Of course, here animals are slaughtered in slaughterhouse. In, according to Hindu system, of course, cow killing is not allowed. But there are meat-eaters. So according to Hindu system, if anyone wants to eat meat, he should take a goat. According to Hindu system, only goats and lambs can be killed for meat-eating, no other animals, no other animals. Cow is not... forbidden. Just like, in, in, the Hindus, they do not eat cow's flesh. And the Muslims, they do not eat, I mean to say, hogs. Hog's flesh they do not eat. They have got some sentiment. But meat-eating is also there in the Hindu society, but that is only by goat's meat or lamb's meat, generally goat. Generally goat. Now, these goats are sacrificed before a goddess Kālī, Goddess Kālī. So I have seen it, that one animal is being killed, slaughtered, and the, another animal, which will be slaughtered next, he's... It has been given some grass, and it is standing there. You see? It has no knowledge that "My next turn is mine," so it is not going away. So this is animal. This is animal. A human, human being, is not so fool. If there is sign that "Next time my killing is to be taken up," then he... At least he will protest or try to go away, something like that. But there is no such thing. So the distinction between animal and man is that that animal is not aware of the sufferings he is undergoing. There are sufferings both for the animals and for the man, but man is conscious. If a man is not awakened to his suffering, then he is in animal consciousness.
Those who desire to eat meat may satisfy the demands of their tongues by eating lower animals, but they should never kill cows
- 1 Srimad-Bhagavatam
- 2 Sri Caitanya-caritamrta
- 3 Lectures
- 4 Conversations and Morning Walks
SB Canto 6
By nature's arrangement, fruits and flowers are considered the food of insects and birds; grass and other legless living entities are meant to be the food of four-legged animals like cows and buffalo; animals that cannot use their front legs as hands are meant to be the food of animals like tigers, which have claws; and four-legged animals like deer and goats, as well as food grains, are meant to be the food of human beings.
By nature's law, or the arrangement of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, one kind of living entity is eatable by other living entities. As mentioned herein, dvi-padāṁ ca catuṣ-padaḥ: the four-legged animals (catuṣ-padaḥ), as well as food grains, are eatables for human beings (dvi-padām). These four-legged animals are those such as deer and goats, not cows, which are meant to be protected. Generally the men of the higher classes of society—the brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas—do not eat meat. Sometimes kṣatriyas go to the forest to kill animals like deer because they have to learn the art of killing, and sometimes they eat the animals also. Śūdras, too, eat animals such as goats. Cows, however, are never meant to be killed or eaten by human beings. In every śāstra, cow killing is vehemently condemned. Indeed, one who kills a cow must suffer for as many years as there are hairs on the body of a cow. Manu-saṁhitā says, pravṛttir eṣā bhūtānāṁ nivṛttis tu mahā-phalā: we have many tendencies in this material world, but in human life one is meant to learn how to curb those tendencies. Those who desire to eat meat may satisfy the demands of their tongues by eating lower animals, but they should never kill cows, who are actually accepted as the mothers of human society because they supply milk. The śāstra especially recommends, kṛṣi-go-rakṣya: the vaiśya section of humanity should arrange for the food of the entire society through agricultural activities and should give full protection to the cows, which are the most useful animals because they supply milk to human society.
Refuting the Kazi's statement, the Lord immediately replied, "The Vedas clearly enjoin that cows should not be killed. Therefore every Hindu, whoever he may be, avoids indulging in cow-killing."
In the Vedic scriptures there are concessions for meat-eaters. It is said that if one wants to eat meat, he should kill a goat before the goddess Kālī and then eat its meat. Meat-eaters are not allowed to purchase meat or flesh from a market or slaughterhouse. There are no sanctions for maintaining regular slaughterhouses to satisfy the tongues of meat-eaters. As far as cow-killing is concerned, it is completely forbidden. Since the cow is considered a mother, how could the Vedas allow cow-killing? Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu pointed out that the Kazi's statement was faulty. In the Bhagavad-gītā (18.44) there is a clear injunction that cows should be protected: kṛṣi-gorakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam. "The duty of vaiśyas is to produce agricultural products, trade and give protection to cows." Therefore it is a false statement that the Vedic scriptures contain injunctions permitting cow-killing.
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
The third-class means kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam (BG 18.44). Third-class means mercantile traders. They should produce food, enough kṛṣi, agricultural products, and go-rakṣya. Now we see instead of go-rakṣya... Go-rakṣya means protection to the cows. Instead of protection to the cows, they are killing the cows. How you can have perfect society? Cows must be protected. It is so important animal. It is giving the you nectarean food milk, and from milk, you can save your children, you can save your diseased persons. And how it is that you take the cow's milk and send it for slaughterhouse. Oh, this is not, not at all human civilization. Here it is said go-rakṣya. You should give all protection to this important animal. Kṛṣṇa does not say that you should protect the pigs and hogs or other animals. He especially meant the cows because cow is very important animal to the human society. If there are meat-eaters, they can kill other animals, but they should not kill the cow. This is, if you want actually perfect society. Kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyam (BG 18.44). And these persons, they let them produce enough food grains, and where there is no, there is scarcity of food grain, let them supply there. That is called trade. Vāṇijyam. Vāṇijyam.
Generally those who are meat-eaters, they take meat of such animals like goats, lambs, like that, those who are meat-eaters. And they never take cow's flesh because cow is protected, go-raksya. So in the Bhagavad-gītā to the meat-eaters also it is said, kṛṣi go-rakṣya vāṇijyam (BG 18.44). Even if you are meat-eater, don't eat cow. You can eat others animals. But don't eat... "We are śvapacas," śvapaca is there. So if you are at all meat-eater, you can eat pigs, goats, but don't eat cows' flesh. That is very sinful. Why it is sinful? Because it's a very, very important animal in the human society, very important animal. You get milk and milk products. Then your brain becomes very nice, memory sharpened. That is, therefore, important. Don't eat. It is economically.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1973 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Therefore, because we are propagating this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, we ask people to, not to eat meat, any kind.
Cardinal Danielou: Yes, yes, yes.
Prabhupāda: But if, under certain circumstances, you are obliged to eat meat, eat the flesh of some lower animals. Don't kill cows. It is the greatest sin. And so long one will be sinful, he'll not be able to understand what is God. But human being, main business is to understand God and to love Him. But if he remains sinful, neither he can understand God, and what to, what is the question of loving Him. Therefore at least from the human society, this cruel maintenance of slaughterhouses must be stopped.
Prabhupāda: Just like loke vyavāyāmiṣa-madya-sevā nityā hi jantoḥ. There is tendency for eating meat. Therefore Vedas says that "You can eat meat, but..." Not only Vedas, in other scriptures also. The Jews also say. The Mohammedans also say that you can kill in the synagogue or in the, what is called, mosque, one animal. But not slaughterhouse. No religion prescribes that you open slaughterhouse. No.
Prajāpati: It's always done under...
Prabhupāda: That is restricted. Why it is advised to kill in the synagogue? Why not publicly? That means it is not wanted, but if you go on killing in the mosque, some day you may come to your sense, that you are a rascal; you are becoming responsible. But if you open slaughterhouse, that sense will never come.
Hṛdayānanda: And not to kill the cow?
Prabhupāda: Especially not to kill cow. That animal is very, very important to the human society. According to the Vedic system, those who are meat-eaters, they are recommended to kill some goat or some other animal. Not cow.
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: We don't say that you stop eating meat. You eat meat, but don't take it from slaughterhouse. Or don't by killing. Simply wait, and you'll get the... How long the cow will live? Their maximum age is twenty years. So not that you have to wait for twenty years. There are many cows, eighteen years, sixteen years or ten years. So wait for that much time. Then you regularly get dead cows and eat. What is the wrong? You make this propaganda. You may, for few years, may not get. By that time, you can eat some dogs and cats. (laughter) Yes. The Koreans, they are using dogs. Where is the difference between you and the Korean? You can eat also dogs for the time being. Or hogs. You eat hogs. We don't prohibit killing of these small animals. We don't sanction, neither prohibit. But especially we request cow protection because it is ordered by Kṛṣṇa. Because we are Kṛṣṇa conscious people, therefore we have to carry out the order of Kṛṣṇa, go-rakṣya. That is our duty. And economically also, it is very useful. Kṛṣṇa has recommended for nothing, it is not like that. It has some meaning, that if you have got cows.
Prabhupada: Cow protection means you get the milk, sufficient quantity, and from milk you get so many nutritious, full of vitamin food.
Dr. Harrap: It's a complete food in itself.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Those who are meat-eaters, they can eat other non-important animals, but cows must be saved, even from economic point of view. Here it is said that go-rakṣya. It does not say, Kṛṣṇa, "elephant-rakṣya." Elephant is a big animal, and at least fifty times more than cow, there is flesh. But it is not recommended. But the cow protection is recommended because it has got the miracle food, milk, and from milk you can prepare hundreds of preparation, all nutritious, full of vitamin A and D. So therefore it is recommended, go-rakṣya. It is not that meat-eating is stopped. Meat-eaters may kill other non-important animals but don't kill animal, er, cow. And besides that, from moral point of view, we are drinking milk from the cow, so she is mother.
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: The cow is the mother. Mother gives milk. And mother, when she cannot supply milk, mother should be cut up. Is that a very good philosophy? Is it human philosophy? What is the answer? But if you say that somebody wants to, say in your country majority they want to eat meat. So, if you put that argument, then you can eat some lower animals. You can eat the pigs. You are eating also, pigs. Not in a massive scale. Massive scale—if you are Christian you should follow your religious scripture: "Thou shall not kill!" This should be the principle. But if you are a rākṣasa, if you want to eat meat, then at least don't kill the cows. You can eat other, insignificant animals. You are eating also. You are eating everything. Except the moving cars, you are eating all the moving animals. The car also moves, but you cannot eat. Otherwise you are killing everything. You have become so civilized rascal that your business is to kill other animals and eat.
Prabhupāda: You are still in the crude form of human being, just like in the jungles, the aborigines, the Africans, they do not know how to develop civilization—crude methods, eating the animals. That also, they are not so uncivilized that they keep slaughterhouses. You are so uncivilized that you are keeping slaughterhouses, regularly. These Africans and other jungle people they eat meat, but they directly kill. They have no such civilization as to maintain a slaughterhouse. The tigers eat meat, but they do not keep a slaughterhouse. And you are civilized. You are keeping slaughterhouse. Why should you keep? The government shouldn't allow you to keep slaughterhouses. If anyone wants to eat meat, let them eat like tigers and others. Individually, kill one animal—a lower animal, not cows. This should be the government law. You can kill one insignificant animal, like pigs or goats. It has not very much use. You kill it in your home, before your children and family, and eat. THe government may not have any objection. But why should you maintain slaughterhouses? So the agriculturist and the mercantile men, they should produce enough food, give protection to the cows, and if there is excess, sell it. Where there is not enough food grain produced you can make business. That is the instruction given in Bhagavad-gītā, kṛṣi-go-rakṣya vāṇijyam (BG 18.44). That is really needed.
Director: But where the winters are long, people have to kill animals to have something to eat over winter.
Prabhupāda: Well, but you should have... I am not speaking for India or Europe. I am speaking the whole human society. Just try to understand.
Director: People started eating meat because in winter they had nothing else to eat.
Prabhupāda: No, you can eat meat, but you cannot eat meat by killing your father and mother. That is human sense. You are taking milk from the cow, it is your mother. You take milk, that in Australia they produce so much milk, butter, and everything. And after it is finished, cut the throat and make business, send to other countries. What is this nonsense? Is that humanity? Do you think?
Director: Well, say two hundred years ago people to survive the winter had to kill the...
Prabhupāda: No, no. You take your mother's milk. You take your mother's milk, and when the mother cannot supply milk you kill her. What is this? Is that humanity? And nature is so strong, for this injustice, sinful, you must suffer. You must be prepared to suffer. So there will be war, and wholesale will be killed. Nature will not tolerate this.
Dr. Pore: Are you saying that you should never kill a cow but that you sometimes can kill a person?
Prabhupāda: When you can give life. There is sometimes cow sacrifice yajña. The cow sacrifice yajña means an old cow, he is sacrificed in the fire, and by Vedic hymns he is given again new life. To test the potency of the Vedic mantra, an old cow is sacrificed and by mantra he is given again new life. Not for killing and eating. That was discussed between Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Chand Kazi, Mohammedan magistrate. Those who have read Caitanya-caritāmṛta will find. So the Kazi was challenged by Caitanya Mahāprabhu that "You are killing cow and bulls. What is your religion? You are killing your father and mother." Then, he also was learned man, he said it that "In your Vedas the cow sacrifice yajña is there." Then He explained, "This sacrifice is not for eating. It is giving a new life. To test the Vedic mantra." That is discussed in Caitanya-caritāmṛta. That is a different case. For meat-eating a cow should not be killed. This is not very good civilization. If you are..., you must eat meat, then you can kill other animals. They, those who are the kṣatriyas, they were sometimes going to the forest, killing the deer. They are allowed. Because they have to learn how to kill. So by killing animals, they used to practice. Just like doctors, medical practitioners, they first of all ply their knife on the dead body and find out where are the nerves, where are the..., not a living man. When they are fully practiced, then they are allowed to practice surgical operation. Similarly, kṣatriyas are meant for sometimes killing.
1976 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: Ah, kṛṣi-go-rakṣya. Immediately inform them.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Okay. I noticed that also. I thought it was strange, some time back. (break)
Prabhupāda: Hayagrīva edited. He thought, "cattle-raising." Not "cattle-raising," but the word.... There.... It is mistranslation. It is go-rakṣya, "giving protection to the cows." Especially mentioned, go-rakṣya, not otherwise. The animal-eaters may take other animals, but not cow. They can take the pig, goats, lambs, rabbits, so many others, if they at all want to eat meat, birds, these so many. There is no such mention that "Animals should be protected," no. "Cows should be protected." That is Kṛṣṇa's order. (break) They have decided to kill the cow. They have decided, "No brain. Eat." And our prayer is go-brāhmaṇa-hitāya ca, "to do good to the brāhmaṇas and the cows."
Prabhupāda: In the jungle, the barbarians, they do not know how to produce food, how to utilize milk. They can kill animals. That is also not like this, by machine you kill thousands of cows. They did not know this. For their simple eating they might have killed some animals, not particularly cow. Perhaps they were not killing cows because they were getting milk. Other, nonimportant animals. But what is this civilization? I learned that in South Africa, before killing the cows, they take the last drop of milk, and then it is sent to the slaughterhouse. They are so expert that if there is still little milk, take it before her death. Is that civilization, that you are taking milk...? So Vedic civilization is as you are drinking milk from the cow, she's your mother. Actually she's mother. But what is this civilization, killing mother? Hm? Is that civilization? Take from mother whatever she can deliver up to the last drop of milk, and then kill her. Advanced civilization, scientific. Killing scientifically. This is not civilization.
Prabhupāda: No, the meat-eaters cannot be stopped. They will eat meat. So they can kill the small animals, unimportant, not cow. Kṛṣṇa says, go-rakṣya. He never said lamb-rakṣya or hog-rakṣya. (laughs) You can eat hog. If it is decided that you must eat meat, then you can eat a nonimportant animal. We have no objection.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Or at least, as you said this morning, wait until the cow dies naturally.
Prabhupāda: That is another. Otherwise, if you want to kill, you kill less important animal.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Give protection to the cow, the source of milk.
Prabhupāda: Similarly, sense gratification, so long we have got this material body, we require little. But because it is tasty, let us take it, whole pot, that is mistake. This is going on. This foolishness is going on. Sex life is good; simply take sex life, go on and spoil your whole life. That is going on. If everything is accepted in regulative principle, little salt, that's all, that's very nice. But as soon as you think "It is very nice. Let me take simply this," then it is spoiled. That is wanted. We don't reject anything but accept in a regular way. Flesh eaters? All right, you want flesh? "No, I want flesh, but I want this big cow." Why not less important animals? There are so many other animals. The goats are there, the lambs are there, the hogs are there. Take them. Why Kṛṣṇa says go-rakṣya? It is a very important animal. It will give you brain substance, this rasagullā. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says go-rakṣya. But this rascal has no knowledge. The cows give us milk, very nutritious. "Oh, eat the whole cow. Then all nutrition will come." This is their intelligence. Rubbish civilization. Why Kṛṣṇa has recommended go-rakṣya? He never said that other animal. If you are fond of eating flesh, you take other animals, not the cow. Give protection, take milk from it, and prepare nice preparations, that will be good for brain, for your mind. Apart from... There is no question of religious sentiment. From practical.
Devotee (3): They'll ask what should be killed and what shouldn't be killed for eating? Where do we draw the line?
Prabhupāda: No, you, we are speaking go-rakṣya. That is not point of view of killing. There are other animals. We do not say that you stop. If you want to eat some meat, at least don't kill cow. You can kill other insignificant animals which has no importance. Cow has got special importance because it supplies milk, and milk is very essential food that is... From the childhood, a child lives on milk, and there are many saintly persons, they also live by drinking milk. Milk is very important item in the human society, and it supplies all vitamins. Even if you say that "Meat-eating is essential for me," you can eat other animals, but don't kill cows. That is our proposal. Give protection to the cows. Kṛṣṇa mentioned specifically, go-rakṣya. He does not say that you don't kill, but you give protection to the cows. And if you want to eat meat, you can kill other animals. On the whole, paśu-hiṁsā, any animal killing, is not good for spiritual life. And so far vegetable is concerned, everyone has to eat something. So if you can eat vegetables, that does not mean because somebody is killing vegetables, he should kill his own father and mother on that plea. So cow is mother because we are drinking her milk. So you cannot put any argument in favor of killing mother.
Dr. Kneupper: Is that a teaching of the Bhagavad-gītā, that one should not eat meat?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Not... Meat-eating is third-class man's eating. It is not denied. Amedhya. But to give us our life, don't kill cows, because it gives you milk, very substantial food. If you want to eat meat, you can eat the hogs and dogs. But don't kill the cows. Kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyam (BG 18.44). This is special. It is not forbidding meat-eating, but don't eat cows' flesh. That is loss. It is a great loss to the human society. If they do not have sufficient milk production, then their brain will be dull. They will not be able to understand subtle things. Therefore it is better to avoid it. But if you cannot avoid, you can eat some inferior, useless animals. But don't touch the cows. This is Bhagavad-gītā. Kṛṣṇa says, go-rakṣya. He never says, "Pig rakṣya." You can eat pig. You can eat the goats, the lambs. There are so many small useless animals. They are eating dogs also. The Chinese people, they eat dogs. So you can eat dogs, hogs, so many other animals. But don't touch the cows. This is God's instruction.
Prabhupāda: Because it is important, therefore Kṛṣṇa said, kṛṣi-go-rakṣya. Why go-rakṣya required, you do not require any explanation. Kṛṣṇa said, go-rakṣya, "You must protect." That's all. That is Kṛṣṇa conscious. Because we have no brain why Kṛṣṇa—giving up all other animals—He is giving stress on go. And that is meaning. He never said, animal-rakṣya, paśu-rakṣya, no. Those who want to eat paśu, let them eat nonimportant like hogs and dogs. There are class of men who eat dogs also, hogs also. Or, utmost, goats. But don't touch cow. This is instruction. And modern civilization first of all killed all the cows. And when they are no more available then can you eat other animals. I do not know why our government is now restricting cow slaughter.
Dr. Patel: They have banned the cow slaughter all over India now.
Prabhupāda: I know that. Eh.
Guest (3): This is only in Maharastra, on the...
Dr. Patel: They are restricting in Maharastra also.
Prabhupāda: No, what is the reason all of a sudden they have good sense?
1977 Conversations and Morning Walks
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. Gandhi posed himself as a great student of Bhagavad-gītā, but he did not understand a single line. That is the defect. Gandhi took it, Bhagavad-gītā, as a childish play. Dangerous... Therefore country is ruined. You must take Bhagavad-gītā as it is. Then there is authority. You cannot change it. If you change it, where is the authority? Can you change the simple law, "Keep to the right; keep to the left"? No. It is authority. If the direction is "Keep to the right," you must keep to the right. You cannot say that "What is the wrong if I keep to the left?" Then there is no authority.