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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was listening to National Public Radio (NPR) this morning (Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012) their highly-esteemed "Morning Edition" show.

I was deeply disturbed by their segment "The New Indian Pariahs: Vegetarians". You can find a rebroadcast (and a transcript) on NPR's "Morning Edition" website.

Apparently, in India, in an attempt to emulate the debauchery (and material "success") of the West, meat-eating is now considered "fashionable" and "chic", especially in big urban areas, like Mumbai. And, no, not by just Muslims or secularists, but by Hindus who, a generation ago, would have thought such things inconceivable.

It is truly ironic that Indian culture brought so much to the west (vegetarianism, animal compassion, meditation, yoga and so on); yet these things are on the wane in that wonderful land.

India has a massive population, ever growing. I have read that India will surpass even China in the near future in terms of population. How can India survive this? It is a well known fact that the resources of a meat-centered diet require 17x the resources of a plant-based diet. How can India sustain this?

I have never been a fan of radical Islamist thought, but I am starting to understand their frustration as to how Western hedonistic ideology* corrupts their culture.

*if it tastes good, eat it!
 

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It's not just western ideology, it's industrialization. The same thing has happened in many other societies. When people are poor, they don't have the option to splurge, and their religions tend to adapt according to that lifestyle. Now that people are getting some spending power they want to show that they have the option of being wasteful, that they are no longer buying just what they need to survive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good point!

But you have to admit that the culture has a large effect on a person's life and worldview. Culture dictates, "this is the goal of life". Some cultures dictate sense gratification. Other cultures dictate spiritual aspirations. Even in the West, the Amish, Quakers and Shakers have eschewed material comforts to pursue higher ideals.
 

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Very true, there are certainly minority groups within cultures that manage to hang on to some dignity. I mean we're all veg*ns in a very non veg*n society, so I'm sure we can relate. I assume the same is true in India. Regardless of what the new trends are, there will inevitably be a few people who have the willpower not to give into the temptations being made readily available to them. Like the groups you mentioned, however, they will become the minority.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, what you say is my last hope. That, despite the latest "fad", there will be a rare few who will adhere to what their conscience dictates, and not to what the media or what the latest "superstar" is doing or eating. But, like you said, they will become the minority.
 

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There's no reason veg*nism needs to decrease anywhere, or that activists and veg*ns have to become a dwindling minority. People are people, and most people are essentially good. I'm absolutely positive that the same types of advocacy methods for animals that are working well in the west currently would work anywhere else, provided there's enough protection of free speech. Hell, even China has an animal protection movement. It's burgeoning but it's there.
 
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