(Click to enlarge photo of homeless people living in tunnels underneath Las Vegas)
"The distinction of human life and animal life is that a man is searching after God; an animal cannot search after God. That is the difference. Therefore a man without that urge for searching after God is no better than animal. That is accepted fact in every civilized society. Unfortunately, at the present moment, in every state, in every society, they are trying to forget God. Some of them are publicly speaking that there is no God, or if there is God, He is dead, and so on. So this is very precarious condition of the human society.
There is a very nice story. One rat, he was troubled with cat. So he came to a saintly person: 'My dear sir, I am very much troubled.' 'What is the difficulty?' The rat said, 'The cat always chases. So I'm not in peace of mind.' 'Then what do you want?' 'Please make me a cat.' 'All right, you become a cat.' After few days, the same cat again came to the saintly person, says, 'My dear sir, I am again in trouble.' 'What is that?' 'The dogs are chasing me.' 'Then what do you want?' 'Make me a dog.' 'All right, you become a dog.' Then after few days, again he comes. He says, 'I am again in trouble, sir.' 'What is that?' 'The foxes are chasing me.' 'Then what do you want?' 'To become a fox.' 'All right, you become a fox.' Then again he comes. He says, 'Oh, tigers are chasing me.' 'Then what do you want?' 'I want to become a tiger.' 'All right, you become a tiger.' And when he became a tiger, he began to stare his eyes on the saintly person: 'I shall eat you.' 'Oh, you shall eat me? I have made you tiger, and you want to eat me?' 'Yes, I am tiger. I shall eat you.' Oh, then he cursed him, 'Again you become a rat. Again you become a rat.' So he became a rat.
So our human civilization is going to be like that. The other day I was reading in your—what is called?— World Almanac. In the next hundred years people will live underground like rats. So our scientific advancement has created this atomic bomb to kill man, and it will be used. And we have to go underground to become again rat. From tiger, again rat. That is going to be. That is nature's law. Daivī hy eṣā guṇamayī mama māyā duratyayā (BG 7.14). If you defy the laws of your state then you are put into difficulty, similarly if you continue to defy the authority, the supremacy of the Supreme Lord, Personality of Godhead, then the same result: again you become rat. As soon as there is atomic bomb, everything, all civilization on the surface of the globe will be finished. So people may not like it. It may be very unpalatable, but the fact is like that.
Satyaṁ brūyāt priyaṁ brūyāt ma brūyāt satyam abrūyāt. It is social convention that if you want to speak truth, you speak truth very palatable, flattering. Don't speak unpalatable truth. But we are not meant for that purpose, social convention. We are preacher, we are servant of God. We must speak the real truth. You may like it or may not like it, that a godless civilization cannot be happy in any stage. That is a fact. Therefore we have started this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement to awaken this godless civilization, that you try to love God. This is the simple fact."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Seattle, October 20, 1968)