Devotee: It is said that the food offered to Kṛṣṇa for His satisfaction (the prasādam or remnants) should be clean and pure. My question is: If so, how is it possible to harmonize the exploitation of cows in the West with the fondness of Kṛṣṇa for dairy products?
Śrīla Bhakti Vijñāna Bhāratī Mahārāja: What you offer to Kṛṣṇa should be pure and clean. If cows are not protected, the Lord of the cows does not bless our consumption of milk products.
Radio Host: How do you feel about the poor treatment of cows in this country in order to extract their milk? Do you feel that such milk is still pure?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: That is a very wrong thing. It is cruelty. The Supreme Lord will surely punish such cruel persons. They will take birth as cows, and those cows will take birth as humans and do the same thing to them. All activities have a reaction – good or bad – so we should not do such things.
Radio Host: We should avoid the milk that is in the grocery stores? Is that what you are saying?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: It is like meat. We should not take it.
Radio Host: I very much agree. You have answered a lot of my questions.
Vrajanātha dāsa: Gurudeva, there are also cows that are treated well and fed an organic diet.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: This is good. I have seen this in Holland, millions of cows, very big cows. We can take the milk of such cows.
Radio Host: Unless a person can go and see how the cows are treated in this country and many other places, it is difficult to know. Their saying it is organic does not mean that the cows are treated well. It just means they are fed different food.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: We have many cows in our āśrama (monastery). We give proper care and food to them. First they give milk to their calves, and only then do we take their milk.
Walking with a Saint – Morning Walks and Conversations 2007
Rāmānanda Rāya dāsa: Śrīla Gurudeva, in your class yesterday you spoke about not harming any animals. I have noticed that many of the Prabhus here are very good about not wearing leather shoes, and others see the example we set in our community. Is there some specific instruction you can give, especially for the Prabhus here who are very good about this, to share with the rest of the community about not purchasing leather or even supporting any industry like the white sugar industry which processes the sugar with cow bones?
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: Yes, devotees must certainly avoid all these unfavourable practices. They should not wear leather; they should not harm any cow or calf, or any other animal. We should not kill even insects, including ants.
Śrīpāda Padmanābha Mahārāja: Here in America there is a law that milk manufacturers have to add vitamin D to the milk, but that is coming from fish.
Devotee: Not all of it; some use synthetic vitamin D.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: If you know that a product contains animal substances, you should reject it. For example if you know that the milk contains these unwanted products, it is best to avoid it.
Padmanābha dāsa (of India): If anyone will call the milk producer, the milk producer will tell him what is in the milk.
Rāmānanda Rāya dāsa: Śrīla Gurudeva, I am your servant, and I beg for your forgiveness for any offenses I have committed to any animals or bugs; first to you and then to any animals.
Śrīla Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja: By chanting harināma continuously, all these sins will go away.
Walking with a Saint – Morning Walks and Conversations 2008
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