Hinduism’s Double Standards on Beef

In 2014, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power and made it a special mission to elevate the role of the cow.

There have been calls to ban eating beef in many states. Cow protection squads have popped up. Angry mobs have lynched people suspected of smuggling cows.

And, ironically, bovine merchandise is on a roll. Stores in India are being flooded with cow-based products, from soaps to toothpaste.[1]

Hindu nationalists have made headlines in various parts of the world. However, their extremism and fanaticism, and the victims of their brutality are largely ignored by the mass media.

The cow-related extremism stems from Hindu scriptures and teachings:

Lord Krishna states in Srimad Bhagavad-Gita: chapter 10, verse 28

Among cows, I am the wish-fulfilling cow.[2]

And:

One should never show disrespect for cows in any way nor should one feel any repugnance towards the urine and dung of a cow because these things are also pure. When cows are grazing or laying down relaxing one should never disturb or annoy them in any way. Cows should never be killed in any type of sacrifice or slaughtered in any way for food as the killing of cows constitutes the most heinous of all sins in existence.[3]

Beefed Up Double Standards

The heartbreaking aspect of all the violence is not just the victims who suffer loss. It is the blatant double-standards of the nationalist Hindus in this regard.

Many Hindus have continued to eat beef after the practice of vegetarianism took root in India. Hindu sages also had their full share of beef on the table. Were these sages committing the most heinous of all sins? So how did they become sages in the first place?

Ancient ritual texts known as Brahmanas (c. 900 B.C.) and other texts that taught religious duty (dharma), from the third century B.C., say that a bull or cow should be killed to be eaten when a guest arrives.

According to these texts, “the cow is food.” Even when one passage in the “Shatapatha Brahmana” (3.1.2.21) forbids the eating of either cow or bull, a revered ancient Hindu sage named Yajnavalkya immediately contradicts it, saying that, nevertheless, he eats the meat of cow and bull, “as long as it’s tender.”[4]

In this modern-day and age, Hindus continue to eat beef and clearly state their right to do so.

AICC general secretary in charge of Karnataka says the Constitution gives every Indian the freedom of choice in food.

During his recent visit, Mr. Adityanath (Yogi) said Mr. Siddaramaiah (Chief Minister) is not a real Hindu since he has not banned cow slaughter in Karnataka.

The Indian Constitution gives every Indian the freedom of choice in food. A large section of Indians consumes beef. I am a Hindu and I also eat beef, which is my right. In northeastern states, where the BJP is trying to make inroads, beef is an intrinsic part of their food.

The BJP, only to gain political mileage, is raking up this issue even at a time when beef export has been the highest during BJP’s rule at the Centre.

Now, on the question of who is a real Hindu, I say a Hindu is one who believes in equality, who does not spread hatred in the name of religion, and one who respects the culture, costumes, and food habits of fellow Indians.[5]

In the light of all the above findings, how does a non-partisan observer solve the riddle of whether beef can or cannot be consumed by a Hindu? The texts are undoubtedly contradictory.

What is the position of Hindu beef eaters in their own tradition? These questions must be dealt with by the Hindus themselves. They should sort out the in-house contradiction before using the cow to gain political points.

Second, what justification can Hindu scripture and the Hindu nationalists give for such extreme acts of violence and brutality related to cows – which their ancestors ate with relish?

Third, how does a non-partisan observer explain the use of cow urine and dung by Hindus to bring good health?

As for Muslims, we must be at ease, knowing that Allah Ta’ala has created large animals for the benefit and use of humanity.

‘And the grazing livestock He has created for you; in them is Warmth and [numerous] benefits, and from them you eat. And for you in them is [the enjoyment of] beauty when you bring them in [for the evening] and when you send them out [to pasture]. And they carry your loads to a land you could not have reached except with difficulty to yourselves. Indeed, your Lord is Kind and Merciful.’[6]

Hence, we use the bounties of Allah Ta’ala as they have been given and provided by Him. During `Id al-Adha, a Muslim is rewarded to a greater degree for slaughtering a larger animal like a cow, bull, or camel. Hence, Muslims must take advantage of the opportunity to earn rewards by slaughtering a larger animal and feeding it to others.

Hindu teachings are self-contradictory. This is the inner state of every polytheist. Emotionally disturbed and mentally unstable. This is probably the reason why there is such a great need for therapies in Hinduism to bring peace and harmony.

Notes:

  1. https://www.nhpr.org/post/cow-dung-soap-cleaning-india#stream/0
  2. https://bhagavad-gita.org/Articles/holy-cow.html
  3. https://bhagavad-gita.org/Articles/holy-cow.html
  4. https://theconversation.com/hinduism-and-its-complicated-history-with-cows-and-people-who-eat-them-80586
  5. https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/i-am-a-hindu-and-i-eat-beef-its-my right/article22423390.ece ↑
  6. Sūrah An-Nahl: 5-7
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