10 Struggles Of Being Vegetarian In India

Why being vegetarian in India is not as easy as it looks.

vegetarian, struggles, india, paneer, nonvegetarian, food, vegan
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You’d think being a vegetarian in India would be easy, right? Wrong. Contrary to popular belief, India is over 70% non-vegetarian in its dietary practices, religion notwithstanding. And with so many people favouring paaya over paalak, social life isn’t a cakewalk for those of the second camp. Here are just a few of the troubles that are an everyday issue for vegetarians in our country:

1. People judge your background.

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“But you’re not !” “But it is not Tuesday/Thursday!” “But it is allowed in your people na?” ARGH!

2. “Phir khaate kya ho?”

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Non-vegetarians around you suddenly become very concerned about your nutritional requirements. Apparently protein can be consumed by the human body only after it has been marinated in its juices for, like, ten hours and then roasted on a skewer till it (almost) turns to charcoal.

3. "Just have the gravy na!"

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Of course! Why didn’t I think of that? It is totally appropriate to offer vegetarians an atrociously spiced stew as long as the animal corpse is removed from it!

4. Restaurants have nothing for you

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Unless you see a godsent green dot on the menu, nowhere is safe.

5. Or worse, paneer!

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For the zillionth time, paneer is not a substitute for fish/chicken/any other variety of flesh. It is just a poor excuse for non-vegetarians to eat something like meat on Hindu festivals.

6. Splitting the bill.

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You know how you go out to lunch with your non-vegetarian friends, and they sweetly remember that your share in the bill is just a fraction of theirs? Yeah, me neither.

7. The debates…. The endless debates

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“Then why do you eat chewing gum?” “Why do you wear leather shoes?” “What do you eat on special occasions?” “You eat up all the food meant for cows!” “Veg biryani is not real.”

How about we talk when your brain has recovered from your rogan-josh-induced coma and you’re reasonable again?

8. People think you’re actually depriving yourself.

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Oh yes, look at me, all depressed and starving because there isn’t enough food in the world to take the place of a fat-laden dish of butter chicken!

9. “Then how come you are so tall/muscular?”

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Ever heard of a tiny little thing called genetics?

10. What will you do when you go abroad?

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Photosynthesis, thank you for asking.

Vegetarians, leave behind all the hate, and bring your non-vegetarian friends to a feast of vegetarian delicacies from around the country at the Reacho Food Festival from February 10-12. Not just paneer, we promise!

PS If you’re non-vegetarian friends are giving you a hard time, there are plenty of options for them too!

Title image: goliath


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Anagha Wankhede (WRITER)

Potterhead, gourmand, culture junkie, INTJ. Aspires to be Lady Olenna Tyrell. Dreams of getting paid for travelling, eating and watching TV series all day. Presently settled for writing about it.

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