Indeed, in Hindu culture and religion the cow is revered as the Goddess mother, a symbol of Ahimsa or nonviolence and of wealth and fortune.
In the Rig Veda (An ancient Indian collection of sacred Sanskrit Hymns,) the cow is identified with Aditi (the mother of Gods.)
Vegetarianism is encouraged.
“There is no sin in eating meat… but abstention brings great rewards.” (The Laws of Manu, V/56)
Cows were also considered appropriate as gifts for high caste Hindus or Brahmans and to kill a cow is equal to killing a Brahman.
“Among the cows, I am the wish giving Kama Dhenu” (Lord Krishna states in Bhagavad Gita: Chap 10 Verse 28)
Many Hindus are against the consumption of beef. Some Indian states have even passed laws which makes the slaughter of cows a serious offence.