The myth that India is predominantly a vegetarian country, busted

By Think Change India|3rd Jul 2016
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Contrary to popular belief, India is predominantly a non-vegetarian country. Vegetarianism is often assumed as the norm in India, due to religious ideologies and caste. However, a nationwide survey conducted by the Office of Registrar General & Census Commissioner, reveals a different reality. According to the sample registration system (SRS) baseline survey of 2014 released by the registrar general of India, 71 percent of Indians over the age of 15 are non-vegetarian.

A report in The Huffington Post states that, the percentage of non-vegetarians across the country however has dropped from 75 percent in 2004. The data shows that Telangana has the highest number of non-vegetarians with 98.8 percent men and 98.6 percent women enjoying meat, fowl and fish. Among the other states with a high non-vegetarian population are, West Bengal (98.55%) Andhra Pradesh (98.25%), Odisha (97.35%) and Kerala (97%).

As per the National Sample Survey on Household Consumption released in 2014, united Andhra Pradesh had topped in per capita monthly consumption of chicken among the 21 big states and was second in consumption of goat meat after Jammu and Kashmir.

The two Telugu states are also the largest producers of egg and meat. Andhra Pradesh (AP) stands second in egg production in the country with 1309.58 crore eggs whereas Telangana stands third with 1006 crore eggs. In meat production, AP is fourth with 5.27 lakh metric tons and Telangana stands sixth with 4.46 lakh MT.

AP also tops the country in exporting buffalo meat and is well known for its shrimp exports. Among the South Indian states, Karnataka has the lowest number of non-vegetarians whereas across the country, it is Rajasthan with only 26.8 per cent non-vegetarian men and 23.4 per cent non-vegetarian women, stated a Deccan Chronicle report.

Rajasthan has the highest number of vegetarians- 73.2 percent men and 76.6 percent women. Haryana follows next with 68.5 percent men and 70 percent women on a vegetarian diet. And in Punjab, 65.5 percent of the male population and 68 percent of the female population eat vegetarian food.

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