If you looked at an economic map of the world and compared it to a map showing religions you would see that prosperity and Christianity have a close correlation. The only exceptions would be the current status of an oil rich country like Saudi Arabia. Within Christendom the historically Protestant areas are more wealthy than those with Catholic traditions. Obviously material wealth is not the final measure of what is good about life, but it says something. As a wag once said, I would rather be rich and miserable than poor and miserable.
My point here is not the value of life styles but the effect of religions on culture. Let’s look at a few examples.
Several cultures hold the cow in special relationship with their religion. Thus we get the term “sacred cow.” The example that is most obvious is Hinduism in India. Cows are given a special status in India because of its Hindu foundations. An interesting quote I found on Wikipedia comes from, of all people, Mahatma Gandhi himself.
"I worship it and I shall defend its worship against the whole world," and that, "The central fact of Hinduism is cow protection."The reference is cited, you can check it out if you want.
One of the reasons for the historical poverty and hunger in India is the numerous sacred cows. If you had a garden that you planted to feed your family and a cow wandered in for lunch, you could not do anything about it. You could be punished for bothering a sacred cow. It is still illegal in some parts of India to slaughter and eat cows. Beliefs make a difference.
homo unius libri