A respectable person from a respectable institute writing in a respectable newspaper, can he be wrong? I had earlier written about evangelical vegetarians preventing me from eating meat. They said I was in the minority, even said by Maneka Gandhi, the militant vegetarian. But this guy here contradicts it. He writes,
Contrary to popular belief, India is not a predominantly vegetarian country. But a quarter of the population is reckoned, based on census data, to be vegetarian. ... 21per cent of Tamil Nadu, ... are veggies. While part of this vegetarianism is economic, a more compelling force is ethical and even religious.
Boy, I was hanging out with the wrong crowd! Maybe that would explain the abundance of high-class non-veg restaurants while there are only a few like Saravana Bhavan. Even that doesn't come close to the ambience of Anjappar or Nachiappar.
He goes on to say that certain influences around 500-300 BC changed most of our food habits. He says we are not eating most of what we were eating till just about that period. Apparently, my ancestors' diet included many exotic things which they later discontinued. Imagine, what if that certain influencing factor was not present - our menu would be something like the Malaysians or the Thais, if not Chinese, Korean or Japanese.