While I was studying college, most of my class-mates were vegetarians. Later, while working in Bangalore, it just turned out that the majority of my colleagues in my group were vegetarians too. Whenever we went out for a team lunch, it was common to renegate the non-veggies to one side of the table by the majority vegetarian gang. A colleague who eats non-veg often comments that vegetarians should just graze on the lawn!
I have heard many of my colleagues and friends comment that the majority of Indians are vegetarians. That opinion was understandable, considering the surrounding we were in. Most of the restaurants (self-service fast food types, a.k.a Darshinis back then) were purely vegetarian. Whenever I attended any function, the food wood be vegetarian too.
I slowly learnt that my surrounding was not a true sample of this country. Though India indeed has the highest number of vegetarians in the world, the percentage of vegetarians in India is not more than 40% and is just 20% per some sources. Further, contrary to my expectations, the southern states have smaller percentage of vegetarians than the northern states (not the north-east).
Recently, at a team lunch in office, I turned out to be the only vegetarian in a group of 10. I knew that this was closer to true percentages of vegetarians in this country. However, I felt quite strange about this change. It made me wonder whether this was just a co-incidence that I was the only vegetarian in that group or whether the demography changed significantly in the last decade.