Originally Posted by A Canuker
I was wondering what the historical reasoning was behind this. Halal is another thing that confuses me, I have read up on it and can see the process but not the reasoning.
How far back do you want to go? Their texts make many references to the cow as a symbolic caregiver or maternal figure, being a source of labor for tilling, of sustenance in giving milk from which butter (ghee) can be derived, etc. And one Hindu goddess is usually shown in the form of a cow though I don't think they worship cows but rather hold them in extremely high regard.
Halal/Kosher is almost the opposite in that there are proscribed methods of slaughtering that can be of benefit healtwise, i.e. draining of the blood and not eating flesh of dead animals. The actual term is zabiha/dhabihah which is the slaughtering, halal more generally means permissible. It's also not as strict as kosher, which as far as I understand prohibits consumption of two animal products (cheese and meat, for example) and requires rabbinical supervision, and there might be something about crustaceans?
Anyway the point of contention here is that Muslims are slaughtering cows to eat them and zealous Hindus are upset. Note that Sikhs also eat meat, and many Hindus do as well (one told me "if the rest of the world eats our gods why shouldn't I ?", which I find a bit off-putting)