In the novel, there is a dialogue between Man and animals (during a Play).  It sums up Asoka’s views.

”   Deer asked, ‘And where do we go?’ (after death).
Man smiled. ‘To a deep dark valley, that you know is our belly. God made us so special! We can think, we are vocal. Look at the way we are born, the way we live, and die! Heaven is only for us. Not for the riffraff.’
In an aside, Donkey said, ‘Alas! I go nowhere.’
Deer and Pig pleaded, ‘O Man Almighty! Take pity! Please cut down your meat in half.’

Man was annoyed. ‘You might as well ask us to eat with the nose!’  ”

Asoka’s gave up meat eating and restricted animal killings. His point was if we can have compassion for human beings, we should have compassion for animals too. They are also part of the living creatures .”