The last time I was in India, in 2006, I was a flexi-pescetarian: I was fine with dairy, eggs, and seafood; and I would imbibe other animals in the form of broth, curry, or gravy, but not eat them in solid form. I ate well, and I ate a lot — but my gluttony on this upcoming trip will take a whole new course now that I don’t confine myself to being any type of -tarian.
I first became full-vegetarian in my senior year of high school, largely influenced by my older sister who effectively conveyed the many planetary benefits of this conduct. These considerations ring truer than ever today, especially with the way things go down in the United States, but I’m a jerk.
There is a widespread notion that vegetarianism is intrinsically linked with a general fervor for health and fitness. Please. I have never been fatter or more unhealthy than in my freshman year of college, when throughout most of the year, I maintained a strict diet of cheesy sticks, double chocolate chip cookies, cheese enchiladas, malt liquor, and the occasional herb for good measure. Then one day at the end of the school year, I went out for dim sum with several dorm floormates. My family always used to go to this place and gorge on shrimp dumplings, fried crab claws, and other seafoody goodness — and now that I couldn’t have that, and there was no cheese or bread, I would have to eat… vegetables?! Obviously I had no choice but to introduce seafood back into my diet for good. Aside from the liquid flexi aspect I mentioned earlier, I maintained my pescetarianism for a good twelve years.
And then one day in my responsible grown-up life, while poring over a heap of H-1B files, I experienced the world’s most intense yearning for Chicken McNuggets. I did not succumb to it then and there; I instead called my mom and asked if she could make me chicken curry. But, eventually I did indulge in the original craving. The Chicken McNugget is the gateway meat. I mean seriously, how could you think you’re too good to have a locally sourced, organic lamb shank once you’ve gone there?
So, India. At last, we will meat again.