Hindus vedic scriptures says respect every life whether it is plant, dog, cow or whatever it is. There is nothing imposed on us to not eating meat, but this is not possible that we are killing them and eating them and we are saying that we respecting them. So it is a suggestion or advice for us given by the vedic scriptures to not eating any kind of meat. This is not imposition, We should eat less evolve life to feed ourselves otherwise, we can't live.
If you will read "Bhagavad Gita As It Is" in chapter number 5 and text number 18, there is clearly mentioned that "the humble Sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an Elephant, a dog and a dog-eater"
If every creature holds equal respect for us then why Hindus don't eat beef. Fair question, we Hindu says Cow is our mother and the reason behind saying this is because in ancient time cows were the very important animal for our living, and we drink the milk of cows. So we gave the mother status for cows and it became a very special animal for us.
The other reasons are Lord Krishna spent his childhood playing with cows and calves and Lord Shiva also has Nandi.
In India more than 60% Hindus are eating chicken, fish and other flesh and some of them are eating beef, but a true Hindu don't eat any kind of flesh because Hinduism or Sanatan Dharma is not a religion, it's a way of living "respecting every living creature makes you a are true Hindu and a true Human Being.