Hinduism and animals
Because Hinduism is a term that includes many different although related religious ideas, there is no clear single Hindu view on the right way to treat animals, so what follows are generalisations to which there are exceptions.
The doctrine of ahimsa leads Hindus to treat animals well:
Most Hindus are vegetarian. No Hindu will eat beef
Butchery and related jobs are restricted to people of low caste
Most Hindus believe that non-human animals are inferior to human beings
Cows are sacred to Hindus
Some Hindu temples keep sacred animals
Some Hindu gods have animal characteristics
- Ganesh has the head of an elephant
- Hanuman takes the form of a monkey
The cow is greatly revered by Hindus and is regarded as sacred. Killing cows is banned in India and no Hindu would eat any beef product.