Monday, August 2, 2010

on vegetarianism!

I generally keep silent on this topic as debates keep crackling into raging fires among the very small minority of vegetarians and the so called non vegetarians.

I give the second group this epithet because unlike caucasians, mongoloids and negroes, Indians who eat meat, consume it only as a side dish on sundays whereby it forms a very small part of their diet. So much so that after a lunch where they consume some small pieces of mutton and a few pieces of chicken along with huge quantities of spicy rice, they don't take dinner. They fuss about the heaviness of Sunday lunch and avoid snacking on Mondays too. A vegetarian and an outsider to these habits, like me, compares them to foreigners who eat a whole fish or slabs of meat on their plate along with a sprinkling of vegetables and comes to the conclusion that most Indians are vegetarians who also eat meat occassionally.

People make fun of what is strange to them. Indian meat eaters often mock at vegetarians because it is done for religious reasons and goes with the status that attaches itself to people from the upper castes. But a lot of people from non meat eating groups have started eating meat and a lot of nonvegetarians have stopped eating meat for health reasons. so it is time to stop looking at these groups and rigid and generalize.
Personally the decision not to eat meat or feed our children meat was discussed at home and my husband and I decided not to do so as it would hurt the religious sentiments of the older members of my family.Once the decision was taken it was convenient to stick to it. I don't have a revulsion for meat; neither do I feel attracted to it. I guess this is the case of most vegetarians; they have simply decided not to eat meat and in the same spirit they should also resolve not to worry about people who comment.
Ofcourse we should discriminate among the commentators.
For instance, some of the foreigners who talk to me about it are totally astounded and say they would die without meat. One of them asked me if I was not tempted to try meat and asked me why I should not try to eat it. These were genuine reactions and deserved genuine answers.Or they might be objective scholars like bala who wonder why not? why evernot? Or they may just have no one else to mock at, at that point in time. Or worse, they may have been wanting to mock at you for something or the other and this topic seems to rile you particularly! If we analyse people who comment about our choices, we too can react or ignore with due consideration to the other party.


BALA said...

You have given a fine piece of your mind on vegetarianism. Nobody's sentiments would get hurt when a debatable topic like vegetarianism is discussed. The discussion must only promote an understanding of the concept and not any rivalry. I hope my comments have only given my sentiments out.

Chester Kallas said...

Who said veggies are less.. I will stand with you... Veg food rocks.. We can eat more and stay healthy still... Vegetarians rocks!!!!!