India's Vegetarian Elite
Breaking News: It would be truly wonderful to live in a world where food was plentiful amongst all of Earth’s citizens, a world where said food didn’t largely consist of animals, but that’s not the world we live in yet. This is where Shivraj Chouhan, the chief minister of the Indian State of Madhya Pradesh comes into play and makes life problematic for some of India’s poorest, hungry children, when he “shot down a proposal to serve eggs in government-run day care centers in some tribal areas…[and] publicly vowed not to allow eggs to be served…”
This is due to Chouhan’s recent conversion to vegetarianism, which is inherent in the community of Jains that he serves that are prominent and powerful.
But here’s the thing: While these states as a whole may be mostly vegetarian, the poorest — and most malnourished — Indians generally are not. They would eat eggs, if only they could afford them, says Dipa Sinha, an economist at the Center for Equity Studies in New Delhi and an expert on India’s preschool and school feeding programs. India’s free school lunch program alone reaches about 120 million of India’s poorest children, and the anganwadis reach millions of younger children.
Please keep in mind when reading the above quote that “every third Indian child is malnourished” and that social hierarchy (caste system in India) plays a very big part in one’s diet, so much so that vegetarianism comes off as highly political, “vegetarianism is often limited to privileged, upper caste Hindu communities and a couple of other religions, like Jainism.” In fact, “more than 50 percent of Indians are in fact non-vegetarian.” I am of the opinion that these children need to be fed and that eggs are low on the ethical quandary list of India’s poor population, and that the political nature of vegetarianism and accompanying pressure, like the caste system, needs to go – for the sake of feeding approximately 1.28 billion people.
Original article & image source: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/07/14/422592127/egg-wars-india-s-vegetarian-elite-are-accused-of-keeping-kids-hungry