Question: Killing Plants Different From Killing Animals?
While I am a strict vegetarian from birth, many times my colleagues, mainly in the western world, have taken a dig at me on this topic. They argue that killing plants is the same as animals. When I highlight to them that there is a gradation of life forms, they laugh it off saying that who decides which is a better life form to kill? I would like the correct answer from you so I can reply when people make fun of me being a vegetarian.
Answer: Killing is Killing, But...
They are right. Killing plants is the same as killing animals. Whether I kill a rich man or a poor man, in either case I am guilty of murder. Whether I kill a plant or an animal, because they are both living beings, in either case I am guilty of murder.
So what to do? How will we survive? Krishna orders us to take foods from the categories of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and grains and to offer to them to Him before eating. If we offer such foods to Krishna before eating, He relieves us of the sinful reaction of killing the plant and transforms the foodstuffs from matter into spirit for the sanctification of our consciousness. He assures of this in the Bhagavad-gita. But He makes no such concession for the eating of meat, fish, and eggs. Because they are not offerable to Krishna, if we eat them, we are only eating lumps of sin, and we will suffer karmic reactions.
Since the plant's body is offered to Krishna, the living soul in the plant body will receive special blessings. His progress in the cycle of birth and death to the human form of life will be accelerated.