Excerpts from Sri Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila, Chapter 24, Texts 249-251 & purports
Therefore there are great wars
If one gives another living entity unnecessary pain, one will certainly be punished by the laws of nature with a similar pain. Although the hunter Mrigari was uncivilized, he still had to suffer the results of his sinful activities. However, if a civilized man kills animals regularly in a slaughterhouse to maintain his so-called civilization, using scientific methods and machines to kill animals, one cannot even estimate the suffering awaiting him. So-called civilized people consider themselves very advanced in education, but they do not know about the stringent laws of nature. According to nature’s law, it is a life for a life. We can hardly imagine the sufferings of one who maintains a slaughterhouse. He endures suffering not only in this life, but in his next life also. It is said that a hunter, murderer or killer is advised not to live and not to die. If he lives, he accumulates even more sins, which bring about more suffering in a future life. He is advised not to die because his dying means that he immediately begins to endure more suffering. Therefore he is advised not to live and not to die.
As followers of the Vedic principles, we accept the statements of Narada Muni in this regard. It is our duty to see that no one suffers due to sinful activities. Foolish rascals are described in the Bhagavad-gita [7.15] as mayayapahrita-jnanah, which indicates that although they are superficially educated, maya has taken their real knowledge away. Such people are presently leading human society. In Srimad-Bhagavatam [7.5.31] they are described as andha yathandhair upaniyamanah. These rascals are themselves blind, and yet they are leading others who are blind. When people follow such leaders, they suffer unlimited pains in the future. Despite so-called advancement, all this is happening. Who is safe? Who is happy? Who is without anxiety?
Narada Muni continued, “My dear hunter, your business is killing animals. That is a slight offense on your part. But when you consciously give them unnecessary pain by leaving them half-dead, you incur very great sins.”
This is another good instruction to animal-killers. There are always animal-killers and animal-eaters in human society because less civilized people are accustomed to eating meat. In the Vedic civilization, meat-eaters are advised to kill an animal for the goddess Kali or a similar demigod. This is in order not to give the animal unnecessary pain, as slaughterhouses do. In the bali-dana sacrifice to a demigod, it is recommended to cut the throat of an animal with one slice. This should be done on a dark-moon night, and the painful noises expressed by the animal at the time of being slaughtered are not to be heard by anyone. There are also many other restrictions. Slaughter is allowed only once a month, and the killer of the animal has to suffer similar pains in his next life. At the present moment, so-called civilized men do not sacrifice animals to a deity in a religious or ritualistic way. They openly kill animals daily by the thousands for no purpose other than the satisfaction of the tongue. Because of this the entire world is suffering in so many ways. Politicians are unnecessarily declaring war, and according to the stringent laws of material nature, massacres are taking place between nations.
Prakriteh kriyamanani gunaih karmani sarvashah, ahankara-vimudhatma kartaham iti manyate. “The bewildered spirit soul, under the influence of the three modes of material nature, thinks himself to be the doer of activities that are in actuality carried out by nature.” (Bhagavad-gita 3.27) The laws of prakriti (nature) are very stringent. No one should think that he has the freedom to kill animals and not suffer the consequences. One cannot be safe by doing this. Narada Muni herein says that animal-killing is offensive, especially when animals are given unnecessary pain. Meat-eaters and animal-killers are advised not to purchase meat from the slaughterhouse. They can worship Kali once a month, kill some unimportant animal and eat it. Even by following this method, one is still an offender.
Narada Muni continued, “All the animals that you have killed and given unnecessary pain will kill you one after the other in your next life and in life after life.”
This is another authoritative statement made by the great sage Narada. Those who kill animals and give them unnecessary pain—as people do in slaughterhouses—will be killed in a similar way in the next life and in many lives to come. One can never be excused from such an offense. If one kills many thousands of animals in a professional way so that other people can purchase the meat to eat, one must be ready to be killed in a similar way in his next life and in life after life. There are many rascals who violate their own religious principles. According to Judeo-Christian scriptures, it is clearly said, “Thou shalt not kill.” Nonetheless, giving all kinds of excuses, even the heads of religions indulge in killing animals while trying to pass as saintly persons. This mockery and hypocrisy in human society bring about unlimited calamities; therefore occasionally there are great wars. Masses of such people go out onto battlefields and kill themselves. Presently they have discovered the atomic bomb, which is simply waiting to be used for wholesale destruction. If people want to be saved from the killing business life after life, they must take to Krishna consciousness and cease sinful activity. The International Society for Krishna Consciousness recommends that everyone abandon meat-eating, illicit sex, intoxication and gambling. When one gives up these sinful activities, he can understand Krishna and take to this Krishna consciousness movement. We therefore request everyone to abandon sinful activity and chant the Hare Krishna mantra. In this way people can save themselves from repeated birth and death and from being killed like the animals in slaughterhouses.