NFHS-5 data reveals Jain too consume non-vegetarian food

According to the fifth round of the National Family and Health Survey (NFHS), about 14.7 percent of Jain men and 4.3 percent of Jain women consume fish, chicken, and meat in India.

When compared to NFHS-4 (2015-2016), the fifth survey also noted that the intake of fish, chicken, and meat among Jain men increased from 3.5 percent to 14.7 percent, while it decreased in the case of Jain women, from 8.6 percent to 4.3 percent.

The tenets of Jainism equate meat-eating to a form of violence due to which most Jains adhere to a strict vegetarian diet, excluding even onion, garlic, and other root vegetables. 

According to data on food consumption among Indians, eggs are part of the diet of about 11 percent of Jain men and 6.7 percent of Jain women.

However, non-vegetarianism among Jains is still lower when compared to Hindu population, with 52.5 percent of Hindu men and 40.7 percent of Hindu women consuming fish, chicken, and meat.

According to NFHS-5, about 54.5 percent of Hindu men and 41.5 percent of Hindu women in India consume eggs as part of their diet.

NFHS-5 data, moreover, defies the myth that India is largely a nation of vegetarians because 83.4 percent of Indian men and 70.6 percent of Indian women in the age group of 15-49 eat non-vegetarian food either daily, weekly or occasionally, according to the survey.

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