Kindness to Animals

In those days it was common in India for people to kill animals as a sacrifice, or offering, to their gods. This was supposed to make the gods happy. Then the gods would give the people what they prayed for, such as wealthy, or rain for their crops. Wherever he went, Buddha told people that it was wrong to sacrifice animals like this. Some people who heard him became angry with Buddha and said, "our holy books say that it is correct to kill animals and offer them to our gods. How dare you teach differently ?" And Buddha replied, "It is not right to make another unhappy so that you can be happy. Everyone wants to remain alive just as you do. Therefore, If you sacrifice an animal, you are just being selfish. And I have taught again and again that a selfish person finds nothing but unhappiness in life.

"Also, any god who demands the blood of an animal before he will help you is not a kind god. He is not worthy of being worshiped by anyone. But if you act with love and kindness towards everyone-animals and people alike - then the gods themselves should worship you !"

Many of the people who heard these words of wisdom saw that they were true. Immediately they gave up their custom of sacrificing animals. In this way a great deal of unhappiness was brought to an end.