A) Rigveda (10/85/13) declares, “On the occasion of a girl’s marriage oxen and cows are slaughtered.”
B) Rigveda (6/17/1) states that “Indra used to eat the meat of cow, calf, horse and buffalo.” (translation by Avatar Gill and group)
Fact: The mantra states that brilliant scholars enlighten the world in the manner that wood enhances the fire of Yajna. We fail to understand from where did Avtar Gill and his friends discover Indra, cow, calf, horse and buffalo in this mantra! Also, there is a word "Gavyam", which are five in numbers according to Aayurved-cow's milk, curd, butter, Mutra and Apashisht. Where does the flesh come into the picture? Mantra clearly says that the king should be well built through Saatvik bhojan like Ghrit, so that he can defend his country and kill the monsters.
C) Manusmriti contains violence against animals
Fact:- Unfortunately, most of the vedic texts in the last 1000 years have been adulterated. Though much work has been done in cleansing these texts in the last 100 years, still the adulterated ones remain in circulation. These adulterated texts are great source of misconceptions. Purana and Bhaagvat (not bhagvad geeta) is perhaps the most adulterated (we doubt even its basic writing as many portions of it are Avedic), which is beyond repair. Any reference to such cannot be taken as proof of Vedic Granth containing barbarism.
Example, you would come accross some reference from adulterated Manusmriti, containing Violence against animals like:-
Manusmriti (Chapter 5 / Verse 30) says, “It is not sinful to eat meat of eatable animals, for Brahma has created both the eaters and the eatables.”
Manusmriti (5 / 35) states: When a man who is properly engaged in a ritual does not eat meat, after his death he will become a sacrificial animal during twenty-one rebirths.These are additional shlokas are either from adulterated Manu Smriti or misinterpreted by twisting of words. We recommend them to read Manu Smriti by Dr Surendra Kumar which is available from http://vedicbooks.com
D) Ramayan contains Violence in Ashwamedha
Fact:- The Ramayan we get today is a much interpolated text. Many verses have been added later on and that can be checked with a close scrutiny. The Uttar Ramayan, which contains the reference to Ashwamedha, can be proved to be a later addition by even a layman. No mantra in Vedas refer to any form of animal sacrifice. All those mantras which are alleged to have animal sacrifice, can be easily proved to mean something else, if we look at context and root meanings of the words, as used in ancient texts of grammar and vocabulary. Many of these come from misinterpretation from translations of Sayana and Mahidhar who were born in around 15th century. These translations were then publicized by western indologists. But if you look at ancient translations, and references in other books like Shatpath, Nirukta, Nighantu etc, one can easily understand the truth. Infact, Ashwamedha means efforts to make nation better and has nothing to do with horse.
E) Some Hindu Philosophers have told that Hinduism permit meat eating
Fact:- Many people quote those, who may be good though one subject (like Yoga) but may not have credible understanding of the Vedas. These quotations are widely used to prove that Vedas prescribe barbaric things like Violence against animals and women, etc but the users of these quotations are unable to provide real proofs (directly from the Vedas and Vedic Granth). Also, we are not sure that these people have really made such comments or not:-
• Swami Vivekanand said: “You will be surprised to know that according to ancient Hindu rites and rituals, a man cannot be a good Hindu who does not eat beef”. (The Complete Works of Swami Vivekanand, vol.3, p. 536).
• Mukandilal writes in his book ‘Cow Slaughter – Horns of a Dilemma’, page 18: “In ancient India, cow-slaughter was considered auspicious on the occasions of some ceremonies. Bride and groom used to sit on the hide of a red ox in front of the ‘Vedi’ (alter).”
• A scholar of scriptures Dr. Pandurang Vaman Kane says, “Bajsancyi Samhita sanctifies beef-eating because of its purity”. (Dharmashastra Vichar Marathi, page 180)
• Adi Shankaracharya’ commentary on Brihdaranyakopanishad 6/4/18 says : ‘Odan’ (rice) mixed with meat is called ‘Mansodan’. On being asked whose meat it should be, he answers ‘Uksha’. ‘Uksha’ is used for an ox, which is capable to produce semen.
• The book ‘The History and Culture of the Indian People’, published by Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, Bombay and edited by renowned historian R.C.Majumdar (Vol.2, page 578) says: “this is said in the Mahabharat that King Rantidev used to kill two thousand other animals in addition to two thousand cows daily in order to give their meat in charity”.
Some translators have fallen prey to wrong interpretation of the language. A typical example of foul play by some hell-bent on justifying their obsession with beef in ancient texts, is to translate Mansa as ‘meat’. In reality, ‘Mansa’ is a generic word used to denote pulp. Meat is called ‘Mansa’ because it is pulpy. So mere presence of ‘Mansa’ does not mean it refers to meat.
Now, lets see, how a pure mind would read the following lines from Shatpath Brahmin (3/1/2/21) by Maharishi Yagyavalkya:- “I eat Mansa because it is very soft and delicious.” Infact, reading the whole passage containing this verse, one would know that the passage is factually opposing meat eating.
Similar injustice can be found, after reading with a pure mind and correct reference, on the following misconceptions:-
Apastamb Grihsutram (1/3/10) says, “The cow should be slaughtered on the arrival of a guest, on the occasion of ‘Shraddha’ of ancestors and on the occasion of a marriage.”
Vashistha Dharmasutra (11/34) writes, “If a Brahmin refuses to eat the meat offered to him on the occasion of ‘Shraddha’ or worship, he goes to hell.”
F) Ashwa Medha, Gomedha Yajna and Naramedha Yajna are example of violence
Fact:- One of the biggest accusation of cattle and cow slaughter comes in the context of the Yajnas that derived their names from different cattle like the Ashwamedh Yajna, the Gomedha Yajna and the Nar-medh Yajna. Even by the wildest stretch of the imagination the word Medha would not mean slaughter in this context.
It’s interesting to note what Yajurveda says about a horse
Aswamedha does not mean horse sacrifice at Yajna. Instead the Yajurveda clearly mentions that a horse ought not to be slaughtered. In Shathapatha, Ashwa is a word for the nation or empire. The word medha does not mean slaughter. It denotes an act done in accordance to the intellect Alternatively it could mean consolidation, as evident from the root meaning of medha i.e. medhru san-ga-me
Raashtram vaa ashwamedhah
Swami Dayananda Saraswati wrote in his Light of Truth:A Yajna dedicated to the glory, wellbeing and prosperity of the Rashtra the nation or empire is known as the Ashwamedh yajna. “To keep the food pure or to keep the senses under control, or to make the food pure or to make a good use of the rays of Sun or keep the earth free from impurities[clean] is called Gomedha Yajna”. “The word Gau also means the Earth and the yajna dedicated to keep the Earth the environment clean is called Gomedha Yajna”. “The cremation of the body of a dead person in accordance with the principles laid down in the Vedas is called Naramedha Yajna”.
G) Honey and Milk are animal products, so why not meat?
Another type of misconception has aroused because of change in the technique of doing things. For example, it is common to see violence on Cows (injection, etc) whilst extracting milk. This experience read with Vedas saying that "Milk is good" will create confusion in the minds of the ignorant. Vedas not only suggests on extracting the milk from Cow, but also suggests to do so with love and care. Another example would be honey. Extracting honey is like snatching away bees' food. But that's not the intent. Honey can be extracted without harming the bees [For large scale production, honey is collected in a smart way. There are wooden boxes of certain height and bees collect their honey inside it. As soon as level of honey reaches the height of box, it starts flowing down through the outer wall of box and is collected. So only extra honey, which was not essential for bees is collected and thus it can be consumed.]
Meat on the other hand cannot be obtained by love and care from living animals. Moreover, according to the ayurveda, human body is suitable for only vegetarian food.