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Wow! I used to live in Southeast Asia and have visited China before. I wasn't vegan at the time but I would imagine it very difficult! They use fish flakes and fish sauces in everything. Every condiment seemed to have meat by-products of some kind too.
I remember the fish markets. There was a "fish supermarket' in Singapore I was at once. You pick your fish, they put it in a bag and you take it home alive and kill it yourself. It was the same in Kuala Lumpur. I even saw a frog aquarium in KL in a restaurant you pick your frog and they kill it for you. In Hong Kong we had "drunken prawns" where they bring you a bowl of live shrimp flopping around and they pour brandy over them and you watch them fall asleep. Then they bring it back to the kitchen and fry them up for you.

They are really connected to their food over there I have to say, though- in a positive sense. They need the freshness and they don't want the "veil of secrecy" behind what they eat. Little children happily watch their food get killed and cooked in front of them and are raised to respect what happens so they can be nourished.
My father ran supermarkets over there and had trouble selling pre-packaged meat. Nobody wanted to buy it because they weren't sure it was fresh. Its more about the open markets and I kind of respect that. I'm sure factory farming isn't as rampant over there as it is here.

Anyhoo- glad you survived! I do know of some southeast asian dishes that would be vegan (the names of them) but I might ask the cook for no fish flakes or sauce. If i ever went back it would be totally different being vegan!
 
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