Harned Ranch Beef

From the happiest cows comes the best steak!

Religious and Legal Prohibitions Pertaining To Beef

Dietary prohibitions are not unheard of in this global village and vary from one region to another. However, a common point that these restrictions share is their origin – almost all of them stem from either religion or the law or in some cases, both. Beef, a variety of red meat obtained from cattle, is a food group that comes under prohibition act in some communities for several reasons that range from religion to health.

Religious prohibitions – Consumption of beef is looked upon as taboo in Hinduism owing to the cow having been accorded a status of a sacred animal. Because the cow gives milk which is an important source of nutrition and can be further processed into yoghurt, ghee, cottage cheese and so on, slaughtering it for the sake of obtaining its meat is something that is regarded as being sacrilegious. Based on this logic, countries that have majority Hindu population like India, Nepal and Sri Lanka prohibit slaughtering of cows to produce beef.

Zoroastrianism advocates vegetarianism and although followers of this faith may not adhere to this rule strictly, they avoid beef as an acknowledgement to the fact that a cow had saved Zoroaster from murderers when he was still a child. In China, people refrain from eating beef in respect for its valuable contribution to agriculture and this opinion is shared by Sinhalese of Sri Lanka too.

Legal Prohibitions – Cow slaughter is banned almost throughout India, the only exceptions being Kerala in the south, West Bengal in the east and the seven states that occupy the north-eastern flank of this nation. So stringent is the regulation that any person found to be involved in the act could face up to several years in prison.

Till recently, this legislation was limited to just cows and did not include buffaloes or calves. All of this changed in 2015 when the law was extended to cover bulls and calves too irrespective of ‘fit for slaughter’ certificate granted to the concerned animal.