Non Vegeterian Food

In Indian restaurants the famous green and red dot help us identify if the food is vegetarian or not. However abroad often such distinctions are not so easy.
1. Language barrier: Its often very hard to communicate in a foreign language, the how can one be sure if you can specify its ingredients properly.

2. Definition of Vegetarian: In India cow milk and dairy products are considered vegetarian, but elsewhere it is not. Similarly I had an experience where the food contained fish and sea food.. because the chief did not consider fish as meats.

3. Boneless: Its almost impossible to tell if the cake/icecream contains egg or not. Hence most orthodox indians stay away from it. However sometimes even harmless looking stuff like burgers also have meats.

3. Feigning Allergies: One of the safest bet is to repeatedly and publicly announce that you are allergic to animal products and hope for the best.

If you are a vegetarian how do you cope up with the uncertainties of alien food. Do you believe that
“What you don’t know cannot harm you.”
or you have some other trick up your sleave

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6 thoughts on “Non Vegeterian Food

  1. I would like to start a debate on the terms “vegetarian” and “non vegetarian”. The latter sounds as if the person does not eat vegetables. The correct terms should probably be “meatarian” and “non-meatarian”. Why did the terms come about as they are? My guess is that long long ago everyone (including our rishis) ate meat. After agriculture made its advent some shifted to a non-meat diet and these special people, who were in a minority were termed as vegetarians. The term non-vegetarian came much later when both the groups became more or less equal.

    Incidentally I recently returned from my first trip to the US. There is no problem there. Veg dishes are specially listed. And you can ask for any of the others with the meat left out.

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  2. Rama…
    u were lucky, because in english speaking world… indians can communicate almost like natives (and sometimes even better than the citizens of Hispanic origins).

    about the origins… yes sacrifice was common (it still is in some kali temples). Initially aryans even ate beef.. however later on they found that by eating beef, the Ox/Bull population (and not the common misconception that the lactating cow) population went down…. and esp during the times of drought and famine.. a village without ox could not cultivate the fields.. and hence was pushed down the poverty spiral…
    hence later on beef was banned. I am not sure when the rest of the meats were banned.. but you must remember that this ban usually was confined to the Brahmins and Vaishyas (aggarwal/bania community)… the Kshyatriyas and the artisan/workers were free to consume whatever they deemed fit (but not beef)

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  3. “. Initially aryans even ate beef.. however later on they found that by eating beef, the Ox/Bull population (and not the common misconception that the lactating cow) population went down…. and esp during the times of drought and famine.. a village without ox could not cultivate the fields.. and hence was pushed down the poverty spiral…”

    is this hypothesis true? i think that on the other hand the cattle are the first to be devoured during a drought/famine by a desperate ppl.

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  4. this is not an hypothesis, but a fact.

    “i think that on the other hand the cattle are the first to be devoured during a drought/famine by a desperate ppl.”
    exactly… and as i had mentioned next year when the rains do come, without OX/beasts of burden the fields could not be ploughed. hence the wise men thought it would be wise to impose a ban on beef

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