Are you Vegetarian?

If so, India takes it to a whole new level! As a vegetarian myself, I have had a relatively easy time living in San Francisco, where the city was vegetarian and vegan friendly. I never had a problem where food was concerned, because SF caters to every dietary needs. When I moved to Mumbai, I was in vegetarian heaven, because there is still a strong inclination toward vegetarianism in India. However, the icing on the cake was when I started noticing that almost every food item that was sold in stores and supermarkets had a certain emblem that clearly indicated if it was a vegetarian product or not. This emblem is a bright green dot that is strategically placed near the ingredients section of the packet.

At first, I was very impressed, and later began to feel quite amused. Impressed, because I saw how seriously vegetarianism  was being taken and how people’s sentiments were being honored and respected. It was refreshing to see that the Indian government was taking great responsibility in ensuring that consumers were aware of what they were purchasing. The “being impressed” gradually turned into “being amused”, as I started noticing the vegetarian symbol on products that I found were bizarre to indicate were vegetarian. For instance, I started seeing the symbol on packets of bread, coffee, wine, even on bottles of coca-cola! Everything vegetarian, had a symbol.

Here are some images of the product, and the green symbol at the back of every product package:

Packet of Bread

Packet of Bread

Now, with the green symbol!

Now, with the green symbol!

Here is a bottle of wine:

Don't miss the green symbol, now

Don’t miss the green symbol, now

Would you like some vegetarian coffee?

Go veg coffee!

Go veg coffee!

And does anyone fancy a veg coke?

I could fill this page with pictures of products marked as vegetarian. The point is, if you are a veg, and are very particular about what you consume, especially if they affect your religious beliefs and sentiments, then know that India is a sanctuary for vegetarians, if not for anything else. It is so much a sanctuary that, in the worst case scenario, if you are ever in an altered state of consciousness, you will still know to look for the green symbol to determine if something is vegetarian or not.


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