Was Vegetarianism a mandatory one or an option ? India in past had four major classification based on their social contribution, number 1 among them is Brahmanism. People who indulged in priest activities and preaching Veda will come under this category, these people are believed to be practiced vegetarianism, which means they will never kill an animal for food purposes and they will never eat those, it has been a mandatory thing for all upper caste Hindu's to avoid eating non vegetarian things, but really our greattttt grandfathers were vegetarians ?? when we have no work to do, our mind will make us to ask such stupid questions.
I came across a book, which tells that " There are evidences for proving that brahmin's of past have had non vegetarian foods ", Brahmins who were considered as a close relation of Arya's , the desirable breed, perhaps a misconception. whatever they are, they are not like what they are now ! Reasons as follows.
Arya's are people who were believed to be from arctic region or mid europe region, they have traveled from those places to India, why they traveled ? History says, Because of ultra cold climate which frozen their lands, made them to move away from their ancestral land, Arya's are people who were pioneers of seed cultivating, but when their lands are frozen, They are forced to move in a quest to find new place, so they have converted themselves to NOMADS, means people who travels from place to place.
In those times, climate were ultimately cool, they have shelter themselves from cold regions and also they need food to keep themselves hot, it will be impossible for anyone to stay as a vegetarian in an ultra cold region, because they wont have much seeds to grow or eat and they need to heat up themselves !
So uncountably ( assuming) Arya's cannot survived without taking non vegetarian foods ....
Ritual sacrifices, which has been banned nowadays, it was a well prevailed practices of our early times, neither me nor you would have seen or heard, but one of the respected vedic book " Rig Veda " says and sights examples for sacrifices.
Even Rig veda teaches on " How to slaughter, How to cook, How to distribute shares "
At some instance, Rig Veda even tells about the demand of Indra(Supreme god) about his needs and specification on animal sacrifices", Shocking news is, Even in the time of Buddha these kinds sacrifices had happened, During Buddha's visit to a king of kosla, that king had ordered his servants to kill 500 oxen, 500 calves ", there has been considerable amount of evidence to tell that sacrifices were common in our vedic life.
Ramayana which is one of the respected and well believed texts, says that even Sita was ready to offer 100,000 crows as sacrifice and will feed brahmins, if Godess of ganga will bring her husband RAM safely "Cow which is a sacred symbol of Hindus, later times after krishna, it has been established as a sacred animal and amount of slaughtering were gradually reduced.
In the past 150 years, our society showed a great contempt for slaughtering animals and various laws and movements were made to avoid slaughtering, so in our recent times only we developed a sign of eating non vegetarianism as a non brahmin thing, there are several evidences to show that our grand fathers have had a practice of eating animals.
Practicing religions and following tradition is up to their personal interest, none has rights to impose the rules and laws on an individual, but living modestly in a way that it wont affect the society is a mandatory one.
Beliefs of every individual should be given importance and prejudice should be thrown off, i end this post by pointing again, i dint mean anything above to hurt people's sentiment or practices :)