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The Myth of the Indian Vegetarian Nation


on 2018/4/5 18:39:32 ( 1164 reads )

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INDIA, April 4, 2018 (BBC): A big myth is that India is a largely vegetarian country. But that's not the case at all. Past "non-serious" estimates have suggested that more than a third of Indians ate vegetarian food. If you go by three large-scale government surveys, 23%-37% of Indians are estimated to be vegetarian. By itself this is nothing remarkably revelatory. But new research by US-based anthropologist Balmurli Natrajan and India-based economist Suraj Jacob, points to a heap of evidence that even these are inflated estimations because of "cultural and political pressures." So people under-report eating meat - particularly beef - and over-report eating vegetarian food.

Taking all this into account, say the researchers, only about 20% of Indians are actually vegetarian - much lower than common claims and stereotypes suggest. The government data shows that vegetarian households have higher income and consumption - are more affluent than meat-eating households. The lower castes and tribes-people are mainly meat eaters. According to the National Family Health Survey, the cities with the largest incidence of vegetarianism are Indore at 49%, Meerut 36%, and Delhi 30%.

HPI Note: The least meat-consuming country in the world is Muslim-majority Bangladesh (4 kg/year), the second is India, at 4.4 kg per person per year. For comparison, Americans eat 120 kg of meat a year an Australians 115. The third least meat-consuming country is Muslim Burundi, and the 4th Buddhist majority Sri Lanka. See https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/co ... nsume-the-least-meat.html

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