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Editorial

Meat or vegetables or both?

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By EMN Updated: Aug 30, 2013 1:15 am
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Diehard non-vegetarians have it badly enough when and if they ever read at all whatever Maneka Gandhi writes about the virtues, and blessings, of being a vegetarian. Perhaps that is the secret of her journalism and that is fine in a democratic country like ours. What matters to Nagas is that the virtues of being vegetarian notwithstanding, they are to all intents and purposes fully fledged non-vegetarians. True it is that vegetarianism has made its impact and even the language has coined a word such as “vegan” and some even propagate that they are better people because of their vegetarianism. Based on this premise, some religions originally prohibited the killing of not only animals but even insects like cockroaches.
When such a matter comes into the Naga context, the more understanding citizens would maintain that in spite of being non-vegetarians, we are also great consumers of all kinds of edible vegetables! But why consume meat so much? It isn’t that vegetarians are weaker but that no-vegetarians are usually stronger physically at least.
From this basic premise, the debate, or question, comes to the fore that all vegetables like all animals are meant to be consumed by humans who have been endowed with the blessing to have dominion over all other creatures on earth. Even then, there are some eateries in Nagaland which are purely vegetarian in nature and it seems they have enough customers
It is not that meat-eaters get more afflicted with the any of the numerous diseases that are prone to hover wherever meat is available in the raw or even cooked but laid waste. What saves anyone from the spectre of maladies is basically clean and healthy living. But above all, perhaps it is the will to ensure a balanced diet, temperance and regular adherence to a disciplined style if living.
Many Naga men, and quite a few women for that matter, suffer from overstretched paunches. One reason could be the excessive consumption of meat and the fat involved therein. So a number of male VVIPs and VIPs have turned to playing badminton either in the mornings or the evenings as members of certain acknowledged clubs. This game is, of course, restricted to the more well to do although the State’s department of Youth resources and sports has some provisions for the youth especially in the rural areas.
Also, some suffer from obesity even if they are prone to what can be termed as “bird feed.” Nevertheless it is an uncompromising premise that physical exercise is a must to maintain good health. This may be variously described such a taking long walks, running and as seen in the case of some youth running on the streets of the towns before sunrise to tone up for their choice of the various martial arts.
Be that as it may, it is for sure that food is the most important aspect in anyone’s life. It is not necessarily the quantity that is consumed but more importantly, the quality derived from clean, fresh and affectionately cooked items. No wonder the Book of Proverbs says “better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a meal of fattened calf where there is hate and ill will.”
In spite of this most Nagas will remain non-vegetarian!

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By EMN Updated: Aug 30, 2013 1:15:08 am