Vegetarian Friendly Countries? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-05-2008, 09:01 AM
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Hello all! My husband and I are planning on moving the family abroad in the next few years to expose the kids to a different culture and learn a new language. We are currently in the process of researching where it is we want to move. I'm having trouble finding out which countries are vegetarian friendly. (We eat dairy and eggs) Are there any world travelers who could share their experiences? Thanks so much!
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#2 Old 08-05-2008, 09:20 AM
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I have heard Korea is not...but I dont know for sure.
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#3 Old 08-05-2008, 10:53 AM
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Well India is really quite veg-friendly!! Europe should be fine--especially if you're doing the whole living out of an RV/the car thing, or living at home--where you can buy your own produce and cook what you like! China will have an abundance of tofu I'm willing to guess, and I Chinese Buddhists are vegetarian, or at least chinese buddhist restaurants will be, so you've got that.



I really hope your year abroad goes well, it's an amazing experience for the children! I spent a few years in Spain when I was in elementary/middleschool and it was seriously life altering--I would not be the person I am today by any means! (And I'm relatively content with 'me')
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#4 Old 08-05-2008, 11:11 AM
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If you do most of your cooking at home, relying on local ingredients you find fresh markets, you should have little trouble remaining veg*ns nearly anywhere in the world. Now, it's hard for anyone to eat anything in war-torn areas, so you might want to steer clear of areas that are currently violent or you expect to become violent.



Eating out will be simplest in places like Europe and India. However, if you want to give your children a taste of what it's like in other parts of the world, you might not want to steer clear of all things that are difficult. You will want to be realistic about where you can find vegetarian restaurant food, but I wouldn't not go to Latin America because most steakhouses there don't have salads the way steakhouses in the US do.



Veg-friendly restaurants are more likely in large cities, no matter where you are.

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#5 Old 08-05-2008, 11:41 AM
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Thailand and India stick out in my head as being the most veg-friendly. Good luck! Sounds like it will be an amazing experience.
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#6 Old 08-05-2008, 12:20 PM
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I'm in Iceland right now and it's not vegan friendly but Vegetarians shouldn't have much of a problem at all. Plus this is a really neat country so I give it a thumbs up. I wasn't a veg when I lived in Germany but from what I can remember it would be the same there.



Canada is very veggie friendly but not much of a language change unless you go to Quebec.
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#7 Old 08-05-2008, 12:51 PM
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Earthly Delight- I'd love to hear your experiences as a child in Spain. If you have the chance to pm me sometime- please do!



Thanks for the ideas everyone. Right now I think we are narrowing it down to French speaking areas of Europe. If you know something about eating veggie there- do tell! I really wanted to go to Spain, but I am hearing it's hard for Americans to work there and they put ham on everything!
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#8 Old 08-05-2008, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TexasMomma View Post

Thanks for the ideas everyone. Right now I think we are narrowing it down to French speaking areas of Europe. If you know something about eating veggie there- do tell! I really wanted to go to Spain, but I am hearing it's hard for Americans to work there and they put ham on everything!



Ham on everything? Who did you hear that from? I've also been to Spain, in my case for a college semester, and I didn't have to struggle particularly hard to get lacto-ovo food. I was in Barcelona, which IIRC is also where Earthly Delight lived. We've got a few other Spaniards on VB. You may want to ask them. Check out the local forums. Many European countries have threads.

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#9 Old 08-05-2008, 01:47 PM
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I heard the "ham on everything" in the book "Living in Spain". It's what got me thinking on which countries would be best for veggies because it had a few lines on how hard vegetarians had it there. I hadn't really thought of it before.
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#10 Old 08-05-2008, 02:24 PM
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I had quite a hard time finding vegetarian food when I was in france. I guess any place is easy if you if you cook all food form start.



If intrested in knowing more about vegetarian food and living in norway just say so
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#11 Old 08-05-2008, 03:05 PM
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France isn't awful to be veggie in, from memory (i was in Paris for a whole week, once). obviously somewhere with a big city and nice healthfood stores would be handy, as would speaking some french.



as a plus, if you do get stuck for those special treat food items that everyone likes when you're in in France, England (which is super veggie friendly) is a whole 2 hours away from Paris on the train, and you could order stuff online from places like Goodness Direct in the UK too.
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#12 Old 08-05-2008, 03:11 PM
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By global standards, western Europe and the US are quite culturally similar. If you are looking for a larger change in cultures, I would steer away from western Europe. Go a thousand miles further and check out eastern Europe. India, which as many have said could be ideal for a vegetarian family, is much more culturally different from the US than anywhere in Europe is.



But that's if you actually interact within the culture. Nearly every large city around the world has a group of US ex-pats who don't want to go back to the US but don't want to immerse themselves where they are, either. If you wanted to, you could make those people your primary friends and acquaintances. Generally, people go where they have connections, which makes sense, but it can also mean getting introduced only to people who are really little different than them.

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#13 Old 08-05-2008, 04:04 PM
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Skylark- while I agree that there are more exotic places we could go, we have to go where dh can find a job! Right now it looks like we will end up in Geneva or Luxembourg. We want to go somewhere that has an expat community so we can make friends at first and also has public schools we can feel confident sending our 3 kids too.



I found a link to happycow Europe on the French board. It turns out that most cities in Europe have more veg*n restaurants than we have in Dallas, so I think we will be okay!
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#14 Old 08-10-2008, 03:23 PM
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I'd say India is probably the most vegetarian-friendly country, because such a large part of the population is vegetarian. I go often to Italy (where I was born) and finding vegetarian food in a restaurant is not a problem, provided you like pasta. Restaurants often also serve grilled vegetables (grigliata mista di verdure).
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#15 Old 08-10-2008, 09:12 PM
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I've heard that the Spainish put ham on everything. I heard it from my eyes! What I'm trying to say is that I was in Spain for a month, and I saw lots and lots of ham on everything. Ham isn't just a meal in Spain, it's a garnish!



No one has mentioned it, but Costa Rica is very vegetarian friendly because they eat a lot of rice and beans and fruit.
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#16 Old 08-11-2008, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by TuscanyNYC View Post

I'd say India is probably the most vegetarian-friendly country, because such a large part of the population is vegetarian. I go often to Italy (where I was born) and finding vegetarian food in a restaurant is not a problem, provided you like pasta. Restaurants often also serve grilled vegetables (grigliata mista di verdure).



yah,probably india
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#17 Old 08-11-2008, 05:20 AM
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I like England, especially London. I know it's not a huge coultural change but it's a really nice place.

I'm from Sweden and I think it's pretty vegetarian friendly. We have a few nice resturants and most of the major supermarkets carry all the stuff you might need (soymilk, ricemilk, tofu etc).

India seems like a fantastic place. Vegetariansim is pretty common there. I've never been there though.

You should check out www.happycow.net. They list a lot of resturants and health food stores from all over the world.
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