Given below is a list of few citations from the Vedas which establish that Cow is a highly revered animal in the Indian Culture and Hindus are duty bound to protect it. Hope this inspires as many as possible to take necessary actions against cruelty to Cows around the world in general and in India in particular. Not only the Vedas are against animal slaughter but also vehemently oppose and prohibit cow slaughter. Yajurveda forbids killing of cows, for they provide energizing food for human beings.
Do not kill cows and bulls who always deserve to be protected. (Yajurveda 13.49)
In Rigveda cow slaughter has been declared a heinous crime equivalent to human murder and it has been said that those who commits this crime should be punished. (Rigveda 7.56.17)
The Aghnya cows “ which are not to be killed under any circumstances“ may keep themselves healthy by use of pure water and green grass, so that we may be endowed with virtues, knowledge and wealth. (Rigveda 1.164.40 or Atharv 7.73.11 or Atharv 9.10.20)
The Vedic Lexicon, Nighantu, gives amongst other synonyms of Gau [or cow] the words Aghnya. Ahi, and Aditi. Yaska the commentator on Nighantu, defines these as- Aghnya the one that ought not to be killed Ahi the one that must not be slaughtered.
Aditi the one that ought not to be cut into pieces.
These three names of cow signify that the animal ought not to be put to tortures. These words appear frequently throughout the Vedas in context of the cow.
Cow “The aghnya“ brings us health and prosperity. (Rigveda 1.164.27)
There should be excellent facility for pure water for Aghnya Cow. (Rigveda 5.83.8)
Those who feed on human, horse or animal flesh and those who destroy milk-giving Aghnya cows should be severely punished.
The Aghnya cows and bulls bring you prosperity. (Yajurveda 12.73)
Do not kill the cow. Cow is innocent and aditi“ that ought not to be cut into pieces. (Rigveda 8.101.15)
Destroy those who kill cows. (Yajurveda 30.18)
If someone destroys our cows, horses or people, kill him with a bullet of lead.(Atharvaveda 1.16.4)
The entire 28th Sukta or Hymn of 6th Mandal of Rigveda sings the glory of cow.