Data from the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) reveals that more people in India are consuming non-vegetarian foods than ever before. An analysis by the Indian Express shows that between 2015-16 and 2019-21, an increase in the proportion of Indian men consuming non-vegetarian foods was reported.
Men eat more non-vegetarians than women
According to NFHS-5 (2019-21), there are 16.6% of men (age group 15-49), who have never consumed non-vegetarian foods while NFHS-4 (2015- 16) recorded 21.6% males in the same age group. . The comparison shows a decline of five percent.
However, the scenario with women is quite different. The same age group (15-49) for women was 29.4% in 2019-21 and 29.9% in 2015-16. The survey listed fish, chicken and meat as non-vegetarian foods.
More than 83.4% of men and 70.6% of women in the 15-49 age group eat non-vegetarian foods daily, weekly or occasionally. This figure was 78.4% for men and 70% for women in the NHFS-4.
The inhabitants of which neighborhood consume the most?
In Lakshadweep, 98.4% of men (category) eat non-vegetarian eaters, which is the highest in India. With 14.1%, Rajasthan is at its lowest.
A Mint analysis of 2018 NFHS (2005-06 and 2015-16) showed that Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand showed high rates of increase in consumption of meat. The report says vegetarianism has declined over the past decade in India.
In the age group 15-49, Christian men (80%) and women 78% consume the highest non-vegetarian food at least once a week.
Other religions include Hindu men: 52.5%, women: 40.7%; Muslim men: 79.5%, women: 70.2%; Sikh men: 19.5%, women: 7.9%; Buddhist/neo-Buddhist men: 74.1%, women: 62.2%; and Jain men 14.9%, women: 4.3%.
According to India’s National Sample Survey (2021), fish is the most popular non-vegetarian food among Indians, followed by chicken, mutton and beef.
Complex Indian traditions
According to the Indian Express, Delhi’s civic body has already approved a ban on displaying non-vegetarian foods in the open, but did not get final approval.
In August 2018, a rule ordering all eateries and eateries in the area to put up prominent signs stating whether they served “halal” or “jhatka” meat was passed by MCD East. Last year, MCD South adopted the same rule, followed by MCD East and North.
Vikram Doctor, editor of the Economic Times who writes extensively on the country’s food, said: “It’s deeply unfortunate because Indian traditions are more complex than that…India has a tradition of eating meat very old and a very deep vegetarian tradition, which is also important, but I am often forced to take a stand [to defend one over the other].”
“In India, vegetarianism is weaponized by the right,” he added.
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