These days, the Indian cows are a celebrate lot, and they somehow know it… which means they have also become quite overbearing and pompous. It has suddenly become very common to spot them in bunches, inhabiting the various busy streets. Earlier, a simple horn was enough to move them, but not anymore. They have stopped paying attention to the blaring horns. They know no one will dare touch them, or even prod them to move aside, for fear of a Hindu backlash.
Their relevance has grown out of proportion. In an ideal world, no animal should die to feed human mouths, there is enough and more to live long and healthy without having to consume flesh… but this is a Utopian idea. The world will continue to eat meat till kingdom come, and those who have a problem with that should stay away from both meat, and the meat-eater.
But what is astounding is the convenient ignorance by the fringe elements of what’s written in the Vedas…
Beef eating and cow slaughter was advised in ancient Hindu culture
In the early times, cow slaughter and beef eating were an in-thing. The original Vedas of the ancient clearly speaks of cow slaughter as more than acceptable; it was considered auspicious.
The high-ranking Brahmins that executed cow sacrifices, also gladly consumed the holy beef. The Rigveda (1500-1200 BCE) refers to the spiritual connection between the cow and the universe, while the Atharvaveda (1200-1000 BCE) calls the cow the “all producing and all containing universe”.
The Brhadaranyaka Upanishad (700 BCE) promotes that parents should eat rice cooked with beef, or animal protein, if they want to have a well-read son who is a champion of the Vedas. In the Chandogya Upanisad (800-600 BCE) there are clear references to refrain from killing all animals. It says, “atha yat tapo danam draavam ahimsasatyavacanam iti ta asya daksindh” (‘Austerity, almsgiving, uprightness, harmlessness, truthfulness; these are one’s gifts for the priests” (Hume 1977, 213). Here, nonviolence is talked of as a desirable quality, and not a code of belief.
So what are we saying? Life should be about building human capital, not getting entangled in the religion-based mess that India is confronted with today.