Hyderabad: Telangana has the highest proportion of meat-eaters in the country with almost 99% of its residents being non-vegetarians, a Registrar General of India survey of people aged 15 years and above has revealed and and 98.6 per cent of women in Telangana are meat-eaters i.e almost an equal percentage.
West Bengal is next to Telangana i.e 2nd in meat consumption followed by Andhra Pradesh (3rd), Orissa (4th) and Kerala (5th). Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana top the list of states with the highest vegetarian population. Interestingly, the survey spotted that there is drop in the consumption of meat as the overall percentage of non-vegetarians across the country came down to 71% from 75% in 2004.
Experts say meat consumption in Telangana reflects traditional eating habits of the state's people. "People in Telangana consume a lot of lamb and chicken even for breakfast,'' said food blogger Sabyasachi Raychaudhuri. " different body parts of animals such as gurda (kidney), bheja (brain), paya (trotters) among others are consumed. Many people also consume rabbits, emu and quail.'' Experts say changing lifestyles could have contributed to the increase in meat consumption in the state besides religion. They add most of those surveyed could be from Hyderabad which has a high percentage of meat-eaters. Vegetarians could probably be in equal numbers in other Telangana districts.
As per the National Sample Survey on Household Consumption released in 2014, united Andhra Pradesh had topped in per capita monthly consumption of chicken among the 21 big states and was second in consumption of goat meat after Jammu and Kashmir.
The two Telugu states are also the largest producers of egg and meat. AP stands second in egg production in the country with 1309.58 crore eggs whereas Telangana stands third with 1006 crore eggs. In meat production, AP is fourth with 5.27 lakh metric tons and Telangana stands sixth with 4.46 lakh MT.
AP also tops the country in exporting buffalo meat and is well known for its shrimp exports. Among the South Indian states, Karnataka has the lowest number of non-vegetarians whereas across the country, it is Rajasthan with only 26.8 per cent non-vegetarian men and 23.4 per cent non-vegetarian women.