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Non-vegetarian is an Indian English word that is used to refer to a person who is not a vegetarian i.e. someone who consumes meat, especially as a major source of protein.[1][2] Although the meaning is readily understood, this term is not common parlance in most English-speaking countries where meat consumption is the norm and vegetarianism or veganism is rare.

A related word is Eggetarian, that refers to a vegetarian who consume egg-based products but not meat.

In popular usage[edit]

In India, labeling of packaged food products is mandatory to distinguish between non-vegetarian (reddish-brown) and vegetarian (green) products
  • In India and Pakistan, non-vegetarian cuisine has been heavily influenced by the coastal, trading as well as immigrant cultures including Arabic, Turkic, Mughal, Persian as well as Portuguese, French and British leading to various indigenous forms of cuisine such as Mughlai, Hyderabadi, Awadhi, Kolhapuri, Malvani, Chettinad and Malabari. [3][4].While coming to non-veg, chettinad restaurants plays an important role[5]
  • In India, most restaurants serving meat publicly and explicitly display the title 'non-vegetarian restaurant' or 'non-vegetarian hotel' (In India, the term hotel may colloquially refer to a restaurant or a hotel). This practice is intended to help strict, orthodox vegetarians who may want to avoid eating in such restaurants due to religious reasons or due to consciousness of the pain and sufferings that are inflicted on animals .[6][7] In his autobiography, Mahatma Gandhi had mentioned an incident regarding his dilemma, as a vegetarian, whether it is appropriate to eat a vegetarian meal in a non-vegetarian restaurant or not.[8]
Non-vegetarian restaurant example
Example of vegetarian and non-eggetarian restaurant
Vegetarian restaurant example
Name boards of non-vegetarian and vegetarian restaurants across India


  1. ^ Cohesion. Nehru Institute of National Integration. 1970.
  2. ^ Staff, Institute Of Naturopathy; (Bangalore), Institute of Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences (2002-12-01). Nutrition And Health: The Vegetarian Way. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. ISBN 9788120724242.
  3. ^ Collingham, Lizzie (2006-02-06). Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199883813.
  4. ^ Mehendale, Āditya (2015). Rare Gems: A Non-vegetarian Gourmet Collection from Maharashtra. Om Books International. ISBN 9789384625214.
  5. ^ "Anjappar Restaurants - Global Ambassadors of Chettinad Cuisine". Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  6. ^ Ratheiser, Daniel (20-0110-12). Work in India a Guide by Knowledge Must: A Complete Guide Book for Everybody Who Is Interested Working in India. Knowledge Must. ISBN 9781456354299. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  7. ^ Brien, Charmaine O' (2013-12-15). The Penguin Food Guide to India. Penguin UK. ISBN 9789351185758.
  8. ^ Gandhi, M. K. (2009-01-01). An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments With Truth. The Floating Press. ISBN 9781775414056.