Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Are you a non-vegetarian?

It is fun to see the diversity of cultures when it comes to food. While most of my friends would give me black looks for ordering Chicken Tikka back in India, here that’s considered almost vegetable. And then again, I’ve seen so many give up their ‘errant’ ways and return to being a ‘pure’ vegetarian. So when I am asked, “What are you?” It is always hard to give a straight answer. So for the convenience of my friends spread over the spectrum of gastric tendencies, here’s a handy handle on what’s not vegetarian.
I define consumption anything of animal origin as a definite sign of non-vegetarianism. Going by this postulate, no person in this world is a vegetarian. Not anyone who has, Hindi film-istyle, “aapni maa ka doodh piya hai toh”, claim himself (ok you feminists) or herself to be a vegetarian. Milk is NOT a vegetable. Given that each one of us has in past or the present, guzzled copious amounts of milk, cannot consider one to be a ‘vegetarian’. Also, going by the research I read years ago, if you ever have had chocolate, you have ingested a minimum of 3-4 insect legs. Egregious? Not so far. So having accepted that all are not vegetarians, it’s time to segregate the boys from the men. So here goes.
Class-1 Non-vegetarians : All you whiny lot talking about how vegetables can’t feel (being fried in 400 deg C oil) and don’t bleed (ketchup isn’t red enough for you?). If all you ever lived on was honey (which is again stealing someone’s food) you might excuse yourself from ever having killed or maimed for your own sustenance. Else quietly accept the class-1 designation.
Class-2: These are the ones who think eggs are not ‘meat’ and because most of today’s eggs will never turn into a chick, the most ‘humane’ (sic) way of eating food. Good people to take along for breakfast.
Class 3: Lots of people here so we break it down, but generally, “as long as it moved and not moving now” lot. Note to the Class 1 people: The tomato is very much alive when it enters your mouth as a part of your salad. And being eaten alive is not fun, I guess.
Class 3a: These are people who are ok with the concept of meat but are restricted by religious constraints. That would be the “can’t eat pig”, “can’t eat cow” kind of people. Mildly irritating when all you want to have is steak… medium rare please!
Class 3b: These people only limit their edible species spectrum by taste or medical reasons. You might not really enjoy buffalo tongue because it is too chewy or shellfish because it might send you into an anaphylactic shock. They are fun to be with as long as you know how to plunge an epi-pen straight into the heart.
Class 3c: These are people who don’t believe in religious constraints or don’t follow restrictive religions and are not averse to stuff by taste or medical reasons. They eat anything not alive at the time it enters their mouth. Fun too especially without the epi-pen.
Class 4: The ‘even if it moves lot’: Not an easy group to deal with. But you can make silly faces as they try to gulp down a live octopus that is trying its best to come out of their mouth. The grub eaters also fall into this category. As a kid many of you have been here. Remember the shiny beetle that went into your mouth much to the horror of your momma?
Class 5a: The “I eat my own kind” lot. They are a very dangerous lot to be with. Hannibal Lecter is the most famous representative of this kind. You might get invited for lunch and you might be on the menu. So beware!
Class 5b: This is an interesting lot and a very interesting discovery. In some cultures, the placenta is eaten! It is also considered to have medicinal/nutritional properties. While it is argued that this is same as class 5a, it gets it own category. Oh! by the way, if you ever had the habit of biting your own nails or bit your own tongue hard enough to taste the blood in your mouth, you might consider yourself up here in Class 5b.
That said and done, next time, someone asks, do ensure you talk right about being a ‘vegetarian’ or not. Wear your colors proudly and correctly refer to yourself as a class x non-vegetarian.

1 comment:

Abhijit said...

you sure go 'very' deep into the specifics :P