Eating beef is a matter of personal choice | By Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai


Eating beef is a matter of personal choice

INDIA is not a Hindutva nation, a Christian country or an Islamic state.It is a democratic and a secular country.

Our Constitution boasts of a salient feature called ‘secularism’, therefore the government and the judiciary need to remain secular in their respective roles.

Secularism is the concept of separating religion and civic governance. In other words, the government should not take decisions, frame policies and pass laws in favour of a particular religion or with any religious implications.

Beef has a better nutrition than chicken and mutton in terms of amino acids, fats and protein.

It is cheaper than mutton and chicken and therefore the ban is removing one’s affordable nutritional source from the food chain.

The BJP-led government in the country should have thought twice before implementing the ban on beef (cow’s meat).

Beef is not expensive in India, and people belonging to different economic backgrounds can afford to buy and eat it.

Moreover, a lot of Hindus eat beef too. They obviously enjoy eating it and can procure it cheap.

In a country like India where poverty and malnourishment are rampant, the importance of meat rich in proteins cannot be undermined.

What one should eat or what one should wear or what language one should speak are personal choices of an individual and they simply cannot be imposed.

The government is misleading the people through dirty politics. What is one man’s food should not be another man’s poison.

The beef ban is nothing but an assault on the rights and individual freedom of the people. Moreover, what fate awaits the cows that are being reared right now?

What will happen to them when they turn old and helpless and their owners cannot afford to look after them?

Has the Indian government thought about this and worked a way out to compensate the owners, whose businesses are suffering terribly, along with that of hundreds of others who have made their living from the beef trade?

Besides proteins, beef is also rich in linoleic and palmitic acids, which have strong anti-cancer effects and fights viruses and other pathogens that are present in the body. Beef is also rich in protein, which helps muscle growth and supports muscle mass.

It also provides iron and four essential vitamins — niacin, riboflavin, vitamins B6 and B12 — which helps reduce tiredness and fatigue.

It also provides eight other essential vitamins and minerals that support good health and well-being.

It is also a rich source of zinc, which supports normal hair, nails and skin. Eating beef is a matter of dietary choice, accepted by people from all over the world.

The ban is a direct infringement on an individual’s personal freedom. The banning of beef is only to create communal dissonance with Christians and Muslims who eat the red meat (beef) to a large extent.

The ban on beef has also affected the leather industry because cows cannot be slaughtered now for their skin.

—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Mumbai, India

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