Food Nazi seems to be at war against meat-eaters. For them, being non-vegetarian is a sin, and therefore everyone should accept sacred vegetarianism without realizing that this mere thought is broadening the already present deep rift in our society. It is incredibly disheartening to witness the cultural differences turning into significant conflicts basis gastronomic preferences. 

We call ourselves the world’s biggest democracy and yet lack a peaceful coexistence. So why can’t we focus on what is there on our plate instead of trying to get a sneak peek into others’ food habits? As far as memory goes, I have read that both vegetarians and non-vegetarians have coexisted in our country since the beginning of civilization. So how can my love for biryani ruin your affection for simple roti, dal and sabzi? 

The constantly increasing vegetarian fascism is a threat to our country’s unity. The one thing that was supposed to bind us beyond a variety of beliefs is now dividing us. What can be more shaking in this 21st century? 

Did you know that over 70 per cent of India’s population is non-vegetarian? Well, this is what various surveys have concluded over the years. Yet, the worldwide perception is that we are a predominantly vegetarian country, some credit to our Supreme leader who always makes sure his vegetarian food habit does not face any disturbance during his frequent foreign tours. But, unfortunately, for the last 10 years, a stigma around eating meat has been consciously created by some elements of our society. 

One of the common arguments given against the use of non-vegetarian food is animal cruelty. Killing a living being for consumption is considered a sin. Well, if that’s what all you have got, then we will happily and willingly do away with those delicious butter chickens, but what about the killing of animals to create leather jackets, expensive shoes, and wallets? In addition, what do you all have to say about domesticating animals and removing some of them from their natural habitats, keeping them prisoned, and taking away their instinct of survival by hunting? Did you take due permission from those poor animals before writing their fate?  

Another outrageous incident that makes me angry over the tyranny of food is from 2015 when the Bombay High Court asked the Maharashtra government’s lawyer about why there is no ban on selling fish, seafood, and eggs during the Jain festival, to which he replied, “Fish die the moment they are out of the water, so there is no slaughter involved.” How convenient. It is not new to witness how people bend their moral standards according to their convenience. Calling someone killer is justifiable, but finger-pointing at them for the same offence (direct or indirect slaughter) is not recommended. 

The reality is people with such moral fog exist. These vegetarian zealots are becoming aggressive day by day in India and trying to dissuade meat-eating. They want everyone to eat their way, no matter if it is affecting the health of humans. The quarrel over a plate of food has now turned into forcefully promoting vegetarianism by demanding separate dining halls for vegetarians in IITs to prohibiting the use of beef, and banning eating eggs in Anganwadi's.  

Significance of animal-based food items 

Non-vegetarian foods are a great source of protein, fat-soluble vitamins, zinc, and other essential nutrients. In addition, we have evolved to crave meat. Humans have survived for over 2.5 million years, primarily on animal fat and protein. This is what a range of studies shows. Plant-based foods have just filled the supply gap and have been a fallback option during a meat shortage. It has always been the food of choice. 

We understand the health benefits of following a vegetarian diet, but the richness of non-vegetarian foods can also not be ignored. In addition, have you thought about the food shortage that would occur if more than 70 per cent of the Indian non-veg eating population will overnight turns vegetarian? Can our agricultural output feed all these mouths? And, what about a sudden spike in prices of pulses and vegetables? Have you assessed this analogy? Human survival, limited natural resources, and food wastage are a few points that need our attention and not the debate over what's better: vegetarianism or non-vegetarianism. 

Stop criticizing others’ food choices. Instead, treat food with respect and try to look for ways to avoid food wastage as much as you can!