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Killing means that you have to eat something. Our philosophy is that we cannot stop killing, but there is no unnecessary killing

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"Killing means that you have to eat something. Our philosophy is that we cannot stop killing, but there is no unnecessary killing"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Killing means that you have to eat something. Our philosophy is that we cannot stop killing, but there is no unnecessary killing.
Room Conversation -- April 23, 1976, Melbourne:

Prabhupāda: The Christians, they put the cross, a reminder that "Christ suffered for us." This is the cross. So we became sinful, and the Lord, he suffered for us. We should stop this sinful activity. That is sanity. But "Christ will suffer, he'll be repeatedly crucified, and we shall go on with our nonsense activity." Is that religion?

Guest (3): Well, I agree with you there.

Prabhupāda: So that is the point.

Guest (3): But I have a different thought and feeling.

Prabhupāda: You may have, but we are talking on the principle that if we are so base and fallen down that we go on committing sinful life and "Christ will be crucified; I'll be saved," that way is said, what kind of religion? "One should continually suffer for my sin, and I am free to act sinfully." Is that religion?

Guest (3): Well, we don't believe that Christ continues to suffer.

Prabhupāda: No, but the Christians do that. They are maintaining.... Christ says, "Thou shall not kill," and they are maintaining thousands of killing house, and still they are passing on as Christian.

Guest (3): Well, they're wrong.

Prabhupāda: That is the point.

Guest (3): I agree with you.

Prabhupāda: So you should tell them.

Guest (3): Well, we are. That's what we're here for.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that "You are not Christian. Don't call yourself as Christian. You are persistently disobeying, beginning..." Christ said, "Thou shall not kill," and the Christians began killing Christ, crucifying Christ. And that is going on still, in large scale, and they are still Christian. The Pope is eating meat and.... I do not wish to say so many things. These are going on, and still, they are Christians. What can I say?

Guest (3): Do you believe that...

Prabhupāda: It is not a question of believe or not believe. We are talking of fact.

Guest (3): Well, okay. Would, say, the cutting down of a plant, vegetable.... You are killing the growth there. Is that a living matter?

Prabhupāda: Killing means that you have to eat something. Our philosophy is that we cannot stop killing, but there is no unnecessary killing.

Guest (3): We agree. We only kill for what we need.

Prabhupāda: Yes. But you.... Just like in.... Just a minute before, I ate so many nice fruits. So these fruits are meant for human being. Why shall I eat meat?

Guru-kṛpā: The same grain.

Devotee (4): It was Mormon scripture that said also, I read it, God is speaking, and He requests not to eat meat except in times of famine and starvation.

Guest (4): That's right.

Devotee (4): But the Mormons don't do that. They still eat meat.

Guru-kṛpā: You're feeding the cow, the beef, grains which you could eat.

Devotee (4): What does the cow eat? Grains.

Guru-kṛpā: You are feeding the beef grains to fatten it for slaughter, but you could eat the same grains and be healthy.

Guest (2): That's true. And we have many people who are in the church who strive to teach people of the church to eat more grains and milk products and...

Guru-kṛpā: That is not the point Śrīla Prabhupāda is making.

Prabhupāda: No, point is that every living being has to eat another living being. That is the law of nature.

Guest (2): Right.

Prabhupāda: Jivo jīvasya jīvanam. That we admit. But in the human form of life if one thinks—now they are eating—that "Another living being is my food, so I kill my own child and eat," so you mean to say to apply the same law, that "A living entity is food for another living entity. Therefore a human being kill his own child and eat?"

Guest (2): Well, see, we...

Prabhupāda: "Discrimination is the best part of valor." So you have to eat something, but if you have got grains, vegetables, milk, very nice preparation, why should you kill cow?

Guest (2): Well, we believe that the Lord ordained that food for man, and that He even said in scripture to the prophet...

Prabhupāda: So He said? He ordained cow for your food?

Guest (2): He ordained meat. Yes.

Devotee (4): But only in times of starvation and famine.

Guest (2): Well, the matter.... It also said...

Devotee (4): That is the word of wisdom in the Mormon scripture.

Guest (2): I don't want to get in contentions about it, but the scripture also says that who abstains from meat is not ordained of God. So you can take it whatever way you want.

Prabhupāda: What is that? "One who abstains from meat"?

Guest (2): Well, he's trying to say that the Mormons overeat meat. And all I'm saying is, well, the scripture which was revealed to the modern-day prophet Joseph Smith was that "Whoever.... Who does abstained from meat is not ordained of God." And I have no intentions to get contentious about it. So all I'm saying is I'm honored to be here, and it's good to be here.

Prabhupāda: No, no, the point is that in the Commandment it is clearly said, "Thou shall not kill." So what does it mean? That unless there is absolute necessity, we shall not kill.

Guest (2): I think that's right, and I feel that way.

Prabhupāda: So when.... At least in America or any civilized country, there is ample food for human being. Why they should kill? If you can live without killing cows, if you can utilize cows in a different way.... Just like we are maintaining a farm—not one, many. They are maintaining cows and we are getting enough milk. And from milk we can prepare varieties of palatable, vitaminous, nutritious food. And that is very, very enjoyable. So let the animal live and take the milk, and just like we.... None of us, we take meat, but we are not dying. We are having so many nice preparation from milk, from grains, from fruit. Besides that, our another principle is that we offer to God. So God said that "Give Me vegetables, milk," like that. Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). So we offer these things, and we take the leftover. That is our principle. We are not after killing or not killing. We are simply after obeying the orders of Kṛṣṇa. That is our. So Kṛṣṇa says, "Give Me food from the vegetables." So we offer Him very nice, palatable dishes and eat. This is our principle. So even while eating, we remember God: "Kṛṣṇa has so nicely eaten this. Let me take the remnants."