Can I be a vegetarian in Pakistan?

Published: September 10, 2014
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There aren’t enough restaurants that offer a variety of vegetarian dishes, that too at affordable prices. PHOTO: STOCK

The idea of being a vegetarian is still a strange and unheard concept in Pakistan. Primarily because there aren’t enough vegatarians, and there are hardly any restaurants catering to vegetarian needs. When you come across a vegetarian here, you find them striving to sustain this ‘spiritual’ state.

Two years ago, I watched the biographical documentary of Mahatma Gandhi and got convinced that I should spurn eating anything which has life and would go through immense pain to become edible. I did quite a lot of research on this subject, listened to the arguments proposed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and was fascinated by the number of famous people who had adhered to the philosophy of veganism and vegetarianism.

At the time, this was enough for me to vow never to touch anything non-veg. But soon after, brawls erupted between me and my family over the issue because I wouldn’t eat home-made meals if they were not vegetarian. I would search the bazaars to see if they had something to offer to assuage my hunger, given that it did not compromise my principles. Unfortunately, it was all futile.

Whenever I came close to shunning this philosophy at the sight of something appetising, I would recall a saying by Gandhi:

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Before I could hope for a world free of oppression, I had to work on myself.

My mother, despite being a religious person, supported my decision and wished she could do the same. But she still saw this as a short-lived phase of spiritual ambitions. In my determination, I ended up starving myself of nourishment; having meals devoid of proteins and nutrients required by my body. Eventually, with deteriorating health causing unbearable weakness; I succumbed to the difficulties and stepped back into eating non-vegetarian food. I still regret that I couldn’t stick to being a vegetarian for long.

Nevertheless, the experience was enlightening and spiritual for me. I felt connected to the basics. Vegetarianism, to me, is reflective of simple living; a life devoid of gluttony and indulgence. I felt that I had detached myself from the cruelty carried out against animals for appetitive desires.

What saddened me most was the realisation that had I been living abroad, being a vegetarian wouldn’t have been so hard. People here usually laugh, tease or argue if you tell them you are a vegetarian. Also, there aren’t enough restaurants that offer a variety of vegetarian dishes, that too at affordable prices. These factors play a major role in making potential vegetarians rethink their decision and serve as a handicap to those still fighting to practice what they believe in.

Local organisations need to promote this cause like PETA does and pave the way for veganism and vegetarianism in Pakistan. If a large number of vegans emerge here, sooner or later we will see the emergence of vegetarian restaurants too. Recently, there has been a rise in healthy eating options, with restaurants that offer a variety of salads and vegetarian dished, but since there are only a few of these places, it becomes an expensive, once in a blue moon treat and not something that can become part of a daily routine. We, in Pakistan, need to realised that humans can easily survive on non-meat food too, and contrary to popular belief, it is actually healthier. Culturally, Pakistanis are meat lovers and all our festivities revolve around some sort of protein but what we fail to understand is that excessive meat intake is severely detrimental to our health. And we know how to go excessive.

Being a vegetarian is a personal choice and the motivation behind this decision varies from person to person. But as a country, one that was part of a primarily vegetarian country before partition, we need to embrace it and not raise our eyebrows at those who choose to call themselves ‘vegetarians’. I also hope that one day we can respect the creatures living on Earth and understand that we do not have any supreme authority to kill, use or exploit them for our own desires.

For those who will say we have religious duties to fulfill, I am in no way disagreeing. Yes, we can have meat so long as we stick to the religious prescribed manner, but I do not remember religion saying we ‘must’ eat a tonne of meat a day. Religion says it and so does common sense – practice moderation! Looking towards moderation in our daily intake of meats may be difficult, but it is not unfathomable. And if you can’t do it, don’t judge those who can.

Fawad Hasan

Fawad Hasan

Fawad Hasan is a struggling journalist and Marxist activist based in Karachi. He tweets at @FawadHazan (twitter.com/FawadHazan)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • WB

    “My mother, despite being a religious person, supported my decision and
    wished she could do the same. But she still saw this as a short-lived
    phase of spiritual ambitions. In my determination, I ended up starving
    myself of nourishment; having meals devoid of proteins and nutrients required by my body.
    Eventually, with deteriorating health causing unbearable weakness; I
    succumbed to the difficulties and stepped back into eating
    non-vegetarian food. I still regret that I couldn’t stick to being a
    vegetarian for long.”

    And sorry this part make no sense and also shows your clear ingorance of your own body.

    A human being needs a gram of protein to every kilo of his body weight as daily consumption.

    half litre milk: 16-18 grams.

    lentils: 30-40 grams (for every 100 grams).

    Wheat: 24 grams for a small meal of 4 small chapatis three times a day.

    You got 75 grams. If you are more than 70 kilos, then you better start eating much less, because you are likely to be overweight unless you’re 6’2″.

    I am discounting vegetables, legumes, etc that you can intake for your protein requirement.Recommend

  • Supriya Arcot

    Welcome to vegetarianism . U won’t regret this decision .Recommend

  • Bilal_K

    Dude .. seriously? Beef steak hmmm. BRB.Recommend

  • Ajay Gupta

    What a dumb article. Dal, soybean they all contain protein. Green leafy vegetables are rich in iron. You don’t have to compromise on any nutrition to turn vegetariAn. Bring religion into everything & u’ll never get going anywhere in life. Or is it a convenient excuse for not sticking to a vegetarian diet for too long?Recommend

  • Spock

    World Champion wrestler Susheel Kumar is a vegetarian, so is Shahid Kapoor and otheres. I dont find them weak by any stretch of imagination.Recommend

  • Vegetarian for 7 years now

    Dear Author,
    I went through a similar situation. My family eats beef etc.but watching documentaries on slaughter put me off meat/leather/silk etc.
    I did switch to vegetarianism like you-but I’ve been successful at it.
    Try incorporating hearty dishes like chole bhature,rajma chawal,palak paneer,baingan ka bharta,dal makhani,aloo mattar,aloo gobi,hummus,peanut butter etc into your diet-I don’t miss meat anymore. I turned away from red meat for ethical slaughter-related reasons but I had unexpected benefits too-I lost weight,cholesterol dropped,have thicker hair & run marathons every year now.Recommend

  • Binary Quantum

    Despite being a non-vegetarian, I support vegetarianism. And the reason is not because I consider killing animals is a cruelty, as they had to go through a lot of pain and all; because one might equally argue that even are living being too, and even though scientists haven’t discovered it yet but they might feel pain too.
    My reason for that is the philosophy behind Bhagavad Gita’s chapter 14, which explains that there are 3 types of nature (or behavior) and how even the food is categorized into those 3 categories. The kind of food you eat, induces the same kind of behavior in you. “You are what you eat.”
    So you should give that a read too.

    By the way, we are a group of people most of whom would do anything to indulge their desires. So it is a bit unrealistic to expect that their desires of tongue would overcome the threats posed by unhealthy food.Recommend

  • Zaka Khan Gandapur

    Everything you can eat except Haraam things!.. enjoy the life. don’t restrict your life to follow these mad people who have no vision of life. Ah !..Vegetarianism ! hunn!zRecommend

  • Rightway14

    “Yes, we can have meat so long as we stick to the religious prescribed manner”’
    Is there anything that religion does not prescribe?Recommend

  • Jor El

    “But as a country, one that was part of a primarily vegetarian country before partition …”
    Whoever has given u this notion ???
    Check this out: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/article3089973.ece
    Only 31% of Indians consider themselves vegetarians …Recommend

  • Sudhindra

    If u r lactose intolerant n cant consume dairy products, r u committing a sin ?Recommend

  • Jawad

    I am 95% vegetarian. I avoid meat becuase I do not trust the quality of meat. You can easily get worms and infections from meat. Many people have worms inside them and they never know.Recommend

  • Ansari

    Plants too have life…stop eating them too:/
    Honeybees collect the honey with a great hard work..and u destroy their home to get it…its oppression..stop eating the honey too…:/
    You hurt the chicken by consuming its eggs in your cakes, buscuits, salads…its oppresion on the chickens…stop eating these things too :/
    The milk of the cow is meant for its cubs, not for you…you oppress its cubs by consuming the milk..stop drinking it:/

    Stop this, stop that, stop blah blah..and be ethical: /

    Recommend

  • WB

    Yes you are. The simplest answer.Recommend

  • WB

    And what vision do you and your fellow countrymen have?Recommend

  • WB

    That’s not the complete picture. Because even those who consider themselves non vegetarians eat meat once a while. Most importantly, they give up meat during festivals and other such holy months.

    During the month of Shravana, most non vegetarians don’t eat meat.

    On Fridays and Tuesday many non veg Hindus don’t eat anything meaty.Recommend

  • WB

    You don’t have to eat or consume plants and honey and even stop milk, leather, silk and even lipstick (they used to have fish scales) and still be very healthy.

    But understand that most vegetables and cereals when taken out, do not harm the plant in anyway.

    Almost every cereal like rice, wheat, barkey, jowar, corn, oats are collected after the plants have died and dried.

    And most importantly, yes plants have life. But there’s no evidence that they feel pain. Animals do.Recommend

  • Hmm…

    Plants have neither a nervous system to feel pain,nor adrenaline to experience fear.
    Large mammals like cows,have evolved nervous & endocrine systems & experience pain,fear & terror.
    Consumption of red meat contributes to heart disease and processed meats are carcinogenic.
    And the consumption of mammals,leaves a much larger carbon foot print & is detrimental to the environment ( due to the allocation of pasture lands for animal grazing prior to slaughter)
    And also-Plant based diets are key to longevity in humans.Recommend

  • Hmm…

    Also injected hormones and antibiotics that cause antibiotic resistance in humans and is responsible for thousands of deaths in hospital ICU’s every year.Recommend

  • Sarfaraz Abbasi

    People across the country are dying of drought and starvation, and this guy thinks, that each one of 180 million Pakistanis eat tons of meat a day. What a childish!Recommend

  • Critical

    I think the author didnt research enough before switching to Vegetarianism… There are many body builders who are vegan…

    Though,I’m not a vegetarian,I’ve given up eating non-veg to bare minimum…
    Its not because I care for animals or a wannabe activist….

    But for a population of 6 billion,it makes sense to have more vegetarians for lesser food shortage..Also,the current practices in meat industry are so unethical and dangerous to human body…I dont want to develop complication ingesting those growth hormones fed to these chicken ..Recommend

  • Jas

    Except for wealthy, western nations where people eat meat everyday, very few non-veg, 3rd world countries do. China, Vietnam, Thailand, etc. who are more non-veg than westerners and muslims and who eat pretty much everything including snakes and insects, even they meat only once or twice a week. Reason is simple- meat is expensive especially in poor countries. Poor people have hard filling their stomachs with any food, forget about meat. Maybe Pakistan is different. Recommend

  • Fawad Hasan

    Dear Ajay, I respect your opinion that it is a dumb article. I know that Dal, Soybean contain proteins but the point is in Pakistan it is hard to become a committed Vegan. I have penned the reasons in this article.
    I’m a family guy. I mostly eat at home. In my country non-veg meals are not liked much and I would have to skip the meal, during those days, if my mom made non-veg food. Besides, as observed by me, there are no vegetarian restaurants to cater to the needs of Vegans, if there are any.Recommend

  • Jas

    Some people falsely believe that eating meat is macho. And vice versa eating veggies makes you weak. These days most fights, wars and killing happen with guns, drones, tanks, planes, etc. You really don’t need extraordinary strength to pull a trigger or push the button to kill someone. When you eat important thing is to be healthy. Other things are just stuff of propaganda and urban legends,Recommend

  • Fawad Hasan

    Thanks for this motivating comment, sir!
    I have been thinking to try going Vegan again now.Recommend

  • Fawad Hasan

    Yes, that’s what Vegans do.
    Be the change you want to see in the world.Recommend

  • Fawad Hasan

    Sadly!Recommend

  • Fawad Hasan

    Huzoor, have you ever gone to Wedding Ceremonies in Pakistan?Recommend

  • Normalman

    All hat no cattle. Cabbage up there. First comment says it all.Recommend

  • Gp65

    You are welcome to eat what you want. But the notion that you cannot get adequate proteins being a vegetarian is completely flawed. Rajma, Chhole, any besan products, dal, milk, dahi all are rich in proteins.

    I have friends who are vegan not just vegetarian who run marathons. Even in nature, the strong elephant is vegetarian.

    Moreover you should know that the only source of cholesterol in diet is through animal based products. Plant based foods do not have any cholesterol.
    Recommend

  • Whack

    Have you read the article submitted by American University of research.Pain will be there only for those animal and plants which has got a strong nervous system.Plants dont have a nervous system nor they have got a pain as this sense is rudimentary.Vegetarianism means any food without killing an animal.Also vegetarian people dont cut or chop trees and eat straight like elephant of buffalo.We eat the fruits and vegetables which doesnt uproot a tree or plant.Its your wish to be a veg or non veg.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Take a kid and kill a Goat in front of him and take him make him chop some carrots.
    Which is more scarier for him?
    Its not about killing a life, how brutal it is.Recommend

  • Sid

    @Fawad Hasan: dude if you join communities like Pump UP, which is a social network for people engaged in fitness, you will be surprised how many westerners are now turning to being vegan. And those are people with pretty good fitness.
    Meat eating had been part of human life since cave men. But Vegetarianism is evolution.Recommend

  • http://peddarowdy.wordpress.com/ Anoop

    Thats no something to be proud of buddy..Recommend

  • Amrita Yasin

    Yes you can. Buy your own groceries and cook.Recommend

  • IndianDude

    Baby Back Ribs, Pulled pork BBQ and ham, bacon and cheese sandwich (like MAJ used to eat)..yummy! hhmmmm..hmmmm..hmm..Me want some twice cooked pork and pork flied lice.Recommend

  • Ram

    why not you are free to eat what ever you want you don’t have to fit the mould all the time, you don’t need anyone approval you can still be Muslim by not eating beef. you should be firm and here is another quote from Gandhi first they will ignore you then they will laugh at you, then they fight at you and you will winRecommend

  • Dr. Shafique

    Vegetarianism, which has its roots in India, is spreading not only in the West but also in some Muslim countries. I live in the UAE and know a few Arab men and women, who could be defined as well-educated and well-earning middle class people, and who have renounced non-vegetarian food. One of the major reasons being given by many who give up meat consumption and turn to vegetarianism/veganism is the abhorrent fear and disgust about consuming hormones which are fed to the animals to fatten them artificially. In effect, humans are increasingly consuming hormones when they eat meat. This thinking is widely prevalent in the USA and Europe. People are increasingly consuming high-protein grains and legumes which are more nourishing than meat. As any medical doctor will tell you, meat is not necessarily nourishing. You may look full and fat, but that is certainly no sign of good health or agility.Recommend

  • What’s wrong with ethics ?

    What is wrong with being ethical ? I wouldn’t go as far as your sarcasm of avoiding honey,eggs & milk as being ethical. Causing fear & pain to a mammal with advanced cognition,by slaughter, can’t be compared to having milk in your cuppa.
    My aunt is an avid jewellery shopper,but she knows that the international demand for diamonds leads to children in Africa taking up arms,living in violence & losing their childhoods-so she absolutely refuses to purchase diamonds that aren’t ethically sourced. Would you ridicule her for being ethical or consider her responsible & sensitive,( even to someone on a different continent) ?? I think she’s highly evolved.Many of our seemingly meaningless choices, have magnified consequences elsewhere,impacting people unknown to us. If someone is troubled by slaughter or bothered about their carbon footprint,don’t ridicule them for their ethics.You can eat red meat-no one is judging you.It just has unfortunate consequences,healthwise(if not taken in moderation) & environmentally.Recommend

  • Jor El

    So it doesn’t matter if i drink milk n stink up the whole place, but not drinking milk is a sin ???Recommend

  • Jor El

    Thats irrelevant man … if u r a non-veggie, n fall sick n the doc advises u to stick to dal-rice till u recover, it doesn’t mean u have turned vegetarian for life … u have just given up meat for some cause, that doesn’t mean u r a veggie … ultimately, its a personal call whether to eat meat or not n its a personal choice to be identified as a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian …Recommend

  • Indian

    Got a laugh out of your comment yesterday,but it me thinking. I think ,the ‘sin’ may be in forbidding ‘unbanned’ things on religious/purity grounds..but lactose intolerence would be on medical/personal grounds..for eg.-a lactose intolerant won’t impose the restriction on his non-lactose intolerant neighbour
    Recommend

  • Prashant

    “The idea of being a vegetarian is still a strange and unheard concept in Pakistan. ”

    That’s because Pakistan is not a place in the south of India.Recommend

  • Anon

    A good article, in a different way. I am glad at least you realize and respect veg. Even though you could not stick to your new diet and stepped back, at least you tried. Please try again and you will surely win.Recommend

  • Prashant

    Vision? You seriously have one? Seems, you are watching too many videos of ISIS killing innocents.Recommend

  • Spock

    What a low post. You dont kill a plant to eat its fruits or vegetables. Vegetarianism means not eating animals, it doesnt say dont eat plants. By definition it means to eat only the vegetation. Thats the bare minimum a human can do to survive while eating meat is luxury.Recommend

  • Akbar

    Plus the environmental degradation caused by the “meat” (including fish and se food) industry is a serious problem as the human population continues to grow and growing middle classes switch from vegetarian to meat and other harmful diets.Recommend

  • Akbar

    Please go easy on the blogger. He might not have all the facts about benefits of eating healthy and/or vegetarianism, but his heat is in the right place. You should look into the deleterious effects on our bodies and on our planet by the entire meat producing and consuming value chain. The amount of meat we eat also results in heart disease and obesity!Recommend

  • ajay gupta

    @ fawad hasan: are all items are non-veg at all meals? why not eat the dal-vegiies & skip non-veg? contrary to what u think, i come from a hard core non veg community of India. ur choice of food should be no one else’s business including ur mom”s. u r a journalist so surely u know enough to convince others to let u b. If u can’t get ur family to respect ur wishes in this small matter, u have an uphill task ahead. I have a feeling u r not convinced urself & so chose the easy way out.Recommend

  • WB

    yes. why r u repeating the question?Recommend

  • WB
  • RW911

    I think meat eating does provide much higher proteins et al but the choice most of us vegetarians make is – Is it worth killing another life form? And we think the answer is no.

    Perhaps you could use milk and eggs to make up for the lost protein. I discovered it would have been doubly hard in many foreign countries to be a vegetarian had I not been eating Milk/ Eggs. If you really desire not to harm other living creatures, you might as well achieve your wish if you exercise, like you said, moderation – but in laying down rules to an achievable extent, like you said, especially in a nation like Pakistan.

    Albeit I must say it’s so much easier being a vegetarian where I come from (no prizes for guessing).

    PS: I’m assuming going Vegan means giving up milk and eggs too. Vegetarianism usually involves milk (and in many places, eggs as well)Recommend

  • Gp6(

    The article was not about becoming a vegan but about becoming a vegetarian. There is a difference.

    Secondly about eating at home – do they make roti, rice, salad, curd,curd rice, dal or subzee? Where there is a will there is a way.Recommend

  • Gp65

    Vegan means giving up milk products also. Recommend

  • Lol

    Hahaha …Recommend

  • Jor El

    Well if u can be illogical(in my view), why can’t i too be illogical(in ur view) …Recommend

  • Sudhindra

    Buddy, i am a vegetarian myself … n pride has nothing to do with it … what i am stating is a fact …Recommend

  • Sudhindra

    Well, if u can be illogical(in my view), why can’t I(in ur view) ???Recommend

  • Zaka Khan Gandapur

    Preshant Sahib! I didn’t mention here the religious degradation comments. I only posted my opinion not degrade anyone religion. Here you are going to provoke religious topic in order to do bad impression. We are Muslims and we eat both not only vegetables – you are going toward wrong direction or topic.
    ISIS are Muslims and no doubt they are terror for the error people but you must do consideration on your own extremist groups in your own country. Your extremist groups had massacred myriad Muslims and treating like beast consider them no human, though every country have their own merits and demerits but we should respect others. According to me, everything which is created by GOD is useful for the human being, except few! So don’t be personal, increase your patience and have courage to say right things in a right way which is acceptable for the international society.Recommend

  • Zaka Khan Gandapur

    well said Jas! :)Recommend

  • Parvez

    Where there’s a will, there’s a way……….finding the will, is the hard part.
    Liked the topic and the way you argued it.Recommend

  • Sudhindra

    Whoever has given u this notion that south-india is a predominantly a vegetarian region ???Recommend

  • Agrippa – The Skeptiker

    Eating habits, preferences and diats are so individual that they are best left to one’s own discretion. However, one does need to understand the basics to be able to make the right choices.
    Vegetarianism has different categories:
    – Vegans – eat no animal product (which also means no milk based products)
    – Ovo, lacto vegetarians – eat eggs and milk based products
    – Lacto vegetarians – eat milk based products.

    Human beings need animal fat to digest fat soluble Vitamins (Fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K), milk and milk based products contain this fat.

    Hence, a balanced vegetarian diat based on pulses, legumes, carbs (rice, wheat …), milk products and greens is enough to keep one healthy all the way through.Recommend

  • WB

    What is illogical about what I said.

    And I never said you are illogical. You are not illogical.

    You are just being irritant by asking the same question twice.Recommend

  • Veg for 7 years

    Glad to help. I did forget to mention that,I learned to cook for myself when I left university-being a student you may find that hard to make time for;but if you start cooking after you finish your studies,there are many benefits-for instance,I can still enjoy traditional dishes without the added ghee/oil that makes them unhealthy,like gajar ka halwa,besan ka ladoo,tadka dal,paranthas etc.
    Veganism sounds ambitious.I don’t know if I could do without egg white omlettes & berry milkshakes.
    Maybe you should start with vegetarianism & when you’re comfortable with it & in good shape-gradually adopt veganism.Good luck with your diet & studies.
    Recommend

  • Sane

    Simply waste of time reading this.Recommend

  • geekay

    Jawed, I think Pakistan does have an array of vegetarian cuisine to choose from. I don’t think people in India or Pak eat meat as a 3 course meal. And for our current day lifestyle we don’t need meat to supplement our daily protein needs. Proteins from legumes and dairy are sufficient. I can say this being a vegetarian from my birth.Recommend

  • Hmm…

    Buddhism,Jainism & Hinduism,did all originate on the subcontinent..so ,maybe thats why India has so many vegetarians.Recommend

  • Suraj

    Most vegetarians I know here in India are overweight :)Recommend

  • Grammarian

    Short answer: noRecommend

  • Darky

    i do not mind that you are turning vegetarian or wanted to for a short period of time but the argument put forward is ridiculous, how can you live in Pakistan and be deprived of vegetarian dishes? Spinach, saag, pulses, rice, ladyfinger, grains, bittergourds, gourds, pumpkins, radishes, carrots, turnips, zucchinis, potatoes, tomatoes, fruits, lotus stems, chilis, capsicums and like a HUGE number of others are available at EXTREMELY affordable prices with different nutrients each. you have got to be kidding me when you say the bazaars had nothing to assuage your hunger -,-Recommend

  • Sudhindra

    Well in my view, drinking milk even when ur digestive system disagrees with it is illogical … n repeating a question after getting an answer is illogical as well … u may disagree with me … so there u go …Recommend

  • wiserneighbour

    I am a vegetarian for the past 30 years.i have survived in the middle east and Europe without touching any non veg food including eggs.Selecting a lifestyle on principles and ethics need lot of dedication. Do lot of research to get a balanced diet and all these vegetarian ingredients are locally available.when we look at our denture it is not suitable for a non vegetarian.people used to kill and eat since they were not cultivating.After cultivation started , human beings slowly reduced the dependence on meat.But in certain geographic circles, meat eating help to survive (eg. eskimos) .In Indian sub continent it perfectly suits our health.In the middle east if any Muslim turns vegetarian(which is one in a million chance), the others ridicule him.I had friend who was subjected to all kinds of mental torture. Recommend

  • Prashant

    That was meant to be a light hearted comment, I am a south Indian myself who eats Non Veg and a booz every weekend is a must.Recommend

  • Prashant

    Zaka, If you did not use the word “vision” for people who do not follow your faith, please accept my apology.

    As far as extremism in my country is concerned, I will respond to it some other day. If this is not the place to discuss such stuff, then let it remain that way.Recommend

  • WB

    It is true that South India is more vegetarian than North India. Gujarat maybe an exception where there’s a high percentage of vegetarian baniyas (like gandhi) and jains.

    Otherwise, South India with the exception of Kerala is more vegetarian than the rest of the country.Recommend

  • Sudhindra

    Buck up man. I have a friend who eats veg food only when hes not able to find meeeeaaaaattttt … :)Recommend

  • Jor El

    Being a vegetarian or not is a matter of choice. Bringing in science to promote vegetarianism is one thing. But to use to debunk non-vegetarianism is a tad too much. Ur statement “our denture it is not suitable for a non vegetarian” is factually false. We have canines that are useful to tear n rip apart meat. Now i use them to tear n rip apart vegetables only. Others can use it for meat n the canines will still work.
    Secondly, our bodies produce enzymes to digest non-veg but not cellulose completely. Thats y we do not eat grass but can eat the animals that eat grass.
    Again, this is not a justification for u to start guzzling down meat. If u r a vegetarian, welcome to the club. :)Recommend

  • Jor El

    Again, u r wayyyyy off the mark. Here, read this: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/article3089973.ece

    The lowest proportion of vegetarian families are in coastal States such
    as
    Kerala (two per cent), – South
    Tamil Nadu (eight per cent), – South
    Andhra Pradesh (four per cent), – South
    Orissa (eight per cent) and – Part South/Part East
    Bengal (three per cent). – East

    Most land-locked States, especially in the west and north, are places
    with the highest proportion of vegetarian families: Rajasthan (63 per
    cent), – North
    Haryana (62 per cent), – North
    Punjab (48 per cent), – Needs no explaination
    Uttar Pradesh (33
    per cent), – Ditto
    Madhya Pradesh (35 per cent) and – Central
    Gujarat (45 per cent). – West

    I am sure u know mathematics and can figure out for urself which is greater and which is lesser.Recommend

  • Nb

    I have hindu friends -telugu,mangalorean,marathi…they all are traditionally non-vegetarians.They have grandma’s recipes on how to make chicken,deer,fish,rabbit etc. It’s incorrect that only mallus are predominently non-veg in the south.No point mentioning my punjabi & bengali hindu friends and their fish/meat dishes since they’re from the north/west. I feel the vegetarians of the country are brahmins & Jains (though,my tamilian brahmin friend eats beef-which I think is a personal choice & uncommon )Recommend

  • Nb

    Thats because they love desi ghee ladoos,malai in their kheer,ghee on hot rice & makkan on their alu paranthas !Recommend

  • Nb

    I assume,you like your red meat. No,harm in that. Why criticize a blog just because you’re not in agreement. It’s a nice thing to read about and understand people who don’t do everything exactly like you…everyman in this world cant surround himself with clones who think identically..in a world like that no one would bother to travel,understand other cultures and people.Recommend

  • Gp65

    Gujarat is landlocked?news to me.

    Rest of the info is factual and appreciated as it counters many myths.Recommend

  • Jor El

    Yeah, I guess the writers of the article should have placed Gujarat in an exception list as the only coastal state with a substantial vegetarian population.Recommend

  • Jor El

    not all brahmins are vegetarians … kashmiri pandits, bengali n oriya brahmins n brahmins of coastal maharashtra r known to eat meat … vegetarianism is a predominantly jain concept that due to intermingling with other faiths in the subcontinent crept into them …Recommend

  • WB

    There is no mathematics in that, these are just facts and if you used your brain a little more you’ll know that facts are incomplete without analysis.

    Even Non vegetarian families in the South eat very little meat. It would be a luxury if they ate once a week.

    You should learn to see the truth and not the facts. Serves you better.

    And a survey that samples 0.0001% of our population is credible as your changing name.Recommend

  • Suraj Upadhyay

    Dont become a vegan as there are too complexities…..try becoming a vegeterian…a lacto-vegeterian….This type of vegeterianism is followed by most indians….Recommend

  • Ram

    A Muslim friend of mine was only eating from Vegetarian section when ever we go out Indian Buffet in California out of curiosity I asked him once and he explained to be that it was not an Halal meet, after living in US for sometime he now lives in India as converted vegetarian and myself living in US is converted is now a non-vegetarian.

    I do agree with author that where you live and your social circle do matter, I grow up as vegetarian, However after coming to US I was tired of going to restaurants and dinner party and being picky. I am still faithful to my religion and I don’t believe in few man made customs define your faith, one does not become Muslim by wearing a skull cap or a hindu by stop eating meatRecommend

  • PS

    Yes,even I find this article strange.I know quite a few Pakistanis who are vegetarians.Never have they mentioned that they have had trouble finding/making vegetarian dishes in their cuisine.Much of Pakistani cuisine is similar to that of India,where vegetarian dishes dominate.Recommend

  • Jor El

    Question is not the frequency of meat consumed. Question is whether or not meat is consumed or not. Now I do not pretend to know everybody in the south n ask them “Hey do u eat meat or not n if u do, how often do u do it”. So i use a little bit of my brain n search up for those people who have done a survey which has 14,680 respondents, spread across 883 villages and urban areas in 19 States n quote them which in my view is a lot more credible.
    As for the name changing part, u r welcome to call me Sudhindra. What’s in a name ?Recommend

  • Kulbir

    There are vegetarian athletes , boxers and wrestlers in India who have won medals in Olympics and other international competitions. There is enough protein in vegetarian diet. However, I do understand that vegetarians face problems in meat eating societies. It is an ethical issue whether we should kill or not bejubaan animals to satisfy our taste buds.Recommend

  • Kulbir

    There are vegetarian athletes , boxers and wrestlers in India who have won medals in Olympics and other international competitions. There is enough protein in vegetarian diet. However, I do understand that vegetarians face problems in meat eating societies. It is an ethical issue whether we should kill or not bejubaan animals to satisfy our taste buds.Recommend

  • Adbul Ham

    Good one! The guy himself is not committed. He wants the entire infrastructure of quality restaurants available throughout Pakistan serving “variety” of vegetarian meal. All things you mentioned are sufficient to give one quality and nutritious diet. He is just lacks determination. Most of the Hindus who resisted state sponsored conversion are vegetarians. Why dont explore their restaurants.Recommend

  • Adbul Ham

    Yes, Buddhism and Hinduism does not prescribe killing animal.Recommend

  • Dante

    I agree when you say that moderation is the key. Being a vegetarian is a lifestyle choice. Those want to be one, become one but they end up finding excuses to explain their choice (trying too hard), and lambast the non-vegetarians.

    My advice: If you become a vegetarian, keep it to yourself and don’t try to explain too hard how seeing animals being sacrificed is such a horrific experience, how you would never support slaughter, and how unhealthy meat is. We all know that all of our ancestors grew up eating meat, from 100 years ago to 10000 years ago.Recommend

  • LS

    Why is not drinking milk a sin? Am I missing something? Which religion preaches that not drinking milk is a sin?Recommend

  • LS

    Hi Fawad, I understand its tough and ask me because I am one of those who keep moving from being vegetarian to non-vegetarian all the time. Its like a diet some are successful some are not. But my reasons for Switching back and forth are not health related. I just give meat eating a break for couple of years and then go back to eating white meat (chicken, Fish) and sometimes lamb/goat with eggs. These days I am Non-Vegetarian and have no issues and not missing meat. I do realize that as a vegetarian I am consuming a lot more carbs than I would like to and am working on it. Good luck to you…Recommend

  • aly

    I dont understand who “must eat tonnes of meat” in Pakistan which is an impoverished and food scare country. Many people die of hunger and malnutrition. Accusing religion for everything has become a scapegoat for all your lame excuses in Pakistan. Have you ever tried a “dhaba” (road-side restaurants) in Pakistan. Go there and eat roti and daal, vegetables, and traditional onion and tomato salad for about $1… How cheap!!! isn’t it?Recommend

  • Ghazain

    Oh wow I’m actually surprised that the Tribune actually published thisRecommend

  • sweetnavya

    Hi, Fawad welcome to the world of vegetarianism. And frankly its not just in Pakistan, even in India most people ridicule you forbeing vegetarian. I have been vegetarian since i was 6 years old.My decision came when i saw how the goats, hen pigs etc are killed and how they cry for their life just like us human beings. Sadly when i put forward this argument i am told that even plants have life. I try to explain them that plants are not sentinent creatures. They dont have pain ot feelings since they dont have nervous system. BUt luckily due to religious reasong there are large no of vegetarian hindus and jains living in India, hence i have plenty option when it comes to vegetarian hotels:)Recommend