You are what you eat by Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam (October 07, 2015)


Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam

Our food largely decides what kind of a body and mind we are going to get finally. If you eat carbohydrates (carbon + hydrogen) exclusively and shun proteins (nitrogen) you are certainly going to have more fat and less muscle, besides a bigger tummy than you should.

If you are not eating enough calcium your bones will be weaker and if you take less iron than standard daily dose, you will become anaemic like hundreds of millions of Indian women. There are so many foods that decide the state of our mind and body.

Out of seven billion world population, less than a billion are vegetarians. It must be kept in mind that the meat-fish-egg eaters have no grudge against vegetarians, but most vegetarians hate meat-eaters and want to force their food preferences on others. This ill will, hostility for the “other” and the undemocratic, fascist desire to force one’s food preference on others sometimes makes them unfriendly, undesirable pariahs for common humanity.

Vegetarians often suffer from delusions of grandeur: “I am holier than thou. I hold the moral high ground.” The preponderant majority of vegetarians are food fanatics. Only recently (before the NDA government) some JNU students and teachers (mostly Dalits and Leftists) tried to organise a food festival of beef preparations. The ABVP leader of the campus threatened the organisers that they would start a “communal riot” in that event. The ABVP would not start a caste riot against the Dalits who wanted the festival, but a communal riot against Muslims even though Muslims had little or no role in it.

After condemning what they called the “food fascism” of Hindutva, they organised a beef-pork festival at Osmania University in Hyderabad under the leadership of intellectuals like Kanchan Ilahia.

Vegetarian are animal lovers. Sommerset Maughm said that someone who loves animals too much hates human beings as a corollary. If a rabid, dog bites a child, a woman or man, the animal lover is quick to blame the human. He or she would not stop to think that rabid dogs bite without reason, without provocation. As the animal lover’s sympathies are with the animal, not with the human victim, he or she will blame the human.

Such fanatics can never be just or fair. As their sympathies are with the animal, not the human, their priorities are distorted, their worldview, their moral sense askew. They are not concerned about human sorrow. Such people are not really human. They are among those with whom their heart lies.

Was the most (in)famous vegetarian, the one and only Adolf Hitler, Fuhrer of all fascists to come till the Day of Judgment, really a human? How many people did he kill in cold blood? Let us guess. Let us say he killed ten million directly, and another 10 million died indirectly because of his actions and policies. So how human was this most widely known vegetarian?

How human is Prime Minister Modi in the light of 2002? Or, in the light of his silence on daily attacks on Muslims by Sangh cadres? Also, how human he is in the light of the lynching of Akhlaq only a few kilometers from his gaddi because Akhlaq had allegedly eaten beef?

And what about the vegetarianism of Babu Bajrangi and Maya Kodnani who are directly involved in the mass murder of Muslims in 2002.

Finally, we must admit that the recent bans on meat eating (not necessarily beef eating) by BJP governments have a direct role in aggravating the intolerance and irrationality of vegetarians all over the country, which is behind incidents like Akhlaq’s murder. Additionally, never in the past was such a ban imposed on meat (not beef).

This new wave of food fanaticism is a direct result of government policies. And it is the government alone that can roll it back. Lip service and insincere assurances have no meaning.


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