Question: If one brutally killed an animal, such as a cat, and later liberates many other kinds of animals otherwise destined for slaughter, would this person had ‘atoned’ for the misgiving, and accumulated much positive karma?
Answer: It would depends on the intensity of hatred when killing the one animal, versus the intensity of compassion when saving many. For example, if one had ‘genuine’ hatred when killing ‘just’ one animal, the negative karma created will be extremely much. And if the same person lacked genuine compassion when freeing many animals, the positive karma created will be extremely little.
Also, one should not in advance think of creating positive karma later, so as to dilute negative karma that one plans to create first. This is so with such moral hypocrisy, one’s doing of good is extremely unlikely to be genuine; merely to cover for one’s misdeed. Instead, if we resolve to observe the precepts mindfully in everyday life, and to immediately give rise to repentance upon breaking any, not only will there be less lifelong negative karma created, there will be more positive karma created.
Is Animal Liberation & Veganism Extreme?