Vegans don't buy milk because of the cruel life dairy cows are subjected to and because they eventually get slaughtered. Given that cows are sacred for Hindus I was wondering if Hindus share the concern with vegans about the treatment and fate of dairy cows, and are required by their religion to buy only milk obtained from milk production facilities or operations whose cows are not sent to be slaughtered.

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Consuming milk and dairy causes bad karma?

Eating Beef as a Hindu (specially enlightening regarding the issue)

  • For eg- Are u saying if cows are not known to be slaughtered in a city X, one should buy cow milk from that city only Or u meant something else? Because apparently the Q does not make any sense, coz none buy milk from slaughter houses.
    – Rickross
    Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 5:20
  • @Rickross I clarified the question. Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 6:53
  • Hindus are not Vegans but Vegetarians. We consume dairy products such as milk. We consume milk of cow. See Do Hindus consume milk products?
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 6:56
  • @TheDestroyer I know that Hindus are not vegans but I wanted to mention what vegans say about drinking milk because I thought Hindus might share the same concerns about the treatment of cows in the milk production process. Commented Sep 17, 2017 at 7:01
  • 1
    @freethinker36 Hinduism is very vast and one's reputation is not measure of proper knowledge in all aspects. Moreover, this site enforces strict rule of citing sources. I know cows are being exploited in milk production but many Hindus (who are Hindus for name sake) don't bother about fate of cows. Cows are sent to Goshalas (cow sheds) if they stop producing milk and many hindu organizations maintain cow sheds.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Sep 18, 2017 at 6:25

1 Answer 1


Cow's milk is a very satvik food (mode of goodness, per ISKCON terminology).

But it is satvik if and only if the cow's OWN calf drank from the mother first.
It is satvik if and only if the cow is protected in its olden days when it can no longer give milk.
It is satvik if and only if the first 10 days after birthing colostrum milk is given to calf only, not for human consumption.

Basically, we must not steal from the cow, it must be a mutual give & take. There are many restrictions for a cow's milk to be very satvik (native indian breeds like those in brindavana, no artificial insemination)

Source - Ahara Niyama

There is a saying:

a woman past her beauty, a soldier past his strength, and a cow past its milch-days must not be cast aside

i.e. don't adopt use & throw mentality. Because the same fate may befall you one-day, when you're feeble and sick, your own children may not care for you (karma will find its way).

Unfortunately nowadays in Kali Yuga, it is very hard to find such facilities, even in India. So I try to buy organic milk, or from goshala or local farmer whenever possible.

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