Remember the euphoric feeling you get when having a pet whose around you every day and night. Do you ever get this gross feeling to feed on them? Probably not. Never. So how do you think that the traditional Hindus could do the same with their pets? To them, they are not only their children but also their source of living.
The overall concept of ahimsa is to avoid violence, adheres to compassion towards all living beings and thus sums up to be an integral part of Hinduism. Hinduism, basically holds vegetarianism as an ideal for three varied reasons: the principle of (ahimsa)non-violence applied to animals; the intention to offer only vegetarian or sattvic food to a deity and then to receive it back as prasad; and finally the conviction that an insentient diet is beneficial for a healthy body and mind, while non-vegetarian food is detrimental for the mind as well as for the spiritual development.
In India, more than 80% of the population comprises of Hindus and so there is another dimension to this issue as Cows are revered by them. Hence there are some conflicting claims upon whether or not it’s allowed for a Hindu practitioner to consume beef and so many states have banned it completely. But, sure it is a personal choice to consume or not to.
Following are few listings which show why Hindus don’t eat red meat:
Firstly, Cows/Bulls in Hindu community are considered as a divine figure by many, and so millions of them revere and worship cows. Above all the underlying reasons for not consuming red meat, the one reason which explicitly beholds them from doing so is that how a cow which is equivalent to a mother who in turns is considered a goddess be consumed? Now this is analogous to how a mother nourishes her newborn with her milk, the same way cow nourishes us with her milk every day as we grow up and continues to do so thereafter. This alone strengthens the thoughts and feelings of people. So how righteous is it of you to kill an animal which is been a source of life for people to sustain?
Secondly, be it in the ancient times or be it the modern times the cattle living holds more importance than killing and consuming it. The milk and its products are highly nutritious in value. Our farmers are blessed with cattle, they are not only peaceful and harmless but are very beneficial. Their immense agrarian characteristics make the rural communities in India stand strong against the very first idea of killing them. If a cow is injured, people spend days and nights with the injured animal applying medicines and taking care of it. They are been tamed by the villagers for years now and so are considered as a pet, considered as a contributing member of the family.
Bulls especially help in farming by ploughing on the fields and are a means of transportation to the farmers.
Cow manure, a natural and renewable resource is been plastered on the walls and the floors of homes as it acts a cooling agent. Also used as a fuel, which helps to produce heat and electricity. Its rich-in-minerals property makes it an excellent fertiliser and so the farmers are going back to practising the ancient organic farming technique, which helps in re-mineralising the depleted soil. You could get almost 100s of such reasons if you search for ‘why & how cow manure’ is an essential product.
Thirdly, ours is a religion which believes in the following paganism, hence being a pagan meaning ‘the worshipper of nature and earth’ and so Hinduism is a religion where we look out for the collective conscience of people where all forms of life are considered sacred, to be loved and protected and so we are thankful towards the cattle, being thankful here means showing gratitude which also includes showing reverence, benevolence and thus worshipping. Keeping in mind the fact that they are not only the means for our living but are also highly beneficial when un-slaughtered and so consuming the red meat to us is a mixture showing gratitude, respecting the religious beliefs and a sense of growing attachment towards them. Hence the reason they are called sacred.
Going back to the mythological fact of not killing cows, “Govinda”/”Gopala” are the names of the Supreme Godhead Hindu deity, Lord Krishna, who grew up as a cow herder. Going by the names “Govind/Gopala” which means the protector and preserver of the cows. It is highly regarded auspicious for a true devotee to feed a cow, even before eating his own breakfast. So this surely makes a huge impact on not consuming beef. However, “Gov” here means cow.
Also, the scientific researches have proved that consumption of red meat leads to many health hazards mainly chronic disease such as cardiovascular disorders, Alzheimer’s, Type 2 diabetes.
Now a person who doesn’t know about this may just crib. But in real the whole idea of killing and eating a cow is excruciatingly painful. In today’s society, it’s the same as killing and eating dogs or cats. People, on one hand, love them so dearly, they can’t afford to see them injured, and on other hand, people talk about killing and eating this creature? How can anyone do this?
Having said that, critiquing on the decision is completely a personal choice but the bottom line, however, is that if it hurts a tolerant community then it’s unethical to push onto the consumption of the meat or slaughter simply to irk them, and so it gives them every right to comment on the slaughter as cow is considered akin to a mother in spirituality. I guess this should clear up a lot of confusion. Well, much hypocrisy included, eh? So be it, because the negative connotations and analogies to this are never-ending.