Food Taboos on Pigs in Muslim and Cows in Hindus

Topics: Pork, Kashrut, Cattle Pages: 2 (536 words) Published: March 16, 2006
Among the rituals and cultural practices that India possess, one of the most unusual and absurd practice is the way the Indians pay reverence to the inhabited cows. The Hindus give more priority to their spiritual beliefs than their own lives. For example, in the famine of late 60¡¦s people were seen begging for food whereas the cows were seen passing by them undisturbed. Hindus have certain devotion for cows, they praise them and worship them. They are reactionary to any discrimination against cows. According to India's traditional scriptural histories, the original cow Mother Surabhi, was one of the treasures churned from the cosmic ocean, and "the five products of the cow" (pancha- gavya)-milk, curd, ghee, urine and dung-were considered purifying. The cow is respected in her own right as one of the seven mothers because she offers her milk as does one's natural mother. The cow plays a central role in the Vedic ideal for humanity: "simple living and high thinking," a life close to nature and God. The cow thus has always played an important role in India's economy. For example, cow dung serves as an inexpensive fertilizer. Stored in underground tanks, it also generates methane gas that is used for heating and cooking. Cow dung is also an effective disinfectant and is used both as a poultice and a cleansing agent. The taboo about cows is very strong and their violation is considered to be extremely offensive and even unmentionable. Books like "The earliest Vedas", the texts from the first millennium B.C, says about the strict taboo in beef consumption as well as the ritual slaughtering of cows. By 200 AD, the ritual of slaughtering and the consumption of beef have been made restricted and the Brahman priesthood exhorted the people as well to worship the cow and pay respect to them. By 1000 A.D, Hindus are all forbidden to eat beef. Henceforth, the cow taboo has taken its modern form and from then on, the Hindus follow by this ritual.

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