Beef-eating or Cow slaughter is a controversial issue in India as a large number of Indian people consider cow as a sacred and holy animal. In Hinduism (which is the largest religion in the country), cow is considered to be a symbol of earthly life, selfless giving and prosperity.
Neutrality is a pillar of this website. That means this website does not force any opinion or point of view on readers. But (frankly speaking), when I read this Wikihow article on “how to slaughter a cow?”, I personally felt very uncomfortable.
Anyway, in this article we are going to make a collection of Swami Vivekananda‘s quotes and comments on beef-eating and cow slaughter.
|Hindus from North to South are only agreed
on one point, viz. on not eating beef.
Swami Vivekananda told—
- At present there are three parties in India included under the term ‘Hindu’ — the orthodox, the reforming sects of the Mohammedan period, and the reforming sects of the present time. Hindus from North to South are only agreed on one point, viz. on not eating beef.[Source]
- Buddha dealt a blow at animal sacrifice from which India has never recovered; and Buddha said, ‘Kill no cows’, and cow-killing is an impossibility with us.[Source]
- England has the sword, the material world, as our Mohammedan conquerors had before her. Yet Akbar the Great became practically a Hindu; educated Mohammedans, the Sufis, are hardly to be distinguished from the Hindus; they do not eat beef, and in other ways conform to our usages. Their thought has become permeated by ours.[Source]
- Every man, in every age, in every country is under peculiar circumstances. If the circumstances change, ideas also must change. Beef-eating was once moral. The climate was cold, and the cereals were not much known. Meat was the chief food available. So in that age and clime, beef was in a manner indispensable. But beef-eating is held to be immoral now.[Source]
- Haven’t you heard Shri Ramakrishna’s story about “the sin of killing a cow”? . . . A man had laid out a beautiful garden into which a cow strayed one day and did much injury. The man in rage gave some blows to the cow which killed her. Then to avoid the terrible sin he bethought himself of a trick; knowing that Indra was the presiding deity of the hand, he tried to lay the blame on him. Indra perceiving his sophistry appeared on the scene in the guise of a Brahmin and by a number of questions drew from him the answer that each and every item in connection with that garden was the man’s own handiwork; whereupon Indra exposed his cunning with the cutting remark, “Well, everything here has been done by you, and Indra alone is responsible for the killing of the cow, eh!”[Source]
- If a Christian finds a piece of beef before him and does not eat it to save his own life, or will not give it to save the life of another man, he is sure to feel that he has not done his duty. But if a Hindu dares to eat that piece of beef or to give it to another Hindu, he is equally sure to feel that he too has not done his duty; the Hindu’s training and education make him feel that way.[Source]
- If we did not eat beef and mutton, there would be no butchers. Eating meat is only allowable for people who do very hard work, and who are not going to be Bhaktas; but if you are going to be Bhaktas, you should avoid meat.[Source]
- In the midst of all these differences we note one point of unity among all Hindus, and it is this, that no Hindu eats beef.[Source]
- It is improper to hold many texts on the same subject to be contradicted by one or two. But why then are the long-continued customs of Madhuparka and the like repealed by one or two such texts as, “The horse sacrifice, the cow sacrifice, Sannyasa, meat-offerings in Shrâddha”, etc.? If the Vedas are eternal, then what are the meaning and justification of such specifications as “this rule of Dharma is for the age of Dvâpara,” “this for the age of Kali”, and so forth?[Source] (Note: Madhuparka was a Vedic ceremony, usually in honour of guest, in which a respectful offering was to be made consisting, among other dainties, of beef.)
- The Brahmins at one time ate beef and married Sudras. [A] calf was killed to please a guest. Sudras cooked for Brahmins.[Source]
- There was a time in this very India when, without eating beef, no Brahmin could remain a Brahmin; you read in the Vedas how, when a Sannyasin, a king, or a great man came into a house, the best bullock was killed; how in time it was found that as we were an agricultural race, killing the best bulls meant annihilation of the race. Therefore the practice was stopped, and a voice was raised against the killing of cows.[Source]
- You will be astonished if I tell you that, according to the old ceremonials, he is not a good Hindu who does not eat beef. On certain occasions he must sacrifice a bull and eat it. That is disgusting now. However they may differ from each other in India, in that they are all one — they never eat beef. The ancient sacrifices and the ancient gods, they are all gone; modern India belongs to the spiritual part of the Vedas.[Source]
Did Swami Vivekananda himself eat beef during his stay in the United States? Read the special article here
You may read this article too—