Thursday, February 14, 2013

BOOMING MIDDLE CLASS DEMANDS MEAT IN INDIA

INDIA'S GROWING APPETITE FOR MEAT
CHALLENGES TRADITIONAL VALUES
www.nydailynews.com - With German sausages, French duck breasts and homegrown chicken, Francis Menezes is cashing in on the growing appetite for meat among Indians - even in one of Mumbai's most strictly vegetarian areas. In the upmarket neighborhood of Malabar Hill, numerous shops, restaurants and even some apartment blocks remain meat-free. But Menezes, co-manager of the Cafe Ridge food store, says he does a brisk trade in "non-veg", especially with those who have studied abroad. "Things like Thanksgiving, which was never celebrated over here in Mumbai, is now being celebrated every year. 
The new generation are cool with eating anything," he said. India's booming middle-class is driving the demand for meat in a country with a traditionally low intake - a survey in 2006 showed that 40 percent of the population were vegetarian.

Fish and meat have long been part of other Indians' diets but for many they used to be a rarity, said Arvind Singhal, chairman of the consumer consultancy group Technopak Advisors. "With rising disposable incomes, meat consumption is increasing," he told AFP. "Before meat would have been seen as for a special occasion." Members of the Jain faith and some groups within India's majority Hindu religion hold vegetarianism as an ideal. Father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi espoused a meat-free diet as part of his non-violent philosophy. But fewer of the younger generation appear to feel the same. 
Despite coming from a "hardcore veg" Hindu community, bartender Ishita Manek is an enthusiastic member of the Mumbai Meat Marathon, a group that gets together every weekend to try out protein-heavy dishes. "It's just to do with the country progressing. The mindset is changing and no one really sticks to traditional values anymore," she said, although she admitted her mother dislikes her love of beef, a taboo under Hinduism.

There are no recent figures on overall meat consumption, but the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in 2007 put India's per capita intake at 5.0 to 5.5kg - the country's highest since records began, with further increases expected. With chicken a favorite meat, the rapid rise of the domestic poultry market is a good indication of changing diets. "Worldwide meat consumption is 46.6 kg/person, according to a chart at http://chartsbin.com/view/bhy. That same chart lists India as the lowest consumption in the world at 3.26 kg, Luxembourg the highest as 136.72 kg, the US and Australia tied for second at 123 kg/year," says Hindu Press InternationalWe should realize that meat cannot be acquired without violence to others, so this unwarranted violence toward others is not good for the spiritual elevation of anyone.

WHAT DO THE VEDIC TEACHINGS TELL US? 
Many times there seems to be some confusion or lack of clarity on whether the Vedic path condones or condemns the eating of meat. Often times I hear Indians and followers of the Vedic path explain that meat eating is all right, that the Vedic shastras do not condemn it. Of course, in this day and age meat eating includes and supports the whole meat industry, which is the systematic slaughter of thousands of animals on a daily basis. But if we actually research the Vedic texts we will find that there are numerous references in the various portions of the Vedic literature which explain in no uncertain terms the karmic dangers of meat-eating and unnecessary animal slaughter. These indicate that meat eating should be given up for one’s spiritual and even material progress. This means that the Vedic conclusions that some people present for meat-eating are not accurate, and that they have never studied their own religious books very thoroughly.


Dr Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
"Vegetarianism: Recommended in Vedic Scripture"
http://www.stephen-knapp.com/books_by_stephen_knapp.htm
http://www.stephen-knapp.com/vegetarianism_recommended_in_Vedic_scripture.htm

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"
http://www.vedicviews-worldnews.blogspot.com.ar/

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