It would better to suggest giving up meat once or twice a week, he added.
At the end of it, the army of ASI researchers found that of the 4,635 communities, nearly 88 per cent were meat-eaters. And they devoured all kinds of flesh. Several communities in the Vindhyas ate field rats. Those living along the banks of the Cauvery feasted on baby crocodiles, civets and jackals. In many parts of the country, people who insisted they were brahmins—the survey, however, was based on communities and not caste—and vegetarians said they ate fish and meat.
Definition of vegetarianism in India thus tends to be fluid. One explanation is that Indians are snobbish about their food habits and culture and what they consume becomes a status symbol. Meat-eating is looked down upon by the upper castes and, not surprisingly, ASI found that nearly five per cent of all scheduled castes had turned vegetarian to avoid the discrimination and contempt. For example, the Musahars—this is a community of over two million in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh— are at the bottom of the caste heap for eating rats and reviled for their “dirty food habits” although in many other cultures rodent meat is acceptable.