The Indian fraternity often face problem in the social occasion such as marriage, rituals, festivals and even parties to invite friends outside their religion. Every Indian knows Beef is the most relinquished dish for the Muslims while cow is a very revered animal for the Hindus who worship it as an incarnation of God. Muslims make special arrangements for their Hindu friends on such occasions for the sensitivity of food habits on the basis of religions. Similarly Christians or a few other religious groups make sure they don’t serve prohibited meat such as pork while inviting Muslim friends. Although it’s never been a problem among the aristocratic class since they either serve complete vegetarian dishes or they cater different counters of specific food. But the problem is still common for the common people. Many prefer to avoid inviting friends outside their religion for economic reason. Where is the solution? Do you think it’s a frivolous problem? Do you think a secular republican country like India should remain within their group to protect their religion although they have adequate respect for their fellow citizens?
Proponents of this debate feel all should be vegetarians as vegetarianism is the need of the hour on the ground of conservation, humanity and love for animal. They argue the medial recommendations. Nutritionists suggest we need 80% alkaline food primarily based on fruits and vegetables and just 20% acidic food primarily comprise of non vegetarian items in our daily diet. Unfortunately our consumption cycle is contradictory to the healthy food habit. They also urge that non vegetarian food give rise to our sensuality, aggressive temperament which may lead to being violent and socially destructive. Opponents of this vision feel God has created everything for mankind. They argue we should eat non vegetarian food to retain ecological balance. Directly or indirectly every non vegetarians are omnivorous who consume both herbivorous as well as carnivorous sources. They say only vegetarian food may not help the mankind live a powerful healthy life. Vegetarians are physically weak and may not be good in adequate physical conditions for sports and other adventures. When they are physically weak they can’t have strong mind as the logic says healthy mind lives in healthy body. Thus there is no end of this dispute. From spiritual point of view is non vegetarianism a sin? If yes, what about the vegans?
Vegans are not only very strict vegetarians but also abstain all animal by products such as honey, dairy products and alike. Ethical vegans reject even on the premise on the ground that industrial practice is environmentally damaging and unsustainable. In India we don’t see many vegans although it is believed that more than half of the country is vegetarian. Among the vegans the Jain comprise the majority of populace.
Now question is where have this idea of food principle originated from? The answer is very simple. Experts say during the discourse of civilization the abundance of food determined the choice of food habit. Let’s take Indus valley civilization. The Hindukush and Ganges valley was very fertile land which supplied natural vegetation in abundance. Even the farmers grew agricultural grains and vegetables easily and conveniently. They didn’t have to look for substitution to kill animals either in the wilds, on the sky for flying birds or in the water for fish. They tamed wild cattle for ploughing and invented that this animal had been very useful in their living. They believed it represents God and deserve worship in the form of gratitude. But there is contradictory evidence too. A few Brahmans in the Bengal region as well as Kerala don’t fee consumption of fish is permissible. It’s understandable that it happens due to the abundance of aquatic animal in those regions and scarcity of vegetables in certain period of time such as flood or drought. Substantially it means necessity is the mother of invention. Likewise cattle and ship farming was very common practices in many of the Middle Eastern regions including the gulfs where Islam was originated. So they found beef as common delicacy. When Mughals invaded India and became the integral part of the soil they continued with their delicacy which was incidentally contradictory to the tradition of worshiping the same animal. Significantly our Muslims don’t eat any animal if it’s not slaughter with proper practice of Halal. Now let’s have a look at the pigs. The westerners domesticated this animal which was very convenient in their colder region. Its meat gives certain heat in the human body that helped them to resist the chilling winter. Gradually it became their identical delicacy. But the ancient people in the hot regions observed that pigs primarily live on human dung and their lifestyle were very filthy as they loved to live in the wet mud like the hippos. Probably for the same reason ancient Indians started to believe this was an untouchable animal. On the other hand when Buddhism spread its wing they promoted all kind of Ahimsa or non violence. So they never killed animal for the purpose of consumption but they didn’t entirely avoid animal consumption. It means many of them had animals on their plates. The eventual question is do our scriptures have any role to spread such belief? Does this food choice need a change in the national level?
I would appreciate your opinion if you gather information on the following topics and weigh their validity in public in case we can find a solution to this conflict.
First let’s see what does Islam say about Halal Food?
Let’s see what do the Hindus think about Tamsik Bhujan?
Let’s see what do the Buddhists think about pious food?
Let’s see what do the Christians think about animal consumption?
Let’s see what do the Jain think about food choice?
I would also like to invite you all to suggest a topic for a national debate on the issue mentioned above in order to find solution for out better integration to annihilate religious barrier in relevance of choice of food.
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.