Hindus consider the cow holy. Their highest-ranking god (out of 30 million), Shiva, used the mighty bull as his mode of transportation. Worship the god, worship his vehicle.

The streets of Delhi are said to have 40,000 cows roaming about, and we saw many of them. Quite docile compared to Wisconsin’s farm-locked cows, they stand alongside traffic-clogged streets, munching away on piles of garbage. Yes, the animal whose sole diet should be grass can be found chewing meat bones, plastic bags and their favorite: cardboard boxes.

Those Hindus looking to improve their merit for reincarnation can be found approaching the street cows and feeding them various grasses and weeds. And while most Indians drive like maniacs, they will do everything they can to never hit a cow. Those who do could face jail time, not to mention a screwed-up reincarnation assignment.

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One scholar argues that the cow was never holy and should not be. Considering the poor treatment most receive, I too think it may be best to lower their status and start feeding the masses who are starving in India.

Holy or not, the waste from cows is a widely-used resource: cow patties are dried for use as fuel.