Kolkata: Has the over dependence of people on meat indirectly helped unholy people to thrive on the business of carcass meat in the state?
A nationwide survey conducted by the Office of Registrar General and Census Commissioner states that around 98.55 percent of total population in Bengal is non-vegetarian, which is the second highest in the country after Telangana.
Meanwhile, many believe that this huge demand of meat across various markets in the state might have prompted some people to run a parallel business of trading carcass meat, which is allegedly collected from dumping grounds, stored in cold storages and later delivered to various restaurants and hotels in the state.
According to the sample registration system (SRS) baseline survey 2014 released by the registrar general of India, around 98.7 percent of male and 98.4 percent of female in Bengal are non-vegetarians. This means only 1.3 percent of the total male population in the state is vegetarian while figure stands at 1.6 in case of females.
Bengal ranks second in the list of states, in regard to the prevalence of non-vegetarianism among the population aged 15 years or above, as published in the report. The data shows that around 71 percent of Indians over the age of 15 are non-vegetarians.The percentage of non-vegetarians across the country has, however, has dropped from 75 percent in 2004.
The survey says that Telangana has the highest number of non-vegetarians with 98.8 percent men and 98.6 percent women enjoying meat, fish and eggs, marginally higher than Bengal.
Other states with a high non-vegetarian population include Andhra Pradesh (98.25%), Odisha (97.35%) and Kerala (97%). Vegetarianism, as it is often interpreted as a practice in the country, encouraged or imposed by ideologies of religion and caste, is basically a food habit. Many people think that a life without meat would be boring, unhealthy, and damaging to your body. However, it is debatable. Rajasthan tops the list when it comes to vegetarianism. Around 73.2 percent men and 76.6 percent women in Rajasthan are vegetarians. Haryana follows next with 68.5 percent men and 70 percent women depending on vegetarian diets. Whereas in Punjab, around 65.5 percent of the male population and 68 percent of the female population eat vegetarian food.
Ever since the carcass meat row has come to light, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and police conducted raids at various places and seized a huge amount of rotten meat.
The selling of various items of meat has dipped considerably since the incident took place.
Sudesh Poddar, President of Hotel and Restaurant Association of Eastern India said: "We have issued directives to the restaurant owners to buy meat from reputed suppliers having trade and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India license. We have also asked hoteliers and restaurant owners to get the meat tested at a private laboratory. The situation is gradually improving."