Christian Resources

Thou Shalt Not Kill

Srila Prabhupada: We have to accept all the injunctions of the scripture as they are given, not only those that suit us. If you do not follow the first order, "Thou shalt not kill," then where is the question of love of God?

Visitor: Christians take this commandment to be applicable to human beings, not to animals.

Srila Prabhupada: That would mean that Christ was not intelligent enough to use the right word: murder. There is killing, and there is murder. Murder refers to human beings. So you think Jesus was not intelligent enough to use the right word - murder - instead of the word killing? Killing means any kind of killing and especially animal killing. If Jesus had meant simply the killing of humans, he would have used the word murder... If you want to interpret these words, that is something else. We understand the direct meaning. "Thou shalt not kill" means "The Christians should not kill."

Father Emmanuel: Isn't the eating of plants also killing?

Srila Prabhupada:
The Vaisnava philosophy teaches that we should not even kill plants unnecessarily. In the Bhagavad-gita [9.26] Krishna says: "If someone offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or a little water, I will accept it." We offer Krishna only the kind of food He demands, and then we eat the remnants. If offering vegetarian food to Krishna were sinful, then it would be Krishna's sin, not ours. But God is apapa-viddha - sinful reactions are not applicable to Him... Eating food first offered to the Lord is also something like a soldier's killing during wartime. In a war, when the commander orders a man to attack, the obedient soldier who kills the enemy will get a medal. But if the same soldier kills someone on his own, he will be punished.

Similarly, when we eat only prasadam [the remnants of food offered to Krishna], we do not commit any sin. This is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita [3.13]: "The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food that is first offered for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin."

Father Emmanuel:
Krishna cannot give permission to eat animals?

Srila Prabhupada:
Yes - in the animal kingdom. But the civilized human being, the religious human being, is not meant to kill and eat animals. If you stop killing animals and chant the holy name of Christ, everything will be perfect... I think the Christian priests should cooperate with the Krishna consciousness movement. They should chant the name Christ or Christos and should stop condoning the slaughter of animals. This program follows the teachings of the Bible; it is not my philosophy. Please act accordingly and you will see how the world situation will change.

Science of Self-Realization (pp. 129-33

Do Animals Have Souls?

Srila Prabhupada: Some people say, "We believe that animals have no soul." That is not correct. They believe animals have no soul because they want to eat the animals, but actually animals do have a soul.

How do you know that the animal has a soul?

Srila Prabhupada:
You can know, also. Here is the scientific proof... the animal is eating, you are eating; the animal is sleeping, you are sleeping; the animal is defending, you are defending; the animal is having sex, you are having sex; the animals have children, you have children; they have a living place, you have a living place. If the animal's body is cut, there is blood; if your body is cut, there is blood. So, all these similarities are there. Now, why do you deny this one similarity, the presence of the soul? That is not logical. You have studied logic? In logic there is something called analogy. Analogy means drawing a conclusion by finding many points of similarity. If there are so many points of similarity between human beings and animals, why deny one similarity? That is not logic. That is not science.

Science of Self-Realization (pp. 35-36)

Killers of Animals Are Stone-hearted

Some rascals put forward the theory that an animal has no soul or is something like dead stone. In this way they rationalize that there is no sin in animal killing. Actually animals are not dead stone, but the killers of animals are stone-hearted. Consequently no reason or philosophy appeals to them. They continue keeping slaughterhouses and killing animals in the forest.

Srimad-Bhagavatam (4.26.9)

Whether in the Name
of Religion or for Food,
Animal Slaughter Is Condemned

Animal sacrifice in the name of religion is current practically all over the world in every established religion. It is said that Lord Jesus Christ, when twelve years old, was shocked to see the Jews sacrificing birds and animals in the synagogues and that he therefore rejected the Jewish system of religion and started the religious system of Christianity, adhering to the Old Testament commandment "Thou shalt not kill."

At the present day, however, not only are animals killed in the name of sacrifice, but the killing of animals has increased enormously because of the increasing number of slaughterhouses. Slaughtering animals, either for religion or for food, is most abominable and is condemned.

Srimad-Bhagavatam (7.15.10)

The Higher Taste - A Guide to Gourmet Vegetarian Cooking and a Karma-Free Diet 12/91
Based On Work by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Great introduction to the philosophy and practice of vegetarianism in Hare Krsna style. It lets the reader discover the health and economic advantages as well as the important ethical and spiritual considerations of a Krsna conscious approach to diet and nutrition.

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