Question: What will happen to a cow after 15 years of life if it is not eaten?
Answer: Actually it is stated in the Vedas that there is an evolutionary cycle that the soul progresses through from the lower forms to the higher forms. When the soul gets the cow birth the next birth is the human birth in the mode of goodness. Now the meat cows that are up there now, they are bread specifically for the meat and you can’t even milk them. They are bread for eating not milking. I have no idea about that, as that is some recent creation.
In the Vedic system there was no killing of cows. Even if people ate meat, which some did in the lower classes of the society, they never ate cows. It was a goat or a deer, or something like this, never a cow. Now all this production of beef cattle are genetically engineered, so there is no milk and almost no legs. It is just all beef fat meat that is not really a cow. You see, so I don’t know what happens to them, but a proper milk cow, they become humans in the next life.
Question: What did they do with the body? Do they bury them just like humans?
Answer: They may just let nature take its course and let the other animals eat that body. That is normally what they do. They may cremate it or burn that body, etc. Yes, the bodies don’t last long after the soul leaves. There are a lot of creatures that are just waiting; the vultures and the worms, the dogs, the jackals, and foxes. So the cow leaves and boom…
This summer I was in a place and there was a deer killed on the road right where we were camping. I just watched how quickly that body disappeared. You know, first the coyotes came and they ate their portion, and the flies came and laid their eggs, and the maggots … just hundreds of thousands of them. They just did their work. Crows came and picked that. Pretty soon within just a few days it was gone, so there is an arrangement, you see, everybody has got their position.