Room Conversation , New Vrindavan , 1976-06-29
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Now what we've been doing with the dead cows is burying them. There's no..., everything's wasted. Śrīla Prabhupāda is proposing that why not the butcher take, we give free, he simply returns us the skin of the cow, and with the cowhide we properly tan it, we can make mṛdaṅga heads for the khol, and shoes, straps, whatever may be needed. The idea being that in the Western countries especially, people are accustomed to eating animals, animal flesh. So we have no objection.
Prabhupāda: Beef, especially beef.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Especially cows and beef. So we have no objection, but they should at least wait until it dies naturally. What is the harm? They still get the same thing, and one devotee, Kīrtanānanda, I think, was saying that when they slaughter an animal even in the slaughterhouse, it has to sit some time, some number of days before they distribute it. So I proposed that the Westerners, they consider that this is superstitious, this protection of the cow. Prabhupāda said, "Why superstitious?" The cow is providing milk. Every child knows that he's getting milk from the cow; the cow is mother. So why in the old age we should slaughter mother? Is this a good argument that like, for example, they say in India how so many people are starving, why don't they eat the cows? So Prabhupāda proposed that "So if you're starving, does it mean that you eat your mother and father?"
Prabhupāda: If you want to eat, let the father and mother die, then eat. [laughter] Who has objection?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: It's so reasonable. It's so reasonable. At least, Prabhupāda says, for the saner section, they will accept.
Hari-śauri: The thing is, people are mad after meat.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: But they still get it.
Prabhupāda: But he'll get meat.
Hari-śauri: But then their argument is that if we don't have big, big slaughterhouses, then there won't be enough supply.
Prabhupāda: No why should...? After all, the animal is going to die. It is not for..., he's permanently. Why should you kill?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: But they kill the animal first in the slaughterhouse and then do whatever they have to do.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: But we are killing when they are young, when their meat is fresh. When the body is old, the meat is...
Prabhupāda: That you have to change. Fresh or dead, you're eating flesh, that's all. You wait till the death.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: But the old flesh is not...
Prabhupāda: Anyway, you do not..., you do whatever you like. So at least you can take free of charges a dead cow from us, and you can give us only the skin, and you eat.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: This should be the system.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: It's so reasonable.
Prabhupāda: We don't want anything from you; you take it, the whole flesh. You take free. You simply give us the skin; we can utilize it.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Even if people would do this, it would be such an advancement.
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Because a class of men will demand to eat the flesh. You cannot stop it. So we are giving free = you eat. And from economic point of view, we require the skin for our mṛdaṅga making. So give us the skin. That's all.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Prabhupāda says the butcher, even, he can sell the meat cheaply, make profit. He's getting it free of charge.
Hari-śauri: Maybe some time in the future this could happen when Kṛṣṇa consciousness becomes very powerful influence in the country, but unless we could actually close the slaughterhouse...
Prabhupāda: No, but now by imploring, we are requesting him that "You can take this cow and sell in your shop, butcher shop; you give us the skin. And you can tell the customer that it is as good, it is cheaper. So whatever money you get, that is your profit. You haven't got to invest anything."
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Do you propose that we should do this now, Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: [laughs] No, no, this is... Think over.
Hari-śauri: Yes, the proposition is very good, that's a fact.
Prabhupāda: First of all, you try one butcher, that "Why not make this advantage?" How does he react, see.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Yes, that he will not pay anything...
Prabhupāda: He's not going to pay us. Simply take it and sell it.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: They sell meat..., for one pound of meat, they can get sometimes two dollars, three dollars, four dollars. So much money, big cow.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: But the government has inspectors, a team of inspectors. No meat can be sold unless it is inspected, and then they want to examine the condition.
Prabhupāda: So let them inspect. What is the wrong there? It should be open. If the inspection, there is nothing wrong, then they can do this business.
Hari-śauri: Generally, though, their inspection is when the animal is alive, they check to see that he has no disease. Then they can be killed. But if an animal dies naturally, then generally it is to be supposed that it dies from some malfunction within the body, that there may be some diseases or whatever. So then...
Prabhupāda: That is artificial.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: They have so many rules.
Hari-śauri: But that is their rules and regulations they have.
Prabhupāda: They'll change. When they, by chemical analysis, they don't find any fault, then they can change.
Devotee: They have no substance.
Prabhupāda: From economic point of view, why this body should be wasted? Let it be utilized. Those that are eating, let them eat. And economic point of view, we save the skin. We require it for our purpose. That is the idea. After all, we require the skin for our khol making.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: And for the farm straps?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Shoes, slippers, so many things. I think Kīrtanānanda Swami has done that with some of the cows. They have taken the hide for making the straps and the leather...
Hari-śauri: They're not doing it now, though.
Prabhupāda: But we should not do it ourselves.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Yes, that's for the mucis.
Prabhupāda: That is not our business.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Give it to the butcher. He will get the skin and give it to us.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Not that everything we have to do. No. That will deteriorate. Those who are doing, let it be done by them.
Hari-śauri: It seems like it will be a long time before we can implement something like that.
Prabhupāda: I am proposing; think over. Because it is a fact that in spite our vigorous propaganda, we cannot stop meat-eating. That is not possible. People will eat. So those who are eating, let us make some arrangement that "You take it free of charges." From economic point of view, they get it free. They can make good profit. And we are interested with the skin. So why not make some arrangement? It is practical.
Hari-śauri: That's very good.
Prabhupāda: Instead of the thing being wasted for nothing, let us devise some means, that "You are eating, you can eat." And we want the skin, let us give it. What is the wrong there?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Perfect economics.
Prabhupāda: Yes. We require the skin, that's a fact. And you want to eat, all right, eat.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Could such a thing be done in India today also?
Prabhupāda: No, why it will be done? Everywhere it should be done. Who does not eat meat? That is the... First of all, you try this. From economic point of view, why one thing should be wasted?
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Practical preaching.
Hari-śauri: We can't stop meat-eating, but we can stop the unnecessary slaughter of animals.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: That would be a great step forward.
Prabhupāda: So our business is to stop slaughter. Meat-eating we cannot stop. Certain persons, they must eat. They are fourth-class and then fifth-class men. There are four classifications---brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra and caṇḍāla. Caṇḍālas, they will remain, and they are eating. So let them eat meat. That is the system in India still. It is not that in India nobody's eating meat. The cobbler class, they eat; the caṇḍāla class, they eat.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Even cows, cow flesh.
Prabhupāda: Dead. This cow killing has been introduced by these Britishers.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Christian philosophy.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: I saw in Juhu the Christians.
Hari-śauri: Now even they're exporting beef from India.
Prabhupāda: Yes. They can do anything, take the dead cows. I do not know if there is any chemical composition change. They are eating so many dead animals. Take for fish. The fish is never killed alive, because as soon as you take it out from water, it is dead, after few minutes.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: And they don't consider if it's a young fish or an old fish.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: If that was the system, people will not get sick. They will not get sick from eating old animals.
Prabhupāda: No, no. This is all wrong conception.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: They will say..., simply think the taste there is too tough, the skin may be older.
Prabhupāda: They are eating so many rotten things.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Yes. And they are burning it, cooking it.
Prabhupāda: Lobster, it is simply pus. They eat. I've seen it. From whiteness it has become yellow, puslike. They eat it, what is called that soup? Lobster soup?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Clam chowder.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: So many things.
Prabhupāda: But they like very much that lobster soup. In the plane, one Englishman was doing, "What is this? I asked after lobster soup."
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: In England? Oysters?
Prabhupāda: No, lobsters.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: With the big pinchers.
Hari-śauri: They have big, long feelers. They get the lobsters sometimes alive, and they throw them in boiling water, and they can hear them screaming. But now they're speculating whether it's actually the lobsters screaming because it's being boiled alive or whether it's just air that's coming out from its body and making a squeaking noise.
Prabhupāda: No, that is, apart from that, they import lobster from India, Cochin. They are exporting lobster alive. I have seen. The same ship, they load it with lobster, fatty, and black creeper, and cashew, they exported. The big, big business firms for exporting. So these lobster, although they are kept in ice and so on, so on, they become decomposed. I've seen in the port, that Commonwealth Pier. There is store of lobster, and the lobster has become yellow and almost melted by decomposing. They are selling that.
Hari-śauri: When it starts to fall apart, that's when they consider it's the best.
Hari-śauri: When it starts to fall apart, that's when they think it's the best. I think I mentioned before, in England, the gentry, the British gentry, when they used to go hunting, shooting pheasants and partridges, afterwards they would get the dead birds and hang them in a shed outside, and then after some days, when all the skin and the feathers were literally falling off, that's when they would eat it. That's when it was considered rich.
Prabhupāda: There are so many kadarya things. In Burma, they have got a system, Burmese family. In the door, there is a pot, a big pot. So whatever animal dies, put it there and cover it. So in this way, after some years, they're decomposed, and it becomes liquid, and then it is so decomposed that if you open it, even three miles they smell. So that is mature. Then they take out the liquid and keep it in bottle. That is called naphi. And they stock it, and when there is some feast at home they'll give little that naphi and they'll relish it.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Barbers?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Burma. That's the most...
Prabhupāda: And when you fry lucī, all the other tenants will come, "What you are cooking?" This is practical because we opened..., my Guru Mahārāja opened a branch in Burma in an apartment. So that Gaurāṅga who was my servant in family life, he was there. He said like this, that "When I fry purī, the ghee smell is there, so many people will come from other apartments, [whispers] 'Oh, what you are cooking? What you are cooking?' " And the naphi, they relish it in feast. So it is a question of taste.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: That's the ultimate.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: I remember as a child in Hong Kong, in the village they would keep big glass jars with snakes, they would put the snakes in jars. And after they were many times soaking in liquid, then they would eat it.
Hari-śauri: Pickled snakes.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Yes, keep it in a jar in liquid.
Prabhupāda: They put in the jar alive?
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: No, they catch it, kill it, put it in the jar.
Hari-śauri: It's like a pickle. They pickle it. And when they want to eat it, they take.
Prabhupāda: So there is poison in the mouth, they cut it?
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: They cut off the head. Flesh.
Prabhupāda: Snake they eat. Even in India there is a class, they eat snake, [indistinct]. Chinese, they eat. They are Chinese?
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Yes. Hong Kong.
Prabhupāda: They eat anything.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: So many abominable things.
Hari-śauri: Someone was telling me in Mexico they have a sandwich called tortilla. It has live cockroaches. And as they're eating, the cockroaches are running to get out of the sandwich, and they are pushing them back in and eating it.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: In Africa also they eat live bugs. Cockroaches, dead or alive, anything. Once when we were in Zambia, there was this one African who was cleaning around the house, his name was David. He was about twenty years old. So we swept up his room because it was so filthy---I was there at the time. And there were all these cockroaches in a pile, and we were about to throw them out and he said, "What? You're throwing them out? You mean you're not going to eat them?" [laughter]
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Even [indistinct]. There was one big, big professor we met in the college...
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: It's hard to understand that prasādam is [indistinct]. [laughter]
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: Not only the Africans, but this big, big professor, she is advocating that people should eat the bugs because they are good protein. She is experimenting different bugs to eat---the worm, the cockroach, the beetle---and she's making a big study, being paid money, how to feed people by eating insects.
Hari-śauri: They're already doing that. In France, you can buy cans of chocolate-coated ants.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Grasshoppers too.
Hari-śauri: Grasshoppers, frog's legs, bumblebees, fried bumblebees you can get. The French eat the most abominable foodstuff.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: The English think that way, anyway.
Hari-śauri: They all do.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: The English think the French eat abominable foods.
Dhṛṣṭadyumna: This is the modes of nature, Śrīla Prabhupāda, acting.
Prabhupāda: Kadarya bhakṣaṇa.
Hari-śauri: It's difficult to imagine what kind of fate we would have had if you hadn't come and started this movement.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Everything is so scientific. We've seen practically that as people take up this chanting, that gradually they lose their taste for every other kind of eating. It's a fact. [devotees offer obeisances and prepare to leave]
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: I should inform Kīrtanānanda Swami about some of these ideas?
Prabhupāda: Yes, if you can arrange with the butcher.
Hari-śauri: One thing, the other day they were saying that sometimes when they have this skim milk, and there's some excess after they've fed it to the cows, they throw it away, they use it for fertilizer. Should they do that? Is that all right to use that?
Prabhupāda: No. Oh, no. We can use it.
Hari-śauri: The skim milk, after they've...
Prabhupāda: What is that? Explain.
Hari-śauri: They have some skim milk. So when they've finished giving it to the devotees and they've finished giving it to the cows, then if there's any extra, they throw it away.
Prabhupāda: How give it to the cows?
Hari-śauri: They feed it to the cows.
Prabhupāda: They eat?
Hari-śauri: They drink it. They put it in their feed, whatever. But then if there's any extra, they throw it away, they put on the..., mix it with fertilizer or whatever for the land.
Prabhupāda: It should not be given to the cows. It should be kept, and when it is broken, you get the chānā.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Curd, is it?
Hari-śauri: It should be made into curd and yogurt, things like that.
Prabhupāda: Yes, not yogurt; chānā, what you call, curd?
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Like cheese, isn't it?
Prabhupāda: Cheese, yes? But it should not be thrown. From cheese you can make so many preparations.
Hari-śauri: I'll mention it to Kulādri then.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: You mentioned also about the whey that you get.
Prabhupāda: Everything should be utilized. Instead of drinking water, you can drink whey. It is very good for digesting. Whey, put little salt and black pepper, it is good digestant. You can avoid water, drink whey. You can use it for cāpāṭi.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Making dough?
Prabhupāda: Cāpāṭi, just like you dip the cāpāṭi in ḍāl, you can dip whey. You can save ḍāl preparing expenditure. Nothing of milk product can be wasted. You should learn it.
Hari-śauri: Yes. That's what I thought. That's why I was asking.
Prabhupāda: Up to the last drop, it can be utilized.
Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: Skim milk should not be given to the calves? The calves should get?
Prabhupāda: They don't require it. They don't require it. The cow is especially meant for the human being. They can utilize in so many ways, and they should give protection, such an important animal. This is human being. [end]