I am living in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India. Indian culture has accepted cows as mother, because it feeds milk to us. Hindu culture says whoever feeds you is mother to us. Cows are a precious animal and there are many tales and stories behind cows in Hindu culture.

In Hindu culture, especially in villages, there are people called "Bharavad" or "Gvala" whose main pet is a cow.

I have one friend who is from this community and is living near my house only.

I've learned from him about what food is bad for cows. According to my conversation with him, I found that following food are banned to feed to a cow.

  1. Aaata or "Lot"

To make Indian Chapatis / Indian breads we make "aata", this food if a cow eats it, it sticks in the cow's neck, so it is banned. So this food is banned to feed to cows.

  1. Polyethylene / Plastic bags

Of course, no description needed.

  1. Plain wheat or Plain Rice

Whenever we cook rice, the rice size increases, So if a cow eats rice, the cow's stomach size increases and the cow dies.

So far I've found only these 3 foods, which also was not taken from any doctor or professional.

So I am interested in knowing which food should not be given to cow as per a doctor or professional. This is very important because cows are very important for us.

Any help is appreciated, Thank You in advance.


I am not a veterinarian, but this page (alternative link) by the Cornell University lists plants poisonous to livestock — including cows (cattle) — along with pictures to aid identification; some of the entries will not be relevant to India as it was compiled in the United States, but others are worldwide. I hope this helps.


Probably not as much of a concern in India but you should definitely not feed cow meat to a cow.

  • Actually feeding cow to cows is/was a common practice in many parts of the world. In the US it pretty much stopped in 1997 due to Mad Cow disease seattlepi.com/local/article/… Nov 6 '15 at 16:59
  • What i was getting at is it a very severe crime to butcher a cow in India. 6 months in prison for running one over with a vehicle. It is only 2 months in prison for running over a person :). I suppose you could fly to China or Japan, legally buy a cheeseburger and bring it back and feed it to the cow but there may be laws regarding carrying concealed beef, or intent to use beef for unlawful purposes. ;)
    – Beo
    Nov 6 '15 at 17:16
  • Now you are making me want to remove the up vote I gave the answer. Nov 6 '15 at 18:24
  • You don't approve of India's legal practices? Or you don't like the whatever humor (such as it is) that may or may not be present?
    – Beo
    Nov 6 '15 at 18:29
  • The legal practices of India as they relate to meat consumption are out of scope on Pets.SE. Answer posted for humor value only are inappropriate on all SE sites. If those are the only two reasons for the post you should consider removing it, but as point out in the first comment, it does bring a valid point that is not addressed in the existing answer, so I personally think there is room to improve it. Nov 6 '15 at 18:38

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