"In your country the dog is protected, and the cow is killed. The dog is passing stool and urine in the street, he is considered the best friend of man, and the cow is all pure, stool, urine, and milk, but they are taken to the slaughter house and killed for food. What kind of civilization is this?" 
(Letter from Srila Prabhupada to Rupanuga)
 Yes, we are angered by this news item: "In an act that will shock ISKCON around the world and Hindu communities, the British RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) aided by a veterinarian and escorted by police officers this morning secretly killed a cow at Bhaktivedanta Manor. The story has reached national and international media and feelings are strong.

Harinam Sankirtan on Streets

 The cow, named Gangotri, a 13 year-old Belgian Blue and Jersey cross, and much loved by the devotees, was killed at 9.00 am. Police bundled away angry and confused devotees who were in attendance of the sick cow, and the head farmer was kept talking while inside the barn a lethal injection was given to the cow.
 Cows are sacred to Hindus, and the killing of a cow is considered to be an outrageous act. The killing of a cow at a temple amounts to religious sacrilege of the worst kind. 
The killing was conducted despite personal assurances given the previous day from RSPCA officers and police that due to religious sensitivities no immediate action would be taken. "
This is shocking and duplicitous behaviour" said Gauri Dasa, the head of the community. "We have been deceived by those who had given us their word." "
No, we are not angry because 'our' cow was killed, nor are we simply angry that a 'cow' was killed. This incident in particular smacks of a malignant arrogance prevalent in our society today. This so called 'Royal' society felt it necessary to 'reduce' the misery of this poor animal by killing it, deciding on its own that the cow was so sick that the devotees could not competently cure it.
Have they really succeeded in their mission?
 Or was it just a case of, "What do these Krsna cult members know about preventing cruelty?" 
We are forced to wonder sometimes as to how some sections of human society can claim that they know what exactly is suffering. If inflicting pain upon others is what suffering is all about then what about the millions of animals sent to the slaughterhouse everyday. Are they not suffering? Will someone stand up for their cause?
 An ancient king, Sibi tackled the dilemma of alleviating the suffering of one of his subjects in the most exemplary way. King Sibi volunteered to offer his own flesh for tlle sake of a dove. The story is as follows: Sibi was in the garden distributing charity to the poor. A little fluttering, frightened dove came and perched upon the wrist of Sibi looking at him with tearful eyes full of fear. Sibi immediately took her in his hands. Stroking her back kindly he said, "Fear not, o dove, I will save you from all harm." 
Just as he was saying this, a hawk came angry and haughty and tried to snatch the dove away from the king's hands. But the king raised his hand in a flash and obstructed the hawk. The hawk looked at the king angrily and said, "This dove is my bird of prey. I had been pursuing it from the morning. Why do you obstruct me in having my food, 0 king?" 
Surprised at hearing the hawk, Sibi replied, "This poor frightened dove has sought my shelter. It is my duty to protect her from all harm. I won't allow you to snatch her away from me and make her your prey."
 The hawk then said, "0 King, you are renowned as a kind one. Perhaps it is your duty to protect those in distress. But is your kindness limited only to the dove? What about me? Am I not equally entitled to claim your pity? I am a bird who can live only be eating the meat of small birds. By depriving me of my food are you not condemning me to die? Is this your dharma?"
 King Sibi was non-plussed. Evidently his duty was towards both the dove and the hawk. He was very thoughtful. At last he said, "Hawk, what you say is true.
I won't deprive you of your food. But at the same time I can't give up this poor frightened dove. Will you accept if I give you some other flesh as a substitute?" 
The hawk replied , "Very well king. I have no objection as long as my hunger is satisfied. But you must give me flesh exactly equal to that of the dove. I won't accept less." And he further mockingly added, "But where will you get substitute flesh from? Will you kill another life to save the life of this dove?" 
Sibi hastily replied, "No, no, I won't think of harming another life, be sure. I will give you my own flesh in place of the dove." He then turned to his attendants and ordered them to bring a balance. The attendants accordingly brought the balance and erected it before the king. Sibi placed the dove on one side of the balance. He took out his sword and cutting small portions of his flesh placed it on the other side. But strange ! The dove which looked so small and frail in the pan could not outbalance it! King Sibi went on cutting portion after portion from his body and placing it in the balance. Yet to no purpose … till at last no more flesh remained in his body to cut. 
Wondering at the heaviness of the dove, Sibi then threw away the sword and he mounted the balance. Now the balance was quite equal. Rejoicing that he was at last able to give the hawk its due, Sibi turned to the hawk and said, "0 hawk, my weight is equal to the weight of the dove. Please eat me and leave the dove."
 This is the compassion of a real leader. 
The Bhagavad gita describes the material world as a place of suffering. Birth, old age, disease, and death are all events filled with immense suffering. Still it is the duty of the leaders of society to take measures to reduce misery as much as possible by taking guidance. 
Often a kind of arrogance is exhibited by those claiming to be leaders of our society. This arrogance is exhibited on two front sone by so called religious groups and the other by those who do not believe in God. 
The so-called religious group conveniently believes that God has bestowed dominion to them over all other animals hence they can either kill them at will or preserve them as they deem fit.
 The other group, disposing any trace of God consciousness, claims that human good is the ultimate measure of things and events in history. That is all that matters and nothing else. "I love my dog therefore I want him to live and I love the cow too, except that I want to eat her flesh." 
Let us see as to how an ancient member of the royal society, welltrained in Vedic philosophy would have seen this cow. This person would certainly know that this animal could be on the verge of death, and needs love and care. But to intervene and cut its life span would hardly be a solution. 
Penal codes adopted by human society dictate that anyone trying to help a prisoner unlawfully break free from prison risks a prison sentence himself. Thus the original prisoner has to continue his sentence till the tenure is over and the person helping him is also condemned. Similarly those trying to prematurely end the suffering of others {albeit with a humane motive} also run the risk of being condemned by the laws of nature themselves.
 If the faulty and arroganct logic of the present 'royal' society would be stretched to its absurd limit then even we can ask as to why bother saving the lives of millions of famine victims in Africa by giving them food. Why not 'eliminate' the misery of some ailing political leaders this way?
 Perhaps the society can find a few eligible candidates in its own country … charity begins at home 
(Syamananda Dasa)