The world is a beautiful place and there is nothing that should hold you back from exploring it. If you choose to stick to a specific dietary preference due to religious, medical, or social reasons a thought that traveling wouldn’t be fun for you is natural. Nowadays, many people are inclined towards Veganism, and being a vegetarian is common too. Vegetarians often dread that their excursions wouldn’t be fun as they will be unable to find the food they love and will end up eating the same boring food every day. Surprisingly, many countries in the world are vegetarian friendly, and finding vegetarian food options will not be a challenging task. Let’s discuss some top countries that are a paradise for vegetarians.
Did you know that more than five percent of the locals of Israel are vegetarians? A recent study from Channel Two and Globes Newspaper reveals these above-mentioned facts. The core reason behind being Vegetarian friendly is the local kosher laws that prohibit the sale of dairy and meat products simultaneously.An increase in the number of vegans is observed in Israel and the world’s biggest vegan festival was also held in Tel Aviv in 2014. Vegans from all over the world visited the country and Israel is also the birthplace of Dominos Vegan Pizza. All these facts compelled us to list it in the first place.
The United Kingdom:
The second World War changed the European region in many ways and many people believe that the rise of vegetarianism in the UK was due to the shortage of meat items after the deadly war. The growth of the vegetarian population of the UK is exponential as more and more people are opting for a cruelty-free lifestyle. More than 14% of Britons are vegetarians now. You’ll find vegetarian restaurants in every corner of the country and almost every restaurant serves some vegetarian dishes. Vegetarians should not fear visiting Britain as it’s incredibly vegetarian friendly.
Africans love meat , but there is an exception when we talk about Ethiopia. A huge chunk of the residents are followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The devotees are urged to avoid meat on Fridays and Wednesdays. Eating meat during the Lenten season is also prohibited. So you won’t experience any unsolicited comments or weird looks from the restaurant owner when you’ll ask for a vegetarian dish. Let us recommend to you some must-have dishes of the region. Vegetable stews like Wat, a local version of lentil curry called Misir, and an Ethiopian sourdough bread Injera are some popular vegetarian foods that you must try when you’re in the country.
Buddhism is the religion of most countries in Southeast Asia which promotes vegetarianism. Thailand is a prominent Southeast Asian country and the majority of the population(95%) is Buddhists. Though not everyone in the country is a vegetarian, they acknowledge and respect everyone’s decisions. Just be cautious some dishes that might look like a vegetarian meal often contain pastes and sauces containing meat ingredients. Learn some basic phrases and always ask the vendors before ordering. The country celebrated a vegetarian festival too. The festival is named Nine Emperor Gods Festival and the attendees don’t eat any meat and dairy products for the nine days of the festival.
Taiwan is no different than Thailand and there are more than 4000 vegetarian restaurants in the country. Visiting Taiwan would be a dream come true for Vegetarians. Over 13% of Taiwan’s population is vegetarian and the fundamental reason is religion i.e. Buddhism. Taiwan’s’ Government promotes healthy eating and has formed multiple programs to spread the message. The local food laws are very strict which enforces that vegetarian food should not have any meat contents or restricts the use of products that are extracted from a meat source. 86 percent of schools in the country only serve vegetarian food on Mondays.
Around 4.2 percent of the Italian population is vegetarian which is the highest in Europe. The citizens are very health conscious and believe in adapting their lifestyles to become more environmentally friendly. The Margherita pizza with pure Italian cheese is a delicacy everyone should try when visiting Italy. The Mayor of Turin tried to reduce the meat consumption of the city by proposing an agenda but the residents and meat vendors weren’t happy with the plan and showed resistance. The whole objective of it was to spread awareness about the health benefits of reducing meat consumption and animal rights.
Vietnam is another Buddhist country, which means finding vegetarian food in the country wouldn’t be much harder. Learn some basic words like không thịt which means no meat, the restaurant staff is intelligent enough to understand what you mean and will serve you vegetarian food only. Another simple way is to ask for Buddhist food by saying “Chay“, and the food served will be 100% vegetarian.
Romania is the land of Orthodox devotees very much like Ethiopia. The country observes approximately 200 fasting days per year. This ancient practice began in the 13th century and consumption of meat and related products is not allowed during the fasting days. Romania has a special fasting menu for people who observe fasts, which is entirely vegetarian. Simply ask for it and you’ll get a variety of options on the menu. Ciuperci, Mamaliga, Cabbage rolls, and Zacusca are some main dishes on the fasting menu.
Planning to hit Bali and worried about vegetarian food options? Indonesia is not entirely vegetarian friendly, but in the regions where Buddhism and Hinduism followers are living, you’ll find vegetarian food easily. In the Muslim majority places, the concept isn’t well received. It’s always the best idea to learn the basics of the local language so that you can ask for vegetarian food quickly. When in Indonesia you can use phrases like Saya Veegertains which implies that you’re a vegetarian or Sayur Sayirans which means only vegetables. Vegetarian food is also commonly available in Chinese neighborhoods.
The Global Vegetarian Index ranked Seychelles as the most friendly place for vegetarians in the world in 2017. The ranking list was created taking into account diverse factors including the number of vegetarian food restaurants and meat consumption per capita. The ranking was entirely based on the research data but as a visitor, you would not have to face difficulty in finding vegetarian restaurants in this country. Creole Vegetable Curry is an incredible local dish of Seychelles and widely available too.
The Greeks Cuisine is related to longevity and health for ages. The food preparation is done by using farm-fresh local ingredients and vegetables including colorful peppers, artichokes, tomatoes, and eggplants. Although Greek restaurants serve many beef and lamb dishes,it is best to scan menus to find the vegetarian options. Some recommended dishes of the country include Greek Salad, Dolmades (seasoned rice stuffed in grape leaves), and Briam (Baked Vegetables soaked in tomato sauce)