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Killing a bull with bare hands: Ukweshwama and Zulu cultural accommodation

Luís CORDEIRO-RODRIGUES

en Anthropozoologica 53 (16) - Pages 187-194

Published on 19 November 2018

A new trend in political theory is to question whether cultural practices clash with moral concerns about animal welfare. On the one hand, there is widespread concern to protect cultural distinctiveness; on the other, cultural distinctiveness may mean treating animals in cruel ways. In this article, I articulate this debate using the case of the killing of a bull in the Ukweshwama practice from South Africa. By engaging with the literature on multiculturalism, I question whether Zulus in South Africa are entitled or not to practice the killing of a bull during Ukweshwama. I respond to this question affirmatively, by defending that for reasons of autonomy, moral loss and legal consistency, Zulus are entitled to continue their practice.

Keywords :

Zulu culture, Ukweshwama, multiculturalism, cultural accommodation, South Africa.

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