Is it sinful to kill animals for research by the scientists and the employees?
A female devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“Hare Krishna Prabhu Ji . Please accept my humble obeisances All glories to Srila Prabhupad. In relation to your post for Will the employee who executes death sentence (hanging) for a convicted person, incur karma for killing him? Nicely explained duties of Kshtariya. I have query, what about people who do research/ animals involved which are killed while doing their research how this law of karma effects them.Their justification is research is for higher purpose to save human life.Also how does it effect the other people who support them with their research like admin staff working in those offices. waiting for your reply and please don’t reveal my name.
Thank you very much for enlightening so many people with wisdom of how to practically apply teachings of BG in our lives. Hare Krishna
Yes. Killing animals for research is also karmic activity. It is also a killing.
That is why many animal protection activists protest against that practice.
Usually rats are killed much in this matter. Rats are killed by snakes all the time and it is the food for snake.
But, since animals are not willingly doing the act of killing, they can’t add karma. The animals do not have sufficient intelligence to understand which is right or wrong. They function as per a specific programming. So, snakes do not add karma though they eat the rats.
Rats are the foods for snakes and cats. Man should not kill them to avoid karma.
Even if we kill a cockroach, we add karma. Then, what about rats and other animals that are killed for research?
One thing you should remember:
EXCEPT THE ACTIVITIES RELATED TO KRISHNA, ALL OTHER ACTIVITIES INVOLVE KARMA.
If you help a person, that too adds to your good karma. If you cheat a person, that adds to negative karma.
If you kill an animal for research, it adds to the karma of killing an animal unnecessarily when they did not disturb you.
Animals have the decency unlike men. They never disturb others or bite others unless they feel insecurity to them or unless they become mad.
But, man always disturbs others that gives him pleasure. So, animals are better than men in this decency.
We are killing many ants while walking. These killings are added in our karma.
No one can escape from this karma. However, if we sincerely involve in devotion and work for Krishna, and if we kill such insects while working for Lord, it will be forgiven from karma.
That is why, we are advised to work for Krishna, not for us. When we work for us, our every action leads to accumulation of karma. When we work for Krishna, we escape from karma and get the blessings of Krishna.
So, scientists will definitely add karma, no doubt, because they work as a material duty to invent / discover something.
So, theirs is material activity. Hence karma.
Of course even others who are working in that laboratory as assistants, accountants, etc, too add some karma, but, the severity of the karma will be less for those sub staff and they can get excuse from karma if they just chant hare Krishna every day. Because, they do not initiate such researches. The lead scientists who plan such researches will add more karma.
Not just scientists. Everyone who work for material success add karma.
So, if you are working as a staff in such lab, just chant Hare Krishna as much as possible every day. Since you are just a sub staff, you can get excuse.
If you initiate and lead a research that involves killing of animals, you will add severe karma. This may give animal birth again and be killed by others.
All the best.