I was born in vegetarian home and was told that we should not eat other animal’s flesh and when we kill others it is bad Karma. When I turned 18 and went to NIT Rourkela my first meal was mutton curry. Since then I never looked back. I ate lots of meat and chicken and fish and all of that. I did this for about 20 years and then one fine day after a stomach full of pot chicken in Shimla I decided to become vegetarian and never took to meat since then.
Interestingly even though I embraced meat in my diet I could never order beef. My Hindu upbringing would come and stop me.The only time I ate beef was when I mistakenly ordered a bacon burger and realised ( after eating) that there was a beef patty in it. Since it was in France I consoled myself and finished the burger thinking French cows are not holy anyways.
And then one day when I left meat it was not for religion.
The only reason I left meat to start with was a chance conversation with my friend Deepa who somehow managed to convince me that in the old days when food was not amply available it was probably okay to kill and eat. We had no choice. But since now we can buy pretty much anything there is no “survival” reason to eat meat. So every time you eat meat you are making a choice to be part of a food chain which is based on taking a animal’s life. This reasoning stuck to me like magic glue and I made the jump.
A lot of friends and family laugh at my decision of turning vegetarian. For them it’s like-Sau chuhee khaa ke billi Haj ko chaali But for me once the realisation of my action had set in it was very difficult to go on the same path.
I feel there are several good reasons to be a vegetarian. You can live to be more healthy and save the environment ( cattle grazing is a huge global warming reason). On the other hand if you don’t give a flying F****K to your health and environment you can go ahead and order your mutton stew. And if I may recommend the best mutton stew you can get in is at Al_-awahar, Near Jama Masjid, Old Delhi
Whatever you choose the state or others should have no business in poking their nose into your plate. And whenever the desire to preach others to become Vegetarian comes in please find solace in these immortal words of Kabir.
कबीरा तेरी झोपडी, गल कटीयन के पास | जैसी करनी वैसे भरनी, तू क्यों भया उदास ||