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Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Author and speaker Hope Egan seeks to understand and live out God's design for eating—and share that information with .
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He adds that the endearment and respect for cattle in Hinduism is more than a commitment to vegetarianism and has become integral to its theology. According to Christopher Fuller , animal sacrifices have been rare among the Hindus outside a few eastern states. The interdiction of the meat of the bounteous cow as food was regarded as the first step to total vegetarianism. The earth-goddess Prithvi was, in the form of a cow, successively milked of beneficent substances for the benefit of humans, by deities starting with the first sovereign: Prithu milked the cow to generate crops for humans to end a famine.
Kamadhenu , the miraculous "cow of plenty" and the "mother of cows" in certain versions of the Hindu mythology , is believed to represent the generic sacred cow, regarded as the source of all prosperity. Hindu and Muslim sepoys in the army of the East India Company came to believe that their paper cartridges , which held a measured amount of gunpowder, were greased with cow and pig fat.
The consumption of swine is forbidden in Islam and Judaism. Because loading the gun required biting off the end of the paper cartridge, they concluded that the British were forcing them to break edicts of their religion. A historical survey of major communal riots in India between and revealed that 22 out of incidents of rioting between Hindus and Muslims were attributable directly to cow slaughter.
The cow protection was a symbol of animal rights and of non-violence against all life forms for Gandhi. He venerated cows, and suggested ending cow slaughter to be the first step to stopping violence against all animals. He said,. It is not as if there were only Hindus in the Indian Union. There are Muslims, Parsis, Christians and other religious groups here. Jainism is against violence to all living beings, including cattle.
According to the Jaina sutras, humans must avoid all killing and slaughter because all living beings are fond of life, they suffer, they feel pain, they like to live, and long to live. All beings should help each other live and prosper, according to Jainism, not kill and slaughter each other. In the Jain religious tradition, neither monks nor laypersons should cause others or allow others to work in a slaughterhouse. The Jain community leaders, states Christopher Chapple, has actively campaigned to stop all forms of animal slaughter including cattle. The texts of Buddhism state ahimsa to be one of five ethical precepts, which requires a practicing Buddhist to "refrain from killing living beings".
Cattle are seen in some Buddhist sects as a form of reborn human beings in the endless rebirth cycles in samsara , protecting animal life and being kind to cattle and other animals is good karma. According to Saddhatissa, in the Brahmanadhammika Sutta , the Buddha "describes the ideal mode of life of Brahmins in the Golden Age" before him as follows: .
Like mother they thought , father, brother or any other kind of kin, cows are our kin most excellent from whom come many remedies. Givers of good and strength, of good complexion and the happiness of health, having seen the truth of this cattle they never killed. Those brahmins then by Dharma did what should be done, not what should not, and so aware they graceful were, well-built, fair-skinned, of high renown.
While in the world this lore was found these people happily prospered. Saving animals from slaughter for meat, is believed in Buddhism to be a way to acquire merit for better rebirth. Vegetarianism is admired, states Gombrich, but often it is not practiced. Nevertheless, adds Gombrich, there is a general belief among Theravada Buddhists that eating beef is worse than other meat and the ownership of cattle slaughterhouses by Buddhists is relatively rare.
Meat eating remains controversial within Budhhism, with most Theravada sects allowing it, reflecting early Buddhist practise, and most Mayahayana sects forbidding it. Early Suttas indicate that the Buddha himself ate meat and was clear that no rule should be introduced to forbid meat eating to monks. The consumption, however, appears to have been limited to pork, chicken and fish and may well have excluded cattle.
According to the Hebrew Bible , an unblemished red cow was an important part of ancient Jewish rituals. The cow was sacrificed and burned in a precise ritual, and the ashes were added to water used in the ritual purification of a person who had come in to contact with a human corpse.
The ritual is described in the Book of Numbers in Chapter 19, verses 1— Observant Jews study this passage every year in early summer as part of the weekly Torah portion called Chukat. A contemporary Jewish organization called the Temple Institute is trying to revive this ancient religious observance. Traditional Judaism considers beef kosher and permissible as food,  as long as the cow is slaughtered in a religious ritual called shechita , and the meat is not served in a meal that includes any dairy foods. Some Jews committed to Jewish vegetarianism believe that Jews should refrain from slaughtering animals altogether  and have condemned widespread cruelty towards cattle on factory farms.
Although slaughter of cattle plays a role in a major Muslim holiday, Eid al-Adha , many rulers of the Mughal Empire had imposed a ban on the slaughter of cows owing to the large Hindu and Jain populations living under their rule. Out of the verses of the surah, 7 mention cows Al Baqarah 67— And when We did appoint for Moses forty nights of solitude , and then ye chose the calf, when he had gone from you, and were wrong-doers.
Then, even after that, We pardoned you in order that ye might give thanks. And when We gave unto Moses the Scripture and the criterion of right and wrong , that ye might be led aright.
And when Moses said unto his people: O my people! Ye have wronged yourselves by your choosing of the calf for worship so turn in penitence to your Creator, and kill the guilty yourselves.
That will be best for you with your Creator and He will relent toward you. He is the Relenting, the Merciful. Al-Quran And when Moses said unto his people: Lo! God commandeth you that ye sacrifice a cow, they said: Dost thou make game of us? He answered: God forbid that I should be among the foolish! They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us what cow she is.
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Moses answered: Lo! He saith, Verily she is a cow neither with calf nor immature; she is between the two conditions; so do that which ye are commanded. They said: Pray for us unto thy Lord that He make clear to us of what colour she is. He saith: Verily she is a yellow cow. Bright is her colour, gladdening beholders. He saith: Verily she is a cow unyoked; she plougheth not the soil nor watereth the tilth; whole and without mark.
They said: Now thou bringest the truth. So they sacrificed her, though almost they did not. And remember when ye slew a man and disagreed concerning it and God brought forth that which ye were hiding.
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And We said: Smite him with some of it. Thus God bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His portents so that ye may understand. Per the commentators though any cow would have been acceptable but after they "created hardships for themselves" and the cow was finally specified, it was necessary.
The term geush urva means "the spirit of the cow" and is interpreted as the soul of the earth. In the Ahunavaiti Gatha , Zarathustra or Zoroaster accuses some of his co-religionists of abusing the cow. The lands of Zarathustra and the Vedic priests were those of cattle breeders. In ancient Egyptian religion , bulls symbolized strength and male sexuality and were linked with aggressive deities such as Montu and virile deities such as Min.
Some Egyptian cities kept sacred bulls that were said to be incarnations of divine powers, including the Mnevis bull , Buchis bull , and the Apis bull , which was regarded as a manifestation of the god Ptah and was the most important sacred animal in Egypt. Cows were connected with fertility and motherhood.
One of several ancient Egyptian creation myths said that a cow goddess, Mehet-Weret , who represented the primeval waters that existed before creation, gave birth to the sun at the beginning of time. The sky was sometimes envisioned as a goddess in the form of a cow, and several goddesses, including Hathor , Nut , and Neith , were equated with this celestial cow. The Egyptians did not regard cattle as uniformly positive. Wild bulls, regarded as symbols of the forces of chaos, could be hunted and ritually killed.
Today, in Hindu-majority countries like India and Nepal, bovine milk holds a key part of religious rituals. For some, it is customary to boil milk on a stove or lead a cow through the house as part of a housewarming ceremony. In honor of their exalted status, cows often roam free, even along and in busy streets in major cities such as Delhi.
In some places, it is considered good luck to give one a snack or fruit before breakfast. Constitution of India mandates the protection of cows in India. It is completely banned in six states with pending litigation in the supreme court to overturn the ban, while there is no restriction in many states. Gopastami , a holiday celebrated by the Hindus once a year, is one of the few instances where cows receive prayers in modern-day India.
In Nepal, the cow is the national animal.
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Cows give milk from which the people produce dahi yogurt , ghee , butter, etc. In Nepal, a Hindu-majority country, slaughtering of cows and bulls is completely banned. The Nepalese have a festival called Tihar Diwali during which, on one day called Gaipuja, they perform prayers for cows. According to a Lodi News-Sentinel news story written in the s, in then contemporary Nepal an individual could serve three months in jail for killing a pedestrian, but one year for injuring a cow, and life imprisonment for killing a cow. Cows roam freely and are sacred.
Buffalo slaughtering was done in Nepal at specific Hindu events , such as at the Gadhimai festival , last held in The beef taboo is fairly widespread in Myanmar, particularly in the Buddhist community. In Myanmar, beef is typically obtained from cattle that are slaughtered at the end of their working lives 16 years of age or from sick animals.
During the country's last dynasty, the Konbaung dynasty , habitual consumption of beef was punishable by public flogging. In Sri Lanka , in May , year-old Buddhist monk Bowatte Indrarathana Thera of the Sri Sugatha Purana Vihara self immolated to protest the government allowing religious minorities to slaughter cows. In written sources including anecdotes and Daoist liturgical texts , this taboo first appeared in the 9th to 12th centuries Tang - Song transition, with the advent of pork meat.
Occasionally, some cows seen weeping before slaughter are often released to temples nearby. Historically, there was a beef taboo in Ancient Japan , as a means of protecting the livestock population and due to Buddhist influence. This official prohibition was in place until , when it was officially proclaimed that Emperor Meiji consumed beef and mutton, which transformed the country's dietary considerations as a means of modernizing the country, particularly with regard to consumption of beef.
In Kudus , Indonesia , Muslims still maintain the tradition of not slaughtering or eating cows, out of respect for their ancestors, who were Hindus , allegedly imitating Sunan Kudus who also did as such.
In religiously diverse countries, leather vendors are typically careful to clarify the kinds of leather used in their products. For example, leather shoes will bear a label identifying the animal from which the leather was taken.
In this way, a Muslim would not accidentally purchase pigskin leather,  and a Hindu could avoid cow leather. Many Hindus who are vegetarians will not use any kind of leather. Judaism forbids the wearing of shoes made with leather on Yom Kippur , Tisha B'Av , and during mourning. Jainism prohibits the use of leather because it is obtained by killing animals. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main articles: Cattle slaughter in India and Cow protection movement. See also: Ahimsa in Jainism. Related Searches. A Window Opens. View Product.
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