Monday, March 26, 2012

Eliminate Vegetarianism

A most interesting concept was introduced to me some time during my first year of engineering. It, was, of course, not remotely related to engineering; closer, in fact to the nobler line of catering. It was the concept of classification and discrimination between humans on the basis of the food they ate. More Indianly, it was the distinction between those that subsisted wholly on a diet of herbs and grass and those that did not. Vegetarian vs Non-vegetarian.

As a schoolmate of mine  eloquently put not so long ago, up until then, most of us had eaten, in a word, 'food' . We were aware of a distinction between plants and animals, but it did not matter so much in matters of food; most of us ate what was daily put in front of us (I was among the fortunate few who had a mother regularly dishing out gourmet delights) and the thought stopped at whether or not we enjoyed what we ate. Some food was more interesting than others - mutton for instance, being far more appetising than brinjal. We also knew that most foodstuffs tasty were going to cause problems in later life and all foodstuffs tasteless were going to guarantee a fruitful and productive oldhood. We lived in a bubble; an innocent utopia in which food differed only in taste and effect and their zoological v botanical origins were merely superficial differences.

Imagine my shock then, when the second question of the first girl I spoke to in class was "Are you a non-veg?" . The shock didn't register immediately for I was somewhat aware of the sinister concept of the vegetarian; my father had caught hold of me that morning by both shoulders and said these bursting-with-gravity words "Son, you are entering a new life. You will experience much and learn much more. One word of advice from your father : Watch out for vegetarians. Hitherto existing merely in the form of isolated Vivek Thackers and Phoebe Buffets, you may now encounter them by the score. See that you hold your head up high be not afraid to eat your meat".

With these inferential words ringing back in my ears I mumbled some sort of reply to the girl and tried to exit. It was lunch time and I had my sandwich of bread and bird to munch . After putting as much distance as  possible between the girl and my b-and-b, munching soundly for a few minutes and musing on the grave face of my father, a resolution began to form in my mind. "Damn the woman" , said I, "I shall uphold my honour". And so, I marched right across the room into the very centre of a group of shifty looking boys whose cynosure had now become the girl with the unconventional greeting. My entry had  immediate effect. The girl gave a little scream and pointed at my half eaten sandwich. Two of the boys stood bolt upright and hitched their pants up to their solarplexa. One of them began to cough rabidly, the other one, by way of remedy, gripped his nose and began thumping him on the back.  Eventually there were retching noises, sprints down corridors and projectiles of puke in and around Indian toilets. Rather rummy, thought I.

However, that was my first day. I subsequently spent four years in that place and have now realised the true nature of this malady called Vegetarianism. It infects as much as forty per cent of the country; an additional twenty per cent profess to not be vegetarian but in reality consume, apart from herbs and grass, only the semi-vegetables, chicken and fish.  Indeed, consumption of anything more meaty than semi-vegetables will instantly get you classified as a bad boy. Many such meat-eating bad boys revel in the fact that they are pork/beef eaters; they parade around with smug expressions on their face and talk incessantly about the 'non-veg' they are going to consume. Similar to the breathless excitement accompanying a gang of silly fourteen-year-olds on their first surreptitious journey to the local bar. All rather, at odds with what was clearly a very irregular ideology that I'd been brought up with - that of food being food and nothing more.

I wonder why people make such a song and dance about sexism and racism when a far worse evil threatens to burn the very fabric of our nation. One can't point at someone and say "BOY!" without being accused of racism and told to shut up. That, even if you are pointing at a girl and saying it. Yet, these dreadful vegetarians are allowed to pull grotesque faces, run away, shake their heads, hold their nose and in some cases even prevent you from buying a flat near them, should you be a fearsome "Non-Veg" . I think it's time we stood up for our rights, fellow meat-lovers. I am not proposing anything Hitleresque (I'm a nice boy and also genocide is illegal) ,but we must do everything in our power to eliminate their ideological plague. Steps will be outlined in further posts.

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