Srila Prabhupada writes: The human society should recognize the importance of the cow and the bull and thus give all protection to these important animals.
Protect Cows… Protect our Civilization
In the Vedic tradition, cows are worshipped as mothers. According to the scriptures, there are seven mothers: atma-mata (one’s own mother) guroh patni (the wife of one’s teacher) brahmani (the wife of a brahmana) raja-patnika (the wife of the king) dhenu (the cow) dhatri (the nurse) and prithvi (the Earth) are all considered mothers. Just as a child feeds on the breast milk of the mother, human society takes milk from the cow. The bull is also considered the father of human society because just as the father earns to feed the children, the bull tills the earth to produce food grains. So, to kill cows means to end the human civilization.
A civilized man is, therefore, expected to give all protection to the bulls and cows. But, today, people are becoming more and more uncivilized by neglecting such instructions and they are encouraging cow killing. In Rig Veda (9.46.4) it is said: gobhih prinita matsaram: one who is desirous of killing the cow is in the grossest ignorance. Instead of killing the cow and eating its flesh, civilized men must subsist on various milk and agricultural products.