Disclaimer: This post does not intend to offend any specific community or group of people nor promotes non-vegetarianism.
I am a vegetarian but a dozen of animals at my home are hardcore non-veg—eight cats and four hounds. So, in a family of primarily vegetarians, where serving non-veg food items happens occasionally during gatherings, cooking meat, for animals, became a daily affair. I live with a guilt: on the one hand, I save every animal, rat, bird, and chameleon, that my cat catch hold of; on the other, I am paying for killing animals so that my animals can have their stomach full. But, as the consequential reasoning says—between choosing good for them and the society in general, an individual must place their own happiness first—I chose to keep my animals happy. However, I am really bothered by the way a particular community is often targeted for eating meat.
Before getting into facts, I would like to narrate my own experience. It was around three years back, when I went to purchase meat and my vendor, who is a Hindu guy, returned me saying, “Mam, navratro pet toh bahaut kam business hota hei, kewal 10%” (Mam, the rate of sale is too low during the Navaratri period, only 10%). The statement revealed that majority makes 90% of his customers. Shocked, I recalled how, on particular occasions, the society made me believe that India is predominantly a vegetarian country and eating meat is a heinous practice customary in minorities. As always, I ignored this revelation because religion and politics are two beliefs that I never want to discuss on my timeline. But, lately, something caught my attention.
The national data reveal that 80% of Indian population consume different types of meat which is contrary to the popular belief (Biswas, 2019). Once again I found myself in a jaw-dropping situation but this time I chose to highlight the facts. Indian minorities constitute 19.5% of total populace, and even if I consider all of them meat-eaters, the majority of meat-eaters come from the most-practiced belief in the country, amounting to 60.5% (Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India ). Let’s have a look at calculation:
Percentage of meat-eaters: 80%
Percentage of minorities: 19.5%
Percentage of meat-eaters from the majority = (Total percentage of meat-eaters – percentage of minorities)
= (80% – 19.5%)
In a country where 60.5% populace from the majority belief consume meat and meat-based products, it is really unrealistic to target one particular belief. Mind you, I have kept Sikh community among minorities while performing calculation, which implies that these 60.5% meat-eaters are from the Hindu community. Now, I leave you with a question—Is it okay to target a particular minority community for eating meat?
PS. I hope the message remains intact without being broken into anti-nationalist and anti-Hindu movement. Jai Hind.
Biswas, S. (2019). The myth of the Indian vegetarian nation. Retrieved 11 August 2019, from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-43581122
“How the Nation Eats.” Retrieved 11 August 2019, from https://www.pressreader.com/india/sunday-express-8291/…/282140700654116
Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Religion. censusindia.gov.in, accessed 11 Aug 2019.