Vegetarianism in India as a phenomenon is one of the most discussed and controversial issues. According to the UN (United Nations) statistics, this country is a world leader in the low level of meat consumption. 40% of Indian population do not eat meat! It is noteworthy that in India vegetarianism mostly relate to the concept of "lacto-vegetarianism", and local restaurants are divided into three types: non-vegetarian, vegetarian and pure vegetarian.
Vegetarianism is widespread among Brahmanas and followers of Jainism. Therefore, in 2014, the Gujarat town of Palitana, a pilgrimage center of the Jains, officially became the world's first vegetarian city. Trade of meat and any activity associated with the slaughter of cattle and fishing are forbidden and severely punished.
What influenced on the vegetarianism development in India?
First, the adoption of the principle of "Ahimsa" or "no harm". It happened at the turn of the centuries upon the beginning of Hinduism reformation, when moral and life principles were being borrowed from Buddhism.
Secondly, for thousands of years the climatic conditions in India forced people to focus onto the vegetable food. It occurred due to the impossibility of long-term meat storage.
Thirdly, the Indians stopped killing cows for economic reasons. It happened more useful and profitable to keep these animals at home, as they give milk, butter, they are a good draft power, as well as the cow dung is used for fuel.