What’s wrong with eating meat

Generally people say what’s wrong with eating meat?

Every living being has a specific purpose for its existence. The purpose, definitely, is other than being killed and eaten by others. In the Bhagavad Gita Lord Krishna says sarvayonishu kaunteya (BG, 14.4): “In every living being there is a spirit soul.” That means even in the animals there is a soul, so we do not have the right to kill or eat flesh. Just as there are government laws, so there are laws of nature, or God Laws. If we kill then that binds us to Karma, and we will get the reaction. The analogy of Karma means ‘To every action there is an equal opposite reaction’. So either we do good or bad karma, we are still binding ourselves more to this material world. Also just by seeing a meat dish on your plate does not mean everything is ok, there has been so much violence gone into it before you see the finishing product. Lord Krishna says that he is the original father of all living entities (aham bija-pradah pita – BG, 14.4), so we do not have the right to kill anyone. If we do not have the right to give life to a living creature we also do not have the right to kill them unnecessarily. A Devotee is full of compassion and he cannot see anyone suffer, even the animals.

People might then question, but I am not actually killing the animal but just eating, is that wrong too?

The Manu Samhita scriptures tells us that all the people get the reaction for being involved with meat:-

Naakrtvaa praaninaam himsaam maamsamutpadyate kvachit. Na cha praanivadhah svargyastamaanmaamsam vivarjayet. (MS 5.48)

Anumantaa vishasitaa nihantaa krayavikrayii. Samskartaa chopahartaa cha khaadakashchetighaatakaah (MS 5.51)

Flesh of animals is obtained only after killing him, which is a sin, and the killer of animals never enters the celestial abode.

All those involved in killing, consenting the killing, helping the killing, carrying, selling, buying, cooking and eating the meat of an animal are equally sinful as the killing of that animal.

The person who eats meat is also encouraging and in one sense supporting the killing. For example if few dacoits goes to rob a house, and one stands outside the house to look out and other few dacoits steal from the house, if they get caught everyone will be punished by the laws, because the person who was outside was also supporting the crime. Similarly, one who eats meat is also involved and is liable for punishment.

Plants and Vegetables are also living being is it not a sin to kill them for food too?

This explanation is given in Srimad Bhagavatam (3.29.15) purport by the founder Srila Prabhupada:

“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. Non-devotees 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. Yajna-sistasinah santah: one becomes freed from all sinful reactions by eating foodstuffs which are offered to Yajna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. A devotee therefore eats only prasada, or foodstuffs offered to the Supreme Lord, and Krishna says that when a devotee offers Him foodstuffs from the vegetable kingdom, with devotion, He eats that. A devotee is to offer to Krishna 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.”

So yes even plants and vegetables have souls and killing them unnecessarily and for personal sense gratification causes sin, that’s why it is recommended to offer the vegetarian food to Lord Krishna first then later eat that food as Prashadam or mercy. Lord Krishna can do anything so he transforms the food offered to him into spiritual food, this will free us from sin and karmic reactions.

Eating only food offered to Krishna is the ultimate perfection of the vegetarian diet. After all, pigeons and monkeys are also vegetarian, so becoming a vegetarian is not in itself the greatest of accomplishments. The Vedas inform us that the purpose of human life is to reawaken the soul to its relationship with God, and only when we go beyond vegetarianism to prasada can our eating be helpful in achieving this goal.

Do animals have a soul?

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.

Reporter: 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)

At a monastic retreat near Paris, in July of 1973, Srila Prabhupada talked with Cardinal Jean Danielou: “… the Bible does not simply say, ‘Do not kill the human being.’ It says broadly, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’… why do you interpret this to suit your own convenience?”

Student: Srila Prabhupada, Christianity’s sanction of meat-eating is based on the view that lower species of life do not have a soul like the human being’s.

Srila Prabhupada: That is foolishness. First of all, we have to understand the evidence of the soul’s presence within the body. Then we can see whether the human being has a soul and the cow does not. What are the different characteristics of the cow and the man? If we find a difference in characteristics, then we can say that in the animal there is no soul. But if we see that the animal and the human being have the same characteristics, then how can you say that the animal has no soul? The general symptoms are that the animal eats, you eat; the animal sleeps, you sleep; the animal mates, you mate; the animal defends, and you defend. Where is the difference?

Cardinal Danielou: We admit that in the animal there may be the same type of biological existence as in men, but there is no soul. We believe that the soul is a human soul.

Srila Prabhupada: Our Bhagavad-gita says sarva-yonisu, “In all species of life the soul exists.” The body is like a suit of clothes. You have black clothes; I am dressed in saffron clothes. But within the dress you are a human being, and I am also a human being. Similarly, the bodies of the different species are just like different types of dress. There are soul, a part and parcel of God. Suppose a man has two sons, not equally meritorious. One may be a Supreme Court judge and the other may be a common laborer, but the father claims both as his sons. He does not make the distinction that the son who is a judge is very important and the worker-son is not important. And if the judge-son says, “My dear father, your other son is useless; let me cut him up and eat him,” will the father allow this?

Cardinal Danielou: Certainly not, but the idea that all life is part of the life of God is difficult for us to admit. There is a great difference between human life and animal life.

Srila Prabhupada: That difference is due to the development of consciousness. In the human body there is developed consciousness. Even a tree has a soul, but a tree’s consciousness is not very developed. If you cut a tree it does not resist. Actually, it does resist, but only to a very small degree. There is a scientist named Jagadish Chandra Bose who has made a machine which shows that trees and plants are able to feel pain when they are cut. And we can see directly that when someone comes to kill an animal, it resists, it cries, it makes a horrible sound. So it is a matter of the development of consciousness. But the soul is there within all living beings.

Cardinal Danielou: But metaphysically, the life of man is sacred. Human beings think on a higher platform than the animals do.

Srila Prabhupada: What is that higher platform? The animal eats to maintain his body, and you also eat in order to maintain your body. The cow eats grass in the field, and the human being eats meat from a huge slaughterhouse full of modern machines. But just because you have big machines and a ghastly scene, while the animal simply eats grass, this does not mean that you are so advanced that only within your body is there a soul and that there is not a soul within the body of the animal. That is illogical. We can see that the basic characteristics are the same in the animal and the human being.

Cardinal Danielou: But only in human beings do we find a metaphysical search for the meaning of life.

Srila Prabhupada: Yes. So metaphysically search out why you believe that there is no soul within the animal–that is metaphysics. If you are thinking metaphysically, that’s all right. But if you are thinking like an animal, then what is the use of your metaphysical study? Metaphysical means “above the physical” or, in other words, “spiritual.” In the Bhagavad-gita Krsna says, sarva-yonisu kaunteya: “In every living being there is a spirit soul.” That is metaphysical understanding. Now either you accept Krsna’s teachings as metaphysical, or you’ll have to take a third-class fool’s opinion as metaphysical. Which do you accept?

Cardinal Danielou: But why does God create some animals who eat other animals? There is a fault in the creation, it seems.

Srila Prabhupada: It is not a fault. God is very kind. If you want to eat animals, then He’ll give you full facility. God will give you the body of a tiger in your next life so that you can eat flesh very freely. “Why are you maintaining slaughterhouses? I’ll give you fangs and claws. Now eat.” So the meat-eaters are awaiting such punishment. The animal-eaters become tigers, wolves, cats, and dogs in their next life–to get more facility.”

Science of Self-Realization, Chapter 4

What does the Bhagavad Gita Tells us about the food which we eat?

We have to understand that Foods are in 3 different categories or Modes of Nature, which are: Goodness, Passion, and Ignorance. The following verses are in the Bhagavad Gita:-

BG 17.8: Foods dear to those in the mode of goodness increase the duration of life, purify one’s existence and give strength, health, happiness and satisfaction. Such foods are juicy, fatty, wholesome, and pleasing to the heart.

BG 17.9: Foods that are too bitter, too sour, salty, hot, pungent, dry and burning are dear to those in the mode of passion. Such foods cause distress, misery and disease.

BG 17.10: Food prepared more than three hours before being eaten, food that is tasteless, decomposed and putrid, and food consisting of remnants and untouchable things is dear to those in the mode of darkness.

Meat falls in the category of ignorance, it is tamasic food. Whichever food we eat affects our consciousness. Eating meat invokes the quality of ignorance. In the mode of Ignorance spiritual life becomes very troublesome to follow, our mind will not be able to focus, but there are also bad karmic reactions which we will have to suffer, this maybe in this life, after death or in the next life.

Meat eating has a very bad effect on our spiritual life and we are in danger to become the slave of our own senses, which we never can satisfy. And then in the afterlife it is very likely that we meet the animals we ate or killed. But this time they will be the human and we the animal. In this world we can’t do anything without bearing the reactions of our karma. What we have done to others, we have done to ourselves. It’s Karma.

What are the Characteristics of the 3 Modes and what it leads to?


Knowledge, inner satisfaction and happiness, purity, cleanliness, selflessness, compassion, self-control (based on knowledge), tolerance, patience, controlled mind and senses, sense of duty, caring, generosity, honesty, austerity (pain now for higher purpose), wisdom, religiosity, humility, regulated habits (incl sleep, eating etc), well-organised, steady in purpose, well-behaved, forgiving, simple-minded, merciful, satisfied, peaceful, respectful of others.

I.e. selflessness


Agitated mind and senses, intense activity to fulfil desires of mind/senses, lust (ie self-motivated love), strong desire for sensual/bodily pleasures, greed, endless desires, never satisfied, passion, selfishness, ego/pride/vanity, self-glorification, acting for immediate pleasure without thinking of consequences, hankering then lamenting, expecting/demanding honour for oneself, overly strong attachment to one’s own body and relatives.

I.e. Me, me, me, selfishness.


Enviousness, hatred, revengeful (i.e. not forgiving), madness, foolishness, unnecessary killing or bloodshed or violence, anger, laziness, too much/too little sleep, delusion, ignorance, not knowing right from wrong, overly-critical, chaotic, unclean, over-attachment, uncontrolled stress, fear, hard-hearted, animalistic, depression, disease, obsessive love, cruelty, evilness, harshness, no-respect for anything, torture, deceitful, cheating, merciless, abusive (physical or verbal), arrogant.

I.e. Destructive qualities

These are the Characteristics which we can develop by associating with certain modes. Meat eating can lead to destructive qualities.

What if people who want to continue to eat meat?

There is a very tight restriction if someone wants to eat meat, for example:

People have to worship Kali Maa because she accepts meat as an offering. This is a concession only. It is only for those who are so addicted that they can’t give it up. The process is that once a month, on a dark moon night (i.e. no moon), they’re allowed to take some lesser animal, like a goat/pig, and they take it out into the country, where no other people are around, or in the temple grounds (of Kali Maa), and then they chant “Mam sa khadatiti mamsah” … ie “whatever I am doing to you, you can do to me in my next life”. Then they personally have to slit the throat of the animal.

Mam sa khadatiti mamsah. The Sanskrit word is mamsa. Mam means “me,” and sa means “he.” I am killing this animal; I am eating him. And in my next lifetime he’ll kill me and eat me. When the animal is sacrificed, this mantra is recited into the ear of the animal—”You are giving your life, so in your next life you will get the opportunity of becoming a human being. And I who am now killing you will become an animal, and you will kill me.”

So one day the person will wake up… hang on a sec… what I am doing to you, you can do to me… NO! I don’t want to be killed by you in my next life. Also after understanding this mantra, who will be ready to kill an animal?

This process of worshipping Kali Maa is for people who have a lower grade of consciousness, the mode of ignorance. People of a higher grade of consciousness do not wish to kill any kind of animals because they know that a soul is present within that body, and that the animals do feel great pain at the time of death. So they choose to eat so many other foods, which are free from any kind of blood or flesh, and free from any kind of slaughter.

They say, you are what you eat. So if we eat meat, we develop animalistic qualities. And why do you want to make your stomach into a graveyard for animals? Think about it!

It is clearly stated in Vedic literature that cruel masters who kill innocent animals will undoubtedly be killed in the next life by a similar process.

mam sa bhaksayitamutra yasya mamsam ihadmy aham etan mamsasya mamsatvam pravadanti manisinah

“That creature whose flesh I am eating here and now will consume me in the next life.’ Thus meat is called mamsa, as described by learned authorities.” In Srimad-Bhagavatam this grizzly fate of animal killers is described by Narada Muni to King Pracinabarhi, who was excessively killing animals in the so-called sacrifices.

Narada uvaca bho bhoh prajapate rajan pasun pasya tvayadhvare samjnapitan jiva-sanghan nirghrnena sahasrasah

ete tvam sampratiksante smaranto vaisasam tava samparetam ayah-kutais chindanty utthita-manyavah

“O ruler of the citizens, my dear King, please see in the sky those animals which you have sacrificed, without compassion and without mercy, in the sacrificial arena. All these animals are awaiting your death so that they can avenge the injuries you have inflicted upon them. After you die, they will angrily pierce your body with iron horns.” (SB 4.25.7-8) Such punishment of animal killers may take place under the jurisdiction of Yamaraja on the planet of the lord of death. In other words, one who kills an animal or who eats meat undoubtedly acquires a debt to the living entity who has contributed his body for the satisfaction of the meat-eater. The meat-eater must pay his debt by contributing his own body to be consumed in the next life. Such payment of one’s debt by offering one’s own body to be eaten is confirmed in the Vedic literature.

What does other religions say about Meat Eating?

Indeed all the major religions advocate the ideals of vegetarianism:

  1. The Annushasen Parva, Mahabharat says “Undoubtedly all those human beings who prefer meat to several forms offood are like vultures.”
  2. The Manusmrti says “All supporters of meat eating are sinners.”It further states, “One whose meat I eat will eat myflesh in the next life.”
  3. The Christian Faith also says in Genesis (1.29) “Behold, Ihave given you every herb-bearing tree in which the fruit of the tree-yielding seed, it unto you shall be for food.”
  4. Guru Nanak, Founder of the Sikh Faith, said “My disciples do nottake meat and wine.”
  5. Lord Buddha said, “Meat is food for sub-human beings”.
  6. The Acharang Sutra of the Jain Faith said, “All creatures desire self-preservation, hence no creature should be slaughtered.”
  7. Gandhiji said “I do feel that spiritual progress does demandat some stage that we should cease to kill our fellowcreatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants.”
  8. Islam, Prophet Muhammad “whoever is kind to the creatures of God, is kind to himself”

All major religious scriptures enjoin man to live without killing unnecessarily. The Old Testament instructs, “Thou shalt not kill.” (Exodus 20:13) This is traditionally misinterpreted as referring only to murder. But the original Hebrew is lo tirtzach, which clearly translates “Thou shalt not kill.” Dr. Reuben Alcalay’s Complete Hebrew/English Dictionary says that the word tirtzach, especially in classical Hebrew usage, refers to “any kind of killing,” and not necessarily the murder of a human being.

Although the Old Testament contains some prescriptions for meat-eating, it is clear that the ideal situation is vegetarianism, In Genesis (1:29) we find God Himself proclaiming, “Behold, I have given you every herb-bearing tree, in which the fruit of the tree yielding seed, it unto you shall be for meat.” And in later books of the Bible, major prophets condemn meat-eating.

For many Christians, major stumbling blocks are the belief that Christ ate meat and the many references to meat in the New Testament. But close study of the original Greek manuscripts shows that the vast majority of the words translated as “meat” and “trophe, brome,” and other words that simply mean “food” or “eating” in the broadest sense. For example, in the Gospel of St. Luke (8:55) we read that Jesus raised a woman from the dead and “commanded to give her meat.” The original Greek word translated as “meat” is “phago,” which means only “to eat.” The Greek word for meat is kreas (“flesh”), and it is never used in connection with Christ. Nowhere in the New Testament is there any direct reference to Jesus eating meat. This is in line with Isaiah’s famous prophecy about Jesus’s appearance, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call him name Emmanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.”

In Thus Spoke Mohammed (the translation of the Hadith by Dr. M.Hafiz Syed), the disciples of the prophet Mohammed ask him, “Verily are there rewards for our doing good to quadrupeds, and giving them water to drink?” Mohammed answers, “There are rewards for benefiting every animal.”

Lord Buddha is known particularly for His preaching against animal killing. He established ahimsa (nonviolence) and vegetarianism as fundamental steps on the path of self-awareness and spoke the following two maxims, “Do not butcher the ox that plows thy fields,” and “Do not indulge a voracity that involves the slaughter of animals.”

The Vedic scriptures of India, which predate Buddhism, also stress nonviolence as the ethical foundation of vegetarianism. “Meat can never be obtained without injury to living creatures,” states the ,manu-samhita, the ancient Indian code of law, “Let one therefore shun the use of meat.” In another section, the Manu-samhita warns “Having well considered the disgusting origin of flesh and the cruelty of fettering and slaying of corporeal beings, let one entirely abstain from eating flesh.”

In the Mahabharata (the epic poem which contains 100,000 verses and is said to be the longest poem in the world), there are many injunctions against killing animals. Some examples:

“He who desires to increase the flesh of his own body by eating the flesh of other creatures lives in misery in whatever species he may take his birth.”;

“Who can be more cruel and selfish than he who augments his flesh by eating the flesh of innocent animals?”; and

“Those who desire to possess good memory, beauty, long life with perfect health, and physical, moral and spiritual strength, should abstain from animal food.”

All living entities possess a soul. In the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna describes the soul as the source of consciousness and the active principle that activates the body of every living being.

According to the Vedas, a soul in a form lower than human automatically evolves to the next higher species, ultimately arriving at the human form. Only in the human form of life can the soul turn its consciousness towards God and at the time of death be transferred back to the spiritual world. In both the social order and the universal order, a human being must obey laws.

In his Srimad-Bhagavatam purports, Srila Prabhupada says, “All living entities have to fulfil a certain duration for being encaged in a particular type of material body. They have to finish the duration allotted in a particular body before being promoted or evolved to another body. Killing an animal or any other living simply places an impediment in the way of his completing his term of imprisonment in a certain body. One should therefore not kill bodies for one’s sense gratification, for this will implicate one in sinful activity.” In short, killing an animal interrupts its progressive evolution through the species, and the killer will invariably suffer the reaction for this sinful behaviour.

In the Bhagavad-Gita (5.18) Krishna explains that spiritual perfection begins when one can see the equality of all living beings, “The humble sage, by virtue of true knowledge, sees with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana (a priest), a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater (outcast).” Krishna also instructs us to adopt the principles of spiritual vegetarianism when He states, “Offer Me with love and devotion a fruit, a flower, a leaf, or water, and I will accept it.”

Table displays Features of different entities’ diets:

Meat eater

Plant eater


Licks and drinks Sucks and drinks Sucks and drinks
Sharp, pointed front teeth to tear flesh No sharp, pointed teeth No sharp, pointed teeth
Has claws No claws No claws
Intestinal tract only three times body length, sothat rapidly decaying meat can pass out of body quickly Intestinal tract 10-12 times body length. Fruits donot decay as rapidly as meat so can pass more slowlythrouogh body Intestinal tract 10-12 times body length. Fruits donot decay as rapidly as meat so can pass more slowlythrouogh body
Small salivary glands in the mouth (not needed to pre-digest grains and fruits) Well-developed salivary glands needed to pre-digest grains amd fruits Well-developed salivary glands needed to pre-digest grains amd fruits
Acid saliva. No enzyme ptyalin to pre-digest grains Alkaline saliva. Much ptyalin to pre-digest grains Alkaline saliva. Much ptyalin to pre-digest grains
No flat back molar teeth to grind food Flat back molar teeth to grind food Flat back molar teeth to grind food
They can see during night Cannot see during night Cannot see during night
Can kill the prey without aid of weapons Do not kill to eat Cannot generally kill without the aid of weapon
They can digest raw meat easily Do not eat meat Cannot digest raw meat easily
Behaviour is generally voracious Behaviour is not generally voracious Becomes voracious by eating meat
Do not eat grass Do not eat meat Should not eat meat
No skin pores. Perspires through the tongue to coolbody Perspires through millions of skin pores Perspires through millions of skin pores

What is wrong in eating Onions and Garlic?

According to the Bhagavad Gita and the Ayurveda, India’s classic medical science, foods are grouped into three categories – sattvic, rajasic and tamasic – foods in the modes of goodness, passion and ignorance. Onions and garlic, and the other alliaceous plants are classified as rajasic and tamasic, which means that they increase passion and ignorance.

As per the story below onion and garlic came from the dead body of a cow and therefore they are considered like eating meat. They break the non-vegetarian principle from the shastric point of view. Strict vegetarians don’t eat onions nor garlic. Since meat is tamasic, onions and garlic are also tamasic and rajasic food. They may have some medicinal value like even wine is used in medicines sometimes. Thus they are taboo for followers of Vedic culture.

“Once, in Satya Yuga the rishis were performing gomedha and asvamedha sacrifices for the welfare of the whole universe. The rishis would utter mantras and the same animal which was sacrificed would come alive in a beautiful young body.

One time the rishi who was about to perform a gomedha sacrifice, his wife was pregnant. She had a very strong desire to eat and she had heard that if, during pregnancy one has a desire to eat and does not fulfil this, then the baby that will be born will always have saliva coming from its mouth. Very strange, she desired strongly to eat meat, thus she decided to keep one piece of meat of the cow’s body that was offered in sacrifice. She hid it and was making a plan to eat it very soon. At that time the rishi was finishing the sacrifice and uttered all the mantras for the new young cow to come to life. However when he saw the new cow, he noticed that there was a little part missing from her left side. He went into meditation and realized that his wife had taken away a piece of meat during the sacrifice. Now his wife also understood what happened and quickly threw the meat far away. Due to the effect of the mantras uttered by the rishi there was now life in this piece of meat. Then the blood of this meat became red lentils, the bones became garlic and the meat became onions.

Thus these foods are never taken by any Vaishnava situated in the mode of goodness as Vaishnavas should be because it is not considered by us as offerable due to its association as a non-vegetarian food. Plus it is in the mode of ignorance.” “It is not vegetarian to eat onions and garlic.

One ayurvedic doctor said that this description is there in Ayurveda:

When Lord Vishnu in His Mohini form was distributing nectar to the demigods two demons named Rahu and Ketu sat down in the line of Demigods. By mistake the Lord served them nectar into their mouths. Immediately the Lord was informed by Sun and Moon that those two were demons. As soon as the Lord came to know this information He cut off the heads of both demons. By that time nectar had not passed through their throat. It was still in their mouth. When the Lord cut of their head , the head was separated from the body. Thus nectar did not pass through to the stomach but fell on the ground. (That is the reason why Rahu and Ketu’s head are still alive and their body was finished.) The nectar which was put into their mouth fell on the ground when their heads were cut off from the body. Garlic and Onion manifested from this nectar.

Thus Garlic and Onion are regarded as nectar but not used for Lord because these are remnants of demons touched the mouth of two demons. Even if nectar touched the mouths of two demons still garlic and onion act like nectar in curing the diseases. But not meant for Vishnu or Vaishnavas. The ayurvedic doctor also said that whoever will eat garlic and onion, their body will be very strong like demons body and at the same time their intelligence also will be contaminated like the intelligence of demons.

Srila Prabhupada was once asked about Onions and Garlic, he narrated the below story:

Srila Prabhupada said that eating onion and garlic is as bad as eating cow’s flesh, he recited the below story about a Muslim king, a cow and a brahmana.

For the Muslims, cow slaughter is a regular affair. This particular king however, before having the cow slaughtered would call a brahmana and the brahmana would offer prayers to the effect that “In this life these people are slaughtering you, but in the next life you will get the chance to slaughter them.”

So one time a brahmana came there but he felt lusty and he wanted to eat the cow’s flesh also. However, the system was that he was not allowed to see the slaughter going on, he was supposed to offer his prayers and then leave. So he hid in a corner and witnessed the butchering. After the Muslims had all taken their share of the dead cow and departed, the brahmana came to that spot and he found an ankle of the cow. Because he was not supposed to eat any meat, he took the cow’s ankle into the forest and buried it with the plan that he would return in the night, cook it and eat it. When he came back he dug out the cow’s ankle and found to his great surprise that it had turned into onion and garlic.

Srila Prabhupada then said that the cow’s hoof transformed to garlic and the ankle became onion; garlic looks like a cow’s hoof, and just as the cow’s ankle has several layers of flesh similarly the onion has several layers and is the color of flesh. He finished the narration by telling them that when you eat garlic it makes a bad smell come in your mouth and when you cut onion it makes tears come out of your eyes. The tears come because the cow was crying that in Kali yuga even the brahmana wants to eat onion.

Why don’t Hare Krishna’s eat meat?

Animals are children of Krishna, created by God with a soul. Therefore, to eat an animal is an affront to God. Moreover, it’s bad for your consciousness: Because the slaughter of animals is violent, when you eat meat, fish or fowl, you are subjecting yourself to more violent thoughts and, perhaps, violent behaviour.

Cooking is intertwined with spirituality. Hare Krishna’s believe they are cooking for the pleasure of God. They never sample the food they are cooking, since it must be offered to Krishna first. Moreover, also it is said that food absorbs the consciousness of the cook.

If you are angry and elbow deep in the lentils or kneading dough for chapattis (unleavened bread), the philosophy claims that your emotions are transferred to the food — and then to the person who eats the meal.

It is one reason monks don’t go to restaurants, because it raises the question, “Whose consciousness are you eating today?”

Meat – Not A Human Food.

Meat is not a human food. No flesh of any animal, bird, fish or egg etc. is a human food. Meat is not only unhealthy for the body; it poisons the mind, the intellect and the soul. Eating meat is totally forbidden in the Vedic scriptures. Rishi Manu in Manusmiriti says:

  1. “He who does not restrain, kill or hurt the living beings, is pro-life and gets lots of happiness.”
  2. “You cannot get meat without killing, and killing does not give happiness. Therefore one should not eat meat.”
  3. “Because of the way the meat is produced, the killing and torturing the animals; one ought to stay away from eating all kinds of meat.”
  4. “Any body, who kills innocent creatures in order to get happiness; he living and even after death does not get happiness.”
  5. “He, who orders to kill animals; he who cuts the flesh; he who kills the animals; seller and buyer of animals for killing; he who cooks meat; he who serves meat and he who eats meat these are all killers and sinner.

Vedas speak of caring and protecting animals:

  1. Yajur Veda says: Oh Humans! You do not kill sheep, cow, horse etc.
  2. In Yajur Veda there is a prayer: O God! Protect my people and animals.
  3. Atharva Veda says: Oh cruel man! If you kill our animals like cows, horses, etc. or humans; then we will put you to death so that you will not be able kill them again.
  4. Mahabharta says: He who wants to live, how he can kill others? Humans should wish for others, what they wish for themselves.
  5. Rig Veda tells: Do not kill our cows and horses.
  6. Atharva Veda says: He, who eats raw meat, he who eats human flesh and he who eats eggs: they all ought to be destroyed altogether.

In regards to eating, Vedas talk about grains like wheat, oat rice etc., fruits and vegetables, milk, butter etc. Meat eating is not allowed at all. Dr. Field writes, every living being knows the life’s happiness and fear of death. He feels the pain and joy, just like you. Same one God is the father of all living beings – animals, birds, insects and human beings. Do the animals and birds want to be killed? No, Not at all. Don’t they feel helpless and miserable when they are being killed? Certainly, they do. Won’t they like to live their full life as we people do? Definitely, they would. Every living being has a specific purpose for its existence. The purpose, definitely, is other than being killed and eaten by others. Let each one of them be left alone to serve that purpose.


We actually do not need to eat meat, there are so many disadvantages. Generally nobody can just eat plain meat on its own, it taste disgusting but the animals can eat it. We as humans are not designed to eat meat, our teeth are also in different shape than that of animals. Meat eating invokes mode of ignorance and we will not be able to understand higher spiritual topics, our minds will not become absorbed in God. I have not seen one meat eater who can understand God or who has any genuine devotion to the Lord. By animal killing, all pity and mercy and love is lost. So how can we love God? It is also another form of violence, generally we would not come across a terrorist who is a vegetarian, because by being a vegetarian and in the mode of goodness it invokes compassion for other living entities who are also created by God, Krishna. Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita that he accepts certain foods which are vegetarian (BG, 9.26). So we can offer this to God, he did not say offer me meat. Many times people question did Lord Krishna eat meat or did Lord Ram eat meat, of course not. God does not eat flesh. Also another thing to understand is that God can do anything he likes because he is God so we should not imitate God in anyway. And to be a devotee we have to only eat food which is first offered to God, Krishna. Even just by being a Vegetarian is not all, we have to offer our vegetarian food (without onions and garlic) to Krishna, and then take that as Prashad (Sanctified Food or Mercy). This way we will invoke spiritual qualities. People sometime say that we eat meat because we need to be strong or we need allot of protein, this is not true, we can get so much protein by eating soya, dhal, wheat and other vegetarian foods.

The purpose of eating food is to keep our body and soul together, and not for sense gratification. Just for our tongue enjoyment why do we need to eat meat? We don’t need to make our stomach a graveyard for animals. Human life is meant for austerity, to purify our existence, and to develop our love for God, Krishna.

Following the regulative principles as told in the scriptures such as, No meat eating, (which includes fish & eggs), No Gambling, No Intoxication (which includes tea and coffee), and No Illicit Sex (sex outside marriage) these four principles helps us refrain from sinful activities. By following these four principles we are not restricting ourselves but we are freeing ourselves from karmic and bondage reactions.

Meat-eating, illicit sex, intoxication, and gambling, these are the four pillars of sinful life. They run directly counter to the four basic pillars of Dharma or religious life, namely mercy, cleanliness, austerity and truthfulness.

It should be pointed that the four regulative principles of religious life, while virtuous in themselves, are not the sum and substance of true spirituality; they are merely sub-religious principles. While one who follows these principles (diligently) may be setting the proper stage for approaching spiritual life, actual spirituality may still elude him. Therefore, we feel it incumbent upon ourselves to direct you to the Srimad-Bhagavatam, which points out:

Kaler dosa nidhe rajann asti hy eko mahan gunah kirtanad eva krsnasya mukta-sangah param vrajet

“My dear king, although Kali-yuga is full of faults, there is still one good quality about this age. It is that simply by chanting the holy name of Krishna, one can become free from material bondage and be promoted to the transcendental Kingdom.”(S.B. 12.3.51) Therefore, you are encouraged to please chant the holy name of the Lord (Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare). By this process one will naturally develop an affinity for following the four regulative principles. There is no loss, and one who follows these principles will find much happiness in this life as well as the next.

The Meat food on your plate may look good to you but have you ever thought how the animals had been treated? If you truly have guts and want to eat meat I would suggest you watch the below videos (click on the below links). Watch all of it if you can. Then you can take that decision for yourself if you would like to carry on eating meat. At the end of the day, the choice is yours, we do have that free will, but what we do with that free will that is our choice and decision, if we continue with our sins then we are liable to God and his laws, which are very subtle and powerful, it will act upon us whether we believe in it or not.

‘To every action there is an equal opposite reaction’

Those sinful persons who are ignorant of actual religious principles, yet consider themselves to be completely pious, without compunction commit violence against innocent animals who are fully trusting in them. In their next lives, such sinful persons will be eaten by the same creatures they have killed in this world. (Srimad Bhagavatam 11.5.14)

You are killing innocent cows and other animals, nature will take revenge. Just wait. As soon as the time is right, nature will gather all these rascals and slaughter them. Finished. – Srila Prabhupada (Founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness).