When i was explaining about the cow (with respect to Hinduism) to a couple of friends here, i didn't want to say that consuming beef is banned. But said, that since the cow is a provider of many things, we regard it as sacred. I didn't know whether it was banned or not (i did read some articles on this which said that Hinduism does not actually ban beef). Prohibiting something, it's harsh in my opinion.
I want it to be something like say: it is not banned, but you do have to know where to draw the line from the right and the wrong. Sometimes when i think; maybe religion and it's manifestations was instilled into man to prevent him from doing wrong. It sounds simple.