M.K. Gandhi: “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
I do not wish that mad cow disease breaks out and kill all beef eaters. I think that all beef eaters have a right to eat beef despite the many of its dangers to health. However, as a Hindu I must continue to strive to eat a 100 % vegetarian diet. This can be achieved without having to bother with what the person next to me has on his plate.
Sadguru, an Indian mystic and yogi and one among the top 50 most influential persons in India, said that it is not right to eat beef because the cow being a mammal has a genetic coding very close to human beings. As a result, he argued, it would be difficult for human beings to digest beef. He advised his listeners that if they have to eat animal products they should consume fish or poultry which are distant from mammals.
Beef eating has stirred some level of controversy in India. Hindus view the cow as sacred while Muslims believe that it is their right to slaughter the cow and eat its flesh. This scenario has contributed to violent attacks of butchers who are mainly Muslims from cow protection vigilantes.
Many advocates against beef consumption have argued that it is not compulsory in Islam to eat beef. A few argued that there were no cows in Arabia at the time that Prophet Mohammed walked the earth. As such, anti-beef lobbyists have concluded that beef eating and cow laughter are carried out in India by Muslims to spite Hindus. And this view has historical value. In the past whenever there was a Hindu-Muslim conflict in India, the Muslims would always resort to slaughtering a cow.
Saduguru also said that it is healthy to eat a fruit diet. He said that Megasthenes and Kautilya mentioned that Indians are unusually smart because of the large quantities of fruit in their diet. Sadguru went on to add that a fruit diet keeps an individual alert and energetic and that because of this diet for thousands of years, Indians continue to be the most intellectual among all the people of the planet.
Vegetarian diet is becoming more popular across the world. The fastest growing number of vegetarians in the world is not in Africa or the Caribbean but in North America. Millions of Americans have turned to a vegan diet that has zero input from the animal. The vegan diet is now a culture in the USA and is spreading across the developed world.
Hare Krishna (ISKON) has been doing much to promote a vegetarian diet. In addition to their literature that speaks about the dangers of a meat diet and many benefits of a vegetarian diet, much is mentioned about the destruction of planet earth to satisfy the demand for beef. The Amazon forest is in decline because of the haste of the beef lobby to remove forest to create pastures for beef cattle.
Research has confirmed that it takes 4.67 pounds of corn to produce one pound of beef; in the USA it takes 1800-2500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. Further research has concluded that intensive industrial food and farming system are a major cause of man-made global warming. (https://www.ecowatch.com/how-factory-farming-contributes-to-global-warming-1881690535.html).
If beef cannot be digested by human beings, then it may find itself manifesting in diseases. Several diseases are related to meat eating. These include heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, obesity, harmful cholesterol, acne, erectile dysfunctions, Alzheimer’s Disease and shorten life span.
As Hindus we have a duty to protect our health and the environment. By eating a vegetarian diet with lots of fruits we would be saving big $$$ in healthcare. More so, our quality of life would improve giving us much more to enjoy. And we need the cow’s gobar to replenish the fertility of the earth. If the slaughter of cows continues, our soil will lose its nutritional values, scarcity and famines will step into our lives. Is this what we want for ourselves?