Reflecting On Cow Meat From The Perspective Of 1 Corinthians Chapter 10 Verse 23

If there is any explanation that anyone that is belligerent will find difficult to grapple with, it is that of explaining to him that “Conflict is variously defined as having differences, being in opposition or struggling with others, and usually thought of as something negative. But conflict is also a way to consciously pursue options to improve relationships, situations or processes”.

To management students, the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Inventory, which popularized the notion of the five basic modes of conflict resolution are not unfamiliar. The inventory which first debuted in 1974 has it that the ability to manage conflict is a very important part of the managerial repertoire. It also measures individuals' personalities in two areas: cooperativeness and assertiveness. Kilmann believed these traits combine to produce our response to conflict. These assessments can help to better understand responses to conflict, possibly leading to smoother conflict resolution, increased morale and a better relationship.

The five modes of conflict resolution as posited by Kilmann are Accommodating mode which denotes low assertiveness and high cooperativeness. According to him, the approach enables peacemakers to give in to other people's needs and be very reluctant to stand up for their own. Accommodating people tend to shy away from conflict and prefer to do what they are told rather than continue an unpleasant interaction. They perceive conflict as lose-win.

The second approach, and which is invariably the Ace Card chosen in this context is the Avoiding mode whichdenotes low assertiveness and low cooperativeness. Avoidant people neither accede to others' needs nor assert their own. They remain above the fray and refuse to engage in conflict. They often are perceived as diplomatic. In reality, they perceive conflict as lose-lose.

Another strategy in this context is Collaborative modewhich denotes high assertiveness and high cooperativeness. Collaborative people will plainly state their own needs while attempting to work with a group to find a solution that meets others' stated needs as well. Collaborative people facilitate win-win solutions and make excellent managers.

As regard to Competing mode, it denotes high assertiveness and low cooperativeness. Competitive people will be aggressive about getting their needs met while being unresponsive to others' needs. Competitive people tend to use their perceived power or throw their weight around. They perceive conflict as win-lose.

Lastly is Compromising mode which denotes moderate assertiveness and moderate cooperativeness. Compromising people try to arrange middle-of-the-road compromises without treating situations in depth, meaning that conflicts end with no one getting their needs fully met.

Generally speaking, everyone has a “default” or usual way of dealing with conflict through one of the foregoingapproaches. For example, one person may tend to avoid all conflict by not bringing up particular topics or dodge potential interaction with certain people entirely. Another may enjoy being competitive by engaging in arguments freely or may perceive the world as made up of winners and losers.

Although everyone may have a most comfortable way of dealing with conflict, all individuals can and do use all five conflict modes at one point or another in their everyday lives. After all, response to a conflict often depends on the perspective.

However, in this context permit me to make reference to a scripture in 1st Corinthians chapter 10 verse 23 that says, 23 “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify”, and also draw inspiration from it on what avoidance approach means to me.

Against the foregoing scriptural backdrop which says, “All things are lawful for me”, it is contextually expedient to agree that eating Cow meat is lawful to all Nigerians in the Southern part of the country. The reason why it is lawful is that it is has not been banned by the government, and all Nigerians in the Southern part of the country are not vegetarians. In this sense it can be reasoned that,” Though it may be admitted that it is “lawful” to partake in the eating of cow meat; either at home, parties or atrestaurants, yet there are presently strong reasons why it has become inexpedient; and those reasons ought to have the binding force of law.”

In a similar vein, it is germane to ask, “Does cow meat edify, or rather help in improving our health. The answer is in the negative as cow meat edifies not. In as much as there are reasons why beef is an important part of our diet, and it is not just because it tastes delicious as it is also packed with essential vitamins and nutrients, it’s consumption on regular basis is paradoxically linked to increased incidences of heart disease, colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes. The extent of the associations have found to be higher for processed red meat which is derived from Cow meat.

It would be recalled that in 2011 that a study by Harvard University made news headlines when it published a study which suggested that eating unprocessed meat was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

It stated in the findings that the risk of diabetes was 20% higher in those that ate over 110g of unprocessed red meat a day. However, the research attracted some criticism for including hamburgers within the unprocessed foods list. Of those that ate a serving of processed meat, the risk of type 2 diabetes grew 50% higher.

At this juncture, it is expedient to say that the biggest market for cow meat in Nigeria is in the Southern part of the country.

As gathered, huge market for cow exists in the entire Southern part of the country as that is where the end markets invariably lie. Cattles or rather Cows are movedto meet the major areas of demand in the south, that is, south-east and south-west, particularly the Lagos-Ibadan Axis. Again, at the end markets red meat are part of a larger protein market, which includes pork poultry and fish. Traditional open-air market stalls dominate red meat retail sector accounts for about 85% of all trade, and sell all items, including meat and all products for the fifth quarter. Again, the foregoing suggests that protein cannot be exclusively be derived from cow meat. It can equally be derived from goats and fish. So the question now is, “What is it about the ruckus surrounding cow meat in Nigeria for decades to the detriment of public safety?

Anyone that understands the dynamics of marketing will understand that no investor in cow or rather cattle will allow his goods to be transported to the southern part of the country from the northern part without translating it to cash. Against the foregoing backdrop, it stands to reason that cows are not merely herded down from the north to the south merely to feed them but also to sell them. Therefore, at this conclusive juncture, it is expedient to say that everyone has the right to eat cow meat but it is not beneficial. In order words, “We have the right to eat cow meat derived from Fulani Herdsmen but it is not constructive for us to continue eating it, particularly at this time. I am optimistic that if cow is de-marketed that the issue of bringing down cows from the north to devastate peoples’ farmland in the south will automatically come to an end.

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Articles by Isaac Asabor