Highlights

  • India's non-vegetarian population outnumbers vegetarians
  • Telangana, Andhra among the highest meat consuming states
  • Haryana, Rajasthan the least meat-consuming states

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Is India being a vegetarian State a myth? Data tells a meaty story

Several reports have estimated India's meat-consuming population to be somewhere between 68-70%.

Amid a raging debate over culinary choices in India-- the popular belief being that most among us are vegetarians, how far is the perception from the reality?

Several reports have estimate India's meat-consuming population to be somewhere between 68-70%. Surprised!

As per National Family Health Survey, 2015-16, 42.8% Indian women and 48.9% of men consumed poultry and meat weekly.

Telangana with its 98.7% non-vegetarian population tops the chart of non-vegetarian states followed closely by West Bengal (98.55%) and Andhra Pradesh (98.25%).

Meanwhile, Haryana has the least meat consuming population in India followed by Rajasthan and Punjab.

So what is the reason that India is being perceived as a vegetarian country despite its majority population consuming non- vegetarian food.

Government data affirms that vegetarian households are more affluent and have higher incomes, thereby setting the 'vegetarian stereotype'.

The meat consumption patterns are also a reason for India's vegetarian image. The NHFS states that barely 6% of the population eats meat on a daily basis while nearly 40% on a weekly basis.

Additionally, cultural and religious factors also have a role to play in the suppression of the fact that India is a non-vegetarian consuming country.

India has a violent history of mob lynching and social ostracization of people who consume beef because cow is considered to be sacred in Hinduism.

Also watch: Halal meat row: Right-wing Hindu group targets Indian Railways, Air India & others

A reported 7% of the population eats beef, however, this number is disputed by researchers, who claim that the actual statistic is closer to 15%.

So, although India is seen (or at least made to be) as a vegetarian country but the numbers indicate otherwise.

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