Meher Baba

What is the use of slaughtering defenseless animals?

21 June 1926, Meherabad, LM3 p815

A man was murdered and two others wounded on a road near Meherabad. The wounded men were brought to Meherabad hospital. Baba said to his men Mandali:

"... Do you feel anything while killing an ant, gnat or mosquito? Not a bit. Do you feel badly when a hen's neck is being cruelly wrung by a butcher? No. Then why feel and shiver at this human murder, the wounds, the blood, the pain? The ant, fly, hen and goat all have lives as humans have. Why feel for one and not the other?"

20 July 1926, Meherabad, LM3 p828

After a person dies, many people perform rites and ceremonies for a long time. But all these are useless. No ritual is necessary after ten days.

However, the best rites would be to feed either dogs or crows near the body, because they have Subtle sight and can see the spirit of the dead person. Crows and dogs are not Subtle-conscious, but they have Subtle faculties of perception, and draw towards themselves the sanskaras of dead people."

22 September 1926, Meherabad, LM3 p848

It is said that the chief complaint of the Hindus is the Moslems' killing of cows. It is wrong for the Hindus to do so. If they protest on economic and humanitarian grounds against cow-killing, then why do they restrict themselves only to cows. Why don't they feel equal mercy for other animals that are being slaughtered?

But the real question is not one of mercy, for an animal gets evolutionary advancement when it is killed. It is that the progress of one who kills gets retarded, and he has to suffer much. It is the man who kills the animal who is to be pitied, not the animal that is killed.

July 1927, Meherabad, SW p400

It is not so much the innocent animals that are killed, but those wretched persons who kill them that deserve to be pitied. For the persons who kill innocent animals like lambs and cows have to suffer terribly, not only in their present, but also in their several future lives.

29 March 1929, Meherabad
Ms 1:5 p26 (May 1929)

Unless a snake is killed by a human being, it remains always a snake. Never leave a snake wounded, as it takes so long to die. Once wounded, a snake will always remain near you to be killed outright.

28 March 1938, Panchgani,
India, LM7 p2269

In evolution, the snake form is like an entangled rope which you cannot undo or unwind. However, if it is killed by a human being the knot untangles itself, and the soul is free to continue on its way through evolution.

undated, to Padri, LM7 p2269

If you are a perfect follower of nonviolence - you give an oath that you would not hurt anything - and if you saw one dog killing three cats, what would you do? Kill the dog? If you stood aside, you would kill the three cats.

What, Elizabeth, what would you do? If you keep silent, you are helping to kill the three cats. If you kill the dog, you are violent.

There is a tiger amongst a herd of cattle, and you have a gun in your house that you do not touch because of your oath of nonviolence. You know you can kill the tiger and save the herd. What would you do?

Kill the tiger, detached. This is what Krishna teaches: do not follow violence or nonviolence, just be detached. You must kill for the good of the herd.

June? 1939, Meherabad,
LA p277 (also LM7 p2434)

During the process of evolution of forms and consciousness, there are seven turns until the human form develops. Now, every turn has a direct connection with God...

In the animal kingdom, a dog is on the turning, as it has intuition and also partial insight, without being able to use it consciously.

Saints of the fifth and sixth plane have insight, and they use it. But the dog cannot use it. The dog only sees things that ordinary human beings cannot. The dog's company purifies thoughts and atmosphere. That is why Zoroastrians have the custom of bringing a dog to see the corpse when someone is dead before disposal of the body. The dog purifies the sanskaras.

Dogs play an important part when used consciously by a Master...

When Masters touch the dead bodies of animals, the animals get human forms in their next lives. Those animals who are in contact with Masters get forms of spiritual souls in the next birth...

29 September 1940, Meherabad
LM7 p2618-2619

Don't kill lizards. Any animal that directly injures should be killed, but not lizards. Catch them and throw them outside. They eat flies and are useful.

If you kill them, you will be a lizard in your next birth.

17 November 1940, Kandy, Ceylon
to Dowla and Katie, LM7 p2641

Suppose a mad dog has run amuck, and is likely to bite school children, and the teachers in the school destroy the mad dog in order to protect the children. This destruction of the mad dog does imply violence, but there is no hatred in it...

It is justified because there is no hatred in it, and because it is intended to promote the greater good of the children, who would be attacked by the mad dog.

March 1942, Me p41, 48. Also LM8 p2779, 2782

Killing an animal for sport, pleasure or food means catching all its bad impressions, since the motive is selfish. But no such bad impressions are caught from snakes or germs and the like, which are a danger to humanity, when they are killed out of philanthropic motives and only when absolutely necessary. Such killing, when it is not a duty, will certainly create binding impressions...

Impressions are contagious. Eating meat is prohibited in many spiritual disciplines because therein the person catches the impressions of the animal, thus rendering himself more susceptible to lust and anger.

from notes dictated by Meher Baba
before 1948, ST p26


In worm-consciousness the soul gathers experiences of voluntary movement. It experiences itself as animate.

In its travail to gain more and further consciousness, the worm-conscious soul experiences itself in the Gross world, first as an invertebrate, and later as a vertebrate, and goes on creeping in diverse species of worms.

Voluntary movements are made by crawling by means of pairs of legs, sometimes by multiple pairs of legs, and sometimes by pairs of legs and pairs of wings.

Worms may have surfaces that are hairy, smooth, silky, rough or scaly.

The worm goes through a struggle for existence and survival, and is endowed with sensation and life. Sometimes it is an amphibian, i.e., it has not only voluntary movement on earth, but has also mobility in water.

For the purpose of this explanation, the worm-form includes all worms, insects, reptiles and amphibia, of their species. Even when they have legs and wings, they have a tendency to crawl, and they are distinct from birds and from quadruped animals. The worm-form is recumbent, has no upright or erect stand, and is prone to lie prostrate.


The fish-conscious soul identifies itself with varied species of fish, and experiences the Gross world as a living creature in water -- a vertebrate endowed with life and sensation and voluntary motion -- and has fins. It goes through a struggle for sustenance and survival.

The fish-conscious soul does not assert its existence in the Gross world through an erect stand, but experiences itself as recumbent, never holding its head high or erect.


The bird-form enriches (enlightens) consciousness with new experiences since, as a feathered vertebrate, it is capable of flying in the air, and, with the help of its two legs, of maintaining an erect stand in the Gross world.


The animal-form brings to consciousness further expansion, since it can yield new experiences through the greater varieties existing in the kingdom of animals.

Endowed with life, sensation, and power of voluntary locomotion, quadruped animals have to face a struggle for existence and survival. They are sometimes herbivorous and sometimes carnivorous.

Animal consciousness does not assert its existence in the Gross world through erect or upright posture, but has a tendency to look downwards with drooping head. Apes, however, are the most evolved type of animals, and they tend to stand erect like human beings.

Meher Baba, before 1955, GS p31-32

To love God in the most practical way is to love our fellow beings. If we feel for others in the same way as we feel for our own dear ones, we love God...

If we understand and feel that the greatest act of devotion and worship to God is not to hurt or harm any of his beings, we are loving God.

before 1955? PL p86. Also LH p189

The onward march of evolving consciousness from one species to another proceeds step by step, and very rarely by leaps. But the diverse steps in onward evolution must not be rigidly construed.

If a particular species is extinct, its spiritual purpose can be served by some other kindred species, or by added births in some complementary species, or by deficient and partial expressions through a slightly higher species.

In short, evolution takes advantage of innumerable alternatives available to it. It can never be frustrated by minor gaps constituted by extinct species or missing links.

Even if the kangaroos, whooping cranes, or any other species of plants or animals become extinct, it will neither arrest nor hamper the advancing life-stream. Nor will it frustrate the real purpose of evolution, which is to arrive at full consciousness. Even if there were a hundred missing links, the advancing life-stream can either forge new suitable species, or make new use of existing species...

In its creative self-fulfillment, the advancing life-stream can and does forge new species, such as natural or artificial hybrids in vegetable or animal kingdoms. Even man-made hybrids in plants or animals can become a medium for gathering fresh experiences in the ascending scale of evolution.

But it is not compulsory for every soul to go through these hybrid forms. It is open to the soul to gather these experiences through the parent species from which the hybrids have sprung into existence. However, evolution is sometimes expedited through hybrid forms, and this would be applicable to the products of interracial marriages.

The advancing life-stream creates numerous forms. But no form should be regarded as a cage, restricting and canalising the gathering of experiences in a manner that would exclude intercommunion with other forms of the same species, or even with forms of other species.

Human beings communicate with each other, and evolve together by an interchange of experiences. In the same way, intercommunication of some type is an important factor even in the world of plants and animals. Exchange of experiences and evolving together are not necessarily conditioned by the use of spoken or written language, which facilitates profiting by each others' experiences.

Men can understand each other through spoken or written language, and get an opportunity of sharing life with others. But animals also share life together, despite the absence of such language. Even animals and plants have a language of their own, a mode of partial or rudimentary intercommunion. They share life with other forms and advance together.

In fact, all forms and species live in a common world. They not only share life with forms of their own species, but also with forms of other species. Thus birds, beasts, plants and human beings, and all that lives and breathes, make their contributions to the unfolding life of each. The unfoldment of the divine in life is a common enterprise, and not an exclusive achievement...

In the sub-human creation, reincarnation of evolved consciousness takes place through the Subtle matrix, from which at a later stage a fully formed Subtle body develops. Plants and animals do not have a fully developed Subtle body, but the rudimentary Subtle matrix gradually takes shape according to the stage of development achieved. This Subtle matrix is the vehicle for the transmigration of sub-human consciousness from one species into others. It is also the medium in which the sub-human creatures live in the Astral before taking a new Gross form...

Once a soul acquires the human form, the general rule is an onward march through human incarnations only. Retrograde incarnation is extremely rare in the advancing self-fulfillment of the life-stream. It sometimes results from flagrant misuse of occult powers. Retrograde incarnation is not a general rule but an extremely rare exception. Continuation of the human form without reversion to any sub-human form is the normal occurrence.

1956? Be p23-24

The scope of miracles is very wide. Even the animal world is not exempt from the possibility of miracles.

Though mammals such as porpoises and other animals do not have a fully developed Subtle body, there is in the Subtle world an equivalent or counterpart of their Gross forms. The rudimentary Subtle matrix, which has yet to develop into a definite and functionally self-sufficient Subtle form, can still serve some purposes and become a medium for performance of miracles.

Stories of sorcerers who caused schools of porpoises to come from the open sea to shore for a native feast are within the bounds of probability. But all this realm of the supernatural, occult, miraculous and magic (black or white) must be regarded as having no spiritual value in itself.

1956? Be p 36

Suppose a person kills sick animals out of what he regards as compassion for them, i.e., with the intention of giving them relief from suffering. His innermost being does not sanction this apparent act of compassion, since he would not like that sort of compassion to be expressed towards him if he were ill. This implicit acknowledgment of cruelty involved in killing sick animals is sufficient to necessitate his having to become in some life a shepherd or a cowherd or a herder in the animal kingdom.

Very similar is the case of one who keeps hens awake all night in order that they should lay more eggs, not realising the callousness involved in it.

In the world of plants, also, one may inadvertently or deliberately cause wanton destruction, only to attract to himself the role of a horticulturist or a gardener.

The harm which one may have inadvertently or deliberately done to any living beings has to be made good. In a future incarnation he has to nourish and protect those very souls in some other form, either as a kind head of a family or a wise ruler.

1956? Be p66-67

Animals Book Two

Index - Book One

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