Vegetarian: To be or not to be
by SUBEKSHA POUDEL
It is no coincidence that all the strongest animals on earth are vegetarians - elephants, rhinos, hippos - you name it. Whether it is to be an absolute size zero or a guilt-free soul, going vegetarian is something many of us consider. But despite all the guilt, it is almost impossible to resist sekuwa or for that matter heavenly momo or spicy sausages. And the list goes on and on. So to get some insight into an issue that bugs so many of us, WAVE asked: To be a vegetarian or not?
Saugat Ghimire, 19
Bivishika Bhandari, 19
Pragyan Shrestha, 19
Avantika Gurung, 18
Shriya Khadka, 19
Ruby Karki, 18
Alina Pokhrel, 18
Why did you become a vegetarian?
Saugat: I find slaughtering and sacrificing animals outrageously cruel, so I quit meat when I was in the eighth grade.
Shriya: It was Dashain and I had TOO much mutton; so much that I decided to become a vegetarian.
Ruby: For me it was a Youtube video on meat industry that converted me into a complete veggie.
Any reason to be a non-vegetarian?
Bivishika: I love meat. And besides, it's filling and gives maximum energy.
Pragyan: I can't live without meat; it's become an indispensable habit.
Alina: Meat is divine. And life without meat is bland.
Avantika: I used to be a vegetarian earlier, but when I started traveling, it was impossible to remain one.
What are the pros and cons of being a vegetarian?
Saugat: A vegetarian diet is exceptionally hygienic. When you eat meat, you've no clue what the animal has eaten.
Pragyan: Of course not, even vegetables have pesticides and insecticides in them. Nothing's 100 per cent organic.
Ruby: Well, you shouldn't wish for others what you don't wish for yourself. Just imagine being born to be killed… so go veggie and save an animal each day.
And why should we eat meat?
Bivishika: A bowl of meat gives 18 times more iron than the same amount of carrots. You can imagine how much more nutritious meat is.
Alina: Yes. Meat is a necessity.
Bivishika: One of my uncles had been a vegetarian for 50 years of his life, but when he was hospitalised, the doctor suggested he have chicken soup for better recovery. And he ended up eating meat. So what exactly is the point of being vegetarian?
Ruby: Nutrients are important but you need to keep in mind that when an animal is about to be slaughtered, the levels of adrenalin that are released into its blood make its meat terribly toxic.
Avantika: Still, it's easier to adjust when you're not particular about foods, especially when you go out to eat, its very rare for anyone to order a vegetarian dish.
What do you have to say about cruelty to animals?
Alina: It's just a part of the food chain, one eats the other and the cycle continues.
Saugat: We're jeopardising the entire ecosystem. More than eight billion animals are killed every year! This isn't cruelty to animals but cruelty to humans themselves.
Pragyan: We are maintaining the ecosystem in a way…had it not been for us, broiler chickens would be invading the world.
Ruby: But really, why kill someone when you're not dying of starvation?
Saugat: Just think about it: killing someone to be healthy or not killing and still being healthy?
Shriya: Also the demand for meat causes mass production of animals. And these animals are cramped in extremely confined places. If there is no demand for meat,
the animals would at least roam freely in barns.
Bivishika: The issue is how the animals are reared: instead
of shutting down the age-old butchery business, laws
should be made to ensure the healthy rearing of animals.
Do you think being vegetarian is simply a trendy thing to do?
Shriya and Avantika: NO!
Alina: Definitely, what do you think Kareena Kapoor
Saugat: Yes, especially for girls. (rolling his eyes) It's all about being slim!
Which meat do you prefer?
Pragyan: Anything and everything as long as it's cooked.
Bivishika: Mainly chicken.
Avantika: Umm... any I guess.
What is the substitute for meat for veggies?
Ruby: French fries
Considering switching over to the other side?
Bivishika and Pragyan: NO!
Alina: Never, never, never. Never in my entire life.
Avantika: Not now…
Saugat: I'm sticking to being a vegetarian.
Shriya: I don't like meat anyway, so a plant-based diet suits me best.
Ruby: Meat is tasty but I am sacrificing for the sake of
all the innocent animals.