Where’s the Beef?

May 1, 2016

India’s got a beef with beef

One of the most important things about writing a law is to make sure that everyone understands it the way that it was meant to be understood. But that can be very difficult when it comes to a country that has many different languages and beliefs. India is one such country. Recently, one state in particular tried to make it illegal to eat beef even though India is one of the top producers of beef in the world. How can that happen?

In India, approximately 80% of its population believes that the cow is a sacred animal and it has been illegal for decades to kill cows for meat in most states. Interestingly, “beef” in India can actually include meat from buffalos and oxen. However, each of the 29 states interprets the country’s law differently. So you could have a state where people can eat beef but cannot produce beef. In this particular situation, the “beef ban” was meant to discourage from producing and eating beef. But a lawyer protested and the High Court of the state agreed with him. The court clarified that possessing beef is not illegal and that people cannot be arrested for simply eating beef.

India has the highest percentage of vegetarians among it's people. Which country do you think is the second highest?