Growing up in a middle class Hindu family, there was never a choice. For the first 18 years of my life three meals used to be strict vegetarian with occasional eggs.
The first day I landed in Engineering college I had Mutton Curry. I still remember that taste of succulent pieces of Mutton on a some rich onion-tomato gravy. I don’t know whether it was animal protein or mutton masala gravy but I was instantly hooked. Since then there has been no turning back.
When I look back, I reckon that in the last 20 years of so I must have eaten at least 200 chickens, 50-60 goats. That is a lot of stuff. I almost feel guilty as I write this.
Growing up in Hindu Brahmin family you often hear that one should not take someone’s life to eat. Its a sin to kill and eat. But countless vegetables and fruits and grains that I consumed and how their lives were prematurely cut short never crosses my mind.
I feel this is conditioning. We are made to believe that its okay to pluck mangoes from the trees, or take milk from cow. But somehow to kill chicken to eat is your ride to hell. And I believed it for a very large part of my life .
I recently came to know that one of the ancient Hindu Scriptures say- “Jivo jivasya jivanam” This is translated as one has to live by eating another living entity. Basically you can’t live if you were to eat for instance stones.
So in a way this whole distinction of vegetarian vs non-vegetarian is very artificial.The vegetarian is also eating another living entity. Why make all this fuss.
The key question that is yet to be resolved in mind is around which one is more healthy to consume. But even that question goes out of the window when I see a plate of “Mutton Stew”
I guess there is no choice to be made- I should just go with the flow.