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

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Meat of the Matter

Considering that all through human evolution our ancestors had little choice but to bank on meat, the negative moniker “non-vegetarian” smacks of a little disesteem.

Sometime back, we had an invitation for dinner. It was very thoughtful of our hostess, a kind and doting lady, to inquire beforehand about our food preferences. As is usual with me, due to my distaste for the (negative) moniker “non-vegetarian,” I said we are anthropo­logists—meaning we eat what is eaten by the people/community we are with. I added: “We eat normal food, we are not vegetarians.”

I find it difficult and just cannot bring myself around to say I am non-vegetarian. As it is, my identity suffers from various ethnic drawbacks in terms of religion, language, region and food habits. I certainly can do without further dents of the negative kind to my identity. (Similar negativity occurs as regards the NGOs. Some of them, even the heavily-funded BINGOS, that is, Big NGOs, are doing good work. Can’t we have a decent positive label for them? Why define these organisations as non-governmental ones?)

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