“Mankind’s true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.”
— Milan Kundera
I have not eaten beef for four years as of this June.
I don’t think you want to be cut into slices and sold and eaten all across the world — do you? That’s not how anyone wants to be treated.
Unfortunately, when we are born, our minds are not yet capable of deciding what we would like to eat and what we don’t want to eat. As a result, our parents feed us food they think we will like. They feed us food that has nutrients, food that is considered healthy, standard, and necessary for optimal growth.
Beef is one of these foods, mostly because beef is one of the largest — if not the largest — meat produced in the world. In fact, there are 94 million head of beef cattle produced by 1 million beef producers in the United States.* Additionally, the United States provides 25 percent of the world’s beef, but only has 10 percent of the world’s cattle.* This data insists that we slaughter these harmless creatures at an alarming rate.
How would you like it if you were injected with chemicals and then killed to feed the bellies of 25 percent of the world? I want to speak for cows: They do not like it at all. Animals know what pain and suffering is, but their brains psychologically cannot understand why we kill them relentlessly.
Many people in India never taste beef throughout their lives.
Eating beef, thinking about eating beef, desiring beef, looking at beef, touching beef, owning cows, slaughtering cows — these are all considered sinful acts in Hindu culture. Cows are considered the most innocent of all creatures in nature, and they should be seen as holy creatures that symbolize purity.
“Hindus see cows as representing the ahimsa principle, one of the key elements in Hindu beliefs. Ahimsa teaches Hindus that they should do no injury to another living being. The gentle, docile nature of cows is seen as a representation of ahimsa.”
— Rita Kennedy, Demand Media
Veneration of cows in Hindu culture proves their respect and connection to Mother Nature and her creatures. By respecting nature, we choose to respect ourselves and those around us — both people we love and people who are strangers to our hearts. The cow symbolizes the strong sense of compassion and everlasting spiritual community on Earth.
So why am I making a post about cows?
Mostly because I am on their side. As of this June, I have not eaten beef in four years.
From January 1st, 2012, to January 1st, 2013, I was a vegetarian, so I did not consume meat — including beef. I made the mindless decision to start eating meat again during the first half of 2013. By June 2013, after learning about the abuse that cows experience and how they are the universe’s sacred creature, I decided to never eat beef again.
Many people ask me, “Why did you do it?” And normally I answer, “Spiritual reasons.” Most Americans can’t wrap their head around not eating meat for spiritual reasons. Meat is part of their lives; meat is like their family because they can’t just remove it from their lives.
But if I’m being completely honest, I stopped eating beef more than just for spiritual reasons. Cows are abused more than any other animal, along with pigs, chickens, and fish — all of which we consume on a daily basis.
When a cow feels fear or pain before dying, chemicals are naturally released in its body, and when it is slaughtered, those chemicals remain in its meat. In effect, we consume these harmful, negative sources of energy when we eat beef. Why would you want to literally add negative energy to your body? Don’t we already have enough negativity in our lives when we add up everything that drains us — work, school, the news, technology, and more?
In Hindi culture, cows are considered the holiest, purest form of any animal, and I wholeheartedly agree with this belief. I have learned to practice this belief for four years, and I will continue to practice this belief for years to come. I encourage everyone to follow this practice; I encourage everyone to treat cows the way you want to be treated.
Respect & Love the Cow, Respect & Love the Spirit
*Facts provided by FFA New Horizons