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Vegetarian and vegan food

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Vegetarian and vegan food

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Vegetarians and vegans are generally reasonably well catered for in only a few countries (for example the UK). The traditional cuisine and the style of eating in many countries can make it quite difficult for vegetarians or vegans to find food without dead animals or animal products in it.


  • Decide before you go whether your reasons for being vegetarian/vegan apply in the country you are visiting. If you feel that consuming products made from animals is wrong, by all means adhere to your regular diet all trip. If you are meat-free because you don't like the treatment of farmed animals in North America then it's probably ok to buy fresh chicken in a market in Thailand.
  • Research the cuisine for the place you are going. There will be a couple of vegetable/grain dishes everywhere so you'll have something to order in restaurants. This will also give you an idea of local cooking techniques; often times innocent looking vegetable dishes will be cooked in chicken stock.
  • Try to find the locations of a few vegetarian/vegan restaurants before you leave. This gives you something to fall back on if you need it.
  • In many countries and cultures (especially developing countries where focus is often on getting any sort of food) vegetarian/veganism is very rare or unheard of. People will feel insulted when you turn down the lamb kabobs they have prepared for you. Come up with a short explanation and be prepared to repeat it. In places with a language barrier or strong food/host tradition it's usually best to refrain from explaining out your beliefs and go with something inarguable (see: medical reasons, something vaguely religious or cultural). Be polite and apologetic as you would anywhere.
  • When all else fails, hit the grocery store. You can cobble something together with a camping stove or get an apartment with a kitchen.
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