Anirbaan Hritiq

While vegan activists round the globe condemn the consumption of meat and animal-related items, people of Bentashalia village coming under Bhuban Tehsil, Dhenkanal district follow a vegetarian lifestyle under fear of getting killed due to snakebite. This unique superstition has left the entire village practising vegetarianism.

As per beliefs, a venomous cobra will bite and kill one who eats, or endorses consuming any form of meat items. This unique superstition is followed since time immemorial turning the entire village into a vegetarian adobe. No inhabitants of this village, including stray animals, either eat non-vegetarian food or keep animals such as goats and hens which are widely preferred food options.

Even non-vegetarian food items are kept out of the wedding and other events menu. On being asked, local resident Bhramarabara Das said; “If someone eats any form of non-vegetarian item he or she will surely earn the wrath of God, and will go through inauspicious experiences including severe health-related issues such as illness, blindness, and fractures.”

He added, “If someone eats non-vegetarian food by mistake, he/she will immediately come to the temple of the local deity and offer a puja in order to get relief from related issues.”

Meanwhile another local said; “We have been listening to stories of the venomous snake and calamities associated with the consumption of meat since childhood, therefore most of us even have developed hatred towards meat-related items and completely avoid any form of contact with it.”