Is selling meat by a Krishna devotee allowed as a profession?
A devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“As per Hare Krishna society is selling of meat products and alcohol in fast food outlets allowed although I myself am a vegetarian, to earn ones livelihood and support my family? Please note this includes sell of Beef products as well I am truly worried and concerned for the future Karma reactions for myself and family, since getting involved in ISKCON. Please advice. Thank you I live in the UK.”
Though I do not like to disappoint you, I am in a position to give a logic answer with full background analysis of the matter.
The OFFENSE means not just involving in that, but, even supporting the offense also an offense.
For example, a direct killer of a person is an offender. At the same time, those who helped him to kill is also arrested and punished by the laws of all the countries. Isn’t it?
If a person had sold guns to the killer is also arrested. Those witnesses who know the incident but hide the killing is also an offender as per the laws.
This is the system in Krishna’s karma network also.
A killer is subject to the punishment in the records of karma network also.
You are in a profession in which you also sell meat products. Some may argue that one can do that as a profession though he does not eat meat. This is not correct as per the following arguments:
When you sell meat products, you are selling flesh. It is killed either by you or by someone else and supplied as a ready made pack. You may think that you are just selling the supplied packed meat that was not killed by you directly.
This is like disposing the body of a man killed by someone else. As per the law, even the disposer of the killed body is also an offender. Anyone who involves in the killing is an offender.
The meat is actually a killed and packed animal. So, it involves killing. By selling that meat, you encourage those who kill the animals. Because you sell more, he has to produce more meat by killing more animals.
Thus, you are also involved in encouraging the killing. So, you become a PARTNER in that killing process.
You may again argue that someone else will sell if you do not sell that meat.
The reply is that let someone else acquire karma and let it not you. Being a fortunate person who reviews the good and bad aspects of your trade, why should you acquire karma by encouraging killing of animals?
Because of your fortune, you have come across devotional way of life. That means, your reformation process has been started by Krishna. He is mercifully cleansing you. That is why, Krishna has made you to write to me to get a balanced advice. This itself is the subtle arrangement of Krishna.
Because Krishna does not directly reform a person. He is watching your thoughts and activities from within your heart. Until you are involved in materialistic way of life for your pleasure, He does not involve in your activities and thoughts. He allows you to involve in materialistic activities remaining just a witness for all your actions.
Once you fortunately acquire His devotion even one percent, Krishna starts to encourage you in your devotion and make arrangements to guide you in reforming your way of life. So, Krishna directs you to some devotees to get proper advice.
This is how you have written to me. I strongly believe this as a direction of Krishna.
So, this is the time to review your business to become sinless. Of course, the businessmen are allowed to make profits from his business as per the scriptures. It is his profession. Without profit, he can’t run a business. Even a service to Krishna can’t be done without money that I have experienced in my long years of online preaching.
So, profit making is allowed. But, it should be from a business that does not affect the consciousness and quality of the people.
Since horse race is prohibited, one can’t claim that he is involving in it just as a money making business. Similarly, though just a profession, meat selling contaminates the consciousness of the customers. By avoiding that trade, you are not helping others to eat meat.
When there are hundreds of tasty vegetarian eatables, why should we encourage meat eating? Have you ever tasted the delicious pure vegetarian food sold in ISKCON’s Higher Taste centers? They make nice foods even without onion and garlic. This is the permitted profession.
So, what I feel is, you may replace meat products with delicious vegetarian products. You can sell rare vegetables or make delicious food and sell. Otherwise, if you are particular about selling only the readily packed food items, there are hundreds of packed vegetarian foods that you can sell. Eg: Jams, Pickles, ready mixes, spice mixes, etc.
If 40% of the people eat meat, there is a market of 60% for the vegetarians. You can capture those customers and make profits.
By switching the products, you may face a loss for about a month or two, but, the new vegetarian customers will help you regain the lost sales or even make more sales.
Think of my advice seriously and take a right decision. This is just a modification of products, not abandoning the selling business itself.
Hope you have got my points.