Devotee, Atlanta, March 2, 1975: In the Bible they say that the animals don’t have soul; therefore it’s not the same as killing.
Prabhupada: I do not know whether it is said…expert in calling Bible, but where it is said, he does not know. He is so expert in Bible? How do you know? Now, apart from Bible or any scripture, how do you find that the animal has no soul? How do you consider it?
What is the symptom of having soul? That is very easy, but you do not know. When the soul is gone from the body, it does not move. And when the soul is there, it moves. This is the understanding of soul. So do you think the animal does not move? The animal has no blood? The animal has no bone?
How do you say that animal has no soul? This is foolishness. The soul is there. Even one small ant, there is soul. Otherwise how it is moving? So long the soul is there, the dull material body is moving. And as soon as the soul is gone, you will cry, “My father has gone away.” Why your father gone? It is lying there. Why do you say, “My father has gone away”? This is ignorance.
We do not know what is soul. We see the body. So long I have seen the body of my father. Now the soul has gone. I am crying, “My father has gone away.” But did you see your father? “Yes, that body.” The body is there. Why you are crying? So it is very common sense affair to understand where there is soul. A big stone, a big mountain, it cannot move although it is so big.
And a small ant is moving. Why? There is soul. So how can you say the animals have no soul? This is ignorance. Tatha dehantara-praptih. The soul being within the body means it is changing the body from babyhood to childhood, childhood to boyhood, boyhood to youthhood, like that. And if the child is born dead—no more change of body. That is the proof that there is soul.
Soul means the living force which is moving the body. That is soul. How you can say the animal has no soul? Everyone has soul. Even the grass has soul, because it is growing, changing body…simple thing. Ceto-darpana-marjanam [Cc. Antya 20.12] Because all dirty things are within our heart. On account of dirty things we are thinking that “I have got soul, and the animal has no soul.”
This is due to dirtiness of the heart. So if you chant Hare Krishna, the heart will be cleansed. Just like a mirror with a dust, you cannot see, but if this dust is cleansed, then you can see your face very nicely. Similarly, because on account of material contamination our heart is unclean, we cannot see things as they are, but the chanting process will cleanse your heart, and then you will see everything in order. Then you will not say the animal has no soul. Full Lecture