Friday, January 6, 2012

Does your diet control your behavior?

For a long time, my mother tried in vain to changing my eating habits. According to her, being a vegetarian is the best way to live. So, I should eat less meat. It is good for heath and more importantly helps in containing undesired aggression. In order to prove her point, she used an article published in a newspaper citing differences in the behavioral patterns of jail inmates based on their diet.

Recently, I attended a dinner event with two of my friends; a dinner in a vegan restaurant with an assorted group of vegetarians and vegans. All three of us were the lowest form of meat consumers (by Indian standards). With absolutely no background information on a vegetarian and vegans, we attended this event because there wasn't any other choice on that particular day. Moreover, it was a very lonely day.

The evening unintentionally presented a few laughs for me. Before we even sat down for dinner, there was a clear line being drawn between vegetarians and vegans. They were not ready to mix initially and wanted to sit with their group. This served as a warning and I avoided talking anything about food. The trickiest question of the evening was aimed at my friend. "Are you a vegetarian or a vegan?". Having no clue about the distinction between the two, my friend chose his words cleverly. "I prefer vegetarian". On hearing the added stress on the word "prefer", I had to look the other way to hide the grin on my face. 

The next day after the uneventful dinner, my second friend send out a dinner invitation to this group. He had nothing else to do as there was a forced shutdown at work for a week. So he chose a restaurant thinking it had vegan options. Hell broke out as soon as the invitations were sent out. Unfortunately, it was not a vegan restaurant. The group tore him apart for deciding the venue without proper groundwork. After a series of furious emails, the dinner did happen with a handful of attendees. 

I did not attend the dinner. But I had the best time reading the email chain. It was funny as I was an outsider and also provided insights into human nature especially the ferocious way someone guards their eating habits. The emails weren't nasty but the anger in them was clearly evident. 

All these takes me back to my mom's failed attempts in changing my diet. I like vegetables. But what is a meal without a dash of meat? I can never be a full-blown vegetarian. But if the objective is to behave in a civilized manner, then the diet has nothing to do with it. It is how you are built!


  1. Honestly, I didn't read this post. I will read tmrw.

    But I came here to wish you, my friend, a very happy new year. May this year turn out to be very special for you.

  2. hehe.. my mantra is eat whatever enjoy whatever no rules no regulations but DIE soon :)

  3. @Joshi - Thanks. :) Wishing you the same.

  4. @Deepak - :) That seems to be the popular mantra. That also happens to be my mantra too.

  5. Haha..i get a flavor of the mail is interesting how people guard their eating habits -true!

    i completely agree with you - what is a meal without a dash of meat :-D

    But your mom is also right! According to the ayurvedic system, Sattvic food is supposed to calm your mind. Food definitely influences your character BUT it IS NOT the only parameter and hence we fail to see the difference.

    Personally i have tried and felt the difference in consuming only fresh fruits & veggies! So she has a point but i will have to say one can't influence another's food habits.

  6. @Divya - :) About calming the mind, that is what I thought about the diet too. But you should have seen the email chain. Strong reactions to a beginner mistake.

  7. I turned vegetarian because my husband is - it makes life easier when you go out, and out of choice. My two children are strict non vegetarians. But since I was not a great one for non-veg anyway, it was not difficult to give it up. I sometimes do taste the food if I am cooking it for someone, but I do not relish it much. And as for behaviour - it has made no difference!

  8. @Radha - You sound like very much like other people I know of. They wouldn't eat non-veg but will make it for others. :) I also think what we are inside cannot be changed by food habits. It may control our behavior to a certain extent. That is it.

  9. As far as I know, I don't think there is any connection between someone's food habits and behavior. I dont mind hogging , as long as I burn those calories later :-)

  10. @Ashwini - No connection between food and behavior...that is what most of the people think. :)


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