Earlier this week, Professor Shamika Ravi, an Economist and a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute, took to Twitter to share a picture that showed two microwave ovens kept side by side. A green coloured instruction plaque on the left oven read it was meant for heating vegetarian food while another instruction plague, which was red in colour and placed on the right oven read it was meant for heating non-vegetarian food.
Professor shared the picture with the caption “Live and let live”, implying that people who consume vegetarian and non-vegetarian food can exist side by side without having to cause inconvenience to one another.
Live and let live. 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/7FO0wBN9BC— Prof Shamika Ravi (@ShamikaRavi) April 11, 2022
Such a kind of practice is often observed in organisations, educational institutes and other centres where employees, students and in general, people, come from varied backgrounds and religious persuasions, some of whom could be sticklers for consuming vegetarian food and not comfortable sharing microwave ovens that are used for heating non-vegetarian food. Therefore, organisations and companies, in order to allay the concerns of their vegetarian employees, usually install two separate microwave ovens—one for heating vegetarian food and the other for non-vegetarian food.
However, a seemingly innocuous tweet meant to demonstrate how vegetarians and non-vegetarian eaters can exist alongside each other exposed the prejudice the ‘journalist’ working for the left propaganda website The Wire harboured for vegetarians. She proceeded to claim that the entire exercise of segregating ovens for vegetarians and non-vegetarians is futile because “petty folks” like herself would heat their meat in the green microwave just to be “extremely rude” to the vegetarian folks.
“I think this is entirely pointless because you know there are so many delightfully petty folks(read: me) heating their meat in the nice green microwave just to be extremely rude,” Aditi Murti, a reporting intern at The Wire Science tweeted while quoting Prof Shamika Ravi’s tweet.
What Murti with her tweet tried to convey is that there were many non-vegetarian people, including herself, who would heat their meat in microwave ovens earmarked for vegetarian food just to be rude to those who strictly observed vegetarianism and did not consume non-vegetarian food. Furthermore, she gloated on being petty and spiteful towards others simply because they did conform to her eating preferences.
Murti’s tweet sparked sharp reactions from social media users, many of whom slammed The Wire intern for her unacceptable behaviour and displaying a callous disregard for the food sensitivities of others.
In her subsequent tweet, Murti said her hypothesis is that caste vegetarians are pathetic because of all the bland food they eat. Just because a section of people preferred to uphold the sanctity of living beings and abstain from eating the meat of speechless animals, Murti declared them to be “pathetic”, which, according to her, gives her the sanction to attack and sully ideals cherished by them.
Murti’s tweet and its endorsement by The Wire journalist Naomi Barton betrays their contempt for their ideological opponents
More importantly, the intolerance, contempt and disdain for vegetarians as reflected in Murti’s tweets brings to the front burner the much-talked-about issue of how meat is used as a political tool to hurt the sentiments of ideological opponents. The tweets also reveal a perverse mentality that is opposed to diversity and believes in imposing a homogenous culture, where people cannot exercise their right to consume food of their choice.
Being a strict vegetarian is a conscious choice, guided by one’s religious beliefs and a part of moral ethics that govern’s their behaviour. For example, Jains and many sections of Hindu community are religiously ordained not to consume meat. Adherents of other faiths and even atheists who may not be bounded by their religious precepts observe vegetarianism and refrain from consuming meat as a part of their personal moral codes.
But such folks are deemed as “pathetic” because their food choices are too bland to the liking of people like The Wire intern, who do not feel any qualms in foisting their food preferences on others, even if that means undermining religious beliefs and moral codes held dear by others. And far from condemning such conduct, the journalists at The Wire encourage and reward such patently perverse behaviour.
For instance, The Wire journalist Naomi Barton responded on Aditi Murti’s contentious tweet, telling her that she would have a microwave lunch together at a place that delivers “a+ buff kebab”.
Barton, who recently told a woman who felt violated to ‘not weaponise her privilege’ against a man who ‘was from a lower-class chain’, was predictably not scandalised by the revelation made by Murti in her tweet. Instead, she gleefully extended the offer of having a microwave lunch with Murti, implying that she was perfectly fine with the practice of using a microwave oven meant for heating vegetarian food for meat.
It is rather evident that if one is a vegetarian who wishes for their dietary or religious sentiments to be respected, The Wire is not the place to work. The Wire employees seem to take pride in desecrating the Hindu faith, must like Islamist and terrorist outfits.
How meat has often been used as a political tool to hurt sentiments of ideological opponents
This shows that folks at The Wire are least bothered with the sensitivities of vegetarians and have displayed little regard for their religious and moral precepts. It is a reminder of how meat has often been used as a political tool to hurt the religious sentiments of ideological opponents.
Earlier this month, a controversy erupted after South Delhi Municipal Corporation announced that all meat shops located within the vicinity of a temple will remain closed between April 2-11, in the light of Navratri celebrations. The proponents of meat claimed that they had a right to eat meat as and when they want and questioned why the food habits were being foisted upon others.
While the sale of meat should be banned or not is a debate for another day, in recent times, meat has been politicised and used specifically to hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus as well as Jains. Various ‘meat festivals’ including ‘beef festivals’ have been organised by a certain section of society specifically to hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus and Jains.
In June 2019, a beef festival that was supposed to be organised in Kolkata was cancelled after the organisers allegedly received threats from people. The organisers had conceded that they could not ensure the safety of the attendees. In a Facebook post, the Accidental Note said, “If anyone person is harmed, we would feel personally responsible, and we can not accept that.”
Prior to that in May 2017, Youth Congress workers in Kerala carried out the public slaughter of a cow. They also organised beef festivals. Hindus consider cows holy and for many Hindus consumption of beef is forbidden. The cow was slaughtered publicly by Youth Congress workers to specifically hurt the religious sentiments of those who hold the cow holy. As have been other ‘beef festivals’.
In September 2015, Shiv Sena tried to cook chicken outside a Jain temple in Mumbai. This was done during the time of Paryushan, the Jain festival where many Jains even abstain from consuming food and water. Jains are predominantly vegetarians, many of whom even hold fast as a penance for the slaughter of goats on Bakri Eid celebrated by Muslims. Similarly, Shiv Sena, too, tried to sell meat on street during Paryushan, with an aim to irk the Jain community.