16 June, 2021

There’s No Meat To The Vegetarianism Myth

A majority of Indians are non-vegetarians. It’s always been so.

J.S. Adhikari
There’s No Meat To The Vegetarianism Myth

There was a time when a red rag would enrage bulls. How the times have changed! Now, the carcass of a bull—or merely the rumour thereof—is enough to infuriate a mob to murderous frenzy and let loose communal lynching. The recent eruption in Dadri, near the capital, has forced us to rethink much that we have grown up with. Is such blinding passion engendered by religious fervour alone or is it the result of opportunistic manipulation by ruthless politicians? What is it that makes vegetarians pick up meat cleavers to terminate, with extreme prejudice, fellow human beings whose dietary preferences are different? Is India really a nation of meat-haters?

Data collected by research organisations—both governmental and voluntary—has exploded the myth that most Indians are vegetarians. A lot of people who eschew meat seem to do so chiefly because they can’t afford it. Most youngsters in cities and villages have no inhibitions about consuming mutton, fish or fowl. What can’t be denied though is that age-old “upper caste” prejudices...

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