But so far the debts of the daughter, it is not debt, it is called dāya, kanyā-dāya. Debt you can take insolvency, but dāya means it is so obligatory, there is no such question that you can get relief from it. It must be... Therefore the word is used, kanyā-dāya. Still in India, the process is as soon as the girl is grown up the father is very anxious to find out a suitable boy and hand her over. Then... So that protection will be finished. It is already finished, at least in the western countries. There is no obligation of the father how to get the daughter married. Therefore the question is, "Whether you are lamenting that in this age of Kali these things will happen: cow slaughter, no obligation for the daughter..." And bālān, children. They are also not taken care of. Not only that, they are taken care of, but now child or baby is being killed. This is Kali-yuga.
Cow slaughter in the age of Kali
SB Canto 1
Śaunaka and the ṛṣis were astonished to hear that the pious Mahārāja Parīkṣit simply punished the culprit and did not kill him. This suggests that a pious king like Mahārāja Parīkṣit should have at once killed an offender who wanted to cheat the public by dressing like a king and at the same time daring to insult the purest of the animals, a cow. The ṛṣis in those days, however, could not even imagine that in the advanced days of the age of Kali the lowest of the śūdras will be elected as administrators and will open organized slaughterhouses for killing cows. Anyway, although hearing about a śūdraka who was a cheat and insulter of a cow was not very interesting to the great ṛṣis, they nevertheless wanted to hear about it to see if the event had any connection with Lord Kṛṣṇa. They were simply interested in the topics of Lord Kṛṣṇa, for anything that is dovetailed with the narration of Kṛṣṇa is worth hearing. There are many topics in the Bhāgavatam about sociology, politics, economics, cultural affairs, etc., but all of them are in relation with Kṛṣṇa, and therefore all of them are worth hearing. Kṛṣṇa is the purifying ingredient in all matters, regardless of what they are. In the mundane world, everything is impure due to its being a product of the three mundane qualities. The purifying agent, however, is Kṛṣṇa.
The bull is the emblem of the moral principle, and the cow is the representative of the earth. When the bull and the cow are in a joyful mood, it is to be understood that the people of the world are also in a joyful mood. The reason is that the bull helps production of grains in the agricultural field, and the cow delivers milk, the miracle of aggregate food values. The human society, therefore, maintains these two important animals very carefully so that they can wander everywhere in cheerfulness. But at the present moment in this age of Kali both the bull and the cow are now being slaughtered and eaten up as foodstuff by a class of men who do not know the brahminical culture. The bull and the cow can be protected for the good of all human society simply by the spreading of brahminical culture as the topmost perfection of all cultural affairs. By advancement of such culture, the morale of society is properly maintained, and so peace and prosperity are also attained without extraneous effort. When brahminical culture deteriorates, the cow and bull are mistreated, and the resultant actions are prominent by the following symptoms.
The principal sign of the age of Kali is that lower-caste śūdras, i.e., men without brahminical culture and spiritual initiation, will be dressed like administrators or kings, and the principal business of such non-kṣatriya rulers will be to kill the innocent animals, especially the cows and the bulls, who shall be unprotected by their masters, the bona fide vaiśyas, the mercantile community. In the Bhagavad-gītā (18.44), it is said that the vaiśyas are meant to deal in agriculture, cow protection and trade. In the age of Kali, the degraded vaiśyas, the mercantile men, are engaged in supplying cows to slaughterhouses. The kṣatriyas are meant to protect the citizens of the state, whereas the vaiśyas are meant to protect the cows and bulls and utilize them to produce grains and milk. The cow is meant to deliver milk, and the bull is meant to produce grains. But in the age of Kali, the śūdra class of men are in the posts of administrators, and the cows and bulls, or the mothers and the fathers, unprotected by the vaiśyas, are subjected to the slaughterhouses organized by the śūdra administrators.
You rogue, do you dare beat an innocent cow because Lord Kṛṣṇa and Arjuna, the carrier of the Gāṇḍīva bow, are out of sight? Since you are beating the innocent in a secluded place, you are considered a culprit and therefore deserve to be killed.
In a civilization where God is conspicuously banished, and there is no devotee warrior like Arjuna, the associates of the age of Kali take advantage of this lawless kingdom and arrange to kill innocent animals like the cow in secluded slaughterhouses. Such murderers of animals stand to be condemned to death by the order of a pious king like Mahārāja Parīkṣit. For a pious king, the culprit who kills an animal in a secluded place is punishable by the death penalty, exactly like a murderer who kills an innocent child in a secluded place.
SB Canto 4
The King will consider all embodied living entities as dear as his own self, and he will always be increasing the pleasures of his friends. He will intimately associate with liberated persons, and he will be a chastising hand to all impious persons.
The word dehinām refers to those who are embodied. The living entities are embodied in different forms, which number 8,400,000 species. All of these were treated by the King in the same way he would treat himself. In this age, however, so-called kings and presidents do not treat all other living entities as their own self. Most of them are meat-eaters, and even though they may not be meat-eaters and may pose themselves to be very religious and pious, they still allow cow slaughter within their state. Such sinful heads of state cannot actually be popular at any time. Another significant word in this verse is mukta-saṅga-prasaṅgaḥ, which indicates that the King was always associating with liberated persons.
Later on, with the progress of Kali-yuga... Kali-yuga means the dark age or the sinful age or the age for argument, unnecessary talks and fight. This is called Kali-yuga. That is going on. Since the last five thousand years, the Kali-yuga has begun, and the beginning of Kali-yuga was cow-slaughtering. When Mahārāja Parīkṣit was touring all over the world, he saw one black man was attempting to kill one cow. And Mahārāja Parīkṣit saw this and immediately... The cow was trembling for being slaughtered. And Mahārāja Parīkṣit saw, "Who is this man, trying to kill a cow in my kingdom?" So immediately he took his sword. That is kṣatriya. Kṣatriya means that... Kṣat means injury, and trāyate—it is called kṣatriya. There are persons who want to do harm to others. It has increased now. But during the time of Mahārāja Parīkṣit's time, it was not allowed. The king is responsible. The government is responsible that any one of his subject, either animal or man, he is not disturbed, he feels secure of his property, of his person. And it is the duty of kṣatriya to save him, to protect. This was the system of government. So that's a long story.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1967 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: The first scene is that people passing on with saṅkīrtana movement as we have, as we usually do, very nice procession with mṛdaṅga, karatālas and that bugle, all people, just in the ordinary way. We have to make a nice procession. The second scene is that Kali, the personified Kali, a person should be decorated blackish. A blackish man with royal dress and very ugly features. And his queen, another ugly featured girl or lady. So they are disturbed. They'll talk between themselves that "There is saṅkīrtana movement now and how we shall prosecute our business of this Kali-yuga?" There will be, in that scene, in some corner somebody is drinking. Two or three persons drinking. The scene will be like that. They are sitting in the center. In one corner somebody taking part in drinking, and another part somebody is illicitly talking of lust and love with woman. In another section there is slaughtering of a cow, and another section gambling. In this way that scene should be adjusted. And in the middle, the ugly man, black man, and the ugly woman will talk that "We are now in danger. The saṅkīrtana movement has been started. What to do?" In this way you have to finish that scene.
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: So that animal sacrifice was not meant for eating. Just to give them new, rejuvenated life by the Vedic mantras, to test that whether Vedic mantras are being chanted properly. And because at the Kali-yuga there is no such expert brāhmaṇa, all sacrifices are forbidden. So later on, as they deteriorated, they began to offer sacrifices, and if anyone wants to stop it, they will say, "Oh, it is recommended in the Vedas." Just like these rascals, Christian: "Oh, Christ ate fish. Therefore we must maintain slaughterhouse." Just see how rascal they are. Supposing Christ ate somewhere fish. Therefore they would maintain regularly slaughterhouse of cows. This is their brain.