Can Restaurants in India Legally Serve Beef?

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Known_Unknown, May 21, 2012.

  1. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Can Restaurants in India Legally Serve Beef? - India Real Time - WSJ

    Several states in India are ramping up legislation to protect cows, and maybe even buffaloes, in many cases making it harder to buy or sell their meat.

    And yet it’s increasingly common to find restaurant menus in major Indian cities that feature dishes described as “tenderloin” or “filet mignon.” But what is this mystery meat? And is it even legal for it to be on the menu?

    That’s hard to say even though there’s no national law banning the slaughter of cows or the sale and eating of beef. And no state laws explicitly ban beef from being eaten either.

    But the two dozen local laws enacted to protect cows across India – in which the age, gender and even geographic origin of the animal all come into play – do make it pretty difficult for restaurants to legally source, store or serve beef.

    “I still haven’t been able to figure out what is what myself even after three years of running a restaurant,” said Satish Warier, of the Delhi-based restaurant Gunpowder, which serves dishes typical of several southern Indian states, including Kerala, where beef is commonly served. At Gunpowder, those dishes are served with buffalo meat instead, as a nod to Hindu sentiment, which particularly in the north of the country frowns on eating beef from cows.

    In Delhi, a 1994 law banned the slaughter of cows, calves, bulls and bullocks – but not buffalo. The 1994 ban appears to restrict Delhi restaurants from serving beef at all – even if the meat has been slaughtered somewhere where it is legal to do so, say Kerala or Australia, since it says that “no person shall have in his possession the flesh of agricultural cattle slaughtered outside Delhi.” That makes it kind of difficult to sell it or cook it.

    In Punjab and Haryana, which have nearly identical legislation on this since they were one state until 1966, the law appears to be slightly more lenient. In these states, the sale of beef from cows and bulls is banned – but that “does not include flesh of cow contained in sealed containers and imported.”

    So as long as a restaurant in those states can prove its meat has been brought into the state from somewhere else, it can serve not just buff but beef. (Haryana and Punjab law also excuses the killing of cows “by accident or in self defence,” not that that’s pertinent to restaurants.)

    In Gujarat, unsurprisingly, killing cows and bulls is totally banned and it’s illegal to possess the meat of these animals with no exception for imports.

    In West Bengal, meanwhile, it’s okay to slaughter cows, bulls and buffaloes over the age of 14 – and therefore legal to sell and serve that meat.

    In Karnataka, where it’s common to find beef in Bangalore restaurants, it’s fine to slaughter bulls – but not cows — as long as they’re over the age of 12. A new piece of legislation is attempting to change that however, making it illegal to sell any kind of beef in the state.

    “It’s such a rampant product that’s sold all over Bangalore,” said the manager of a Mediterranean restaurant in that city, whose establishment serves beef from cows. “I’d be surprised if they could get it off the menu.”

    An earlier version of the legislation would have prohibited even buffalo, which is unusual, although that looks set to be altered in the process of securing presidential approval.

    The restaurant manager also said that most beef sourced within India was likely be from an animal that was a dozen or even 15 years old – compared to three to four years or younger in the United States. But he said that was slowly changing.

    “There are some reliable suppliers – very few — who give you better quality, slightly younger stock,” he said. “They’re very hush-hush about it.”

    Hands down, it’s Kerala that is India’s most beef-friendly state. There is no state legislation banning cow slaughter, “beef fry” is a beloved dish that is available at roadside stalls, and resorts market both their ayurvedic spa treatments and their beef dishes.

    Anup Surendranath, a doctoral student of law at Oxford who blogged recently about beef laws upon realizing that his home state, Karnataka, planned to out-do Gujarat with new super-strict legislation, says that some aspects of India’s beef laws are so broad they could be open to legal challenge.


    In particular, Mr. Surendranath suggested that banning the possession of beef with no exceptions for meat imported from another state or country is on weak legal footing, given that these state laws are supposed to be guided by agricultural science. Although religious sentiment drives the enactment of these laws, Article 48 of India’s 1950 Constitution directs states to protect the cow as part of the effort to “organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines.”

    “That would be a very weak argument to say people should not eat beef from other states to protect cows in your own state. If you’re protecting it as furthering animal husbandry, the source of the meat is crucial,” said Mr. Surendranath. “I could import from the United States or whatever. In that sense, I am not affecting any cow in India.”
     
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  3. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Buffalos? Never heard about it. The author says 'maybe.' I guess it'll be limited to cows only.
     
  4. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    I am not eating in a restaurant where beef is served..
     
  5. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Just had some delicious pre-cooked buffalo fillets in India...though it was in one of the more progressive states. Beef is hard to find though, while in the west, beef is ubiquitous and plentiful.
     
  6. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Many restaurants in Calcutta serve beef-pulao or beef-pilaf. It is made from buffalo meat so that Hindus can also eat. Hindu college students, BTW, form a bulk of many of these restaurants' customers.
     
  7. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    ^^That's one of the benefits of being a Communist ruled state for 3 decades. No laws made to protect "religious sentiments".....uggh, sounds like religious people are overgrown babies who need to be emotionally cuddled through legislation.
     
  8. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    Well if something starts interrupting peace of a majority through emotional and there believes, you have problem there..
     
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  9. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Yes, you have a problem of education, of social moderation and lack of liberalism. If governments started to acquiesce to every demand of the majority, what would be the difference between the India of now and the Holocaust of Hitler's Germany?

    Democracy is not and should not be simply majoritarianism. Neither the state nor groups of mobs have any right to determine what other people should eat, wear or watch as long as it does no tangible harm to others. Hopefully Indians like you do not want a Talibanised state in which the government restricts freedoms just because its the will of the majority.
     
  10. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Mid-High end Delhi and Mumbai restaurants serve "Cow" beef.
    Low end Delhi restaurants server "Buffalo" beef.

    Though, beef nor pork are ubiquitous.
     
  11. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    I don't care if someone eats or not. However, I don't go to any restaurant where beef is served. Indeed, majority will do the same in this part of the world. In most of the states (North/West/Central India) it's banned and It's not new but banned long back and mostly by congress government if in case you don't know.

    If it's served and you eat, good for you. But the one who don't. respect it!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  12. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Serving cow meat is illegal throughout India except just few states if I am not wrong.

    Buffalo meat is common everywhere.
     
  13. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Beef and Pork, both are not found to be a delicacy amongst the majority of Indians, religious reasons apart.

    Hence, both are not generally served as routine.

    However, it does not mean that there are no restaurants that don't serve the same.
     
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  14. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    You are dead wrong in your thinking about people in India, The things you mentioned are not even close to the mindset of People in this regard, you are talking about..

    Cow is kept at our homes, We take care it is as a pet, Its also as a religious icon in majority..


    --------------------------------------


    As you have western view of looking at India then here is a example:

    Go in a community where dogs are cared and everyone have dogs & cats or love dogs very deeply, Open a shop there where Dog & cats is also served as food....

    Note the reaction in the community as time goes by..
     
  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    You arguments are a trifle skewed.

    Democracy does not mean licence or not adhering to the popular sentiments.

    Democracy is a govt, By the People, For the People and Of the People.

    Democracy votes in Govt of the Majority,

    Therefore, it is rather disingenuous to suggest that democracy, as aplicable to Indian majority, will not do what the majority desires.

    Further, liberalism should not be mistaken for democracy.

    Nudism is permissable in the West as is the display of ample bosom in the dress sense. Very liberal indeed.

    But that is not encouraged in India, not that it is unheard of!

    Talibanisation is when a religious view is enforced with the process of a vote or a referandum!

    Dogs are a delicacy in many countries. How come the West frowns on the same?

    Why are Dogs or fried insects, spiders and scorpions not served as a part of the Menu in Western countries?

    The West then can be clubbed as Talibanised?

    It is foolish to feel that Western values are the acme of liberalisation or acceptability as civilisation come to roost!

    Total poppycoc.k!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  16. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    I've had pork a couple of times....didn't like it very much. Plus, also had bacon and later found that the 25 gm strips it comes in is almost entirely pure fat. Ugh...not very nutritious. :shocked:
     
  17. Mr.Ryu

    Mr.Ryu Regular Member

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    May be buffalo is ok but not cow or pork because of religious sentiments, But personally i dont eat both and even wont go to any Restaurant serving them but it's hard to find Restaurant serving those in my area may be only few not more than 2 at max.
     
  18. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Buffalo is also not OK with many.

    Further, bufaloes have a very unique smell that cooking cannot vanish.
     
  19. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Dogs and cats, especially dogs are a very common and loved pet in most western countries. But you won't find any laws banning the slaughter or sale of dog meat anywhere.

    Consumption of dog meat may not be culturally acceptable, however, it is not illegal or criminal to eat it. In fact there are many Asian restaurants which do serve dog meat in the major metropolitan centres of North America. That's the difference between liberalism (western concept of democracy) and non liberalism (Mobocracy or majoritarianism as in India).
     
  20. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

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    I don't know how many eat, but wild boars are delicious..
     
  21. Mr.Ryu

    Mr.Ryu Regular Member

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    And why is that ? Both these animals life style is almost same.

    And if even that true Cow must not be substituted for buffalo or encouraged, I know sir you did not say like that but it's my point to others who may then think we must use cow instead.
     

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