Buddhists practise life liberation to give the priceless gifts of fearlessness (from being killed), freedom (from captivity) and the Dharma (by connecting them to the Triple Gem through offering repentance, refuge and a better future birth, especially in Amitabha Buddha's Pureland).
The Avatamsaka Sutra says, "If the negative karma (of killing in this and previous lives) is to take form, even limitless space cannot contain it." Because we have accumulated immeasurable negative karma through killing directly and indirectly in the past, life liberation (for creatures great or small, of insects or animals of the land, sea or sky) is the most efficient way of repaying our karmic debts of killing, especially in this Dharma-diminishing age. Life liberation has immeasurable merits because it saves the lives of animals, generating immeasurable gratitude. This practice also fulfills the perfection of generosity in the aspects of sharing wealth (in buying the animals), time, energy, fearlessness and the Dharma.
The merits from life liberation are varied and boundless. Here are some, according to the Buddha and many Venerable masters -
1. One will be unharmed by war or die by violence.
2. One will attain longevity and healthiness with few illnesses.
(Many pains and illnesses come from the karma of killing.)
3. One will be unharmed by natural disasters and accidents.
4. One will have abundant offsprings for future generations.
5. One will easily attain what one wishes.
6. One will prosper in official positions without obstacles.
7. One will be a source of gratitude to other beings and a source of joy to the Buddhas.
8. One will dissolve vengeance, and vanquish evil influences and worries.
9. One will experience joy and peacefulness in all seasons.
10. One will be easier born in Pureland.
The workings of the law of karma are intricately exact but difficult to fathom. However, the fact that the animals we chose to liberate were chosen from among countless ones means that these particular animals actually have the merit to be liberated. However, when we choose to liberate them, we ourselves are actively creating positive karma by being part of the process of ripening their positive karma.
Animal liberation is Compassion in action, which also gives us golden opportunities to create positive karmic links with countless beings. Life liberation also prevents butchers from killing to some extent, relieving them of some negative karma, even if in a relatively small amount.
The laws of nature and karma are one. Animal liberation simply frees animals into their natural environment which is their real home. Every animal would rather have freedom than be imprisoned and slaughtered for food. Even if the animals were to die, wouldn’t it be better that they die free in nature, especially after having strong karmic imprints of having taken refuge