3. Reading Skills Comprehension: Vegetarianism


 Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow:

Vegetarianism promotes a natural way of life. But despite its implicit message of universal love and non-violence it has not spread, as it should have. This may be because it usually is an inward-looking habit and is best cultivated in the mind.

Leading a vegetarian way of life helps the animal kingdom to coexist with man. The animals supply milk, manure and energy. This has been central to the Indian culture for thousands of years. A vegetarian lifestyle is natural, multifaceted and helps self-preservation in a healthy way. Food and health are closely related.

In India, a vegetarian is usually a Lacto-vegetarian. In the Western world, vegetarians are subdivided as “vegans” (pure vegetarians who do not take any food coming from the animal kingdom), Lacto-vegetarians, who use dairy products of the vetab1e kingdom and Lacto-ova-vegetarians. The Last category includes eggs, in addition to dairy products.

The Western science of food considers food as something to sustain only the human body, whereas the Indian science considers food as something which sustains not only the body but also maintains the purity of heart, mind and the soul. Thus an item of food which is injurious to the mind is not considered to be fit for consumption, even if it is otherwise beneficial to the body or satisfies the taste. Indian food science does not give so much importance to the protein or even to the balanced diet but it gives importance to food that increases the strength of the body and its virility.

Vegetarian foods provide an infinite variety of flavours whereas non-vegetarian foods have hardly any taste of their own. In fact, non-vegetarian foods have to be seasoned with ingredients from the vegetable kingdom to make them palatable.

In most sports disciplines, vegetarians lead in endurance tests. “You are what you eat” is an old saying and it is a fact that it is the food that makes the man. The food we eat—its quality, quantity, its timing and combination—is of utmost importance to a healthy life.

It is significant to note that in the USA nearly 30 to 40 million people have adopted vegetarianism in the last decade. More and more intellectuals in the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy, Israel, Mexico, Russia and its former allies are gradually turning to vegetarian diet not only on ethical and humanitarian grounds but also for health and ecological reasons.

In the UK, surveys have shown that the medical bills of vegetarians are considerably lower than the non-vegetarians. Further, the premium rates of insurance in some categories are also lower than those of vegetarians.

Extensive studies by a group of Bombay doctors have confirmed that vegetarianism offers protection from coronary diseases. It prevents and helps the management of most of the gastrointestinal diseases and is suitable for all non-insulin-dependent and insulin-dependent diabetics. Nephrologists use the diet as a major part of their therapeutics. A vegetarian diet is more useful in the treatment of liver disorders including the last stage of liver failure when the dietary intake of fat is to be reduced. Vegetarians tend to have lower blood pressure. Lacto-vegetarian diets with their high fibre content, low acid and high vitamin and minerals prevent and to a certain extent relieve the pain felt with the progression of arthritis.

The Hindustan Times

1.Complete the following statements:

(a) Vegetarianism has not spread as desired because____________________________

(b) The three types of vegetarians are____________________________

(c) In India, food is not meant only for the body____________________________

(d) The Indian food science underrates the importance ____________________________

2.Fill in the blanks with One word only :

Vegetarianism is a habit which is

 (a) in mind only. This means__________________________

 (b) of men and animals. There are many__________________________

 (c) of vegetarianism. It is medically confirmed that vegetarian diet gives__________________________

(d) from heart diseases. __________________________

3. Find words in the passage which mean the following: (2)

(a) indirect (Para 1)

(b) of the heart (Para 2)


1.(a) it is an inward-looking habit

(b) (I) vegans    (ii) lacto-vegetarians    (iii) lacto-ova-vegetarians

(c) but also for the mind and the soul

(d) of protein or even the balanced diet

2.(a) cultivated

(b) co-existence

(c) kinds

(d) protection

3. (a) implicit

(b) coronary

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