How is animal or human sacrifice justified?


Śrīla Prabhupāda has mentioned this as vedic sacrifice

bali-dāna (kālī-pūjā or durgā-pūjā), in which a goat or other prescribed animal is slaughtered in a ritual performed for the demigoddess Kālī (Durgā) and its flesh consumed afterwards. This sacrifice, he says, is recommended in the tāmasika Purāṇas, Vedic literatures aimed at the gradual reformation and elevation of persons from the lowest levels of human consciousness.

He describes the process and purpose of the bali-dāna sacrifice:

Just like a person is attached to eat meat. Now if all of a sudden if he is instructed that meat eating is not good. Or a person is attached to drink liquor. If he at once said that liquor is not good, he cannot accept. Therefore in the Purāṇas we'll find,

"All right, if you want to eat meat, you just worship goddess Kālī and sacrifice a goat before the goddess. And you can eat meat. You cannot eat meat or flesh by purchasing from the slaughterhouse or butcher shop. You have to eat in this way."

That means restriction. Because if you want to perform the sacrifice before the goddess Kālī, there is a certain date, there is a certain paraphernalia, you have to arrange for that. And that pūjā, that worship is allowed on the dark moon night. So dark moon night means once in a month. And the mantras are chanted in this way: the goat is advised that

"You are sacrificing your life before the goddess Kālī. So you get immediately promotion to have a human form of life."

Actually it happens. Because to come to the standard of human form of life one living entity has to pass through so many evolutionary process. But the goat who agrees or who is by force sacrificed before the goddess Kālī, he gets immediate promotion to the human form of life. And the mantra says, that

"You have got the right to kill this man who is sacrificing." Māṁsa.

Māṁsa means that you will also eat his flesh, next birth.

"Why eat this flesh? Then I'll have to repay with my flesh. Why shall I do this job?"

You see. The whole idea is to restrain him.

As Śrīla Prabhupāda points out, the mantra recited in the ceremony makes it evident that though this sacrificial process is sanctioned by the Vedas, it does not excuse the person for whom it is performed from the laws of God and nature. "Even by following this method," he notes, "one is still an offender." However, Śrīla Prabhupāda shows that the action of one who follows this recommendation is restricted, better informed and less offensive than it would be otherwise. Moreover, the sacrificial process protects society at large from the adverse effects of animal slaughter. He writes:

No one can create a living being despite all advancement of material science, and therefore no one has the right to kill a living being by one's independent whims. For the animal-eaters, the scriptures have sanctioned restricted animal sacrifices only, and such sanctions are there just to restrict the opening of slaughterhouses and not to encourage animal-killing. The procedure under which animal sacrifice is allowed in the scriptures is good both for the animal sacrificed and the animal-eaters. It is good for the animal in the sense that the sacrificed animal is at once promoted to the human form of life after being sacrificed at the altar, and the animal-eater is saved from grosser types of sins (eating meats supplied by organized slaughterhouses which are ghastly places for breeding all kinds of material afflictions to society, country and the people in general). The material world is itself a place always full of anxieties, and by encouraging animal slaughter the whole atmosphere becomes polluted more and more by war, pestilence, famine and many other unwanted calamities.

Śrīla Prabhupāda emphasizes that the goal of the sacrifice is to discourage animal slaughter.

So after hearing all these mantras, if one takes the risk of eating meat, let him do that. But who is that sane man who will take this risk? This is the meaning of sacrifice. Not that it is a slaughterhouse substitute

Śrīla Prabhupāda holds that rituals such as the Kālī-pūjā are good for containing the lower propensities of humanity and encouraging the ignorant toward more elevated levels of awareness. He tells of how the Vedas and other scriptures include such recommendations for this very purpose. However, he maintains that ultimately, animal sacrifice is not auspicious and that it should not be taken to represent the ideals or the goal of religion.

Śrīla Prabhupāda thus shows that

there is no reason to perform large-scale animal sacrifices in this day and age. Regarding the bali-dāna ritual for meat-eaters, he concludes that this type of sacrifice has its necessity and is certainly better than allowing unrestricted slaughter, but that ultimately, it is not the best practice.

Although one is sometimes permitted to sacrifice an animal before the goddess Kālī and eat it instead of purchasing meat from a slaughterhouse, permission to eat meat after a sacrifice in the presence of the goddess Kālī is not the order of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is simply a concession for the miserable person who will not give up eating meat.

Reference : Vanipedia

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