Letters | Brouhaha over India’s vegetarian diet and meat ban smacks of hypocrisy
- Readers discuss vegetarianism in India and criticism of BJP and its allies, and the characterisation of China as the aggressor in the Asia-Pacific region
To put things in perspective, much of the beef consumed by Indians comes from buffaloes rather than cows. Only around 2 per cent of Hindus consume beef, though Kerala is a notable exception with cow meat being widely consumed there.
Different surveys put the number of vegetarians in India at between 20 per cent and 39 per cent of the population. Even at the lower end of the estimate, that is around 260 million people. Even when Indians do consume meat, more than 90 per cent do not do so on a daily basis.
India has one of the world’s lowest levels meat consumption at 4.5kg per person, according to 2017 data, compared to 61.7kg per person in China and 121kg in the United States. Meat eating has never been an essential part of the average Indian diet.
Hindu scriptures might not prohibit the consumption of meat to all, other than the flesh of cows, but they do encourage a vegetarian diet as being more conducive to fulfilling a morally upright and spiritually enriching lifestyle.
It is astonishing that some people in the West will support a vegetarian or vegan diet and praise it for its environmental, moral and even health benefits. The concerns of most meat-eaters do not receive any attention. But when it comes to India, these same people mock the world’s largest vegetarian population. It is nothing but first-class hypocrisy.
Nirmal Laungani, Sai Ying Pun
China is not source of ‘aggression’ in Asia
It is the United States that comes to this region to stage war games and other intimidating military actions as part of its pivot to Asia. China has not fired a shot at anyone.
The US, a wealthy country which can dominate the international media, can convince many people that China is the threat, even though the US is the one bombing and killing people around the world. Even old ladies in American cities aren’t safe from violence.
John Chiu, Chai Wan