In the United States, cows are an essential food source, with millions of pounds of beef eaten each year. They are also the source of most of our cheese and milk, and the Texas Longhorn breed helped early cowboys settle the west. However, most of us don’t give them much thought, unlike the Hindus in India that worship them.

The short answer is that Hindus in India believe that cows are a gift from god.

If you are interested in why the Hindus believe this, keep reading while we take a closer look to find the answers and help you be better informed.

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Why Do Hindus Worship Cows?

Watusi cows walking
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The primary reason Hindus worship cows is that they consider them a gift from the gods. Cows provide us with milk, butter, cheese, fuel, and a cleanser, and more but require nothing in return. These animals do more for humans than any other animal to the Hindu people.

How Cows Benefit Humans

  • Hindus cannot sacrifice without ghee, a product made from cow’s milk, so the cow is essential to their religion.
  • Ghee is an important ingredient in Hindu herbal medication. It’s a type of butter with more nutrients than other types, and it is a good source of vitamin A, C, D, and K.
  • The Hindu religion notices that cows act like a surrogate mother to humans, providing us with milk our entire lives.
  • Cow dung is an effective disinfectant.
  • Cow dung is a natural mosquito repellent.
  • You can use cow dung instead of wood in a furnace.
  • Cow dung can help prevent pimples.
  • Cow dung can clean teeth and strengthen gums.
  • Cow dung is a powerful fertilizer that will help farmers yield better crops.
  • Many Hindus believe cow’s milk can improve meditation.
  • Cow urine is also an effective fertilizer.
  • Cow urine could help remove intestinal worms and may relieve other abdominal diseases.

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What Do Hindus Do for Cows?

Hinduism belief in sacred cow
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  • The Hindus own 30% of the world’s cattle.
  • There are 26 distinctive breeds of cattle in India.
  • Cattle can roam free, often wandering through the cities and towns of India, eating the grass by the curbside.
  • Indians offered to take millions of cows from the British who were suffering from a crisis in 1996.
  • Indians consider receiving a cow one of the greatest gifts.
  • Hindus consider the cow a living symbol of Mother Earth.
  • Hindus often decorate their cattle with jewels, clothing, and colorful dyes.
  • Hindus consider it a sin to misuse or abuse the cow.
  • Adults teach children how to decorate the cow at a young age.
  • There are statues, drawings, and other cow artwork almost everywhere you look in India.
  • There are over 3,000 shelters in India to take care of old cows.

What Other Animals Does the Hindu Religion Worship?

The Hindu religion considers all living creatures sacred, from the fish in the sea to the birds in the sky; however, the cow includes these other animals by representing the entire earth and all life.

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The main reason that Hindus worship the cow is that they feel it is a gift from their gods since it is so beneficial to mankind. Not counting the meat and hides it gives us, the cow provides milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, and many other dairy products. The dung is antibacterial, so you can use it as a cleanser, and it also works well as fuel for a fire. It’s also a potent fertilizer, as is urine, and both are important products in Indian medication.

Cows give us so much and only require food and water in return and have been doing it for more than 5,000 years, so what is really surprising is that more people don’t take some lessons from the Hindus and show a little more respect for these amazing animals.

We hope you have enjoyed reading over this guide and found the answers you needed. If we have helped you understand the Hindu people a little better, please share our look into why cows are sacred in India on Facebook and Twitter.

Featured Image Credit: Devanath, Pixabay