A Spiritual Perspective Against Euthanizing of Animals

     A half-feral cat showed up at our door 8-1/2 years ago, apparently abandoned, and we began feeding him. Now that he is older and has mellowed out a bit through the aging process and the hearing of Harinam in our house, he wants to stay inside more and more, especially in winter, but he refuses to use the cat box, so we put him out to go to toilet. He also gets some food and occasional shelter from at least one other householder in the neighborhood. I strive to keep him as a pet without getting overly attached. Cats in general set the example of a miser perfectly, and he is no exception, but he is gradually responding to our overtures of kindness.

I certainly do not agree with the euthanizing of "unwanted" animals. Even if we may no longer be interested in them, they are certainly interested in their own lives. In the case of an unwanted pet, better to set them loose if you do not want them. Although many will perish, some will survive. This is a better chance for them because all will perish if euthanized. Lethal injection (the most common form of euthanasia) sets in motion a series of negative karmic events for its proponents and practictioners, thereby making the world an increasingly cruel place for us all. In the case of pets going feral and having progeny, as Ananda das rightly stated it, nature will have its course and many will perish under natural circumstances, so we need have no fear of feral cats or dogs taking over the planet.

His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupad repeatedly stated that Krishna could maintain innumerable beings on earth provided we are willing to follow His laws and not take more than our allotted quota (Sri Isopanisad). Therefore I wholly disagree with the premise that householder men undergo vasectomies. The household ashram (grhastha, not grhamedi) is given for those sincere jivas who, because of immaturity, cannot wholly control their senses. Pregnancy is the result of their union, and in fact, repeated pregnancies are more often than not the result. Progeny raised as Krishna-conscious devotees becomes service, and thereby the grhastha ashram becomes sanctified.

Unfortunately, in modern times, the general public and even some devotees are swayed by the mammonistic propaganda that to have numerous progency will result in them becoming deprived of a "high standard of care and a chance for advanced education. "Advanced education, according to Srila Prabhupad, means practicing Krishna consciousness, not necessarily attaining advanced material degrees for improving our livelihoods.This is certainly an illusion, as we frequentlly see people with advanced degrees in relatively humble occupations for which they are overly qualified.

As for the issue of care, the same standard of care would be there in a larger population because approximately the same percentage of the population would go into the medical field.Additionally, each jiva being born into the material nature brings with him the requisite karma sufficient for his maintenance. So a householder with a larger family would still find sufficient wealth to maintain his wife and progeny because the children would essentially be attracting wealth to the family sufficient to cover their own maintenance. In other words, the system is designed that all our needs can be readily met provided (1) we are not sinful, which will produce lack, and (2) we do not take more than our quota of goods and services.

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Chakra.org is a Vaisnava website designed to encourage the growth of devotion, foster critical thinking, and promote communication among Vaisnavas world-wide. Although differences of opinion will occur, we aim to provide a forum for mutual respect among the multiple strands of our community.

Posted on 2006-12-08, By: *

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