Wednesday, August 17, 2005

An Omnivore's gripe and a recipe

Vegetarian people give examples like the strongest animal(!) i.e., the horse, is a vegetarian. But can you compare a man to a horse? He cannot become as strong as a horse by simply eating grass and oats.

Let's compare man to the strongest herbivore (horse, as they say), the strongest carnivore (tiger), and the strongest omnivore (bear). Man has feet and legs, which is close to the bear's. Man has molars, like horses and bears. Infact, they are called wisdom teeth because man doesn't sprout molars till he is very old. This might be because he doesn't have the strength to eat meat at old age (atleast, after he has lost his canines and incisors), and can chew only ultra soft cooked rice (or wheat). Man has nails, while the carnivores and omnivores have claws, and horses don't have. Man has short intestines (around 2.5 metres) to expel meat faster, while the horse has an intestinal length of about 6 metres - the same case with the tiger and the bear. Omnivores also have multichambered stomach (but the horse has only 1, like our man here).

Our digestive system is close to that of a dog rather than a goat.

Certain vitamins like B12 and vitamin A (not beta-carotene present in carrot and spinace) can be got only from an animal diet. Plant foods do not contain vitamin B12 except when they are contaminated by microorganisms. Thus, 'pure vegetarians' need to look to other sources to get vitamin B12 in their diet.' B12 can be obtained from milk, and meat. What? Milk is not vegetarian? Milk is not considered by vegetarians in India as non-vegetarian, because it is not got by 'killing' or 'harming' any animal. But in fact, milk is produced only by mammals! (They are s8xualy assaulted everytime they are milked.) Man, cat, and dog are the only adult animals that drink milk produced by another species. The ancient cave paintings show animal hunts and not growing crops or vegetables - man was an hunter-gatherer before he settled down to produce crops. Even then, he did not stop eating meat. Then came religion - depending on your flavour, certain animals were excluded from being eaten. One of my 'friends' told me that we should not eat beef because (in his exact words) 'cows give us milk and so it is like our mother'. Some people say Krishna was a cowboy and he 'played' with cows and since he is a god, cows are holy to us through associativity. Jesus was a shepherd and I haven't seen a christian who doesn't eat lamb or mutton. B12 can also be got from yeast - but yeast is not a plant. Even now, there are tribes (AFAIK) like eskimoes who eat only meat. 'People' say "many diseases can travel through non-vegetarian diet" and so we must avoid meat. They must also stop driving vehicles, and stop having s8x, and avoid their homes as driving is risky, AIDS is transmitted through sex, and most accidents happen at home. There are more than 10 varieties of these 'vegetarians', each saying their cult is the best - sounds like it is a religion or something! Back to animals suffering - honey is included whatever hindu ceremony I've been to, but did they think about the suffering that is caused to bees during honey extraction? First, they are chased away from their home, some are burnt alive while chasing them, and many die trying to defend the hive.

Some 'people' like our former environment minister, Maneka Gandhi, 'advices' people to convert their dogs to a vegetarian diet!

You worry only about things that you can change. I can't or don't want to change 'vegetarians', but I have to protect myself from some people who want me to become a vegetarian. I don't care if someone doesn't eat meat, but I care if that idiot tries to force his views on me. Why do some people try so hard to annoy others? In many 'housing societies' in Mumbai, you wouldn't be given a home because you eat meat. Some people scratch and/or damage cars parked outside restaurants that serve meat.

One of my favourites - Mutton Varuval. Sure do miss mom's cooking :(

Mutton Varuval:


Mutton - 750 gms
Onions - 3 medium
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Garlic - 4 cloves
Cinnamon - 2 pieces
Cloves - 6 nos.
Cardamoms (green) 2
Cardamoms (black) 4
Pepper - 1 tsp.
Green chillies - 2
Kashmiri chillies - 4
Poppy seeds - 1 dsp.
Cashewnuts 8-10 nos.
Curd ¾ cup (thick)
Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
Oil or ghee

Clean and cube mutton and keep aside. Chop one onion fine. Cut the other two roughly. Chop ginger, garlic and soak poppy seeds in a little warm water for 15 mins. Blend ginger, garlic, rough-chopped onions,de-seeded kashmiri chillies, pepper, turmeric, cashewnuts and soaked poppy seeds in a mixer till smooth.Heat ghee or oil. Add finely chopped onions and fry till transparent. Then add the cleaned mutton and fry overmedium fire till the meat is brown. Add whole spices and fry for a few minutes. Add the ground mixture and fry again till the mixture is dry. Add salt and the well beaten curd, along with 2 cups of water. Pressure cook for 10 minutes, or till mutton is tender. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rotis or rice. Tastes better with dosa.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Independence Day

August 15th. Independence Day. Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel; pride goes before fall. Why be proud of something when you did not have a choice in it? Since it was Independence day, my flatmate and I went to see history being mangled by 'bollywood', like a a dog chewed on shoes. It was supposed to be patriotic, especially when the hero laughs and tells the British guy torturing him that he was a dog. (Cheers from the audience) If the depictions and scenes, if not the story, were real, then not much has changed in 150 years. Instead of white feet on brown backs, it was brown feet on brown backs. The next day, Karthik came and we went to see my old flat, his friends. The old flat was crowded now, with three more people! I guess I was kicked out at the right time. Karthik was happy that the guy who wanted to get me out within a week was not there. Then we went to Juhu beach and had cotton candy after a long time. Since it was independence day, the beggar urchins at the beach thought they had the freedom to climb inside our autos to demand money, and we exercised our right to shoo them away. At the South Indian store near Andheri station, I bought as much Upma as I can. Now, I have to hide them away from my flatmate.