I agree with the sentiments expressed in this article. We all need to learn to respect the belief and customs of other cultures. No body is exclusively ‘right’. Taking this hardline approach is what has led humans into wars and persecutions. It is time for respect.
I know I will invite a lot of public flak for slacking off the idea of those jute-wearing tree-hugging types, the kind who bleed internally every time a venison is served up in the world. Yes, that was a stark stereotype. I know that too. The reason I used it was to portray the extreme situation that we are currently tackling. Vegetarianism used to be a dietary choice—in my books it was the choice for people of poorly health—but a choice nevertheless. I didn’t ever judge anyone for it but deep in my heart I was always certain that a relationship with a purely vegan type would never work out for me. And these were drastic thoughts because I grew up in a household with a vegetarian Sikh father and a almost-vegetarian Bengali mother, the two communities who are otherwise notorious for their meaty appetites. In short, stereotypes all around.
And yet here I am today lamenting the, if you may pardon the term, slaughter of us non-vegetarians at the hands of these supposedly morally upright-er vegans who cast aspersions on our very raison d’être for preferring a diet with meat in it. When did this happen? How did it come to be that we were equivocally accepting of people who wanted to make a meal of only veggies but now find ourselves being judged and shovelled into a corner by same said bovine set? What can give anyone the right to become so viciously condescending about others’ food preferences?
When I did a food show in TV a few year ago the one input I received often was that I ate too much meat on the show. Seeing how the show was about local cuisines in parts of Europe, especially in places like Scandinavia where vegetables rarely get enough sunlight to survive let alone thrive, preserved meats was a way of life. Still is. How then was one supposed to roll the camera and avoid meat on the screen escaped me? Still does.