They have their own enclaves, and now meat-haters are tackling supermarkets. Amrit Dhillon reports.

AS INDIANS shop in supermarkets for the first time, some vegetarians are caught in a dilemma -- how to push a trolley down the aisles and avoid the displays of meat and fish.

With supermarkets and shopping malls mushrooming all over India, vegetarians in Mumbai see no reason why a simple shopping expedition should be an affront to their sensitivities.

They are calling for meatless supermarkets and want the cafes and restaurants in malls to stop serving meat dishes. But trouble lies ahead as meat-lovers are appalled by the vegetarians' demands.
Not all Indian Hindus are vegetarians, though they eschew beef. Millions of Indians enjoy meat, fish, and eggs. But vegetarians can be exacting, which is why McDonald's in India caters to their demands by offering numerous vegetarian options.

Pizza Hut has three purely vegetarian outlets. The Pizza Hut on Marine Drive -- Mumbai's Champs Elysee where many Jains and Marwaris live -- offers only vegetarian pizzas.

The latest demand for meatless supermarkets and malls has disconcerted moderate vegetarians.

"Supermarket chains are free to sell what they want. If you don't want to see meat there, don't go," said Pankaj Shah, president of the Vegetarian Society.

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