‘Vegetarian diet is full of vitamins, minerals, fibers; also, it is ethically right as you are not harming any animal.’ ‘Non-veg diet, on the other hand, is also rich in protein and vitamin that our body needs more and a lot of people eat non-veg all around the world.’ No end of arguments! But this is not new that people try to justify their type of food; it has been a topic of debate.
There exist both types of people- vegetarian and non-vegetarian, and all have their point of view to justify their food habits. But do you know how their arguments changed over time? What people think today about food was quite different in older times.
Let’s know three eras and the food habits of the people during these times in the below write-up.
- Ancient Time:
- Religion: During this time, there was not much emergence of religion, so people were not afraid of God or any other superpower. Therefore, they did not consider eating non-veg bad or sinful. As religion started to emerge, many people turned into vegetarians. They gradually started to worship God- some with animal sacrifices, while some with pure means.
- Need: Many studies found that people used to eat meat in ancient times because, during that period, they could not preserve fresh food for longer. And the meat was the only fresh food available at that time. But many survived on the fruits and vegetables too. Some scientists found evidence of meat-eaters in ancient times, but they also acknowledge the fact that many people used to rely on vegetables and fruits only.
- Mentality: The mentality of the ancient people was not developed. They are considered barbarian by today’s people. In ancient times, people did not have not much knowledge about what is right or wrong. The limited perceptions didn’t let them think about animal care. When people come to know about agriculture, they realized that fruits and vegetables are also tasty foods. In the Neolithic period, approximately 10,000 years back, people used to feed themselves by hunting and by picking wild fruits and vegetables.
- Medieval Time:
- Religion: Many people who were in support of eating meat believed that the bible says that human beings should have dominion over animals. As a result, they considered eating their meat not wrong.Those who believed in Judaism said that food should be pure and suitable,and dairy products can be eaten but not with meat. People belonging to Hinduism, Rastafarians, Buddhism, and many others majorly believed in a vegetarian diet during this period.
- Need:In medieval times, people gradually started to focus on their health. Aristocrat families started to prefer food that had nutritional values, but eating meat was the symbol of richness during this time. The wealthier you were, the better you ate. Many people also used to eat cabbage, beans, and egg and considered them needful for the proper diet. The bread was the basic need of the common people during this time. Poor people had access to only vegetables and fruits, that is why they mostly rely on vegetarian food. You may have noticed the pictures of prominent people of this age; they were mostly fatty because the meat was their main food.
- Mentality: ‘Vegetables and fruits are the foods for the poor,’ and many wealthy people ate non-veg under this argument. People used to think that non-veg is the food of the rich, and God also does not deny them from eating it, while poor or middle-class people used to think that being vegan is good for health and economically right for their survival. In medieval times, the belief in God was very prevalent; this also shaped the mentality of the people towards eating habits.
- Modern Time:
- Religion: Today, people believe in secularism, which means they respect all religions. So, they consider different eating habits also right. Eating habits are still highly influenced by religion. Hindus do not eat beef while Christians eat it because they both relate the food habits to their customs and traditions. Eating habits are incorporated into religious practices, and many people still eat according to them.
- Need: ‘To stay physically strong, you should eat non-veg.’ You may hear this line from some people. But some believe that vegetarian food is healthier than non-veg. Today, people choose their food type according to their needs, as they have become more health-conscious.
- Mentality: Today, two types of people are living on this planet-the first ones are those who are ardent followers of a non-vegetarian diet, and the other one sare those who are sensitive towards animals. Many think that you can be fit if you eat only vegetarian food, while some say that your body needs more protein, so you need to eat meat. A lot of people say, ‘we are the lover of taste, so we are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.’ But this is also a reality that a lot of people consider eating meat as ethically wrong. PETA is one of the organizations that work for the welfare of animals, and many non-vegetarians turned vegan and became members of PETA.
Well, this is a personal choice to eat non-veg or vegetarian food. You can’t deny anyone of eating what he wishes to. But, we can also not deny the fact that life resides in everyone, whether it is animal or human, and both have the right to live. Many places in the world don’t have favorable environments and soil so that they cannot grow vegetables, and if they live along the river banks, then they can eat fish or non-veg, and that is justifiable. Today, we have many food preservation and storage systems, and transportation also has become quite easy, so the vegetables can be transferred to places where there is a lack of fertile land to grow vegetables.
“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” – Ann Wigmore.