Mahat-sevāṁ dvāram āhur vimuktes, and the tamo-dvāraṁ yoṣitāṁ saṅgi-saṅgam. Not only you directly make all these thing then you are condemned to go to the hellish condition; if you associate with such person, then also you'll be liable. If you associate. Just like some rascals they say, "Yes, we are eating meat, but we are not directly killing. We purchase." They think that "Let me enjoy meat-eating. Those who are killing in the slaughterhouse, they will be responsible. I am free." No. Because you are associating with such persons, according to Manu-saṁhitā when an animal is killed, eight persons become condemned with murdering charges. Eight persons. One who kills, one who orders, one who purchases, one who cooks, one who eats—so many. That is the law. Just like one man is murdered. That murdering is committed by one man, but if has got many associates who has induced him, who has supplied him the weapon, or giving, so many assisted—all of them are arrested. This is the law. As we have got law here, here we can escape man-made laws, but you cannot escape God-made laws. That is not possible. Man-made laws sometimes we escape because everything made by man, that is insufficient, imperfect. So you can escape sometimes. That is not escaping. But you cannot escape God's law. Īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati (BG 18.61). God is situated within your heart. He's seeing everything and recording. Anumantā upadraṣṭā, you cannot escape.
Animal-killing and the law of Manu (Manu-samhita)
SB Canto 1
A life for a life is just punishment for a person who cruelly and shamelessly lives at the cost of another's life. Political morality is to punish a person by a death sentence in order to save a cruel person from going to hell. That a murderer is condemned to a death sentence by the state is good for the culprit because in his next life he will not have to suffer for his act of murder. Such a death sentence for the murderer is the lowest possible punishment offered to him, and it is said in the smṛti-śāstras that men who are punished by the king on the principle of a life for a life are purified of all their sins, so much so that they may be eligible for being promoted to the planets of heaven. According to Manu, the great author of civic codes and religious principles, even the killer of an animal is to be considered a murderer because animal food is never meant for the civilized man, whose prime duty is to prepare himself for going back to Godhead. He says that in the act of killing an animal, there is a regular conspiracy by the party of sinners, and all of them are liable to be punished as murderers exactly like a party of conspirators who kill a human being combinedly. He who gives permission, he who kills the animal, he who sells the slaughtered animal, he who cooks the animal, he who administers distribution of the foodstuff, and at last he who eats such cooked animal food are all murderers, and all of them are liable to be punished by the laws of nature. No one can create a living being despite all advancement of material science, and therefore no one has the right to kill a living being by one's independent whims. For the animal-eaters, the scriptures have sanctioned restricted animal sacrifices only, and such sanctions are there just to restrict the opening of slaughterhouses and not to encourage animal-killing. The procedure under which animal sacrifice is allowed in the scriptures is good both for the animal sacrificed and the animal-eaters. It is good for the animal in the sense that the sacrificed animal is at once promoted to the human form of life after being sacrificed at the altar, and the animal-eater is saved from grosser types of sins (eating meats supplied by organized slaughterhouses which are ghastly places for breeding all kinds of material afflictions to society, country and the people in general). The material world is itself a place always full of anxieties, and by encouraging animal slaughter the whole atmosphere becomes polluted more and more by war, pestilence, famine and many other unwanted calamities.
Great learned scholars, realized soul, liberated soul, they have given us Vedic literature. There are different types of explanation, just like main is the Manu-saṁhitā. In the Manu-saṁhitā it is said that if a man kills, then he should be also killed. No excuse. From Manu-saṁhitā the hanging or killing of a murderer, that is enjoined. That is there. Maharṣibhiḥ. A killer of other animals or other living entities, he must be killed. This is Manu-saṁhitā. This is showing the mercy. When a king orders a murderer to be hanged, that is king's mercy. It is said in the Manu-saṁhitā. He is not to be excused. Life for life. Now imagine how many lives we are killing every day. We have now become very civilized. We are maintaining slaughterhouses, thousands and thousands, up-to-date machine, how to kill the animals. This is our advancement of civilization, and they are all sinful activities, pāpāni. And not only killing. There are so many institution how to cheat, how to take your money by tricks, how to kidnap others' wife, how..., so many things, simply sinful activities.
Yesterday I received one letter from Rāyarāma. He wanted my permission to make some propaganda in our magazine Back to Godhead against animal slaughter, butchery. So I replied that why should we be against a class of men who are known in the society as butcher? Actually, everyone is butcher. Actually, so-called gentlemen who are, I mean to say, supporting these butchers, they are also butchers. According to Manu-saṁhitā, there are eight kinds of butchers. The man who is killing the animal, the man who is ordering to kill the animal, the man who is skinning the animal, the man who is purchasing the meat, the man who is cooking, the man who is eating, they are called all butchers. Just like if there is a murder case and there is a conspiracy, so it is not the man who has directly killed some person, he is arrested, but everyone who is in the conspiracy, they are all arrested. That is the common law. So in that sense everyone is butcher. Besides that, because a person is killing some cow or some animal, we are calling butcher, but mostly they are killing their soul. Anyone who is unconscious, who is ignorant of his spiritual identity, identifying himself with this body and misusing this opportunity of human form of life simply for animal sense gratification, they are also butchers. If killing of some living entity is butchery, then how great a butcher is he who is killing himself? He is killing an animal, but he is killing himself. Ātma-hā. Ātma-hā, self-killing, out of ignorance. Everyone is in ignorance. Any sinful activity is done out of ignorance. So ignorance is no excuse. The butcher is killing animal because he does not know what is the effect of this killing. Similarly, persons who do not know what is the value of this human form of life and simply spoiling it just like animals, they are also butchering themselves.
Śyāmasundara: He says that punishment for crime is justified because it vindicates justice and restores rights.
Prabhupāda: Yes, therefore when one is killing an animal, he should be prepared for being killed. That will be justice. That is Manu's... Manu-saṁhitā says that when a man, murderer is hanged, that is complete justice, complete justice. That is to save him, because without being hanged in this life, he if he escapes justice, then he will have to suffer next life very severely. So to save him from so many troubles in the next life, if he is killed, I mean to say, hanged, in this life, then he is saved. Therefore the king who is hanging him is doing him justice. Life for life. If this is the justice, then why one should not be prepared of being killed because he is killing an animal? That is justice. That is Vedic philosophy. In Vedic philosophy, when an animal is killed, it is said that "You are animal, you are being sacrificed before goddess Kālī, so you get next chance to become a human being." That means he is given a lift from the evolutionary process to come to the human being because he is giving his life innocent, and one man wants to kill him, he will be killed. So because you are being killed before the deity, you get next chance human being and you have got the right to kill him. This is kālī-da, mantra. So any sane man will understand that "I am going to be killed by him so why shall I take the risk."