Sacred Bovine

BENARES, India—Overlooking the ghat, 1997.

The cow is sacred in India. This is an interesting phenomenon. I think the cow became sacred for practical purposes. If there was a beef industry in India, like the one in the U.S., the environment would have collapsed much earlier. Cows entered Hindu cosmology because the cow provides much more to society alive than dead. The dried dung is used to burn. They also mix the dung with mud to build structures. The milk is used daily. And the peaceful docile nature of the animal is a lesson to all humans to strive for peace and harmony.

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