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!