By His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda
So sādhu (saint) is suhrdam sarva-bhūtānām. Why he should allow animal killing? They are also living entities, but for their benefit, the so-called sādhu says, “The animal has no soul.” What is this nonsense? Animal has no soul? Why? What is the difference between animal and man? What are the symptoms of possessing the soul? They are all equal. The man also eats, the animal also eats. The man also sleeps, the animal also sleeps, the man also has sex life, and the animal also has sex life. The man also defends, the animals also defend. So where is the deficiency that you say that the animal has no soul?
Imperfect knowledge – or making adjustment for their own benefit! Now they are making correction: “Thou shalt not kill,” “Thou shalt not murder.” That means it will come to human being. But the actual commandment is “Thou shalt not kill.” But these Christian people are making some amendment – “Thou shalt not murder”- because murder will apply (only) to the killing of human beings.
But Lord Jesus Christ never said like that. He said, “Thou shalt not kill” – it is applicable both for human being and for animal or even for trees. Unnecessarily you cannot kill. That is sādhu. Suhrdam sarva-bhūtānām [Bg. 5.29]. “Don’t kill my brother, but you can kill my neighbors.” Not like that. He is not sadhu. Sādhu (saint) is kind to all living entities.
Krishna consciousness means to become kind to everyone. Therefore we say, “No meat-eating.” Meat-eating means killing the animals. Why you shall kill animals? You have to take Krishna prasādam. Patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktyā prayacchati, tad aham asnāmi [Bg. 9.26].
Krishna is God. He can eat everything, everything. Krishna ate fire, you know. There was forest fire in Vrndāvana. All the cowherd boys became very much frightened, “Krishna.” “Yes, I’m ready.” He ate up all the fire. So for Krishna He could eat anything He likes. He is God. But still, He recommends, patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktyā prayacchati. Why? Because we have to take Krishna’s prasādam, so therefore He is recommending, “These things you can give Me.” Patram puspam phalam toyam. So that is our food. We are devotees of Krishna. We are meant for eating the remnants of foodstuff offered to Krishna.
If you want to conquer the tongue, then you fix up your mind that you shall not take anything which is not offered to Krishna. Then your tongue will be controlled. Tāra madhye jihvā ati lobhamaya sudurmati. The tongue is the bitterest enemy of the living being. The tongue is dragging. “Kindly give me this immediately. Kindly give me this wine immediately. Kindly give me this tea immediately. Kindly give me this cigarette immediately. Kindly give me this meat.” Why? Control. Krishna says, patram puspam phalam toyam [Bg. 9.26]. So we have to take prasādam, eat Krishna prasādam. Then naturally the other things will be negated. This is the position.
So if all human beings become vegetarian, not only vegetarian, but eaters of the Krishna’s prasādam, all these liquor house and slaughterhouse and brothels will be closed. This is Krishna consciousness movement. We want to close these nonsense places of sinful life: brothels, illegitimate sense gratification, sex relationship, prostitution. If we are embarrassed with this sinful life, there is no possibility of becoming again cyuta (fallen). Orherwise, we remain fallen.
It is not so easy thing that “I do everything, whatever I like.” Some rascals preach that “Oh, religion has nothing to do with your eating. You can eat anything you like, and still you become a religious man.” This is all nonsense. Nobody can become religious man if he is attracted by sinful activities. It is not possible. You must stop sinful activities. That is first condition. Otherwise you cannot understand. Except this Krishna conscious movement, all are rascals; they do not know what is God. They have no clear conception of God because they are sinful. We can give the name, address and everything of God, clear conception, not vague idea, “God may be like this, God may be like that.” Why maybe? He is God.
[An excerpt from a lecture delivered on the Bhagavad Gita 1.21-22 in London on July 18, 1973]