Nearly seven out of 10 Indians are non-vegetarians but their proportion might be on the decline, a 2014 survey conducted by the Registrar General of India (RGI) released on Tuesday said.
The survey indicated that the percentage of males above the age of 15 who ate meat, fish or eggs was 71.6%. The corresponding proportion of females was marginally lower at 70.7%.
The RGI had carried out the nationwide Sample Registration System survey in 2014. The last such survey, which was conducted in 2004, had put the proportion of non-vegetarians at about 75%.
The data released on Tuesday indicated that the percentage of non-vegetarians was consistently higher in rural areas. The survey revealed that 72.9% men aged 30 and above in rural areas were non-vegetarian as compared to 69.8% in urban areas.
The survey findings come against the backdrop of the growing vegetarian vigilantism that is alleged to have the backing of the ruling BJP-led alliance.
Last year, the HRD ministry landed in a controversy when it circulated a letter to all IITs, which it had received from a Madhya Pradesh resident, asking for separate canteens for vegetarian students claiming that non-vegetarian food had an adverse impact on people.