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Sometimes the question is put before us: "You ask us not to eat meat, but you are eating vegetables. Do you think that is not violence?"

From Vaniquotes

Expressions researched:
"Aren't you in a sense eating another soul too if you're eating vegetables? Not only if you're eating meat" |"How do we know that the plant, the flowers and so on do not suffer when we take them away" |"Others are eating vegetable, that is also killing" |"Then why you restrict" |"What is the difference between patram puspam? That is also eatables. They are also vegetables. They have got life. Why do you ask us not to eat meat because they are living beings" |"Why does the distinction stop with animals and not with plants" |"You are also eating vegetables. They have got life. Why you object that nonvegetarians who are eating four legged animals" |"You ask us not to eat meat, but you are eating vegetables. Do you think that is not violence" |"he can understand meat-eating is sin, but when we are doing our ordinary work and normal functions, aren't we killing so many other things? So is that sin or not" |"if we do not wish to slaughter the animals, what about the trees? We are killing the plants. They are also living entities" |"no meat-eating" |"then why not include plants and anything rooted in and feeding on the soil"

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 3

We cannot avoid violence, for we are put into a conditional life in which we have to commit violence, but we should not commit more violence than necessary or than ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
SB 3.29.15, Purport:

Another significant phrase in this verse is nātihiṁsreṇa ("with minimum violence or sacrifice of life"). Even if a devotee has to commit violence, it should not be done beyond what is necessary. Sometimes the question is put before us: "You ask us not to eat meat, but you are eating vegetables. Do you think that is not violence?" The answer is that eating vegetables is violence, and vegetarians are also committing violence against other living entities because vegetables also have life. Nondevotees are killing cows, goats and so many other animals for eating purposes, and a devotee, who is vegetarian, is also killing. But here, significantly, it is stated that every living entity has to live by killing another entity; that is the law of nature. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: one living entity is the life for another living entity. But for a human being, that violence should be committed only as much as necessary.

A human being is not to eat anything which is not offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santaḥ: one becomes freed from all sinful reactions by eating foodstuffs which are offered to Yajña, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A devotee therefore eats only prasāda, or foodstuffs offered to the Supreme Lord, and Kṛṣṇa says that when a devotee offers Him foodstuffs from the vegetable kingdom, with devotion, He eats that. A devotee is to offer to Kṛṣṇa foodstuffs prepared from vegetables. If the Supreme Lord wanted foodstuffs prepared from animal food, the devotee could offer this, but He does not order to do that.

We have to commit violence; that is a natural law. We should not, however, commit violence extravagantly, but only as much as ordered by the Lord. Arjuna engaged in the art of killing, and although killing is, of course, violence, he killed the enemy simply on Kṛṣṇa's order. In the same way, if we commit violence as it is necessary, by the order of the Lord, that is called nātihiṁsā. We cannot avoid violence, for we are put into a conditional life in which we have to commit violence, but we should not commit more violence than necessary or than ordered by the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

They give the example that "Others are eating vegetable, that is also killing." Yes, that is also killing. But that I have already explained, that because one living entity is foodstuff for another living entity, that does not mean you shall eat your family members or any human being. No, there must be discrimination.
Lecture on BG 13.22-24 -- Melbourne, June 25, 1974:

So although the nature's law is like that, one animal or one living entity is the foodstuff for another, but that should be, there should be discrimination. So so far we are concerned, Kṛṣṇa conscious men, we are not animals. We are perfect beings. We don't eat any living entity.

Those who are lower grade living entities, there... This is the struggle. One living entity is the food for another living entity. That is lower grade life. In the higher grade life, no, they cannot kill anyone for eating purposes. Therefore in the Bible the First Commandment is "Thou shalt not kill." But all these Christians, they are violating the First Commandment. That is their business. Simply engaged in killing, big, big slaughterhouse.

And they give the example that "Others are eating vegetable, that is also killing." Yes, that is also killing. But that I have already explained, that because one living entity is foodstuff for another living entity, that does not mean you shall eat your family members or any human being. No, there must be discrimination. But so far we are concerned, we are not killing anybody for eating purposes. We are eating kṛṣṇa-prasāda, foodstuff which is offered to Kṛṣṇa and then we eat. The remnants of foodstuff we eat.

And Kṛṣṇa says, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). "A leaf, a flower, fruit and liquid, milk or water, all these things, within these categories, whatever a devotee offers Me in love and devotion, I eat." Kṛṣṇa says.

Srimad-Bhagavatam Lectures

Sometimes they put forward this argument that "You are also eating vegetables. They have got life. Why you object that nonvegetarians who are eating four legged animals...?" No. We are not going to infringe to the laws of nature. That is not our business. You can eat four-legged animals because you are also animal. But when we speak of civilized animals... Civilized is not animal. That is human being.
Lecture on SB 6.1.12 -- Honolulu, May 13, 1976:

So here Śukadeva Gosvāmī says, "My dear king, if a diseased person eats the pure, uncontaminated food prescribed by a physician, he is gradually cured, and the infection of disease can no longer touch him. Similarly, if one follows the regulative principles of knowledge, he gradually progresses towards liberation from material contamination." This is the translation of the... Nāśnataḥ pathyam. Pathyam. Pathyam means good foodstuff, not "Anything I can eat." That is the business of the hogs and dogs. Just like hogs have no discrimination. Anything, up to stool you give him: it will eat. That is not human civilization. Although it is the law of nature that ahastāni sahastānām. Vegetables or animals who has no hand... Just like ordinary animals, they have got four legs, no hand. So these four-legged animals is the food for the two-legged animals. Ahastāni sahastānām. Uncivilized men means two-legged animals. They are animals, but two-legged. There are four-legged animals; there are two-legged. Ahastāni sahastānām apadāni catuṣ-padām: "And living entities who have no legs, just like the vegetables, grass, plants, trees..." They have no legs. They cannot move, but they are living entities. They are food for catuṣ-padām, for the animals who have got four legs. Ahastāni sahastānām apadāni catuṣ-padām, phalgūni mahatāṁ tatra: "And the weak is food for the strong." Phalgūni... Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. This is the law of nature, that one life is meant for maintaining another life. That is going on. So sometimes they put forward this argument that "You are also eating vegetables. They have got life. Why you object that nonvegetarians who are eating four legged animals...?" No. We are not going to infringe to the laws of nature. That is not our business. You can eat four-legged animals because you are also animal. But when we speak of civilized animals... Civilized is not animal. That is human being. So long one is not civilized, he is animal. And the civilization begins when one understands that he is not this body. That is the beginning of civilization. Yasyātma-buddhiḥ kuṇape tri-dhātuke (SB 10.84.13). So long one is in ignorance, the bodily concept of life, he is animal. When one knows that "I am not this body; I am... Ahaṁ brahmāsmi," then civilization begins.

So here it is recommended that unless we follow the rules and regulations, then there is no possibility of curing our material disease.

Sri Brahma-samhita Lectures

If you inquire, "Then why you restrict, "No meat-eating'?" The answer is that actually we do not make any distinction between the meat-eaters and the vegetable eaters, because the cow or the goat or the lamb has got life, and the grass, it has also got life. But we follow the Vedic instruction.
Lecture on Brahma-samhita, Verse 32 -- New York, July 26, 1971:

So our proposition: If you inquire, "Then why you restrict, "No meat-eating'?" The answer is that actually we do not make any distinction between the meat-eaters and the vegetable eaters, because the cow or the goat or the lamb has got life, and the grass, it has also got life. But we follow the Vedic instruction. What is that? Now, īśāvāsyam idaṁ sarvaṁ yat kiñcit jagatyāṁ jagat, tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā: (ISO 1) everything is the property of the Supreme Lord, and you can enjoy whatever is allotted to you. Mā gṛdhaḥ kasya svid dhanam. You cannot touch others' body, others' property. You cannot touch. That is Vedic life. So in all scriptures it is stated that man should live on fruits and vegetables. Their teeth are made in that way. They can eat very easily and digest. Although jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: one has to live by eating another living entity. Jīvo jīvasya... That is nature's law. So the vegetarian also eating another living entity. And the meat-eater, they're also eating another... But there is discretion. Discretion means that these things are made for human being. Just like fruits, flowers, vegetables, rice, grains, milk—the animals do not come to claim that "I shall eat this." No. It is meant for man. Just like milk. Milk is an animal product. It is the blood of the cow changed only. But the milk is not drunk by the cow. She is delivering the milk, but she's not taking, because it is not allotted for it. By nature's way. So you have to take. Milk is made for man, so you take the milk. Let her live and supply you milk continually. Why should you kill? Follow nature's law. Then you'll be happy.

General Lectures

Our business is that we are inducing, we are entreating, we are requesting people that "You take Kṛṣṇa prasāda." That is our business. To become vegetarian or nonvegetarian is not very big business. We do not admit that vegetarians are very much pious and nonvegetarians are not pious. No. Not like that. We say that everyone is impious who is not taking foodstuff offered to Kṛṣṇa. That is our view.
Pandal Lecture at Cross Maidan -- Bombay, March 26, 1971:

Sometimes I am questioned in European countries that "What is the difference between patraṁ puṣpam? That is also eatables. They are also vegetables. They have got life. Why do you ask us not to eat meat because they are living beings?" So answer is that it is not the question of living being. Every living being has to eat another living being. That is the law of nature. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. Those who have got hands, they are eating the legless. Just like the vegetables. Just like cows, goats, or other animals, they are eating grass. The grass is also a living entity, but it has no legs. It is being eaten up by another animal which has got legs. Similarly, we are also a kind of animal with hands. We are eating another animal which has no hands. Similarly, those who are strong, even in animal kingdom or vegetable kingdom, those who are strong, they are eating the less strong. In this way the whole world is maintained by one animal is eating another animal or one living entity is eating another living entity. That is the law of nature. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. So you (we) are not interfering with the right of the living entities. A tiger has got the right to eat another animal. So we are not going to preach amongst the tigers that "You become vegetarian" or "You become Kṛṣṇa conscious." That is not our business. Our business is that we are inducing, we are entreating, we are requesting people that "You take Kṛṣṇa prasāda." That is our business. To become vegetarian or nonvegetarian is not very big business. We do not admit that vegetarians are very much pious and nonvegetarians are not pious. No. Not like that. We say that everyone is impious who is not taking foodstuff offered to Kṛṣṇa. That is our view. Anyone. That is stated by Kṛṣṇa. Yajña-śiṣṭāśinaḥ santo mucyante sarva-kilbiṣaiḥ: "Anyone who is eating foodstuff offered to Yajña, to Viṣṇu or Kṛṣṇa, he is diminishing his volumes of sinful life." Bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt: (BG 3.13) "And anyone who is cooking for himself, not for Kṛṣṇa, then he is simply eating a lump of sinful life." It doesn't matter whether he is vegetarian or nonvegetarian. This is the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. We have to eat what is offered to Kṛṣṇa.

Philosophy Discussions

Apart from this vegetarian or nonvegetarian diet, we are concerned with Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, "You give Me food, and prepared from patraṁ phalaṁ toyam, vegetation." So if by killing vegetable or plant there is any sin, that, that is Kṛṣṇa's. We simply eat after His eating.
Philosophy Discussion on St. Augustine:

Hayagrīva: He says, uh... (break) He says..., this is, this is Augustine writing. He said, "Some people try to stretch the prohibition 'Thou shalt not kill' to cover beasts and cattle and make it unlawful to kill any such animal, but then why not include plants and anything rooted in and feeding on the soil? After all, things like this, though devoid of feeling, are said to have life and therefore can die and so be killed by violent treatment."

Prabhupāda: No, that is not Vedic philosophy. Vedic philosophy admits that one living entity is the food for another living entity. That is natural. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam,

ahastāni sahastānām
apadāni catuṣ-padām
phalgūni tatra mahatāṁ
jīvo jīvasya jīvanam

Those who have got hands, they eat the animals without hands, only four legs, and the four-legged animals eats the animals which cannot move—that means plants and vegetables. Similarly, the weak is the food for the strong. In this way there is natural law that one living entity is food for another living entity. But our philosophy, Kṛṣṇa consciousness philosophy, is not based on this platform, that plant life is not sensitive and animal life is more sensitive or human life is more sensitive. We take all of them as life, either human being or animal or plants or fish, it doesn't matter. That is inevitable. Either you eat animal or vegetable, you eat some living entity. That is inevitable. You cannot avoid. Now it it the question of selection. That, of course, is there. But apart from this vegetarian or nonvegetarian diet, we are concerned with Kṛṣṇa prasādam. Kṛṣṇa, whatever..., our philosophy is whatever Kṛṣṇa eats, we take the remnants of His foodstuff. So Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā, "You give Me food, and prepared from patraṁ phalaṁ toyam, vegetation." So if by killing vegetable or plant there is any sin, that, that is Kṛṣṇa's. We simply eat after His eating. This is our philosophy. We are not after vegetarian diet or nonvegetarian diet. Whatever Kṛṣṇa eats, we take the remnants of food.

Conversations and Morning Walks

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

We take Kṛṣṇa prasādam. We don't directly do anything. Kṛṣṇa says, "Give Me this foodstuff containing of vegetables, fruits, flowers, grains." So we offer them and then you take. If there is any sinful activity there, it is Kṛṣṇa's, not mine.
Room Conversation -- June 5, 1974, Geneva:

Young Swiss Man: Why does the distinction stop with animals and not with plants?

Yogeśvara: Why do we make the distinction between not killing animals and plants? Why do we kill plants?

Prabhupāda: We do not kill plants also. We take... Of course, by nature's way some living entity is the food for another living entity. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. That is the nature's way. But if you give that argument, then I can say, "Why you are killing cows? Why don't you kill your own children?" If that is the way, that "Because I have to eat some animal," so why go outside? Just inside the family there are so many animals. You can kill them and eat. there must be discretion. Apart from this point of view, we Kṛṣṇa conscious people, we do not kill even a plant because, Kṛṣṇa says-find out this-patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26).

Yogeśvara: (translating) ...jīvo jīvasya jīvanam (French)...

Prabhupāda: There is no jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. Here Kṛṣṇa says, "Give Me these things, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyam." There is no question of jīvasya jīvanam.

Yogeśvara: (translates)

Prabhupāda: Just hear. Kṛṣṇa is ordering, "Give Me this food."

Yogeśvara: (translates) Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati. (translates)

Prabhupāda: So we take Kṛṣṇa prasādam. We don't directly do anything. Kṛṣṇa says, "Give Me this foodstuff containing of vegetables, fruits, flowers, grains." So we offer them and then you take. If there is any sinful activity there, it is Kṛṣṇa's, not mine.

The plants and flowers also have sensation. They have sensation when you pluck them. So Kṛṣṇa says that "You give Me these foodstuffs." Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati. So we are not eating on the material platform. We are eating on the spiritual platform. Because we are eating, if there is anything sinful, that is Kṛṣṇa's. We are taking His remnants of foodstuff.
Room Conversation with Professor Durckheim German Spiritual Writer -- June 19, 1974, Germany:

Professor Durckheim: May I put one question to this? How do we know that the plant, the flowers and so on do not suffer when we take them away?

Prabhupāda: No, they have also sensation. They have sensation when you pluck it. That is proved by scientists, Dr. Jagadisha Candra Bose. The trees have got sensation.

Professor Durckheim: So that's what I mean. So if we kill plant or tree...

Prabhupāda: No, we don't kill. You take the fruits.

Professor Durckheim: We cut it.

Prabhupāda: Yes, cutting is not allowed unless it is absolutely necessary.

Professor Durckheim: For eating vegetables, for instance, you need it.

Prabhupāda: Yes. No, that is the law of nature, that every living being is eating another living being. That is stated in the Vedic śāstra.

ahastāni sahastānām
apadāni catuṣ-padām
phalgūni tatra mahatāṁ
jīvo jīvasya jīvanam

That "Those who have no hands—that means animals—they are food for the animal who has got hands. And those who have no legs, they are food for the four-legged." Just like grass has no legs, but it is a food fo the cows and the goats. Apadāni catuṣ-padām, phalgūni tatra mahatām: "Then one who is powerful, very powerful..." Just like tiger, he jumps over another animal. So because the other animal is weak and this animal is strong, so in this way, the feeding is going on, one living being for the other. But when you come to the... That is nature. The tiger will never eat grass. But we human being, we eat grass, goat, cows and everything. Because advanced, so-called advanced. But our foodstuff is to accept the remnants of foodstuff which is eaten by Kṛṣṇa. That is our philosophy. Kṛṣṇa-prasāda. Just like in this temple, we don't eat anything. Neither we eat grass, neither we eat animals. We eat kṛṣṇa-prasāda. So Kṛṣṇa says that "You give Me these foodstuffs." Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). So we are not eating on the material platform. We are eating on the spiritual platform. Because we are eating, if there is anything sinful, that is Kṛṣṇa's. We are taking His remnants of foodstuff. So this is our philosophy. We don't advocate vegetarianism or nonvegetarianism. We advocate, "Eat Kṛṣṇa's prasādam, the remnants of foodstuff which is offered to Kṛṣṇa." This is our philosophy. And apart from this philosophy, because one living entity is food for another living entity, it does not mean that I shall eat my children also. There is discretion, that human being, they should offer these fruits, vegetables, milk as it is prescribed in the śāstra to God, Kṛṣṇa, and take. That is human civilization, not for the satisfaction of the tongue we have to maintain big, big slaughterhouse and eat them.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Therefore it is said, "As it is allotted." You should eat such and such. Not that indiscriminately you can eat everything. If you think killing of an animal and killing a vegetable is the same, then killing of your son and killing of animals or vegetable is the same. Why do you discriminate?
Morning Walk -- May 7, 1975, Perth:

Gaṇeśa: Some people say that in our philosophy, if we do not wish to slaughter the animals, what about the trees? We are killing the plants. They are also living entities.

Prabhupāda: If you compare the animals and the trees as the same, then why not kill yourself, your brother? Why do you distinguish? Why don't you slaughter your own son? Why do you distinguish?

Gaṇeśa: He's a relative.

Prabhupāda: You discriminate. If you are slaughtering animals and you are comparing that killing of the vegetables and the killing of the animals is the same, then killing your son and killing an animal is also the same. Why do you discriminate? Just kill your own son and eat.

Paramahaṁsa: He's a human being, though.

Prabhupāda: Ah, therefore there is discrimination. Discrimination is the better part of valor. Whom should we kill? It is all right. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. But there is important. If you eat vegetables there is no crisis, you can go on. It is a fact that an animal is eating another animal. It may be vegetables or animals, but they are disturbing. Therefore it is said, "As it is allotted." You should eat such and such. Not that indiscriminately you can eat everything. If you think killing of an animal and killing a vegetable is the same, then killing of your son and killing of animals or vegetable is the same. Why do you discriminate? What is your answer?

Gaṇeśa: So if we discriminate between the animals and the plants, well what about the discrimination between the human beings and the animals? Is it not all right to kill animals and not human beings?

Prabhupāda: No. You discriminate actually. You do not kill human beings, but you kill animals. Similarly you discriminate: instead of killing animals, kill vegetables. Importance. Just like this grass. There is enough supply of grass, but you cannot have enough supply of cows. Therefore discrimination is that it is better to live on grass than on animals. Now, still they are eating seventy-five percent other than animals. They are not eating only animals. Why not twenty-five percent more? In the market they are not eating animal. When the animal-eaters I see, they have got a little flesh, surrounded by salad and these peas and so many other things. Why don't you eat only meat?

It is said, jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: "One living entity has to eat another living entity to keep himself alive." That is the natural law. But you should have discrimination.
Room Conversation with Alcohol and Drug Hospital People -- May 16, 1975, Perth:

Guest (2): Could I come back to that eating of meat? Related to this alive, soul, matter. Aren't you in a sense eating another soul too if you're eating vegetables? Not only if you're eating meat?

Prabhupāda: No, the thing is, the material world... It is said, jīvo jīvasya jīvanam: "One living entity has to eat another living entity to keep himself alive." That is the natural law. But you should have discrimination. Because you have to eat some other living entity, it does not mean that you will eat your own son. You cannot support that "Because I have to live by eating another living entity, so what is the wrong if I eat my son?" Therefore the Vedic injunction is tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā (ISO 1). You are given some jurisdiction. You can eat. And actually you do so. Because I have to eat something, we do not eat anything and everything. We have got discrimination. So according to Bhagavad-gītā... Find out this verse, patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati.

Paramahaṁsa:

patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ
yo me bhaktyā prayacchati
tad ahaṁ bhakty-upahṛtam
aśnāmi prayatātmanaḥ
(BG 9.26)

Translation: "If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it."

Prabhupāda: So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement we accept what is eaten by Kṛṣṇa. So Kṛṣṇa wants these things: fruits, flower, vegetable, grains, milk. So we offer them and eat.

Guest (2): Why not animals?

Prabhupāda: He does not say, "Give Me animals." Because we are Kṛṣṇa conscious, we cannot take anything which is not accepted by Kṛṣṇa.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Anyone is cooking something, meat or vegetables, for his own eating, he is eating only sin. It is not that the vegetarians are not sinful and the meat-eaters are sinful. Everyone is sinful if it is not cooked for Kṛṣṇa. It is not that we are propagating that you become vegetarian. We are propagating that you become Kṛṣṇa consciousness.
Evening Darsana -- July 11, 1976, New York:

Indian man (5): Swami? I have one question which is widely discussed everywhere, that eating of meat is sin. Now we see that while for our survival, while walking, while working we kill so many things, knowingly or unknowingly, is it not sin that?

Prabhupāda: (Hindi) (to swami guest) Ayi. Give him āsana. Ayi Jaya. (Hindi) What is that question? Just try to understand.

Devotee (2): Why is meat-eating sin?

Hari-śauri: He said he can understand meat-eating is sin, but when we are doing our ordinary work and normal functions, aren't we killing so many other things? So is that sin or not?

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is also sin. That is stated in the Bhagavad-gītā, that whatever you eat, bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt (BG 3.13). Anyone is cooking something, meat or vegetables, for his own eating, he is eating only sin. It is not that the vegetarians are not sinful and the meat-eaters are sinful. Everyone is sinful if it is not cooked for Kṛṣṇa. It is not that we are propagating that you become vegetarian. We are propagating that you become Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is our propaganda. But because we are trying to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, we offer something to Kṛṣṇa. Patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26). So not patraṁ puṣpam, whatever within this group available, fruits, flowers, grains, milk, so we offer to Kṛṣṇa. Yajña. Yajñārthāt karmaṇo 'nyatra loko 'yaṁ karma-bandhanaḥ (BG 3.9). If you do not perform yajña, then you will be bound up by the resultant action. So this is yajña, to offer to Kṛṣṇa. Yajña means to satisfy Viṣṇu. Viṣṇu-ārādhyate. Yajña means satisfy Kṛṣṇa. But if you don't Kṛṣṇa's prasādam, then you are sinful. Not that if you become vegetarian, then you are not sinful. Not that. Because you have to eat something. Jīvo jīvasya jīvanam. Either you eat vegetable or meat, you have to eat something. So somebody prefers eating animals, and somebody prefers eating vegetables, but all of them have got life. Therefore you cannot kill any life. So if you eat for yourself, then you are simply eating sin. Bhuñjate te tv aghaṁ pāpā ye pacanty ātma-kāraṇāt. But if you take Kṛṣṇa prasādam, then if there is any sin, it goes to Kṛṣṇa, you take pure prasādam. And Kṛṣṇa is apāpa-vidham. So our duty is to worship Kṛṣṇa and offer Him so many nice things—fruits, flowers, grains, milk, milk preparation. We are doing that. You are taking prasādam. So that is our business. Is it clear, your answer?

Indian man (5): Yes.

Prabhupāda: We are interested in eating Kṛṣṇa prasādam. If Kṛṣṇa says "Give Me meat," we shall give Him. But He does not say. He says patraṁ puṣpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayacchati (BG 9.26).