Thousands of years ago, the Persians were of Zoroastrian confession. Founded by the Prophet Zoroaster in the 6th century B.C., this religion ‘of fire’ was in fact one of the first, if not the first, monotheist schools of thought in History.
Later, the Muslim invasion and fanaticism forced an entire colony of Zoroastrians into exile. They came to India and mostly settled in the Mumbai region. They were called the Parsi, that is, the Persians. They proved to be particularly gifted in conducting business, and this very small minority represented a great percentage of the Indian economy.
It was their custom to expose the dead at the top of what is referred to as the Towers of Silence, so that their bodies would be devoured by vultures. This had been the rule for many centuries, but not just any vulture was used.
These vultures were trained from generation to generation to carry out their funereal task. Now, it has recently been noted that the vultures assigned to the Towers of Silence had been dying one after the other. An enquiry into the causes of this epidemy was led. Analyses were conducted. The vultures had been poisoned by the cadavers on which they had been feeding, due to the medicine which the deceased had ingested…and which had rendered their inert flesh deadly to the vultures that devoured it.