I was surprised to read the results of the latest Hindu-CNN-IBN State of the Nation Survey.
According to this survey by Hindu and CNN-IBN, you would be wrong to assume that most Indians are vegetarian.
In fact, overall, only 31 per cent individuals prefer vegetarian food and 60 per cent others have shown a definite preference for non-vegetarian food. In the overall count, 21 per cent Indian families are pure vegetarians while 44 per cent families prefer having non-vegetarian food. And 32 per cent families have people who eat both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian foods.
It made sense that the coastal states (most of the southern states) have a smaller percentage of only vegetarian population while the northern land-locked states have more vegetarians since most coastal areas depend more on fish. What surprised me was that 8% of Christians are vegetarians.
I think vegetarianism like most other habits is based on individual and family preferences rather than religion and depends on how you grew up.
I grew up being a vegetarian and continue to be vegetarian (though I do eat eggs in cakes – who can resist cakes :))
More women are vegetarian but according to me, most of my mom friends want their kids to eat meat and eggs to be “strong” even though they may not cook meat at home and this makes them grow up to be non vegetarian.