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

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Beef and the Constitution

I would be perfectly willing to match wits and join issues with a vegetarian or a vegan who questions my desire to eat beef. I might even be convinced if he proved that a single malt tastes better with vegan ham (made out of coconut) or dhokla. But if a law is enacted that bans beef eating in my own home because the state believes it has the right to tell me what my diet should be, I would challenge it. Such a law was enacted by the Maharashtra government called the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 1995 and I did precisely that and invoked the extraordinary powers of the Bombay High Court to strike down this abominable affront to my right to choose my food.

The act contained some opprobrious provisions such as making consumption of the meat of cows, bulls and bullocks a non-bailable offence which permitted the police to enter my kitchen and arrest me on suspicion that the meat that was my dinner could be beef and then put me behind bars, thereby substituting my gourmet meal with jail food.

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