Srimad-Bhagavatam: Canto 4 - Chapter 1 - Verse 19


स त्वं जिघांससे कस्माद्दीनामकृतकिल्बिषाम् । अहनिष्यत्कथं योषां धर्मज्ञ इति यो मत: ॥ १९ ॥


sa tvaṁ jighāṁsase kasmāddīnām akṛta-kilbiṣāmahaniṣyat kathaṁ yoṣāṁdharma-jña iti yo mataḥ


The cow-shaped earth continued to appeal to the King: I am very poor and have not committed any sinful activities. I do not know why you want to kill me. Since you are supposed to be the knower of all religious principles, why are you so envious of me, and why are you so anxious to kill a woman?


The earth appealed to the King in two ways. A king who knows religious principles cannot kill anyone who has not committed sinful activities. Apart from this, a woman is not to be killed, even if she does commit some sinful activities. Since the earth was innocent and was also a woman, the King should not kill her.