Devotee: I am an initiated Vaiṣṇavi and a veterinarian doctor in Sweden. People often come to me with very sick and suffering animals. They ask me to put them to “sleep”. That means killing them by injecting pentobarbital into them. They die in five minutes. It is part of my job. For European veterinarians this is their duty. I wanted to ask you whether this is allowed for a Vaiṣṇavi. These animals already suffer very much and their owners want to relieve them of sufferings. I am in doubt about this.
Please kindly help me to understand the proper ethic and dharma. Before I inject and while they die I chant the Maha-mantra to them. Please clarify this situation for me.
Śrīla Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Mahārāja: It is not allowed for an initiated Vaiṣṇava to inject such medicines which can kill them though they are sick and suffering. You can give any injection which may cure them. But if you can’t avoid this, then pray to the Lord “O Lord, please forgive me for my offence as I am compelled to do this”. Also pray to that animal “Please forgive me. I don’t want to kill you, I just want to relieve you from more suffering”.
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