[check this paper Beef Bans, Beef Parties and Sacred Cows ]
I think there is a simpler answer to why we do not eat beef: “we do not see it as food.” In the same way people in the Nazi concentration camps and the Ethiopians during the famine did not see fellow human beings as edible items, we do not see cows as food. (Contrast this with the story of a plane crash in the Andes Mountain some three decades ago, where the dead were cannibalized by the living in order to survive.) Culture, upbringing and even beliefs (in the case of some people) could help explain this situation. The central point, however, is that we do not see it as food.
- Is tradition akin to following moral obligations?
- What is the most ideal social security system (safety net)?