An Indian perspective on vegetarianism

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One more post today…

I got an e-mail the other day from a new Veg Blog reader named Sanjeev Singhal and he passed along his thoughts about vegetarianism. What makes his perspective particularly interesting is that he was raised vegetarian, then ate meat for ten years, and has now given it up again. Below is his e-mail, edited slightly for readability.

I grew up without egg or meat. No animal, bird, fish or any thing that crawls, swim, walk or fly was ever going to be eaten in our house. That is still the rule. If anyone was to eat meat, [they] might as well leave our family. However, going to college changed that for me. As part of teenage revolt, I started eating meat. For about 10 years I ate it, ate everything that was served on my plate in restaurants. Then about 2 years ago I gave it up. Completely. I still occasionally eat eggs. I do drink milk. Where i grew up in india, drinking milk was not [an] issue of animal abuse. [The] guy who brought us milk kept his buffalo in his house. One might be stickler about such things, but a line has to be drawn somewhere. [The] problem here [is] that some animal groups talk about industrial abuse of animals in dairy industry … which wasn’t there in traditional culture where relationship with animals is much more symbiotic.

In terms of being able to turn into vegetarian in this country have only partly to do with giving up meat. It has more to do with COOKING or NOT COOKING habits then eating. Most people most of the time do not prepare food at home. What you get in restaurants in the name of vegetatrian is hard to swallow. That is [why] there [is] resistance in turning away from meats. For example there are more then 50 different ways of cooking potatoes, without much fat or without any meat or dairy at all. Tasting very different but people do not want to take time or FEEL they do not have time to prepare their food themselves … Vegetarian food is not only healthy, it tastes far better then any meat that I have ever had. And trust me I have had plenty.

One Response to “An Indian perspective on vegetarianism”

  1. Paul

    Excellent point. I enjoy cooking, but I have had issues finding the time to really cook something complete after a day of work. As a result, I’m not eating as much “good stuff” as I’d like to. And, for me, it’s easy to fall into the societal notion of not taking the time to cook food.

    50 kinds of potatoes sounds fantastic, though.

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