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The meat-eaters, they are everywhere, all over the world, but in India meat-eating is allowed - the fifth class, fifth grade community, they eat these cows when it is dead. And the sudra class, they also eat meat restrictively, goats

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"The meat-eaters, they are everywhere, all over the world, but in India meat-eating is allowed—the fifth class, fifth grade community, they eat these cows when it is dead. And the sudra class, they also eat meat restrictively, goats"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Cow is very important animal. So from religious point of view, or from economic point of view, cows are not allowed, in the Vedic civilization, to be killed. The meat-eaters, they are everywhere, all over the world, but in India meat-eating is allowed—the fifth class, fifth grade community, they eat these cows when it is dead. And the śūdra class, they also eat meat restrictively, goats. That is only under certain restriction, means sacrifice. The goat is sacrificed in the Goddess Kali's temple, and they eat.
Room Conversation with Bernard Manischewitz -- March 5, 1975, New York:

Prabhupāda: India is still, I think, eighty percent people are strictly vegetarian. Not to speak of the higher class, but the lower class also. The higher class, brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya and vaiśya. Vaiśya is via media, between higher and lower. And the śūdras and less that the śūdras, caṇḍālas, they are lower class. So meat-eating is current among these lower class of men, śūdras and caṇḍālas. The caṇḍālas, they have no discrimination, they eat everything, and śūdras, they eat meat, but under restriction. Some of them do not; some of them do, but under restriction, and that is restricted with the goat animal. Less than the śūdras-caṇḍālas, pañcama, fifth grade—they eat everything. Especially they eat—because cow protection in India is very strict—so these caṇḍālas, fifth grade men, they eat generally pigs. Pigs they eat. Outside the village, they have their residential quarters, and they fry live pigs. And they make... Not daily; sometimes. But they eat pigs, and amongst them, there is a class—they are cobblers—they eat this cows' flesh when the animal is dead, not living and we'll kill.

Bernard Manischewitz: He dies his own natural death?

Prabhupāda: Yes. Because the higher class, they keep cows, they maintain, but after all, the animal will die. So when the animal dies, they call for this cobbler class, and he takes away the dead cows. So he gets out the skin, hooves, bones and flesh, they eat, and this skin is tanned by them, and they prepare shoes. So they get their raw material without any price.

Bernard Manischewitz: I see, yes. (laughs)

Prabhupāda: They are poor class. So our program, "When he will die," so they wait for the death of the animal and get the skin, hoof, bones, they make trade. (to devotee:) So what is this key, the elmira?

Devotee: No, that is a little spoon for your tilaka.

Prabhupāda: Oh. So cow is very important animal. So from religious point of view, or from economic point of view, cows are not allowed, in the Vedic civilization, to be killed. The meat-eaters, they are everywhere, all over the world, but in India meat-eating is allowed—the fifth class, fifth grade community, they eat these cows when it is dead. And the śūdra class, they also eat meat restrictively, goats. That is only under certain restriction, means sacrifice. The goat is sacrificed in the Goddess Kali's temple, and they eat. This is very dangerous, this sacrifice. It is very dangerous. It creates all sinful men. In the Christian religion also, it is said, "Thou shall not kill," and they are killing. So what kind of Christians they are?

Bernard Manischewitz: Do they kill them in a slaughterhouse?

Prabhupāda: Eh?

Bernard Manischewitz: Do they kill them in a slaughterhouse? The goats?

Prabhupāda: No.

Bernard Manischewitz: Like a sacrifice.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Bernard Manischewitz: I see.

Prabhupāda: Sacrifice means restriction. One meaning of sacrifice is: if you believe in the śāstra, the animal is going to get next life as a human being. Because he is being sacrificed under Vedic rituals, so he is given promotion immediately, to human life. So he is not loser. His body being sacrificed before the deity, he gets the opportunity of getting a human life immediately, for which he had to wait perhaps thousands and thousands of years, because the evolution will go. Of course, after animal life the next life is human life. So anyway, he is given the concession to get a human form of body immediately after this body is destroyed, and with the right that he has the right to kill the man who has killed him. That mantra is cited, that "He was sacrificing your life, so you get immediately human form of body, and you can kill this man." So this is the Vedic rituals.