Lower animals, created by the laws of nature to disturb the human being, are not subjected to punishment. Because the human being has developed consciousness, however, he cannot do anything against the principles of varnasrama-dharma without being condemned. Krishna states in Bhagavad-gita (4.13), catur-varnyam maya srstam guna-karma-vibhagasah: “According to the three modes of material nature and the work ascribed to them, the four divisions of human society were created by Me.” Thus all men should be divided into four classes–brahmanas, ksatriyas, vaisyas and sudras–and they should act according to their ordained regulations. They cannot deviate from their prescribed rules and regulations. One of these states that they should never trouble any animal, even those that disturb human beings. Although a tiger is not sinful if he attacks another animal and eats its flesh, if a man with developed consciousness does so, he must be punished. In other words, a human being who does not use his developed consciousness but instead acts like an animal surely undergoes punishment in many different hells.

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Fifth Canto, Chapter 26 – Text 17

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