Ethical Living Hinduism

To Beef Or Not To Beef

After the post about meat consumption by Hindus, we received quite a few messages about eating Beef in particular.  I understand that it has become a new trend to eat beef in South and North East India and other areas where Christian conversion is at full force, but I don’t understand how one can please a “GOD” by eating something that is or could be sacred to fellow humans/citizens/community! But then, if one can leave his/her faith then this should not be surprising at all. Nonetheless it is a very SAD situation.

Please do read the complete post and you will see how the facts were manipulated and misinterpreted by those with an agenda of their own!

 The facts

A lot of Hindus are following rituals just because their ancestors have been a part of it. The problem comes when someone asks you about your beliefs and why you have those beliefs…. at that moment…we are not able to come up with a suitable answer. Here are some facts, which will shed light upon our confusions.

Some Interesting Questions:

Why should a Hindu not eat beef?

Of course, Hindus see 33 koti of Gods in it. For that matter, they see God in all entities of the world. Weren’t it we who said, “Eeshavasya midam sarvam…”? )

To go to the details of it we may have to go into the Vedic Vishwa. Basically vedas refer “Gou” as animal and as well as “Indriya” (senses). The word “Gou” over the period of time became “Cow” in English (Apabhransh).

In Vedic period some yajnas were practiced –
– AshwaMedh
– GouMedh
– AjaMedh

The real meaning of each of these word Vedic people knew. Over the period they (words) lost meaning and people considered:

Ashwa Medh = to sacrifice Ashwa (Ghoda)
Gou Medh = to sacrifice Gou (Gaya)
Aja Medth = to sacrifice Aja (Bakara)

The wrong interpretations of these words resulted in heavy sacrifices of Gou and Aja (Bakara). Gou was and is social animal with lots of benefits. People knew it and so to stop unnecessary killings of animal like Gou it was made forbidden in Kali Yuga.

‘Agnihotram gavalambham sanyasam palpaitrukam| Deverachha sutoptathikaloupanchavivarjayet’|

There are five Karmas/acts that should not be done:
· agnihotra
· Gavalamban (GouMedh)
· Sanyas
· palapaitruk yane mans pinda dekar shradha karana

That is how people in Kali Yuga stopped Gou Medh and Hindus who follow Vedic principle do not eat beef (Gou).

Gou Medh:
Actually in Vedic period Gou means Indriya (senses) most of the times. How otherwise you justify a word Gou Swami? Does that mean Nandi ya Bail? Definitely not. We mean a Rishi or a saintly person who has conquered his senses. So when Gou means Indriaya Vedic people used to perform Gou Medh that is Indriya Medh that is Indria Nighriya. They used to direct Indriya rather than guided by them. Over the period this became difficult to implement and people considered it to be cow or beef.

It also had similar problems. Ashwa is A+Shwa ‘A’ means absence and ‘Shwa’ means breathing. So where ‘Absence of Breathing’ is achieved and only Shusmuna nadi works that state is called as Ashwa. So we have to kill that state (avastha). Interestingly, only Kshatriyas were allowed to perform Ashwa Medh. Brahmans were not allowed. Brahman means Ashwa avastha. A Kshatriya is not supposed to go to Ashwa avastha because he must look after his subjects. That is why Ashwa Medh was performed by Prabhu Ram Chandra and Yudhistir. It is difficult to understand that Prabhu Ram Chandra can kill a innocent horse for his peace of mind (Manaha Shanti). It was to remember that being Kshtriya they have to have Shawas (Nitya Karma). This was also misinterpreted in the post Vedic period and people started killings horse.

AjaMedh is A+ja (That has not taken birth) so Aja Medh means kill that has not taken birth. Was that Abortion? Aja means Bramhavasta so not to indulge in Bramahavsta is what AjaMedh means. Aja avastha means Brhama avastha ko samasaman kar jo avastha utpana ho ti hain use Sama+Aja Samaj kahate hain. So AjaMedh means Samaj ka uddhar (betterment of society).

So Vedic people were:
– Ashawa Medhi – Jagrut / Aware / Awakened
– Gou Medhi – Indriya Nighra / Controlled Senses
– Aja Medhi – Samajsheel / Enlightened / Intellectual

Over the period people took altogether different and wrong interpretations and hence question like Beef eating comes up. So when entire world was practicing Vedic sanskruti (culture) some of them took

Gou Medh as Gou killings (Christians, Muslims)

Some of them took it as Gou Swami, Gou Wardhan, GouPal (Hindu)

Some of them took as Strong Indria Nirodh (Jain).

By no means Vedas allowed animal sacrifices. So it is not only Gou but any animal sacrifices are not allowed.

Is vegetarianism a Hindu concept.?
Vegetarianism and Non-Vegetarianism are not Hindu (Vedic) concept.

It is there that animal sacrifices were not allowed but in the Vedic literature it is not mentioned that Mansahar (Non-Veg) is not allowed. There was actually no problem with the animal eating till Ramayana and Mahabharata. There are several instances of Ram either eating or stop eating Mansahar. It may sound contradictory to what we said above but let us explain.

We all know Four Varnas. It was a best example of Mankind Classification. A person would be classified as to be belonging to one of the Verna based on the attributes (Guna) and not the family.

Kshatriya is Kshatrap ya Warman. This means that anyone who is maintaining his physical strength to reduce mind detractors. Naturally, that person has to indulge in worldly activities. He has to reduce (Warman) chanchal vrutii so it is obvious for eating habits as well. There is no good reason to believe that it was prohibited in the Vedic society to have Mansahar.

Now the last question:
How can you say then Hindu values can be universally applied.

What are Hindu values? What we call Hindu is Vedic person;
Who believes in Vedas (or their derivations) is today called as Hindu courtesy Muslims.
What is Vedic Sanskruti? Ved means Gyan or Knowledge and Vedic means Gyani. So Vedic Sanskruti is culture of Gyanis. There is no concept of religion in Vedic time. So Shashtra and Vigyan are two pillars of Vedic Vishwa (world).

One who wants to be Vedic will be classified as:
– Brahman
– Kshatria
– Vysha
– Shrudra

These are four stages of the student of Vedic society depending attributes (Guna) one has. Ultimate state and hence desirable is the Brahman state the meaning of which we see earlier. So making entire world Brahman is the basic principle of Vedas. This is what is the Vedic values that is Hindu Values.

Don’t you read Universality in it? No other Dharma rests on such a great principle. We Hindus are supposed to make entire world Brahma- Maya. So be very clear about our roots and present true picture of Vedic (Hindu) society and teachings. Remember you should to tell what Anand (bliss) we get in Brahma!!

by Yugal Chudasama


Some of the most common arguments given by meat-eaters

Plant eaters are murderer, plants have feeling too!?

Carnivore vs. Vegetarian

Processed Meats Declared Too Dangerous for Human Consumption!

Is Eating Meat Wrong?



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  • Dear admin,

    I have a question, How can we justify that eating plants is not eating Non-Veg ? Plants are also living things. How can we eat plants (that are alive) and call it as veg? I have discussed this before with some people. They say that, their degree of pain is less, now how can we judge the degree of pain ? Just because they cannot talk, we cannot justify the degree of pain in plants. That being said, some people say that, the plants are going to die any way so its better to take their energy by eating them. So is the case with animals, they are going to die any way.
    Thank you

    • This age old argument doesn’t work, no matter how much effort one puts into it to convince others. This is just a matter of convenience and lust for the taste buds, nothing more. Here are some links to articles we posted on the subject:

      Plant eaters are murderers:
      Common arguments given by meat eaters:

      There are too many proven facts out there to prove this argument. Above all, to be compassionate and living ethically does not need any reason or religion, it is a part of being human.

    • Sir..!!! May I know the meaning of ur name.. please go and check it.. u may not argue any more.. soon human sacrifice is going to be some people’s trend.. it’s already happening with rowdies, hero,and terrorists. Every one is human only na.. shall we people of this earth try and eat humans and say it is so tastier than all meat. That is also happening in this world.. God created us not science.. believe in god not in caste and religion.. all ur sins can be forgiven if we pray to god, who is in every human and every were. So only even a stone can become a god one day.. enjoy.. take care..

    • Siddharth,

      Great question. If you think about it, eating apples, tomatoes, cucumbers etc does not necessarily damage the parent plant. Some say that fruits and vegetables are “offered” by the plant to the world, and in a sense, this is true, as they contain the seeds necessary for replication.

      Some of the stricter ahimsa traditions (ie jains) will avoid eating root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic as well, as the entire plant is disrupted.

      Another thing to consider is the effect of foods on both your physical and psychological health. Plants have an entirely different effect on your body compared to animal foods.

    • Pain is the property of the nervous system & brain. A plant does not have a nervous system, hence it can’t experience pain. However we see plants growing towards light; this phenomenon makes us think that it have feelings & hence they can experience pain. The actual fact is that the plant is piling-up cells in the direction of the light. There is another example for this – when there is plenty of water & nutrients the whole plant will grow big (overall growth) and when there is less water or nutrients the plant will grow slow or weak or even die. Similarly when light comes from a certain direction, the the cells that are facing the source of light will start to multiply faster, hence the plant grows towards the direction of light. This is called phototropism. There is no nervous system involved. Whereas when an animal moves towards light or warmth, it is because of its nervous system, brains & intelligence.

    • Take a cell data and store in computer now try to create and give life may be it may take few years efforts and several giga byte to store. store a 3 dimesnional vector information of a small mango fruit like colour taste smell composition texture etc etc, lets also stie a casue and effect matrix of its behavior with weather and various external and internal parametets. We may need sevral years and sevral millions of giga byet of storage. Now lets do the same for a tree its is still more complex. Now lets similarly store all information of ant, mouse, chicekn, sheep, cow , humans, Iam sure is we have to store all info of an animal it will be very complex. If by chance you are able to stire the info and then recreate a 3 dimesional animal and then give life to eat, you will surely now kill animals but to live we have to kill some thins so may be plants is acceptable, like you said corrrectly like jains not eating roots is still noble.

    • Hi siddharth,
      you have good question, i can give you an analogy. Any plant or vegetable even after it is harvested you can put them back in to the soil and grow more out of it.
      is it possible to join all the cut pieces of the animal and get it back alive?

      now lets talk science, thee concept has nothing to do with pain. The number of cancer cases reported due to eating red meat is far more than plant eater.
      i am not telling read meat causes cancer, it aggravates the disease. which can be otherwise controlled with vegi diet.
      The white meat is equally dangerous today because they are fed and grown only on antibiotics. so, its antibiotics is what you are eating when eating meat. if you want to know its impact just google.
      also the extract of the livestock is very important for soil cultivation, that’s the natural way. when there are no animals what are you going to produce manure with? chemicals?? if your answer is yes then you can witness its impact in our country already with the rate at which diabetes has increased.
      Our ancestors were capable enough to foresee these situations, scientific explanations for all of them were lost over the period of time, i would rather say they were systematically destoryed.

      meat eating has existed for a long time sir no doubt in that, then why is beef no to be eaten.
      its simple, anything or everything that comes out of a cow is helpful to humans. dung used for manure, milk for nourishment, help on the farm fields for agriculture, after death again goes back in the soil only to enrich it. The animal that is sold as beef does so much to mankind and you want to slaughter it?

      i have explained you scientifically, emotionally, analytically. to eat beef or not to eat is left to you conscious.
      Take care.

    • Plants grow back. Animals dont.
      Pluck tomato from a plant and leg from an animal. What grows back?

    • Rig veda says.. anything being which can be reproduce should not be killed. Donot think from Hindu religion viewpoint, cos it will never convince you. Think just sensibly. Plants regrow and moreover we take the fruits from it, its not that entire plant gets taken out from root. So pls dnt bring out points and justifications just for the sake of it. Ancient times, people had a cow in every house. We didnt ve to buy milk from outside and neither had to buy from outside. For tht matter any product. Today you hear abt washing powder added to milk, petrol added to oil etc. When all the resources get exhausted this is wht s going to happen. Man ll end up eating artificial stuff and in the end may be currency notes. Had heard the story of a butcher who killed the ‘sone dene wali murgi’ during my childhood days and experiencing in the current days.

  • Very nice and clearly explained.. Thanks for sharing..

  • This article is very good. I wish someone can explain this to Zakir Naik in front of millions of people..! Thanks..!

  • Siddhartha, I don’t know your intention in your comments. Are you trying to justify the meat consumption telling us that plants too have lives? Or, are you trying to understand the problem genuinely? In my opinion, plants do not have central nervous system to feel the pain, and also they grow again. gandhi ate only nuts and fruits. Well, to survive there will be minimal harm to other lives. How much minimal harm is allowed is left to individuals conscience. In some religion meat is not only allowed, they would say, God created them for that reason. If we use our logic and spirituality, we don’t need to kill animals to survive.

  • Another angle to this is, human beings are born to “co exists” with mother nature. Just observe the nature and experience each and everything by yourself and see what gives you “Peace of Mind”. Be truthful to yourself here. You find your own answers to your questions. Then see the magic!

  • Prashant , wonderful response. If people only have the willpower to restrain themselves in thought, word, deed and diet, and practice their sadhana, they will indeed experience the magic. It does not happen overnight and varies according to individuals. A fountain of bliss which surpasses worldly pleasures and instant gratification awaits all. This body is the instrument or laboratory. Be true to oneself. Practice properly and sufficiently. Live blissfully. I Speak from personal experience not from what I heard or read. My personal experience provided proof of Vedic recommendations. Of course there are misinterpretations which we should beware of. So start by experimenting personally. If the magic does not happen the fault is in improper experiment, like science a variable was not properly manipulated and not in your body or scriptures. Pursu the journey within and be rewarded.

  • Sanatan Dharma clearly forbids the killing of cows ( Go Hathya Mana Hai ), which makes a lot of sense for economic reasons since the cow was, and still is, the backbone of India’s economy as it gives us milk which is not only taken by itself but made into a variety of food products consumed by human beings, dung, which gives us both fuel for cooking and heating as well as fertilizer for our crops as well as binder for the mud which is used to build the homes of the poor, among other things. Cow urine also has medicinal properties as used in Ayurvedic Medicine. In addition to all this, cows also can give us more cows and/or male calves. Because of all these attributes, Cows are revered as Kamadhenu. However, contrary to popular and general belief, there is no restriction or ban on the eating of beef, and male calves may be eaten if not required for breeding or for use as draught animals . In addition, there is no ban on the eating of Water Buffaloes, male or female, regardless of the magnificent contribution of these animals to India’s economy. Anyone who doubts what I have written is welcome to search the length and breadth of all the ancient texts, etc, Religious or otherwise, and will surely find despite all the florid and poetic descriptions, verses etc, no specific words specifying that beef should not be eaten by Hindus as a matter of Hindu Religious Observance and Duty. Thus myth, that ” Hindus must not eat beef as part of their Religious Duty ” has been spread and emphasized after Muslims and later the British ruled India, for the specific purpose of keeping the prices of beef low in India. In any even most beef available in India is Water Buffalo meat, which is just as good.

  • Hindus have a tendency to simplify things according to religious explanations, which can sometimes dilute scientific rationale behind certain practices.

    For example, a calorie of beef is incredibly inefficient to produce, when factoring the sheer amount of water and grain needed to raise an animal for slaughter.

    Environmental concerns aside, animal protein (especially so beef and other red meat) has deleterious health effects when it comes to chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. This is not to mention the psychological effects of eating meat, something that allopathic medicine has yet to touch on.

    This is a good example of how a religious call to action has real world scientific merit.

  • We all know animals live a purely natural life….we have both carnivores and herbivores. ….now lets compare masticatory system to digestive system of human beings to these animals. ….whom soever we match we shall fallow….being a doctor I can tell u our most of the systems matches the herbivores completely. ……being logical has killed us……nothin more.

  • Sbse pehali bat hindu means sanatan me 33 caror devi devta nhi he 33 koti devi devta he
    sanskrit me koti ka do matlab hote he caror aur koti means taype yani prakar
    to ye ap sochna ya bolna chodo sbse pehle

  • The difference is only in being a sentient being or a non-sentient being. It is not like living being or non-living being. Plants do not have a central nervous system or hormones like oxytocin or adrenaline. Neither does it have sense organs like animals. I hope all know about a term called vegetative state. A person who neither responds to anything is said to be in a vegetative state as all his/her sense organs cease to function. Even mercy killing is advised for such people. But due to emotions, it is not opted for.

  • Siddarth, it is true that plants also have feelings, dr. Bose has previously proven this. As such killing and eating of plants is also sinful; this is why it needs to be offered to Krsna (the Supreme Personality of Godhead) first in order to not only remove any sin from it, but to have Krsna’s mercy enter into it as well, which is immeasurably beneficial to us. Patram puspam phalam toyam: Krsna accepts some fruits, flowers, water, vegetables… Things that are easily obtained and that are offered to Him with love. Krsna does not say, “give me meat”, and especially not cow’s meat. He is after all Govinda, the loving cowherd boy of Vraja. How can you think to be a good Hindu if you would kill the creature that Krsna loves so much? The killing of a cow is equal to the killing of a Brahmana and one will have to take birth for as many hairs as are on the cows body for doing so.
    Civilized person will take the blood of the cow in the form of milk, but those uncivilized persons who crave flesh and blood can go to a Kali Ma temple and offer less important animals such as goats, to satisfy their animalistic cravings, not cows. However, if we analyze the meaning of the word meat they are also advised against eating meat. The sanskrit word for meat is mamsa.’Mam’ means ‘me’ and ‘sa’ means ‘he’. Therefore it is said: mam sah kadati iti mamsah, “I am now eating the flesh of an animal that will one day in the future be eating my flesh.” As such, by eating the flesh of animals you are signing a contract to be paid back in future lives. No intelligent man would opt for this.

    To get back to the first point, no food is without sin if it is not offered to Bhagavan first. Even vegetables are sinful if eaten unoffered. However there are gradations of sin. Just as it is generally more sinful to kill a man than it is to kill an animal, so too it is more sinful to kill an animal then it is to kill a plant, and it is more sinful to kill a plant then to harvest and eat a fruit.
    Why? Personal atmas, being present in each of these bodies, are all going through their own karmika paths, and all obtain bodies according to evolution of consciousness. All different bodies allow for different degrees of consciousness. The consciousness of stone and water is completely dormant, the consciousness of plants is almost dormant, the consciousness of animals is somewhat developed, and the human body facilitates the highest possible consciousness. But unfortunately, most jivatmas who obtain a human body, spoil the chance and simpy live like animals: sleeping, eating defending and mating, working hard like asses to facilitate these things and never once considering the goal of life.
    Countless jivatmas are going through samsara, the repeated cycle of birth and death, and according to their own actions, they will obtain a higher or lower body. It is a process of gradual evolution of consciousness. But if we in human bodies, who are supposed to be conscious of this, kill their bodies simply to satisfy our tongue, their progress is obstructed and we incur sin. This karma will hurl us down in the lower species of life and we shall lose the chance to become free from this samsara. When it will come again? It is unknown.

    All these things are actually common sense, any sane man will understand that killing an animal is worse than killing a plant, but besides this, the meat eater doesn’t just kill the animal, but they kill the plant as well. No meat eater eats only meat, so they are always going to be more sinful than a vegetarian. So this is a non-argument.

    As for how to be sure if eating plants is ‘veg’ or ‘non-veg’, I do hope you are not serious, because ‘veg’ means vegetarian, which means not eating animals, and ‘non-veg’ means eating meat, fish, eggs, etc., so obviously eating plants is ‘veg’, since a plant is not meat.

    And the argument of “they are going to die anyway” is not a Vedic argument, it is completely atheistic and nihilistic. With this argument you could eat anything. Everything will after all die one day. There is no scope for this sort of thinking in any sane man’s mind.

  • Good to see the responses. But, we tend to forget to learn the grass root of the scripts that has been prepared. We tend to discuss with in the present state of living. We cannot fall under any of those four categories that has been mentioned above.

    To debate on certain thing, we need to first put forth different questions before us and then come to a conclusion.

    Once again, good to see those questions and the answers. Yet then living in MAYA.



  • A picture says thousand words. The difference between beef eaters and non-beef eaters is well explained in the picture itself.

  • superb explanation. हमरी ओर से बहुत बहुत धन्यवाद । इनके जवाब काफी समय से ढूँढ रहा था ।

  • Very informative answer was posted by nrisingha dev das to the question made by siddarta. I am just mentioning the verses reference number from SRIMAD BHAGAVAD GITA AS IT IS to get his comments most lawful. 9/26: KRISHNA SAYS, ” IF ONE OFFERS ME WITH LOVE AND DEVOTION A LEAF, A FLOWER, FRUIT AND WATER, I WILL ACCEPT IT”. 9/27, KRISHNA SAYS AGAIN, ” O SON OF KUNTI, ALL THAT YOU DO, ALL THAT YOU OFFER AND GIVE AWAY, AS WELL AS ALL AUSTERITIES THAT YOU MAY PERFORM, SHOULD BE DONE AS AN OFFERING UNTO ME.” If you really want to escape the real problem, you must have to surrender completely to the lotus feet of Krishna. What is the real problem? Birth-death-ageing-disease. It’s a cycle. It’s happening again and again. Intelligent person wants to solve this real problem. Why that is real problem? Because that’s common for all living entities. Other problems are not at all permanent. So a Krishna devotee never takes veg food. Rather devotee takes Krishna prasadam that is offered to supreme personality of God head-Krishna. How a devotee is able to break the circle of real problem? GITA 8/5 : whoever at the time of death, quits his body, remembering ME ALONE, at once attains my nature. Of this, there is no doubt.” If one is engaged in sinful activities, how he will remember Krishna at the time of death? Never possible. Rather Krishna says in just next verse 8/6 : whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, that state he will attain without fail.” So we, Krishna devotees, take neither veg nor non veg, we just take Krishna prasadham that is completely SPIRITUAL although physically it looks like a veg menu. Because it is the remnants of Krishna. There is no different between Krishna and Krishna prasadham. Remembers that a dove also takes veg food. There is nothing to be happy being veg.

  • If there is a need to explain that beef eating by a hindu is sin,the battle has been lost (on that person). He wasnt brought up with the right sanskar. Just pray that some day the verbal antics of these urchins change sanatan dharm to an extent that they are given the same punishment as other religions do

  • Can’t we just eat what we are comfortable with and not try push our food preferences down other people’s throats

  • In South India especially in Kerela state…The Nairs once a aadhivaasis…gradually….established
    in mainstream of society but still as low class dalits, mostly their caste women were entertainment stuff for state Guest n Brahmins…..In Monarch periods…..since existing they only Used to eat Beef mostly, even in festival occasions also they make variety of dishes from Beef, but since many North Indians objected for it….In fear of being outclassed by society they now started imitating customs n culture s of elite class of north and gradually avoiding it .But still consuming in large quantities inside Kerela…
    Even the Christians of Kerela a slave class converted to Christians since arrival of St. Antony.Still continues to having Beef dishes,now LOL fact is they started proclaiming themselves as once a brahmins of Kerela.