Go to Vanipedia | Go to Vanisource | Go to Vanimedia


Vaniquotes - the compiled essence of Vedic knowledge


It is stated in sastra: one living entity is the food or living means for another living entity, by nature's law

From Vaniquotes

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 1

The living beings who have come to the material world against the will of the Supreme Being are under the control of a supreme power called māyā-śakti, the deputed agent of the Lord, and this daivī māyā is meant to pinch the conditioned souls by threefold miseries, one of which is explained here in this verse: the weak are the subsistence of the strong. But although the law states that a human being must subsist on another living being, there is the law of good sense also, for the human being is meant to obey the laws of the scriptures.
SB 1.13.47, Translation and Purport:

Those who are devoid of hands are prey for those who have hands; those devoid of legs are prey for the four-legged. The weak are the subsistence of the strong, and the general rule holds that one living being is food for another.

A systematic law of subsistence in the struggle for existence is there by the supreme will, and there is no escape for anyone by any amount of planning. The living beings who have come to the material world against the will of the Supreme Being are under the control of a supreme power called māyā-śakti, the deputed agent of the Lord, and this daivī māyā is meant to pinch the conditioned souls by threefold miseries, one of which is explained here in this verse: the weak are the subsistence of the strong. No one is strong enough to protect himself from the onslaught of a stronger, and by the will of the Lord there are systematic categories of the weak, the stronger and the strongest. There is nothing to be lamented if a tiger eats a weaker animal, including a man, because that is the law of the Supreme Lord. But although the law states that a human being must subsist on another living being, there is the law of good sense also, for the human being is meant to obey the laws of the scriptures. This is impossible for other animals. The human being is meant for self-realization, and for that purpose he is not to eat anything which is not first offered to the Lord. The Lord accepts from His devotee all kinds of food preparations made of vegetables, fruits, leaves and grains. Fruits, leaves and milk in different varieties can be offered to the Lord, and after the Lord accepts the foodstuff, the devotee can partake of the prasāda, by which all suffering in the struggle for existence will be gradually mitigated. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā (9.26). Even those who are accustomed to eat animals can offer foodstuff, not to the Lord directly, but to an agent of the Lord, under certain conditions of religious rites. Injunctions of the scriptures are meant not to encourage the eaters of animals, but to restrict them by regulated principles.

The living being is the source of subsistence for other, stronger living beings. No one should be very anxious for his subsistence in any circumstances because there are living beings everywhere, and no living being starves for want of food at any place. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira is advised by Nārada not to worry about his uncles' suffering for want of food, for they could live on vegetables available in the jungles as prasāda of the Supreme Lord and thus realize the path of salvation.

Exploitation of the weaker living being by the stronger is the natural law of existence; there is always an attempt to devour the weak in different kingdoms of living beings. There is no possibility of checking this tendency by any artificial means under material conditions; it can be checked only by awakening the spiritual sense of the human being by practice of spiritual regulations. The spiritual regulative principles, however, do not allow a man to slaughter weaker animals on one side and teach others peaceful coexistence. If man does not allow the animals peaceful coexistence, how can he expect peaceful existence in human society? The blind leaders must therefore understand the Supreme Being and then try to implement the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God, or Rāma-rājya, is impossible without the awakening of God consciousness in the mass mind of the people of the world.

SB Canto 3

Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: one living entity is the life for another living entity. But for a human being, that violence should be committed only as much as necessary.
SB 3.29.15, Purport:

Another significant phrase in this verse is nātihiṁsreṇa ("with minimum violence or sacrifice of life"). Even if a devotee has to commit violence, it should not be done beyond what is necessary. Sometimes the question is put before us: "You ask us not to eat meat, but you are eating vegetables. Do you think that is not violence?" The answer is that eating vegetables is violence, and vegetarians are also committing violence against other living entities because vegetables also have life. Nondevotees are killing cows, goats and so many other animals for eating purposes, and a devotee, who is vegetarian, is also killing. But here, significantly, it is stated that every living entity has to live by killing another entity; that is the law of nature. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: one living entity is the life for another living entity. But for a human being, that violence should be committed only as much as necessary.

SB Canto 4

Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: "one animal is food for another animal." A frog is eaten by a snake, a snake is eaten by a mongoose, and the mongoose is eaten by another animal. In this way the process of destruction goes on by the supreme will of the Lord.
SB 4.24.65, Purport:

As Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (10.34), mṛtyuḥ sarva-haraś cāham: "I am all-devouring death." The Lord is just like death to the atheists, for He takes away everything they accumulate in the material world. Hiraṇyakaśipu, the father of Prahlāda, always denied the existence of the Lord, and he tried to kill his five-year-old boy due to the boy's unflinching faith in God. However, in due course of time the Lord appeared as Nṛsiṁhadeva and killed Hiraṇyakaśipu in the presence of his son. As stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.13.47), this killing process is natural. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: "one animal is food for another animal." A frog is eaten by a snake, a snake is eaten by a mongoose, and the mongoose is eaten by another animal. In this way the process of destruction goes on by the supreme will of the Lord. Although we do not see the hand of the Supreme Lord directly, we can feel the presence of that hand through the Lord's process of destruction. We can see the clouds scattered by the wind, although we cannot see how this is being done because it is not possible to see the wind. Similarly, although we do not directly see the Supreme Personality of Godhead, we can see that He controls the process of destruction. The destructive process is going on fiercely under the control of the Lord, but the atheists cannot see it.

SB Canto 9

The Supreme Personality of Godhead has created the material world in such a way that one living entity is food for another. Thus there is a struggle for existence, but although we speak of survival of the fittest, no one can escape death without becoming a devotee of the Lord.
SB 9.13.10, Purport:

The example given here is that water is a very nice place for a fish, but the fish is never free from anxiety about death, since big fish are always eager to eat the small fish. phalgūni tatra mahatām: all living entities are eaten by bigger living entities. This is the way of material nature.

ahastāni sahastānām
apadāni catuṣ-padām
phalgūni tatra mahatāṁ
jīvo jīvasya jīvanam

"Those who are devoid of hands are prey for those who have hands; those devoid of legs are prey for the four-legged. The weak are the subsistence of the strong, and the general rule holds that one living being is food for another." (SB 1.13.47) The Supreme Personality of Godhead has created the material world in such a way that one living entity is food for another. Thus there is a struggle for existence, but although we speak of survival of the fittest, no one can escape death without becoming a devotee of the Lord.

SB Canto 10.1 to 10.13

Animal killing is prohibited. Every living being, of course, has to eat something (jīvo jīvasya jīvanam). But one should be taught what kind of food one should take.
SB 10.10.9, Purport:

Animal killing is prohibited. Every living being, of course, has to eat something (jīvo jīvasya jīvanam). But one should be taught what kind of food one should take. Therefore the Īśopaniṣad instructs, tena tyaktena bhuñjīthāḥ: one should eat whatever is allotted for human beings (ISO 1). Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (9.26):

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ
yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam
aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ

"If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it." A devotee, therefore, does not eat anything that would require slaughterhouses for poor animals. Rather, devotees take prasāda of Kṛṣṇa (tena tyaktena bhuñjīthāḥ). Kṛṣṇa recommends that one give Him patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam—a leaf, a flower, fruit or water (BG 9.26). Animal food is never recommended for human beings; instead, a human being is recommended to take prasāda, remnants of food left by Kṛṣṇa. Yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ (BG 3.13). If one practices eating prasāda, even if there is some little sinful activity involved, one becomes free from the results of sinful acts.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

The nature's law is that to keep up your body you have to kill another body. Never mind it is vegetable or, I mean to say, animal or some fish or something else. You see? Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: "One living entity is the subsistence, life-giving subsistence, for another living being."
Lecture on BG 4.19-22 -- New York, August 8, 1966:

Take for example those who are vegetarians. They may think that "We are not killing animals." No. They are also committing sins because vegetables, they have also got life. So the nature's law is that to keep up your body you have to kill another body. Never mind it is vegetable or, I mean to say, animal or some fish or something else. You see? Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: "One living entity is the subsistence, life-giving subsistence, for another living being." That is the nature's law. You'll find. Ahastāni sahastānām. The everything has been very nicely discussed in Vedic literature. They have discussed all the points.

Ahastāni sahastānām: "Those who have got hands, they are eating," I mean to say, "living entities who have no hands." That means we are human being, we have got hands, and we are eating animals. They have got only legs; they have no hands. So sahastānām ahastāni: "Those who have got hands, they are eating the animals which have no hands." And apadāni catuṣ-padām: "Those who have no legs, they are being eaten by the four-legged." Just like a cow eating grass. So grass cannot move. It has life, but it cannot move. So and... phalgūni tatra mahatām. Phalgūni, "those who are weak, they are being eaten by the..." Just like we find lizards. In your country you don't find lizards. In India we have got many lizards in the walls. They are eating small ants. Phalgūni mahatāṁ tatra. And in the snake, snake kingdom, you will find the small snakes are being by the big snake. Similarly, in sea water also, you will find small fishes are being eaten by the big fishes.

Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One living entity is the food or living means for another living entity, by nature's law. So the conclusion is that we must render service to the strong. Now that being the position, we all living entities, we are weaker, and the strongest is the Supreme Lord; therefore our business is to render service to the Supreme Lord.
Lecture on BG 7.1 -- Sydney, February 16, 1973:

Every living being has a particular characteristic that is visible in all kinds of forms of living being. That is service. Everyone is rendering service. Here we have so many ladies and gentlemen present, but every one of us is rendering some service to the superior. That is our position. The animals also, the inferior animals, they are rendering service to the superior animal. The superior animal is eating the inferior animal, jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. Big snake is eating small snake. There is a verse in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, apadāni catuṣ-padām. Those who are two-legged, they are eating the four-legged. And the four-legged animals, they are eating who cannot walk. Apadāni catuṣ-padām. Those who cannot move, just like grass, plants, tree, they cannot move, they are being eaten up by the four-legged animals. And the four-legged animals are being eaten by the two-legged animals, human beings. Just try to understand how the weaker section is serving the stronger section. That is the law of nature. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One living entity is the food or living means for another living entity, by nature's law. So the conclusion is that we must render service to the strong. This is nature's law.

Now that being the position, we all living entities, we are weaker, and the strongest is the Supreme Lord; therefore our business is to render service to the Supreme Lord. We are rendering service to the stronger section, but the strongest of all stronger is the Supreme Lord. Therefore the conclusion is that our normal position is to render service to God. This is the position.

In the śāstra it is stated that jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. "Every living entity is living by eating another living entity." That is nature.
Lecture on BG 7.11-12 -- Bombay, February 25, 1974:

So here Kṛṣṇa says, dharma aviruddhaḥ kāmaḥ. The... In the śāstra it is stated that jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. "Every living entity is living by eating another living entity." That is nature. Ahastāni sahastānām. Śāstra says, in the Bhāgavata, that "Those who have got no hands, they are food for the animal with hands." Those who are eating animals, they are also animals. Even human being, in the form of human being, eating animal. So one... human being means with hands, sahastānām. Hasta means hand, and sa means with. And the animals, ahastānām, ahastāni, they have no hands. They have got only legs, four legs. So ahastāni sahastānām. This, the with-hands animal, means those who are meat-eating, they are animals, but with hands. That is the difference.

In this way the weak is the food for the strong. This is the law of nature, that one living entity is the food for another living entity. But when you come to the human form of living entity, you must use your discrimination.
Lecture on BG 13.1-3 -- Durban, October 13, 1975:

There are eight million four hundred thousand forms of living entities. Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi. In the water there are nine hundred thousand forms of living entity. Then, jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi sthāvarā lakṣa-viṁśati. Sthāvarāḥ means the living entities who cannot move, just like the trees, plants, grass, vegetables. They are standing in one place. They are also called "having no leg." Ahastāni sahastānām apadāni catuṣ-padām. This is nature's law, that the living entities which have no hands, they are eatable for the living entities who have hands. Ahastāni sahastānām apadāni catuṣ-padām. And the living entities which cannot move, they are the food for the living entities which has got four legs. Phalgūni mahatāṁ tatra jīvo jīvasya jīvanam.

In this way the weak is the food for the strong. This is the law of nature, that one living entity is the food for another living entity. So when a person eats another living entity, it is not unnatural. This is nature's law. But when you come to the human form of living entity, you must use your discrimination.

This is struggle for existence. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. Phalgūni mahatāṁ tatra jīvo jīvasya jīvanam.
Lecture on BG 13.4 -- Miami, February 27, 1975:

As we are struggling to make our position secure, similarly, the trees are also making their position secure. The cats and dogs, they are also making attempt to make their position secure. This is called struggle for existence. So from this tree, just try to remember that there are nine hundred thousand species of aquatics.

We get information from śāstra. There is a fish which is called timiṅgila which swallows big, big whales just like big fish swallows a small fish. This is struggle for existence. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. Phalgūni mahatāṁ tatra jīvo jīvasya jīvanam.

The natural law is that ahastāni sahastānām: "The animals which has no hands"—that means four-legged animals; they have got legs, no hand—"so they are food for animals with two legs and two hands." That means human being. Human being is also animal, more powerful, more intelligent than the lower animals. So the śāstra says, ahastāni, "The animals who hasn't got hands, they are food for the animals with two hands." Ahastāni sahastānām and apadāni catuṣ-padām: "And the animals or the living entities which cannot move, apadāni..." Pada means legs.

Just like the trees, plants, grass. They cannot move. They have no leg. They have got leg, but they cannot move. They are eating through the legs. Therefore they are called pada-pa, means "collecting waters through the leg." Just these trees. They are drinking water from within the earth with their legs. Therefore they push their roots very deep to find out where is water. And if you put little water on the root of the tree, they live. They drink water. They are standing on the river side drinking water and becoming very flourished. But although they are drinking the same water, still, they are differently constituted with different fruits, different flowers. This is God's creation, we have to understand that.

This is struggle for existence. I want to eat you; you want to eat me. Jivo jīvasya jīvanam. This is going on. So everyone is afraid. Everyone is taking defense.
Lecture on BG 13.5 -- Paris, August 13, 1973:

You have seen the sparrow bird. As soon as one, they land, want to eat something, like this, like this. He's afraid. "Is not somebody coming to kill me?" That's all. Everywhere. In the aquatic also. Everyone is afraid for life. But Kṛṣṇa has given them different types of defensive measures. It is learned from the śāstra that the fish, they can, by the waves of the water, they can understand that "Few miles away there is enemy." They can understand. And they become immediately defensive, how to protect. Because this is struggle for existence. I want to eat you; you want to eat me. Jivo jīvasya jīvanam. This is going on. So everyone is afraid. Everyone is taking defense.

Those who are weak, they are foodstuff for the strong. In this way, one living entity is food for the another. But that is the natural law for the animals and uncivilized man, not for the civilized man. Because you are human being, you have got discrimination.
Lecture on BG 13.22-24 -- Melbourne, June 25, 1974:

Therefore it is common sense, one who is smaller or weak, he is enjoyed by the stronger. That is the nature. You will find. In our daily dealings, what we are doing? That... Ahastāni sahastānām. Ahastāni. There are animals who have no hands. They have got legs. So ahastāni sahastānām. Both of we are animal. The great, the cows and there are many others. They are animals. We are also animals or living entity.

But those who have got hands, they eat the animals who have no hands. Ahastāni sahastānām, apadāni catuṣ-padām. And the living entities which cannot move or who have no legs to move, just like trees, planets... They have also got legs, but that leg is meant for eating. Therefore the trees and plants are called pāda-pa. We pour water on the leg of the tree because they eat water through their legs. But that legs cannot move. Apadāni.

So apadāni, those living entities which cannot move, they are food for the catuṣ-padām, those who have got four legs. Just like cows, goats and others. Phalgūni mahatāṁ tatra. Those who are weak, they are foodstuff for the strong. Phalgūni mahatāṁ tatra jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. In this way, one living entity is food for the another.

Then these animal killers, they may not be encouraged, "So then we are doing nice, because one living entity is food for another. So we are eating every, anything. Any moving animals we can eat. Bird, beast, goats, cows, horse, ass, whatever is available." Yes, you can eat. But that is the natural law for the animals and uncivilized man, not for the civilized man. Because one living entity is food for another living entity, you cannot eat your father, mother or children. Why? Because you are human being, you have got discrimination.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

A small, very small ant is captured. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One life is meant for being eaten by another life.
Lecture on SB 1.7.11 -- Vrndavana, September 10, 1976:

Viṣayaḥ khalu sarvataḥ syāt. If viṣayī means rich man, then why the śāstra says viṣayaḥ khalu sarvataḥ syāt: the enjoyment of these four necessities of body, it is available everywhere? The sparrow, he's also enjoying viṣaya. There is a male and female, and they are jumping from one tree to another, from here to there. And as soon as they require, they are enjoying sex and eating something. So eating, sleeping, mating, this is going on. That viṣaya is available... I have seen at night a small insects, they are also enjoying eating, sleeping, mating. A small, very small ant is captured. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One life is meant for being eaten by another life. You can see, very small. He has got all the same tendencies. So viṣayaḥ khalu sarvataḥ syāt. So one has to become free from this viṣaya. Viṣayiṇāṁ sandarśanam atha yoṣitāṁ ca hā hanta hanta viṣa-bhakṣaṇato 'py asādhu (CC Madhya 11.8).

Phalgūni tatra mahatāṁ jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. The uncivilized man, they cannot produce food; therefore they kill animal.
Lecture on SB 1.7.26 -- Vrndavana, September 2, 1976:

Just like our standard of life, we are human being, it is better than the uncivilized man. And the uncivilized man's standard of life is better than the animal life. Phalgūni tatra mahatāṁ jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. The uncivilized man, they cannot produce food; therefore they kill animal. In the forest they live, and they kill some animals and eat. They cannot... They have no such knowledge that the forest can be cleared and we can till the ground and we can get very nice foodstuff, foodgrains, vegetables, so many things. Kṛṣi, agriculture. So the land is there, but this uncivilized man does not know how to get the necessities of life from land. They do not know. Otherwise, in the land everything is there.

Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. That we also accept. But just like jīvo jīvasya jīvanam, then why don't you eat your own son? He is also jīva. Why do you discriminate?
Lecture on SB 1.10.5 -- Mayapura, June 20, 1973:

Devotee: They say it is for the purpose of eating, fish(?) are created for the purpose of eating.

Prabhupāda: That is also in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also, that jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. That we also accept. But just like jīvo jīvasya jīvanam, then why don't you eat your own son? He is also jīva. Why do you discriminate? Therefore discrimination is the better part valor. We should know, we are also eating the vegetables. What kind of jīva, living entity we shall eat, that is to be discriminated. Not that because one living entity is food for another living entity, it does not mean I shall eat my own son. I am father. We do not do that. Because we use our discrimination.

So, in this way, there is order that one life is meant eaten by another. That is nature's law. But we should use discrimination what kind of foodstuff, what kind of living entities we shall eat.
Lecture on SB 1.10.5 -- Mayapura, June 20, 1973:

Kṛṣṇa says patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). Kṛṣṇa says "Give Me vegetable, water." "Anyone who offers Me in devotion." So we have to eat Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Although animals are meant for eating by the man. That is stated in the (indistinct). Ahastāni sahastānām apadāni catuṣ-padām. Ahastāni, they haven't got hands(?). Ahastāni. (indistinct) sahastānām, they are food of the human being. So ahastāni sahastānām apadāni catuṣ-padām. Just like the creepers, grass, and vegetables. Catuṣ-padām. They're food for the four-legged. Phalgūni jīvo jīvasya jīvanam.

So, in this way, there is order that one life is meant eaten by another. That is nature's law. But we should use discrimination what kind of foodstuff, what kind of living entities we shall eat. That Kṛṣṇa... (?). We have taken vow to eat only Kṛṣṇa's prasādam. There is something. Whatever Kṛṣṇa orders. So that is a fact that each and every living entity is meant for another living entity for eating. When we get human form of life, the animals, they, just like, another eat vegetables. Similarly, the cows. Nature's law is there. Although one animal is meant for by another these animals, they use their discrimination by nature's law. Tigers will never come to your garden to eat fruits and vegetables. No. By nature, they have got teeth and jaws to kill another animal. They want to eat, drink blood, fresh blood. Nature has given them all the provisions for that. Similarly, we human beings, this is scientific. Our teeth are meant for eating fruits. That is one Dr. Cooney, in your Germany. He said that... And actually, if you eat fruits and milk, you will have never any kind of sickness. That's a fact. So they're also life.

This is the theory of struggle for existence and survival of the fittest. The law of nature is like that, that the stronger overpowers the weaker.
Lecture on SB 1.15.25-26 -- Los Angeles, December 4, 1973:

Pradyumna: "Translation: O King, as in the ocean the bigger and stronger aquatics swallow up the smaller and weaker ones, so also the Supreme Personality of Godhead, to lighten the burden of the earth, has engaged the stronger Yadu to kill the weaker, and the bigger Yadu to kill the smaller." (SB 1.15.25-26)

Prabhupāda: This is the theory of struggle for existence and survival of the fittest. The law of nature is like that, that the stronger overpowers the weaker. The stronger overpowers the weaker. In another place it is stated,

ahastāni sahastānām
apadāni catuṣ-padām
phalgūni tatra mahatāṁ
jīvo jīvasya jīvanam

A living entity, they live by eating another living entity. What is that? Ahastāni sahastānām. Sahastānām means those who are endowed with hands. That means man, man form, human form, they have got hands. So those who have no hands..., just like the animals, they have got legs, they have no hands. So ahastāni, those who have no hands, they are food for the animal with hands: bite that animal. Those animal with hands... They are animal, those who are eating another animal; they are not human being. Although they have got the form of human being, they are not considered human being. Human being means when he's civilized, cultured, then he's human being. If he's not civilized, if he's not cultured, simply having two hands-he's animal.

Aryan means he's advanced in spiritual consciousness. Otherwise ahastāni sahastānām, and that is apadāni catuṣ-padām. If you misuse your intelligence in that way, you can do that. That is nature's law. But human being means culture, advance, in spiritual consciousness. That is human.
Lecture on SB 1.15.25-26 -- Los Angeles, December 4, 1973:

But real Aryan means one who is advanced in spiritual consciousness. He is Aryan. Not a class of men. Aryan means he's advanced in spiritual consciousness. The Aryan civilization is so eulogized because they..., in the Aryan civilization there was Vedic culture. That is Aryan. Otherwise ahastāni sahastānām, and that is apadāni catuṣ-padām. This is going on, struggle for existence. In the primitive age that human being, so-called human being, naked, in the jungle, they eating animals. The animals have no leg... The Darwin's theory is that there was no civilized man, but gradually it has developed. It is not very clearly explained; he does not know what is the evolution. Evolution means to become civilized. That is evolution. Or to advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is evolution.

So this is the law of nature, that the weaker section is devoured by the stronger section. So here it is said, jalaukasāṁ jale yadvat. In the water, there are so many aquatic animals, the struggle is going on. The stronger fish eating the weaker fish. This is going on. That is the law of nature. Therefore meat-eaters, so long they are like animals, they can go on with this nature's law. You are man, you are stronger; therefore weaker animal—cows and goats—you slaughter them. They are stronger bodily, but they have no intelligence. So man has got intelligence. So if you misuse your intelligence in that way, you can do that. That is nature's law. But human being means culture, advance, in spiritual consciousness. That is human. So this consciousness is developing gradually.

Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. Either you eat vegetable or you eat meat, it doesn't matter. Vegetable has also got life. But there is allotment. For human being, God has given us the foodgrains, the fruits and... Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati.
Lecture on SB 1.16.21 -- Hawaii, January 17, 1974:

Animal-killing is not within the category of human civilization. When a man becomes civilized, he knows how to produce food. He can till the ground. He can produce food grains. He can produce fruits and flowers and so many things. Even in the animal kingdom, there are different kinds of animals. They do not touch meat-eating even. They do not touch. Every, every animal has to live by destroying or killing another animal. That is nature's law. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. Either you eat vegetable or you eat meat, it doesn't matter. Vegetable has also got life. But there is allotment. Just like the cows or other animals, they do not eat meat, they live on grass. Grass has got (also) life, but because they eat grass life, therefore they will eat meat? No. The allotment. Similarly, human being should be also... There is allotment. For human being, God has given us the foodgrains, the fruits and... Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). In the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find. Kṛṣṇa is saying that "Anyone who is supplying Me this patraṁ puṣpam..." Patram means leaves, vegetables, and puṣpam means flowers. Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalam, fruits. Toyam, and milk. So why? He is speaking in the human society. He's not speaking in the animal society. Therefore it is already described what kind of foodstuff we shall take.

People are now eating anything, everything. They have no discrimination. No discrimination. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One living entity is the source of vital strength for another living entity.
Lecture on SB 2.3.19 -- Los Angeles, June 14, 1972:

The hog has no discrimination. He is prepared to eat even stool. Therefore hog is selected. So people are now eating anything, everything. So we have heard that in Korea they eat cats, snakes, dogs. In other places also seen, anything. They have no discrimination. No discrimination. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One living entity is the source of vital strength for another living entity.

That is law. Just like we are vegetarians. We are vegetarian. We are also eating some... Not killing, but eating. We are taking fruit. That means we are not killing the tree. We are taking grains. We are not killing the cow. We are eating milk, but we are not drinking the blood. Milk is nothing but blood of cow. But we know the art, how to drink the blood of cow without killing. That is civilization. That is civilization.

You will find even in the lower animals, they are eating one another. That is the law of nature. Ahastāni sahastānām apadāni catuṣ-padām.
Lecture on SB 6.1.2 -- Honolulu, May 6, 1976:

So we are not preaching this vegetarianism. Just like there are Jains or many other religious system, Buddhism. They are after making people vegetarian. But the law of nature is that one living entity is the food for another living entity. That is the law of nature. You will find even in the lower animals, they are eating one another. That is the law of nature. Ahastāni sahastānām apadāni catuṣ-padām. This is the law of nature. Ahastāni, one who has no hands, he is the food... They are all animals. The animal which has no hands... Just like goats and others: they have only legs. So they are food for the animals with hands. Ahastāni sahastānām. That is the law of nature. Apadāni catuṣ-padām. The animals which has no leg—that means which cannot move... The plants, the grass, the trees, they cannot move. They have got leg, but they cannot move. Their legs are made for eating. As your mouth is made for eating, the trees... Therefore they are called pada-pa. They drink water by the leg. This is God's creation. You cannot think that how it is possible to drink water by the leg, but it is God's creation. You see. You pour water on the leg of the tree; it becomes very luxuriant, healthy. So different.

Phalgūni mahatāṁ tatra jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: "One life is meant for being exploited by other life." This is nature's law. So we have no quarrel with persons who are meat-eating. But our propaganda is to make people God conscious. That's all.
Lecture on SB 6.1.8 -- New York, July 22, 1971:

We are eating fruits, grains, or whatever we eat. That is given by God. Food is supplied to the animals. The four-legged animals... Ahastāni sahastānām. Sahastānām ahastāni. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavata, everything is... The food is there. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: "One living entity is the food for another living entity." Ahastāni sahastānām. Just like animals, they have got no hands. So they are food for the animals which has..., who has got hands. We are animals with hands, and there are animals without hands. So ahastāni sahastānām. Sahasta means hand, with—hands animals, they're eating others which has no hand. Apadāni catuṣ-padām. "And those who have no legs, they are food for the animals, four-legged." Just like grass. This is also living entity, but it has no leg to move. It has leg, but it is fixed up. It cannot move. They're condemned, that "You cannot move." A tree is standing for seven thousand years. It cannot move. So they are food for moving animals. Just like cow eats grass. The goat eats grass. So apadāni catuṣ-padām. Phalgūni mahatāṁ tatra. In this way the world is being exploited. The weaker section is being exploited by the stronger section. Phalgūni mahatāṁ tatra jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: "One life is meant for being exploited by other life." This is nature's law. So we have no quarrel with persons who are meat-eating. But our propaganda is to make people God conscious. That's all.

So in order to become God conscious, you have to follow some rules and regulations. We do not give any credit to the vegetarians than the meat-eaters. Because one has to eat. But our proposal is, Kṛṣṇa conscious men, that we shall eat remnants of foodstuff offered to Kṛṣṇa. That is our philosophy.

This is the law of nature, that one life is meant for maintaining another life. We are not going to infringe to the laws of nature. That is not our business. You can eat four-legged animals because you are also animal.
Lecture on SB 6.1.12 -- Honolulu, May 13, 1976:

Pathyam means good foodstuff, not "Anything I can eat." That is the business of the hogs and dogs. Just like hogs have no discrimination. Anything, up to stool you give him: it will eat. That is not human civilization. Although it is the law of nature that ahastāni sahastānām. Vegetables or animals who has no hand... Just like ordinary animals, they have got four legs, no hand. So these four-legged animals is the food for the two-legged animals. Ahastāni sahastānām. Uncivilized men means two-legged animals. They are animals, but two-legged. There are four-legged animals; there are two-legged. Ahastāni sahastānām apadāni catuṣ-padām: "And living entities who have no legs, just like the vegetables, grass, plants, trees..." They have no legs. They cannot move, but they are living entities. They are food for catuṣ-padām, for the animals who have got four legs. Ahastāni sahastānām apadāni catuṣ-padām, phalgūni mahatāṁ tatra: "And the weak is food for the strong." Phalgūni... Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. This is the law of nature, that one life is meant for maintaining another life. That is going on. So sometimes they put forward this argument that "You are also eating vegetables. They have got life. Why you object that nonvegetarians who are eating four legged animals...?" No. We are not going to infringe to the laws of nature. That is not our business. You can eat four-legged animals because you are also animal. But when we speak of civilized animals... Civilized is not animal. That is human being. So long one is not civilized, he is animal.

Although the law is, nature's law is that "One living entity is the food for another living entity." Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. But a human being should be discriminative. If I can live by eating fruits and grains and milk, why shall I kill animal?
Lecture on SB 6.1.17 -- Denver, June 30, 1975:

So that is sādhu, no meat-eating. Here you will find. In Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement you will find, nobody is meat-eating. Nobody is prepared to kill even an ant, what to speak of big animal. They put argument that "You are vegetarian, and you are also killing vegetable life." Of course, we are killing. But we are not killing vegetables. First of all, vegetables are not killed. If I take a fruit from the tree, the tree is not killed. Or if I take the grains from the plant, before the grains are ripe the plant dies. So actually there is no question of killing. Although the law is, nature's law is that "One living entity is the food for another living entity." Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. But a human being should be discriminative. If I can live by eating fruits and grains and milk, why shall I kill animal? This is human consciousness. Milk, if you get milk, you can prepare hundreds of nice preparations, all full of vitamins and nourishing. In our New Vrindaban we are maintaining cows and having so many nice preparations, rābri and lagdu and this peḍā and baraphi and sandeśa and rasagullā and yogurt—varieties enough. The other farmers they come, they are surprised, that "Such nice preparation can be made from milk?" Yes, you do not know. You do not know how to utilize the animal. Ignorance.

Sri Brahma-samhita Lectures

Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: one has to live by eating another living entity. So the vegetarian also eating another living entity. But there is discretion. Discretion means that these things are made for human being.
Lecture on Brahma-samhita, Verse 32 -- New York, July 26, 1971:

So in all scriptures it is stated that man should live on fruits and vegetables. Their teeth are made in that way. They can eat very easily and digest. Although jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: one has to live by eating another living entity. Jīvo jīvasya... That is nature's law. So the vegetarian also eating another living entity. And the meat-eater, they're also eating another... But there is discretion. Discretion means that these things are made for human being. Just like fruits, flowers, vegetables, rice, grains, milk—the animals do not come to claim that "I shall eat this." No. It is meant for man. Just like milk. Milk is an animal product. It is the blood of the cow changed only. But the milk is not drunk by the cow. She is delivering the milk, but she's not taking, because it is not allotted for it. By nature's way. So you have to take. Milk is made for man, so you take the milk. Let her live and supply you milk continually. Why should you kill? Follow nature's law. Then you'll be happy. Tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā (ISO 1). Whatever is allotted to you, take. You live comfortably.

Initiation Lectures

There are animals, two-legged animals, and there are four-legged animals. The four-legged animals are the food for the two-legged animals. So long we remain as animals, then there is the necessity of eating meat. Ahastāni sahastānām.
Initiation Lecture -- Toronto, June 17, 1976:

So it is general tendency of the living being to become āmiṣa, to eat meat. That is the general laws of nature. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One living entity is the life for another living entity. Ahastāni sahastānām. There are animals, two-legged animals, and there are four-legged animals. The four-legged animals is the food for the two-legged animals. So long we remain as animals, then there is the necessity of eating meat. Ahastāni sahastānām. Hasta means hands. So those who are living like animals, only two legs. The other animals, four legs, and here is an animal of two legs, dvipad-paśu. For them, the animal is eatable, āmiṣa-madya sevā.

General Lectures

One life is meant for maintaining another life. This is the law of nature. But you can take only what is allotted for you, that's all. So human being should take, as far as possible, vegetables.
Lecture -- Los Angeles, December 4, 1968:

Madhudviṣa: Prabhupāda, why did Lord Jesus Christ eat meat?

Prabhupāda: That was circumstantial because we have to take into consideration of the situation of the country and the people. Where there is no other food, one must live. Then meat-eating is not bad in that case. Because survival is required. But when there are substitutes... Everyone is eating another life. That is the law of nature. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that sahastānām ahastāni. The animals, animal who has got hands, he eats the animal who has no hand. That means four-legged animals. Ahastāni sahastānām apadāni catuṣ-padām. And the animals or living entities who cannot move, they are foodstuff of the moving. That means the grass, plants, they are the foodstuff for the cows and other animals. Nūnaṁ mahatāṁ tatra. And the big animal eats the small animal. Just like we see a big serpent is eating a small serpent, a big fish eating a small fish. So this is the law, that nūnaṁ mahatāṁ tatra jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. So one life is meant for maintaining another life. This is the law of nature. But Upaniṣad says that īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvam: (ISO 1) everything belongs to the Lord. Just like in a hotel there are many kinds of foodstuff, but they all belong to the hotel keeper. And you can take only on your table what is offered to you. You cannot take anything, anything, whatever you like, no. That is illegal. Similarly, everything is food, that's all right. But you can take only what is allotted for you, that's all. So human being should take, as far as possible, vegetables.

The nature is that everyone should eat another animal or another living creature for existence. Therefore we are not propagating the philosophy of ahiṁsā, or nonviolence, because in some way or other, there is violence, either you take fruit or grain or animal. But the principle is that you have to take prasādam, the foodstuff which is offered to Kṛṣṇa, and then eat.
Lecture Engagement and Prasada Distribution -- Boston, April 26, 1969:

The nature is that everyone should eat another animal or another living creature for existence. That is the law of nature. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: "One living entity is the life of another living entity." That is a fact. Just like sahastānām ahastānam. Those who have got hands—that means men—for them, ahastāni, means the animals who have got no hands. And apadānanaṁ catuṣ-padām: "And the four-legged animals, they eat the grass, who cannot move." So grass has got life, as the animal has got life. We have got life. So this is... Nūnaṁ mahatāṁ tatra: "The strong is eating the weak." So this is the law of nature. We are eating the grains and fruits. They have got also life. It is not that those who are vegetarians, or eating grains and fruit, they are not eating life. They are also eating life. But the bhakti-yoga process is that, as it is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that the devotees, they take prasādam. We have got arrangement of distributing prasādam in every Sunday. Prasādam means the foodstuff which is offered to Kṛṣṇa and then you take. So what Kṛṣṇa wants, that is also stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). Therefore we are not propagating the philosophy of ahiṁsā, or nonviolence, because in some way or other, there is violence, either you take fruit or grain or animal. But the principle is that you have to take prasādam, the foodstuff which is offered to Kṛṣṇa, and then eat.

A tiger has got the right to eat another animal. So we are not going to preach amongst the tigers that "You become vegetarian" or "You become Kṛṣṇa conscious." That is not our business. Our business is that we are inducing, we are entreating, we are requesting people that "You take Kṛṣṇa prasāda."
Pandal Lecture at Cross Maidan -- Bombay, March 26, 1971:

Every living being has to eat another living being. That is the law of nature. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. Those who have got hands, they are eating the legless. Just like the vegetables. Just like cows, goats, or other animals, they are eating grass. The grass is also a living entity, but it has no legs. It is being eaten up by another animal which has got legs. Similarly, we are also a kind of animal with hands. We are eating another animal which has no hands. Similarly, those who are strong, even in animal kingdom or vegetable kingdom, those who are strong, they are eating the less strong. In this way the whole world is maintained by one animal is eating another animal or one living entity is eating another living entity. That is the law of nature. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. So you (we) are not interfering with the right of the living entities. A tiger has got the right to eat another animal. So we are not going to preach amongst the tigers that "You become vegetarian" or "You become Kṛṣṇa conscious." That is not our business. Our business is that we are inducing, we are entreating, we are requesting people that "You take Kṛṣṇa prasāda." That is our business. To become vegetarian or nonvegetarian is not very big business. We do not admit that vegetarians are very much pious and nonvegetarians are not pious. No. Not like that. We say that everyone is impious who is not taking foodstuff offered to Kṛṣṇa. That is our view.

Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One life has to eat another life. That is nature's law. But Kṛṣṇa consciousness means he does not anymore eat anything which is not offered to Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
City Hall Lecture -- Durban, October 7, 1975:

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: He would like to know whether it is necessary for one to be a vegetarian or not in order to respond or understand the teachings.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because if you want to be Kṛṣṇa conscious—that is the whole teaching—you have to act according to the instruction of Kṛṣṇa. So vegetarian or not vegetarian, it is not a very important thing. Either you eat meat or vegetable, both of them have got life. That is the nature's way. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One life has to eat another life. That is nature's law. But Kṛṣṇa consciousness means he does not anymore eat anything which is not offered to Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We take prasādam. Whatever is offered to Kṛṣṇa, we take that. So Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati tad aham aśnāmi (BG 9.26). So just like if you ask some guest at your home, you will ask him, "What you shall eat, sir? What can I offer you?" Similarly, when you invite Kṛṣṇa to your home or to your temple, you should prepare foodstuff according to Kṛṣṇa's instruction, not according to your whims. So Kṛṣṇa says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati: "Anyone who offers Me patraṁ"—that is vegetable—"puṣpaṁ"—vegetable—"and liquid things like milk, water..." And you can prepare so many other things from vegetables. If you offer to Kṛṣṇa and take prasādam, then you are free. That is, yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ. If you accept foodstuff which is offered for yajña-yajña means acceptance by Kṛṣṇa—then you are free from sinful life. Otherwise you are responsible. Either you eat meat or vegetable, it doesn't matter.

Philosophy Discussions

One life is, one living being is food for another living being. But that does not mean that you shall kill your son and eat, and it will be supported by the society. That is discrimination, that is conscience.
Philosophy Discussion on Hegel:

Śyāmasundara: I observe in nature that everything is killing something else for eating so it seems only rational that I should be able to eat animals.

Prabhupāda: Well, that also accepted in the Vedic philosophy, jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One life is, one living being is food for another living being. But that does not mean that you shall kill your son and eat, and it will be supported by the society. That is discrimination, that is conscience. You can say that "I must eat some, another living entity. That is by nature's law. So I produce my children and I kill them and I eat them so that the population problem will be solved." You can say that. Will you be accepted? So therefore there must be discrimination.

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.
Philosophy Discussion on St. Augustine:

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.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. That difference you'll find amongst ourselves. We are all different. But that does not mean I have no soul. Any one of us has soul.
Morning Walk At Cheviot Hills Golf Course -- May 15, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: One life is the food of another.

Prabhupāda: Another. That is not the question. That is also science. And this is also science that every living entity has got... (distortions) You eat. That I have already said, but why do you say something which is not fact?

Devotee: They say what is the difference between an animal and a plant?

Prabhupāda: Maybe different (distortion) difference between you and me. That difference you'll find amongst ourselves. We are all different. But that does not mean I have no soul. Any one of us has soul.

We agree that we have to live by eating another living entity. Jivo jīvasya jīvanam. But if I eat this grass, taken some grass, and if I eat some animal, do you think they are equal? Then why don't you kill your child, own child?
Garden Conversation with Mahadeva's Mother and Jesuit Priest -- July 25, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: Innocent animal killing and taking a potato from the tree, you are making equalized. It is not very...

Jesuit Priest: Oh, no, I'm not (indistinct) and saying. All I'm saying is if you're logical and accept different...

Prabhupāda: This is logical. Now...

Jesuit Priest: ...kinds of life.

Prabhupāda: I have to live. We agree that we have to live by eating another living entity. Jivo jīvasya jīvanam. But if I eat this grass, taken some grass, and if I eat some animal, do you think they are equal?

Jesuit Priest: Yes.

Prabhupāda: Equal? Then why don't you kill your child, own child?

Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. That we also accept, but that does not mean one living entity is the food for another living entity, that does not mean I can kill my mother, my child...
Room Conversation with Cardinal Danielou -- August 9, 1973, Paris:

Prabhupāda: ...for eating, then at least the mother animal should not be killed. That is from moral point of view.

Cardinal Danielou: Yes, from moral point of view...

Prabhupāda: So our point of view is that we don't allow killing any animal. Our Kṛṣṇa says: patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). Kṛṣṇa says vegetable, fruits, milk, grains, all these things should be offered to Me with devotion. And you should take the remnants of the foodstuff. So we take prasādam. And Kṛṣṇa says: "Give Me foodstuff prepared from this group." That we do. Accepting that the fruits, they have got life. But fruits are by nature... There are many fruits. It is offered by the tree for eating. The tree's not killed. So we accept this philosophy also that a, one animal, one living entity is meant for being food for another living entity. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. That we also accept, but that does not mean one living entity is the food for another living entity, that does not mean I can kill my mother, my child... That is not, sir. So at least this must be taken into consideration that cows, innocent, they give us milk, we take its milk, and we kill in regular slaughterhouse, this is not very good thing. It is sinful.

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

It is said in the Vedic literature that one living entity is the food for another living entity. But when you come to the form of human being, you should have discrimination.
Room Conversation with Mr. C. Hennis of the International Labor Organization of the U.N. -- May 31, 1974, Geneva:

Yogeśvara: It is the natural order, that all animals... There are many species of animals that eat flesh, and that man is simply following the natural order.

Prabhupāda: Natural means, that means he should become animal. Like, he should imitate like the animal. That is man's progress, do you mean to say?

C. Hennis: Well, that's no doubt the rationale that they use.

Prabhupāda: I understand your point. That we also say, that any living entity has to live by eating another living entity. That is natural. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. It is said in the Vedic literature that one living entity is the food for another living entity.

C. Hennis: That's true.

Prabhupāda: Just hear me. But when you come to the form of human being, you should have discrimination. If you have no discrimination, simply you live like animal, then where is the difference? My only point is the lack of brain. Human being, he has been given by nature... They are also life, the fruits, the vegetables, the food grains, the milk, the sugar, they have got enough food value, and the human being should be satisfied within this group. Why they should maintain slaughterhouse, and do not think that they are not sinful, and still they want to be happy without caring for God? That is lack of brain.

Of course, by nature's way some living entity is the food for another living entity. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. That is the nature's way. But if you give that argument, then I can say, "Why you are killing cows? Why don't you kill your own children?"
Room Conversation -- June 5, 1974, Geneva:

Yogeśvara: Why do we make the distinction between not killing animals and plants? Why do we kill plants?

Prabhupāda: We do not kill plants also. We take... Of course, by nature's way some living entity is the food for another living entity. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. That is the nature's way. But if you give that argument, then I can say, "Why you are killing cows? Why don't you kill your own children?" If that is the way, that "Because I have to eat some animal," so why go outside? Just inside the family there are so many animals. You can kill them and eat. there must be discretion. Apart from this point of view, we Kṛṣṇa conscious people, we do not kill even a plant because, Kṛṣṇa says-find out this-patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26).

Yogeśvara: (translating) ...jīvo jīvasya jīvanam (French)...

Prabhupāda: There is no jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. Here Kṛṣṇa says, "Give Me these things, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam." There is no question of jīvasya jīvanam.

That is the law of nature, that every living being is eating another living being. But our foodstuff is to accept the remnants of foodstuff which is eaten by Kṛṣṇa.
Room Conversation with Professor Durckheim German Spiritual Writer -- June 19, 1974, Germany:

Prabhupāda: No, that is the law of nature, that every living being is eating another living being. That is stated in the Vedic śāstra.

ahastāni sahastānām
apadāni catuṣ-padām
phalgūni tatra mahatāṁ
jīvo jīvasya jīvanam

That "Those who have no hands—that means animals—they are food for the animal who has got hands. And those who have no legs, they are food for the four-legged." Just like grass has no legs, but it is a food fo the cows and the goats. Apadāni catuṣ-padām, phalgūni tatra mahatām: "Then one who is powerful, very powerful..." Just like tiger, he jumps over another animal. So because the other animal is weak and this animal is strong, so in this way, the feeding is going on, one living being for the other. But when you come to the... That is nature. The tiger will never eat grass. But we human being, we eat grass, goat, cows and everything. Because advanced, so-called advanced. But our foodstuff is to accept the remnants of foodstuff which is eaten by Kṛṣṇa. That is our philosophy. Kṛṣṇa-prasāda. Just like in this temple, we don't eat anything. Neither we eat grass, neither we eat animals. We eat kṛṣṇa-prasāda.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Discrimination is the better part of valor. Whom should we kill? It is all right. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. But there is important.
Morning Walk -- May 7, 1975, Perth:

Gaṇeśa: Some people say that in our philosophy, if we do not wish to slaughter the animals, what about the trees? We are killing the plants. They are also living entities.

Prabhupāda: If you compare the animals and the trees as the same, then why not kill yourself, your brother? Why do you distinguish? Why don't you slaughter your own son? Why do you distinguish?

Gaṇeśa: He's a relative.

Prabhupāda: You discriminate. If you are slaughtering animals and you are comparing that killing of the vegetables and the killing of the animals is the same, then killing your son and killing an animal is also the same. Why do you discriminate? Just kill your own son and eat.

Paramahaṁsa: He's a human being, though.

Prabhupāda: Ah, therefore there is discrimination. Discrimination is the better part of valor. Whom should we kill? It is all right. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. But there is important. If you eat vegetables there is no crisis, you can go on. It is a fact that an animal is eating another animal. It may be vegetables or animals, but they are disturbing. Therefore it is said, "As it is allotted." You should eat such and such. Not that indiscriminately you can eat everything. If you think killing of an animal and killing a vegetable is the same, then killing of your son and killing of animals or vegetable is the same. Why do you discriminate?

Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: "One living entity has to eat another living entity to keep himself alive." That is the natural law. But you should have discrimination.
Room Conversation with Alcohol and Drug Hospital People -- May 16, 1975, Perth:

Guest (2): Could I come back to that eating of meat? Related to this alive, soul, matter. Aren't you in a sense eating another soul too if you're eating vegetables? Not only if you're eating meat?

Prabhupāda: No, the thing is, the material world... It is said, jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: "One living entity has to eat another living entity to keep himself alive." That is the natural law. But you should have discrimination. Because you have to eat some other living entity, it does not mean that you will eat your own son. You cannot support that "Because I have to live by eating another living entity, so what is the wrong if I eat my son?" Therefore the Vedic injunction is tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā (ISO 1). You are given some jurisdiction. You can eat. And actually you do so. Because I have to eat something, we do not eat anything and everything. We have got discrimination.

Fish. You cannot fish, but they know how to fish. They can see and immediately catch, while in the water. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam.
Morning Walk -- June 26, 1975, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Yes, he has said that. (break) ...from these waves how these birds catches...

Rādhā-vallabha: Fish.

Prabhupāda: Fish. You cannot fish, but they know how to fish. They can see and immediately catch, while in the water. (break)

Jayatīrtha: ...given them the facility that they need for survival.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is the... Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. They do not know industry. (laughs) So they have to catch their eatables from the nature.

Bahulāśva: The scientists say that everything has developed due to the need for biological survival.

Prabhupāda: Yes. (break) ...is of the body, not of the soul. That they do not know. (break)

Rādhā-vallabha: ...because a certain animal needs a certain type of facility like long claws or big teeth or a certain amount of legs, they say that automatically in the course of time these things develop.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That we know also.

Rādhā-vallabha: They don't say that it has anything to do with God. They simply say...

Prabhupāda: That is their nonsense rascaldom. Who is arranging this? You cannot do it. You cannot do it. So somebody has arranged like that. It is going on. Somebody has done. You have not done; neither you have power to do it. So that somebody is God.

Everyone has to eat somebody, and nature's law is one living being is eating another living being. Therefore the human being is suggested that "You should take Kṛṣṇa prasādam." Eating is required, but you don't eat like the lower animals. You take Kṛṣṇa prasādam.
Room Conversations -- July 26, 1975, Laguna Beach:

Mr. Surface: Were some of the animals destined to survive through the destruction of other animals?

Prabhupāda: Yes. You are also destroying so many cows daily, although you are human being. Do you consider that "Why this cow should be slaughtered?" They are also living beings. So what about the animals? If man can slaughter so many animals daily, then if a tiger kills another one animal, what is the wrong there? That is the distinction between man and animal. Everyone has to eat somebody, and nature's law is one living being is eating another living being. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. So the snake is eating the frog, the frog is eating another small animal or some flies, and the snake is eaten by the mongoose, and the mongoose eaten by somebody else, by cat or by dog. So this is the law of nature. Therefore the human being is suggested that "You should take Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Eating is required, but you don't eat like the lower animals. You take Kṛṣṇa prasādam. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is said, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati: (BG 9.26) "Anyone who is offering Me with devotion and love leaves, vegetables, fruits, flowers, milk, that I take." So we take Kṛṣṇa prasādam, the remnants of foodstuff left by Kṛṣṇa.

One who cannot digest anything, he is recommended to eat this fish, magur mach. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One living entity is the life of another living entity.
Morning Walk -- August 4, 1975, Detroit:

Ambarīṣa: That's a catfish.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Ambarīṣa: A catfish.

Prabhupāda: Cat?

Brahmānanda: A very low-class fish. It eats the stool of the other fish.

Prabhupāda: Oh. Black? It is black?

Mādhavānanda: Yes. Black. Yes.

Prabhupāda: We call magur mach. One who cannot digest anything, he is recommended to eat this fish, magur mach. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One living entity is the life of another living entity. Hare Kṛṣṇa.

He world is that the stronger is exploiting the weaker. Nūnaṁ mahatāṁ tatra jīvo jīvasya jīvanam.
Morning Walk -- October 9, 1975, Durban:

Prabhupāda: Mind is working of the fish. He knows where is his enemy, where to go. They have got better mind. They can understand from two miles that some enemy is coming. They take care.

Devotee (4): Fish.

Prabhupāda: Yes. The mind is so strong. Every fish in the water, although they are expert, they are always in danger. They are always afraid of being eaten by bigger fish. Nūnaṁ mahatāṁ tatra. The world is that the stronger is exploiting the weaker. Nūnaṁ mahatāṁ tatra jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. Still, they are expert.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

This is the law of nature. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. You cannot starve and live.
Morning Walk -- April 15, 1976, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: Mahatāṁ tatra jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. This is natural, that one jīva is the food for another jīva. So how ahiṁsā is possible?

Dr. Patel: That has been said in Rāmāyaṇa by that Matan(?) Muni, you know, Matan Muni who was harboring Saubhari, and then he was killing one elephant and living on the elephant for one year, and all other ṛṣis were against him. He was, I mean, not practicing ahiṁsā. Then he gave the feast to all those ṛṣis, and the lāḍu starting moving about. Everywhere there is life, I mean, every grain of the wheat or...

Prabhupāda: Yes. So therefore how it is possible? Because, after all, apart from Matan(?) Muni, if this is the rule, that one living entity is the food for another living entity... This is the law of nature. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. You cannot starve and live.

Every living being has to eat another living being. That is the law of nature. But in the human form of life if one thinks that "Another living being is my food, so I kill my own child and eat," so you mean to say to apply the same law, that "A living entity is food for another living entity. Therefore a human being kill his own child and eat?"
Room Conversation -- April 23, 1976, Melbourne:

Guest (2): That's true. And we have many people who are in the church who strive to teach people of the church to eat more grains and milk products and...

Guru-kṛpā: That is not the point Śrīla Prabhupāda is making.

Prabhupāda: No, point is that every living being has to eat another living being. That is the law of nature.

Guest (2): Right.

Prabhupāda: Jivo jīvasya jīvanam. That we admit. But in the human form of life if one thinks—now they are eating—that "Another living being is my food, so I kill my own child and eat," so you mean to say to apply the same law, that "A living entity is food for another living entity. Therefore a human being kill his own child and eat?"

Guest (2): Well, see, we...

Prabhupāda: "Discrimination is the best part of valor." So you have to eat something, but if you have got grains, vegetables, milk, very nice preparation, why should you kill cow?

This is the nature's way. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One life, a living entity is food for another.
Morning Walk -- June 22, 1976, New Vrindaban:

Devotee (1): Saw a lynx, a big cat.

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Devotee (1): A lynx, a small cat.

Kīrtanānanda: Something like a little wildcat.

Prabhupāda: They eat, they're eaten by the fox?

Kīrtanānanda: They'll eat the fox. They're very rare though.

Prabhupāda: Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam.

ahastāni sahastānām
apadāni catuṣ-padām
phalgūni tatra mahatāṁ
jīvo jīvasya jīvanam

The handless animal is the food for the animal with hands. This is the beginning of life. Uncivilized man eats the animals. Apadāni catuṣ-padām: these grass, plants, they are for the catuṣ-padām, four-legged. Cows, deer, goats, they eat. And those who are weak, they are for the strong. In this way, this is the nature's way. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One life, a living entity is food for another.

Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. Either you eat vegetable or meat, you have to eat something. So if you eat for yourself, then you are simply eating sin. But if you take Kṛṣṇa prasādam, then if there is any sin, it goes to Kṛṣṇa, you take pure prasādam.
Evening Darsana -- July 11, 1976, New York:

Prabhupāda: If you do not perform yajña, then you will be bound up by the resultant action. So this is yajña, to offer to Kṛṣṇa. Yajña means to satisfy Viṣṇu. Viṣṇu-ārādhyate. Yajña means satisfy Kṛṣṇa. But if you don't Kṛṣṇa's prasādam, then you are sinful. Not that if you become vegetarian, then you are not sinful. Not that. Because you have to eat something. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. Either you eat vegetable or meat, you have to eat something. So somebody prefers eating animals, and somebody prefers eating vegetables, but all of them have got life. Therefore you cannot kill any life. So if you eat for yourself, then you are simply eating sin. Bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt. But if you take Kṛṣṇa prasādam, then if there is any sin, it goes to Kṛṣṇa, you take pure prasādam.

One life is food for the another life. Kṛṣṇa has made such an arrangement that every living entity has got some service. So he's allowed to do the service, then he's finished by another living entity.
Garden Conversation -- September 7, 1976, Vrndavana:

Caraṇāravindam: There's a toad in the fountain.

Prabhupāda: He has already gone?

Caraṇāravindam: He's been in and out. He's had his swim. He's doing service for you. I brought him three or four days ago to the garden.

Prabhupāda: What service he is doing?

Caraṇāravindam: He is eating all the bugs.

Prabhupāda: Ācchā?

Caraṇāravindam: He eats bugs and those nasty flies.

Prabhupāda: Oh, they eat bugs?

Caraṇāravindam: Yes. They do very good service in gardens. Gardener's friend, the toad. Grass snakes, earthworm and the toad and frog. Gardener's friends. He'll sit there and he'll wait for a fly to come.

Prabhupāda: Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One life is food for the another life. Kṛṣṇa has made such an arrangement that every living entity has got some service. So he's allowed to do the service, then he's finished by another living entity.

Caraṇāravindam: A big snake may come and eat him.

Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. I am a life. I am taking either grain or I am taking flesh, the material is supplied from the earth. The earth is the mother. That is a fact. Now we should be intelligent, that simply mother cannot beget a child. There must be father. So who is that father? The answer is here.
Room Conversation with Indian Man -- December 22, 1976, Poona:

Prabhupāda: Mother means from whom the child is coming, is it not? That is mother. Everyone knows. So you see this whole world, wherefrom everything is coming, you see, practically, gross knowledge. I see a plant is coming from the earth. A tree is coming from the earth. And according to evolutionary theory... Not theory, fact. The dehāntara-prāptiḥ (BG 2.13). When his plant life is finished, he takes another body, insect life. So the mother is the earth. That's a fact. I am eating the things which are... Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. I am a life. I am taking either grain or I am taking flesh, the material is supplied from the earth. The animal also, he is also eating the grass. That is coming from the earth. The earth is the mother. That is a fact. Now we should be intelligent, that simply mother cannot beget a child. There must be father. So who is that father? The answer is here. Ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā (BG 14.4). So where is the ignorance?

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

So when you have got less important life, why should we kill more important? Just like Kṛṣṇa says, kṛṣi-go-rakṣya, protecting the cows. That is a very important animal.
Room Conversation -- January 30, 1977, Bhuvanesvara:

Pṛthu-putra: They follow very strictly the laws of Koran. Even their whole social structure is based on Koran.

Prabhupāda: That is here in India also.

Pṛthu-putra: But they are also killing the animals.

Prabhupāda: Their Koran, their Koran... Oh, that is... What can we do? They are habituated. In Arabia where is food?

Pṛthu-putra: Yes. Very desert most of the time.

Prabhupāda: Yes. So therefore they're allowed. Question is, jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: "One living entity..."

Pṛthu-putra: "...is the food of another."

Prabhupāda: Another. So when you have got less important life, why should we kill more important? Just like Kṛṣṇa says, kṛṣi-go-rakṣya, protecting the cows. That is a very important animal. He doesn't say goat-rakṣya or lamb-rakṣya. Those who want to eat meat, they can eat some unimportant animal, but don't touch cow. It is very important.

Pṛthu-putra: They mostly eat goats, chicken.

Prabhupāda: Therefore, in India, cow flesh is strictly forbidden. But it doesn't mean that they are vegetarian. They eat fish and goat, lamb, sometimes buffalo. But not to touch the cow. From economic point of view, from vitamin point of view, cow should be given... Just like from the milk of cow we can prepare so many nice things. Kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.44).

The philosophy is that jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. That doesn't not mean I can eat my son. There is discrimination.
Room Conversation -- January 30, 1977, Bhuvanesvara:

Prabhupāda: God does not like that the weaker living entities should be killed for the satisfaction of the stomach. But when there is no alternative, then the stronger animal can take. Because even one takes vegetables, that is also eating another animal, another living being. So therefore, human being must use discretion, that 'If I can live in this way, why shall I kill one important animal?' That is human intelligence." In this way you have to preach. And besides that, according to our Bhagavad-gītā, God says, "Give Me patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam (BG 9.26)." He never said, "Give Me meat. Give me egg." So we are devotee to Kṛṣṇa. So we give Him this vegetables, milk, and so many nice things, and take prasādam. In this way don't quarrel with them in the beginning.

Pṛthu-putra: No. I never did, anyway.

Prabhupāda: The philosophy is that jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. That doesn't not mean I can eat my son. There is discrimination. So here is an important animal, cow, who gives us milk. We drink milk. So it's not good. But if there is no other way—you have to starve—then what can be done?

Every living entity is living by eating another living entity. That is the law of nature. But there are different types, so in the human society, if there are persons who want to eat flesh, so they can eat that nonimportant, small animal. But don't touch cow.
Meeting with Mr. Dwivedi -- April 23, 1977, Bombay:

Mr. Dwivedi: It is nobody's religion, what little I know of the few religions, that to advise that "You must take a particular type of flesh and not the other type."

Prabhupāda: No, flesh you can take if you are carnivorous, but not this cow's flesh. That is particularly instructed in Bhagavad-gītā, kṛṣi-go-rakṣya. Kṛṣṇa did not say that "You be non-meat-eater." That is not possible. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. Every living entity is living by eating another living entity. That is the laws of nature. But there are different types, so in the human society, if there are persons who want to eat flesh, so they can eat that nonimportant, small animal. But don't touch cow. That is Gītā's instruction. Go-rakṣya, He has particularly said. If you are so mean that you have to eat some flesh, there are hogs, dogs, and... And you can eat. But don't touch cow.

The real fact is that this jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One life is food for another life. That is nature's way. But one has to pass through so many varieties of life, evolution. How many millions of years we'll take to evolve to become a human being. Then he gets chance of Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Room Conversation -- July 17, 1977, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: The real fact is that this jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. One life is food for another life. That is nature's way. But one has to pass through so many varieties of life, evolution. Jalajā nava-lakṣāṇi. How many millions of years we'll take to evolve to become a human being. Then he gets chance of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Payeche mānava janma, mano rañjanam alpa.(?) Bahūnāṁ janmanām ante (BG 7.19). Emona janma, this janma, manuṣya-janma. And if we miss and don't get Kṛṣṇa, again glide down. Mām aprāpya mṛtyu-saṁsāra. Again you fall down. I'll eat you; you eat me. And the aquatic, 900,000 species, varieties of life. The same struggle, one fish eating another fish. Struggle within the water. A small fish can understand three miles away a big fish is coming. It is all stated in the Bhāgavata. This struggle is going on.