Nevertheless, she persisted

My parents are Hindu Vegetarians. Most people in the west who are vegetarian are that way for ethical or environmental reasons. My parents do not care about either. In fact, they slightly look down on vegan people (which definitely doesn’t make sense to westerners), since they omit dairy (ghee is ubiquitous in indian cuisine, milk is used in sweets). It took me a long time (until about a year ago) to realize why they are vegetarian. It has nothing to do with religious beliefs.

They think meat is unclean. Like, fundamentally. My mother warned me to only eat "well cooked, safe" meat. Like .. ok? This was at a fancy restaurant. I’m sure I was covered on food safety there. I learnt some time ago that many "disgusts" (meat, insects, sharing utensils/food, etc) are actually cultural and not fully innate. It all clicked when I read that.

My dad got very angry when I pretended to put a chicken in our shopping cart. This was at some point in the last few years.

At a birthday party in elementary school, my dad took my friends and I to pizza. Some kids brought extra money for chicken wings. I tried to take one, but he stopped me and made me move away from them. At my own party.

My parents say they’re ok with sitting next to someone eating meat, but I think I asked the wrong question. Here in the US, they realize they can’t enforce that preference. A better question is would they sit next to meat eating Indians (vegetarianism is a well respected minority in india, not like in the west). IE, how do they feel on their home turf. I can’t ask that question, but observation says NO. They associate with Indians of the same background (caste, religious sect, language, wealth). Basically, other Indians who are so like them they could replace my parents and I wouldn’t notice (that is only partly a joke). They expect everyone in the group to eat veg when at a restaurant or at home.

At home, I must cook egg in a separate pan. It must be cleaned promptly, unlike other dishes that may lie dirty in the sink.

At my aunt’s house in India, one of their sons / my cousins eats egg. He is given a special plate, special pan, and a portable electric stove to use. The stove is difficult to control. The pan is shallow and small. The plate is also small. The egg cooking must occur in the living room in full view of everyone, but not in the kitchen.

dIsCrImInAtIoN oN tHe BaSiS oF eGg.