COWS IN BUDDHISM
Gautam Buddha preached about the utility & importance of cows. He advocated against Cow Slaughter & gave importance on cow rearing.
यथा माता सिता भ्राता अज्ञे वापि च ज्ञातका ।
गावो मे परमा मित्ता यातु जजायंति औषधा ॥
अन्नदा बलदा चेता वण्णदा सुखदा तथा ।
एतवत्थवसं ज्ञत्वा नास्सुगावो हनिं सुते ॥
Like parents, siblings, members of family and community, cow is dear to us. It is very helpful. We prepare medicine from its milk. Cow gives food, strength, beauty, and pleasure. Similarly ox supports family men. We should treat the ox and cow like our parents.
गोहाणि सख्य गिहीनं पोसका भोगरायका ।
तस्मा हि माता पिता व मानये सक्करेय्य च् ॥ १४ ॥
ये च् खादंति गोमांसं मातुमासं व खादये ॥ १५ ॥
Cows and oxen provide necessary and appropriate products to all households. Therefore we should treat them with care and respect like we treat our parents. Eating cow’s meat is like eating one’s own mother’s flesh. (Lokaneeti 7)
“Let all creatures, let all things that live, all beings of whatever kind, see nothing that will bode them ill! May naught of evil come to them!” ~~ Buddha (quoted in the Culla-Vagga)
The Mahayana tradition is especially strong on vegetarianism; it pictures the Buddha not only as himself a vegetarian, but as one who taught others to be vegetarians. The Lankavatara sutra devotes an entire chapter to the evils of eating meat, saying: “Meat eating in any form, in any manner, and in any place is unconditionally and once for all prohibited. . . . Meat eating I have not permitted to anyone, I do not permit, I will not permit.”
All beings hate pains; therefore one should not kill them. This is the quintessence of wisdom: not to kill anything. ~~Sutrakritanga
“I do not see any reason why animals should be slaughtered to serve as human diet when there are so many substitutes. After all, man can live without meat…” ~~ The Dalai Lama
Many Buddha temples in Thailand have idols of cows. A cow idol occupies a prominent location in the world famous Buddha temple in Bangkok.