ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Eating Meat

This is with reference to “‘Will Eat Anything That Moves’: Meat Cultures in Globalising India” (EPW, 26 September 2015). While I agree with the gist of the argument put forward by the authors that it makes sense for animal advocates to distance themselves from rhetoric that leans towards communalism and the exploitation of animals, I have some reservations regarding certain other aspects of the article. For one, it seems to me that the authors are speaking only of a middle and upper-middle class group based in Central and North India. Non-vegetarianism has been prevalent in most parts of India and among the economically poor, especially because it is cheaper to buy and preserve meat than fresh vegetables. Meat is consumed by the lower and middle classes for meeting protein requirements. In the Indian context, the vegetarian equivalent would be dal, which is actually almost equally priced with the cheapest meat in the market. For the lower and middle classes consuming meat is not about modernity, it is an age-old practice and it is about survival. Then there is the matter of cuisine. In certain kinds of cuisine, especially in southern states like Kerala, the customary practice while preparing daily meals is that vegetarian food is prepared with a number of curries, whereas if the meal is non-vegetarian then a smaller number of items has to be prepared. Therefore, for meat-eating families in the long run it is easier, less time-consuming and more economical to prepare meat/fish dishes.

Teena Antony

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