Why does eating beef hurt the sentiments of Hindus when they enjoy eating chicken & mutton?

Isn’t the value of the lives of chicken/goats the same as that of cows?
Hindus worship cows, so a cow’s life is holy to them, then why do they belittle the lives of hens/goats?
It seems the value of the life of an animal differs from another only in India sadly, because of religious beliefs.


Answer by Raakhee Venugopal:

Thank you for the A2A, Rohan.

Let me put forth my disclaimers before I answer this…


  1. I am a Hindu who has arrived at my my own answers to my questions after reading several Hindu scriptures rather than parroting what someone else has deduced from them.
  2. I don’t eat beef…or mutton…or pork…or fish. I could be called a social chicken-eater (like how they say social drinker). It’s not that I enjoy eating any non-veg food. Whatever I do consume, it’s just for the sake of being polite and in very minimal quantities.
  3. I am quite a connoisseur of good food and enjoy every morsel of what I eat to the fullest.

People have always eaten what they chose to eat. It was never an ‘issue’ as such until recent times. I am from Kerala where Beef curry and Kerala Porotta is considered to be something like the official food of the state 😀 Take a look at his representative map. Do you see any jail term or fine for cow slaughter in Kerala?

And that says a lot, doesn’t it? It is available in every restaurant that serves non-vegetarian food. None of us really care about what the guy sitting at the other table had. If you don’t want to eat beef, don’t eat it. If you don’t want to eat fish, don’t eat it.  Nobody is going to force you to eat. This has been the general attitude in Kerala ever since I can remember. And Kerala does have a fair number of pure vegetarians – Kerala Brahmins, Tamil Brahmins, Kshatriyas, etc. Even they don’t protest when they see anybody consuming something they revere. My parents’ ancestral homes kept many cows and buffaloes as farm cattle. So I’m familiar with being around cows. They are actually very lovable animals. They are well taken care of and some of them grow to enormous sizes too! But I don’t remember seeing any poojas performed for cows in Kerala ever in my life. It’s only when we move to other states of India that we see cows being worshiped and decorated and all that. The only thing I remember is when my grandmother told me once about how we hold cows in high esteem, that they should not be ill-treated and that I should not be disgusted with cow-dung that has been considered to have several antiseptic properties, religious aspects aside. This was when one of our maids ware smearing the earth with cow-dung in preparation for laying out the flower arrangement during the days leading up to Onam and I made the mistake of wrinkling my nose.

We have an attitude of living just our lives and letting others live theirs. So it is mighty amusing to us when we see people on TV attacking somebody over something they ate! It’s almost unbelievable. It’s wrong to impose your own beliefs on people who don’t agree to them. When the entire beef ban fiasco was happening in other parts of the country, a few colleges in Kerala also tried to grab the limelight by organizing ‘Beef Festivals’. And most of the people were like…

“What’s with all the drama,eh? Go buy it from the restaurant on the next street and have it. Duh!”

Apparently there is nothing called a common Hindu sentiment. We are not bound by a single set of rules that all of us follow. What is acceptable to some of us may not be so for others. I’d like to quote Amish Tripathi here…

Kerala Hindus are a lot more liberal as far as I have known them. There are many who adhere to their strict vegetarianism. But they do not get violent at people who are not so. ‘It’s their life. Why should we interfere?’ I’d like to attribute this to the higher levels of literacy and the general ability of the average Malayali to think for himself rather than blindly follow something just because some leader asked him to do so. I am aware that this is not the case in other states, but I am happy with how things are in my own state and I’d rather have them remain that way.


Why does eating beef hurt the sentiments of Hindus when they enjoy eating chicken & mutton?


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