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New study of food habits in India offers surprises

Filed under: Food India
Folks wait for a taste of vegan India in Washington Square Park.

Folks wait for a taste of vegan India in Washington Square Park.

Early this month, The Hindu conducted a State of the Nation Survey. The poll of thousands of people in different regions across the country aimed to determine the food habits and dietary preferences of the Indian population. The results are now in and some of them are quite surprising.

I’ve always imagined that a majority of Indian people were vegetarian, considering all the religions that advocate a veg diet that have sprung out of that area of the world and all the recent veg segregationist activities. But the survey reveals that only 31 percent of Indian individuals and only 21 percent of families are vegetarian. The survey reports that 9 percent of Indians are vegetarians who consume eggs, though it does not note how many are vegan.

Naturally, after reading this survey I was very curious to discover how many people in the USA are vegetarian, just to get some perspective. According to a 2003 Harris Interactive Survey sponsored by the Vegetarian Resource Group , only 2.8 percent of Americans are vegetarian and about 1.8 percent of Americans—and a majority of vegetarians—are vegan. (I couldn’t find any more recent reliable research.)

So it looks like if one were looking to become an expatriate to a more veg-friendly nation, India might be a good option. Just don’t expect it to be all dhal all the time.

1 Comment

  1. Comment by

    frank language

    on #

    I actually have been under the impression that 6 percent of Americans were vegetarian – at least said they were, which means they probably eat chicken, fish, and cheese – and that the number wasn’t changing significantly because of the number of vegetarians who jump ship, even as more people become vegetarians.

    My only consolation is that it’s hip and cool to be vegetarian and even vegan, and we have cool shoes and handbags. Maybe people will eventually see the big picture – we can only hope.

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