Hayagrīva: Well, this..., thinking in this way Augustine writes, he says, "We do not apply 'Thou shalt not kill' to plants, because they have no sensation, or to irrational animals that fly, swim, walk or creep, because they are linked to us by no association or common bond. By the creator's wise ordinance they are meant for our use, dead or alive. It only remains for us to apply the commandment 'Thou shalt not kill' to man alone, oneself and others." So...
Prabhupāda: So that is imagination of Augustine. But Jesus Christ does not say such qualitative killing. He says frankly, "Thou shalt not kill." When he says that, he means, "You should not kill." But when there is absolute necessity, just like he says that "One life is food for the another life..." Does he not say it like that?
Hayagrīva: He says, uh... (break) He says..., this is, this is Augustine writing. He said, "Some people try to stretch the prohibition 'Thou shalt not kill' to cover beasts and cattle and make it unlawful to kill any such animal, but then why not include plants and anything rooted in and feeding on the soil? After all, things like this, though devoid of feeling, are said to have life and therefore can die and so be killed by violent treatment."
Prabhupāda: No, that is not Vedic philosophy. Vedic philosophy admits that one living entity is the food for another living entity. That is natural. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam,
- ahastāni sahastānām
- apadāni catuṣ-padām
- phalgūni tatra mahatāṁ
- jīvo jīvasya jīvanam
Those who have got hands, they eat the animals without hands, only four legs, and the four-legged animals eats the animals which cannot move—that means plants and vegetables. Similarly, the weak is the food for the strong. In this way there is natural law that one living entity is food for another living entity. But our philosophy, Kṛṣṇa consciousness philosophy, is not based on this platform, that plant life is not sensitive and animal life is more sensitive or human life is more sensitive. We take all of them as life, either human being or animal or plants or fish, it doesn't matter. That is inevitable. Either you eat animal or vegetable, you eat some living entity. That is inevitable. You cannot avoid. Now it it the question of selection. That, of course, is there. But apart from this vegetarian or nonvegetarian diet, we are concerned with Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Kṛṣṇa, whatever..., our philosophy is whatever Kṛṣṇa eats, we take the remnants of His foodstuff. So Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, "You give Me food, and prepared from patraṁ phalaṁ toyam, vegetation." So if by killing vegetable or plant there is any sin, that, that is Kṛṣṇa's. We simply eat after His eating. This is our philosophy. We are not after vegetarian diet or nonvegetarian diet. Whatever Kṛṣṇa eats, we take the remnants of food.