In India, the cow is considered sacred and it represents the “giving nature of life” to every Hindu. India officially prohibited cow slaughter and it is utterly anathema to a majority of Indians. But new data from the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service shows that India will be the world’s largest exporter of beef this year.
Overtaking Australia, Brazil, and the United States, India will export around 1.5 million metric tons of beef by the end of this year, while each of the former nations will export around 1.2-1.4m metric tons.
Beef from India is sold in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. In 2009, 600,000 metric tons were exported from India.
It will be a great wonder to anyone who knows the connection between Indian culture and the cow. Although, cow killing is prohibited, the USDA does not make the distinction between the cow and the water buffalo in what it calls beef.
Though, India also prohibits killing of milk-producing water buffalo, both male and female can be killed once they stop producing milk.
For non-Indians, it remains a question why the cow is respected across the country. According to an explanation by the Himalayan Academy, the animal gives more than it takes.
To the Hindus, the cow symbolizes the Earth, the nourisher, the ever-giving, undemanding provider. And, we wish that both cow and water buffalo would be respected.
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