one point) a friendly term between mates: a male might call his good friend “bodoch”, according to the etymological story I’ve been told. Over time, this changes from “boddock” to “buddy”.

And now an Australian word. The Irish for “hard” or “difficult” is “deacair”, pronounced “jucker”. During my brief time at the Irish club, we were taught this word with the mnemonic “hard yacker”. “Yacker” or “yakka” is a Strine word meaning “work”; you might say “mucking out a chook house is hard yacker”.

Hunting – A Reaction to “Living With The Enemy”

A recent show which has been airing on Australian TV is called “Living With The Enemy”. For ten days, two people on opposite sides of a social debate live with each other, five days at each place, and hopefully learn something and maybe change their opinions. I’ve already seen one about immigration in general, one about immigration from Africa, and one about whether such a thing as non-extremist Islam exists.

They’ve all been very debate-provoking, and it tends to take my family quite a long time to get through an episode because we keep pausing and discussing. Within my family, we’ve had some quiet differing views on some of these topics, so it’s been interesting. But I’ve been on the “justified” leftist side the shows have been biased towards.

However, this time, I wasn’t. This episode was about hunting. A farmer by the name of Steve spent the time living with an “animal liberationist” called Felicity. It was constant arguing, as per usual, but I was definitely siding with Steve.

Felicity’s opinion was that animals are people, too, and hunting is a violation of basic rights and morals, and basically that anyone who hunts or eats meat is a mindless killer. She constantly belittled Steve and other hunters, referred to them as “psychopaths”, “detached from their empathy”, and questioned him about “what have you learnt from this experience?”

Steve, on the other hand, was presented in a particularly bad light. They made a fuss of him being “a devout Christian who believes that animals aren’t on the same level as humans”. He was a farmer, but this was hardly mentioned. And Steve, of course, hunts.

I can understand Felicity’s opinion. As a Christian myself, I may not believe that humans and animals were created equal, but I can certainly understand her point that we shouldn’t go around mindlessly harming other creatures. After all, as a Christian, I believe that we were given dominion over the animals and it’s our responsibility to protect them.

And it’s here that I swing to Steve’s point of view. In the second part of the episode, he went on a hunting trip to a friend’s property. That friend ran sheep, and had a big problem with foxes and pigs harming his stock and killing the lambs, and so called Steve in to help get fox and pig numbers down.

This is where, I think, the show failed. Or perhaps it was Steve and his friend Robert who failed. The whole hunting trip, Felicity just kept banging on about them enjoying the hunting, and mindlessly killing the pigs, and disrespecting the pigs. The voiceover commented that there are more wild pigs in Australia than humans, and they’re known for killing lambs. And I just kept thinking, surely, surely, they could have shown Felicity some of the sheep and lambs who had been hurt by the pigs.

Felicity kept saying, “Surely these animals have a right to live? Surely they have a right to die naturally and peacefully? Surely you can see that this is cruel and unnecessary?” If someone had just shown her a mutilated sheep – mutilated at the hands of the pigs and foxes – surely she would have understood? Even if she hadn’t understood the need to cull the pigs, surely it would have got her thinking. What gives the pigs more right to live and die peacefully than the sheep? The sheep, at least, are useful. They give us wool; they feed us. And more than that, those farmers are responsible for those sheep, and responsible for protecting them, even if it means killing pigs.

Last year, we trapped a fox and sent it away to be put down. This caused uproar on FaceBook, when my mother uploaded a photo of the trapped fox. “You have no right to kill it!” people told us. “It’s a living creature and it deserves to live!”

Well, that may be so, but you’ll have to forgive me if I felt no remorse. I can understand others’ perspectives. If I’d seen that fox in isolation, reasonably old and with a cataract in one eye, I would have felt compassion for it, too. I would have wanted to save it and protect it and whatever.

But I didn’t. And why? Because I knew that that fox was responsible for killing between fifty and a hundred of my chooks over the previous two years. And let me tell you, when foxes kill chooks, they don’t go about it in a swift and painless manner such as that fox received at the Animal Welfare League!

When a fox goes after chooks, he bites and claws at the neck, first, which hurts but doesn’t always kill. Then he gets the scent of blood in his nose, and sometimes a fox will go at all of the chooks before finally leaving, and not taking any chooks with him. He leaves a yard full of injured and bloody chooks. Last autumn, a fox got into a coop of some twenty birds, and although I found six or seven still alive on the scene when I got there, only two survived. One still has a limp.

So, no, sorry, I couldn’t feel sorry for that fox. I couldn’t want to free it, because I knew it would just go on injuring and killing my birds – creatures for whom I was personally responsible. If I owned I sheep farm, and had pigs killing my lambs, I would either go after the pigs myself or, since I don’t know how to hunt myself, I would call someone in to do it for me. It’s not about whether the pigs are being killed or not, it’s about protecting my stock.

While I don’t agree with senseless hunting – hunting for the sake of hunting, hunting for ivory – I can find no fault with hunting to protect stock or even hunting for food. Early in the episode, they were staging a protest against duck hunting, and filmed an encounter with a duck hunter. When asked what he’d do with the dead ducks, he said simply, “I’ll eat them.”

I’ve mentioned previously my stance on commercial poultry, and I believe the same applies to duck hunting. While I can’t pretend to know exactly why that hunter was hunting the ducks, they fact that he said he’d eat them says a lot to me. Perhaps he, like me, knows the cruelty and unnatural conditions of the commercial broiler chicken industry. Perhaps he has chosen to hunt wild ducks and eat them, because he finds it preferable to eat something which has lived a good life, rather than something that has never seen the sun and has been force-fed hormones.

What I can’t understand is Felicity’s unmoving stance. She talks about hunters not being connected to their empathy or emotions, but they are, in a different way. They are emotionally attached to animals – they love their dogs, they feel a sense of responsibility for their stock – but they are also logical and sensible about it. They understand that if they didn’t hunt and cull the pests, their stock would be in trouble, the environment would be in trouble, and native animals would be in trouble. They understand that emotions have, at some point, to give way to common sense.

At the end of the episode, one of the hunters (perhaps Steve) observed that Felicity is too connected to her emotions and her beloved empathy for fellow creatures. Her empathy tells her that any sort of killing is unnecessary, and violent and senseless. Her empathy tells her that pigs should not be killed. But what does her empathy tell her about the sheep? Surely she also feels empathy for the sheep, who live in fear of fox and pig attacks, of their lambs being taken? How is the plight of the sheep any less than the plight of the pigs? Does she still feel empathy for them, but believe that she should let them be killed painfully simply because it’s not humans who are carrying out the killing? At least Steve and Robert made a point to kill the pigs swiftly and cleanly.

I expect I’ll get a lot of angry comments about this post, just as I have previous posts about evolution. It’s a touchy topic, so that’s natural, particularly if the point of view being expressed is not the politically correct one.

This is just my opinion on the matter, and like most people, I consider my opinion to be right, just as readers will no doubt consider theirs to be correct. But I also think that so many “animal rights activists” don’t understand the facts of live. They don’t understand the facts of rearing livestock, and the problems one has to deal with.

Farmers and other livestock owners aren’t mindless, and they’re not just about the money. In the episode, in reference to pigs with scoliosis, Steve said, “If I knew my neighbour was treating his pigs like this, I’d report him.”

People who live in the city, disconnected from where their food comes from, disconnect from the facts of life, don’t understand this. Perhaps that’s why animal rights activism is such a big thing. I don’t think anyone can be a mentally sane being and not form attachments to animals, or feel there’s something wrong with the way animals are treated in commercial meat, egg and milk production. But people in the city, who don’t deal with livestock, shouldn’t be so quick to judge those who have to make the decisions to protect their own animals.