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Opinion: Goat Love in Non-Existent Vegan Paradise

Truth Arrived: Goat Love in Non-Existent Vegan Paradise - Tabassum Ashraf

An ever-expanding bubble that needs to be burst and myth cleared up. You seem to be quite off beat if you still think India is a vegan paradise. Being clear and direct you can be an audience to lapdog media which makes sweeping generalizations that only Muslims are meat eaters are expressions of bigotry. It is up to media to fix what’s fib, and above all Muslims are not to feel guilty about their food choices. Regrettably, not many people have the information provided by the Sample Registration System (SRS) baseline survey by the Registrar General of India, 71 percent of Indians over the age of 15 are non-vegetarian. The data shows that Telangana has the highest number of non-vegetarians with 98.8 percent men and 98.6 percent women. The other states with a high non-vegetarian population are West Bengal (98.55%), Andhra Pradesh (98.25%), Odisha (97.35%) and Kerala (97%). These states have markedly non-Muslim population. There are conspicuous efforts by alt-right to demonise meat eating and to impose habits of small herbivorous coterie on all.

It is very crucial to clear a few basic misconceptions and stop the imposition of this food culture. Indian Muslims are not the biggest buyers and consumers of meat in India. The highly polarised groups are going berserk and try finding reasons to intimidate Muslims. Regrettably the present administration is promoting harmful stereotypes about Muslims being the quarterbacking meat industry in India. If it was so their economic condition would have been burgeoning. If pretentiousness is relinquished people will know that the meat industry is controlled by non-Muslims. Four non-Muslims top the list- Al Kabeer Exports Pvt, Ltd (owners Satish and Atul Sabharwal, Mumbai), Arabian Exports Pvt, Ltd (owner Sunil Kapoor, Mumbai), MKR Frozen Food Exports (owner Madan Abbott, New Delhi), and PML Industries (owner A.S Bindra, Chandigarh).

Be it pandemic or any festival, Muslims remain at the receiving end of unprecedented violence. While a non-Muslim is automatically perceived as vegetarian nationalist, Muslims in general have to go that extra mile to prove their choice of food has nothing to do with their love of land and are still patriotic. The noxious turn that India has taken in recent years has seen a trend that the situation of unrest is created just ahead of EID-UL-AZHA. This year attack begins with a hoarding deliberately being put up in the state which has largest Muslim population in India just ahead of the festival to hurt the sentiments of Muslims. PETA has found this time of the year perfect to unmask cruelty meted out to animals. One such hoarding carries a huge picture of a goat and reads “Mai jeev hoon, maans nahi. Hamare prati nazariya badlen,Vegan Bane” (meaning: I am a life, not food. Change your perception towards us, be vegetarian).

There are many masquerading as animal lovers who need to be told that they are at the wrong place. How utterly futile these protests seem compared to the facto situation. There are 350 KFC, 300 Mcdonald's, 140 Burger Kings outlets in India. The number of goats decimated there every day is in colossal. Pockets of hatred are created, Muslims are demonised, as the community began to be portrayed as a threat to Vegan Indian which does not exist. Muslims are seen as enemies to religious colophons. The demonisation continues with new controversy every other day further exacerbated the schism between the communities. Much larger issues that are plaguing India right now, things like coronavirus, unemployment, poverty, economic crisis, racial and religious division. If not eating meat can solve any of these issues immediately, I declare myself a vegan.

I wonder why self-proclaimed messiahs of animals never raise voices against these biggies or cry out at giant restaurant chains where tons of goats are slaughtered to feed the rich and affluent. Trust me you won’t find many skull caps or hijabs there. It’s necessary to know that Eid-ul-Adha is about sacrifice and not about meat-eating. What I fail to understand is why some people are ramming their lifestyle choice down other people’s throats, and even more appallingly, destroying other people’s livelihood.

The national average for vegetarianism is 29%. The torture from self-righteous vegans has grown paramount and their target seems to be much vulnerable Muslim community. We have seen ignorant indignation, lust for outrage and the false reality inhabited through social media streams preventing any positive social change where both vegetarians and non-vegetarians can coexist. Muslims will respond well to truly justified protest, when that protest is aimed at huge meat giants rather than people fulfilling their religious obligation. 

And much against the hyped propaganda against the Muslim community that they are the ones who consume non- vegetarian food. Let me focus on the fact that it's not just about Muslims it should concern every freedom loving soul. Food vigilante tells you how to eat, live and think. If you adopt it, you become instantly one of the enlightened ones, the saviours of the Earth, with nature and righteousness firmly on your side. In the last few years hundreds of Muslims have been killed by food vigilantes, disguised vegetarians - rather, cannibals - who execute humans. They don’t even have slaughter rules. They just pounce and lynch their prey on roads, trains, cars and everywhere. So much blood on hands. Well done vegans. Bon Appetit!

The author is a journalist born in Kashmir, based in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. She writes for Truth Arrived.

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