Hinduism favours a vegetarian diet and protects the cow as a sacred animal and source of prosperity. Beef is therefore deemed to be non-edible. Currently, some Indian states have legally ratified the ban on the slaughter of cows, giving rise to considerable debate and tension. However, dairy products remain particularly highly valued. Milk, often transformed into ghee or yoghurt, is an essential part of the Indian diet.
Dairy products hold a special place in Hinduism, both as a ritual offering and as part of the daily diet. Ghee in particular, prepared with churned yoghurt, is held in high regard, both for its taste and for its nourishing properties.
Zebu cattle come from tropical countries, but are also keen on scorching hot summers. Valued for their milk and meat, they are intensively farmed in Latin America, Central America and Australia. In India, the zebu is crossed with western species to improve its milk yield, resulting in the reduction and even the disappearance of one of its features: its dorsal hump.