Veg is bet­ter

Down to Earth - - ON THE WEB - BHARATH KU­MAR K PAN­CHARATNA DAS NEETHI RAVIN­DRAN

The well-re­searched ar­ti­cle, "Meaty tales of veg­e­tar­ian In­dia" (De­cem­ber 16-31, 2014), on the decline of veg­e­tar­i­ans in In­dia re­veals the changed sit­u­a­tion in In­dia, so far famed glob­ally for be­ing the home to veg­e­tar­i­an­ism and birth­place of most pro­po­nents of veg­e­tar­i­an­ism. While food is a per­sonal choice and more an ex­pres­sion of free­dom for the younger gen­er­a­tion grown up on West­ern val­ues, it must be recog­nised that West­ern eat­ing habits lead to heart dis­eases and can­cer.

The ad­vice to in­crease meat in­take for nu­tri­tional benefits is not wise as nu­tri­tion­al­ists are ad­vo­cat­ing. A re­cent study by Na­tional Sam­ple Sur­vey Of­fice as­serts that the con­nec­tion be­tween high calo­rie in­take and health is un­clear be­cause In­dia's most de­vel­oped states have the least calo­rie con­sump­tion lev­els. It also means that In­di­ans are not eat­ing right and ig­nor­ing ce­re­als and pro­tein.

The in­ter­view "Forced Veg­e­tar­i­an­ism" raises many ques­tions. Is diet only a ques­tion of nu­tri­tion? What about the rights of an­i­mals? Do an­i­mals have no rights and hu­man be­ings are free to slaugh­ter at will?

I would be happy if our chil­dren get more mil­let and if more farm­ers were taught how to grow spir­ulina, a cyanobac­te­ria that is used as di­etary sup­ple­ment, for a healthy pop­u­la­tion. Grow­ing drum­stick trees around the coun­try should be en­cour­aged to re­duce the in­ci­dents of blind­ness.

It was good to know that Pres­i­dent Pranab Mukher­jee, once an avid fish and rice

SORIT / CSE

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