Guest (4): What I... I was going to ask you, Swami, if the sacred cow was a symbol symbolizing compassion for all living creatures?
Prabhupāda: Not only cow. Any animal, they should be object of our compassion. If we want to eat something and live, so if you have got sufficient foodstuff in other kingdom... We have got vegetables, we have got grains, we have got milk. So many things. Fruit, flower. So many things. Just like we are living on these things. We don't feel any inconvenience. And they are... According to medical science also, they are very rich in vitamins, food value. So why should we kill? Especially if we are human being, the cow is supplying us milk, the most important foodstuff. So instead of giving protection to the cow, if we kill, do you think that is very..., if you kill me, is that very good gratitude? So at least in the human life, these senses should be there. Cow protection is recommended in the Vedic literature because it is giving the most valuable foodstuff, milk. Apart from other sentiments, it is supplying, and in exchange of nothing. She simply eats some grasses from the ground. That's all. You don't have to provide cows with foodstuff. The things which you refuse, you take the grain and you supply the skin. You take the fruit pulp, you supply the skin. You take the, I mean to say, from paddy. You take the rice. You supply the straw and she delivers you a very nice foodstuff. And I have discussed all these points in my Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, that human economic problem can be solved simply by having some land and some cows. That's all.
Guest (4): Cows would increase and multiply.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Every living entity will multiply. That is another thing. I mean to say from cow you get milk. From milk you get butter and so many milk products. And from the fields you get sufficient grains and fruits. So your economic question is solved immediately. If you have got some land, the land is..., immense land is still lying vacant all over the world. Yes. But they have diverted their energy in a different way. That is the miscalculation of the present civilization. They have forgotten that the aim of human life is to advance oneself in spiritual realization. So time should be saved as much as possible, and that time should be utilized for spiritual realization. But we have encumbered our civilization in such a way that we have lost all simple living thing. We have manufactured in so many ways encumbered ways of life. Therefore we have neglected spiritual life. And because we have neglected spiritual life there is no peace. If you want really peaceful life, then you have to make your material necessities simplified and engage your time for spiritual cultivation. Then you will have peace. And that is the best type of civilization. Plain living, high thinking. Now, in the modern days, the high living and plain thinking. Eating, sleeping, mating. This is plain thinking. This thinking also in the animals. They are also thinking what to eat, where to live, how to defend, how to have..., have semen or sex life. These are problems in animal life also. So if we keep that animal life problem, at the same time we claim that we are civilized, is it very nice? Civilization means how to get out of this material miseries—birth, death, disease and old age. That is real advancement of civilization. If there is any way and means to get out of this problem, then we must adopt in this human form of life. And that is possible in this human form of life. In no other life.