Monday, August 27, 2007

Herbivore or Carnivore?

If there's one debate that stirs up as much passion in the desi community, as maybe the composition of the Indian cricket team - its this. Veggie or Non Veggie?

And I cant understand the reason why. You eat what you like, I eat what I like. Why is it up for public debate??

What peeves me even more is the subtle conversion that people attempt to make. Like this comment I often hear, "you must give your child chicken - how else will he get protein?" Errr sir - you obviously havent heard of soya bean and its protein content. Dal perhaps?. Or this one "veggies have no taste". What? Its chicken that has no taste - thats why you need to smother it with masalas.

Or the other way round, " you people eat meat - see whats happening around the world. Mad cow disease, avian flu.... you meat eaters deserve this!" Really? And do vegetarians deserve genetically modified veggies and pesticides?" No really nobody deserves that. Or "you people eat like animals - you will become like animals". Erm...growl!!! :)

I say, laissez faire!! Lets treat each other like adults - let each one decide what they want to eat. What they want their kids to eat. And let the kids decide for themselves what they want to eat. Like this couple I know come from a very strict veggie family. They have now started eating chicken. However, when their parents come over you're not even supposed to say the C word in their presence.

Ok, parents I still get. You dont want to hurt their feelings. And parents can really guilt trip you all the way to the moon and back. You dont want that.
But your own wife? Hubby and his friend have spent many bachelor evenings together chomping down on KFC. Both bachelors, both had nothing to do in the evenings. Now this guy's wife comes over for dinner (100% veg - cooked by moi) and gives hubby and me the biggest bhashan ever about the merits of veg food. I put on my most innocent expression and say "wow you really are into veg food". She replies, "yes me and my husband truly believe in it. He knows I dont like it - and he wont eat it because it will hurt me". Noble intentions my love. Though hubby still swears that the husband joins him regularly for lunch over a mean piece of lamp chops.

All jokes aside, I have to say this. Being a veggie in the US of A (or any other country) is tough. The food options you have outside are really limited. Only recently has McDonaldds added salads to its menu - though most of them come with chicken additives. I keep hearing about the fries having animal fat content. Even fruit yogurt is not safe - it has gelatin (which is made from animal hooves - yuck!! I know). You really have to plan for food - or carry your own food around. Not all cities have reasonable Indian restaurants serving reasonable Indian food. So its tough. Hats off to you for being so strong!

Edited to add: This one I would regularly hear amongst the desi folks. Our Indian team looses because we cant keep up, strength-wise with these other meat eating teams. You see our bowlers are vegetarian - how will they get the strength?
And I would be itching to add - Srinath and Kumble were the last vestiges of vegetarianism in the Indian team. Dont blame food habits for their losses.



At 1:21 PM, Blogger Kodi's Mom said...

Hats off to you for being so strong!

err, are you saying this to me?? gee, thanks :)

seriously tho, it is getting a lot better. in metros, esp in west coast, ppl are opting more for veggie fare. but in interiors, you have to stick with leaves.

nice balanced post.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger the mad momma said...

you are tagged my love

At 4:41 PM, Blogger How do we know said...

so true! The Veg-non veg debate, that is.

At 4:59 AM, Anonymous Twisted DNA said...

It's interesting that you carefully didn't take any sides. Well done.

As you said, either side has no business questioning the other side. Everybody has their preferences.

I second what Kodi's mom says. In California, I NEVER had any problem finding veggie stuff in any restaurant (well, I've never been to a steakhouse which I was told carries no veggie stuff).

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Usha said...

They say stuff like that right in your face? What nerve? and how does it matter to anyone else what you eat as long as you don't force it down their gullet? weird people!

At 6:29 PM, Blogger Mystic Margarita said...

Very well written. Choice of food is an individual's prerogative and should be left to his/her taste. I am from Bengal, but I don't eat fish. You'd think I committed a crime or something - the way people come up and tell me that I'm missing some of the best cusisines in the world!

At 8:58 PM, Blogger Alan said...

If God didn't want us to eat animals, why did He make them out of meat?

At 3:58 AM, Blogger Just Like That said...

I know of some people who make eating nv seem like a depraved thing. I like my veggies, but I do like my non veggies too.

So only fishes and animals have life? Plants are also living things! Bilogy lessons, anyone?

So fishes smell. But then, so do cabbages! Live and let live, I say.

And yeah, I too love the way you've put the case for both without taking sides.

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Rohini said...

I completely agree with letting your kids decide for themselves. My husband has suddenly become vegetarian with strong views on animal cruelty - I am okay with it, but he's been clearly told that it's too early to influence Ayaan yet. Let him eat what he enjoys right now - time enough for him to ponder on the pros and cons

At 3:42 AM, Blogger WhatsInAName said...

You are right.
Why dont people "live and let live", I wonder!
If someone likes NV, good for them. If they dont, good for them again!
People wont stop preaching, will they?


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