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I was just wondering what attitudes certain countries have towards veggies and vegans. My Mum's in China right now, and she said no one there understands the concept of vegetarianism. So what is your country like? And if you've visited another country, how was the food and how were the attitudes?

 

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My experience is that the French, generally speaking, have trouble with the concept too. You know, all that "haute cuisine" and stuff... they seem to think a meal revolves entirely about a piece of meat or fish and are at a loss when they can't center it around that.

From what I have read about Chinese food, lots of rural Chinese ARE vegetarians though (or at least they are MOST of the time) because they are simply too poor to afford meat. As for ethical veg*nism... I suppose they're not at the stage where they would have ethical considerations about ANY food because there is simply too little food to go around...

I also read an article about Kurdistan (or the part of it that's in Iraq) a few days ago where they seem to think McDonalds is the TOP of sophistication. I imagine it would be hard explaining voluntary abstinence from meat to these people too. They think eating beef makes them part of a culture (the American culture) they aspire to embrace...
 

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My country (the UK) is really good
Something like 10% of the population is veg and (lacto-ovo) vegetarianism is understood and catered for pretty much everywhere. Veganism is a little more difficult, but it's still not too tough.

Out of the places I've visited, Iceland seemed the least veg-friendly, for probably quite obvious reasons like the lack of crops. I don't think I would have found it easy in Iceland as a vegan. As a l/o, it was tolerable. I found a veg restaurant in Rekjavik!
 

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Although the concept of vegetarianism is relatively unknown in Greece (let's not talk about veganism), it's still very easy to maintain a veggie lifestyle, provided you're aware of the options. I think that it's harder to be veggie in countries with relative lack of fresh produce (like Isowish mentioned), rather than in countries where the concept of vegetarianism is unknown.
 

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I found the US quite difficult culturally, because it is sufficiently similar to the UK that I am put off guard regarding silly things like veggies cooked in animal fat or chicken stock, and salads mixed in a bowl with chicken scraps still stuck to it or meat and veggie burgers cooked on the same grill. Because it doesnt seem so different from here I just assume it is all the same, and forget to be extra careful.

Actually the most difficult to find things in was france though. We ate out there once, and there wasnt even a side order of chips (fries) on the menu. Luckily someone I was with explained though, and they found it quite amusing and brought my chips for free.

Having seen the link to an Indian McDonald's menu someone posted here a while back, I think that would be my dream veggie place.
 

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Originally Posted by missbelgium View Post

My experience is that the French, generally speaking, have trouble with the concept too. You know, all that "haute cuisine" and stuff... they seem to think a meal revolves entirely about a piece of meat or fish and are at a loss when they can't center it around that.
I agree with the French thing. I found their obsession with fish a bit much
 

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Originally Posted by mazikeen View Post

Although the concept of vegetarianism is relatively unknown in Greece (let's not talk about veganism), it's still very easy to maintain a veggie lifestyle, provided you're aware of the options. I think that it's harder to be veggie in countries with relative lack of fresh produce (like Isowish mentioned), rather than in countries where the concept of vegetarianism is unknown.
Isn't Lent, according to the Greek Orthodox Church, a time of abstaining from animal foods? As far as I know, this is a time of vegan eating! (Well, for those who observe Lent anyway)

I spent two weeks in Greece last summer and didn't find it difficult to get vegan food.
 

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Norway is okay, not the worst but definetly far from good. There just seems to be no vegetarians around :p There is no veg restaurant in my city, and its one of the biggest in Norway. 98% of norways population eats meat..
 

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No, Lent is actually just a big fish-o-rama. (At least in the US.) Meat eaters can't concieve of abstaining from all meat , so they just load up on the fish and seafood...because fish aren't really animals, see.

Where I live even restaurants that don't normally serve fish (like Wendy's) put it on the menu during the Lenten season.
 

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Originally Posted by queenarmadillo View Post

I found the US quite difficult culturally, because it is sufficiently similar to the UK that I am put off guard regarding silly things like veggies cooked in animal fat or chicken stock, and salads mixed in a bowl with chicken scraps still stuck to it or meat and veggie burgers cooked on the same grill. Because it doesnt seem so different from here I just assume it is all the same, and forget to be extra careful.
I didn't realize the UK was so good about it.

Here in the US, I think you'll find pretty extreme differences depending on what part of the country you're in. Here in southern Florida, it's actually pretty easy. We've got veg stuff in the major supermarkets and plenty of veg*n or veg-friendly restaurants. I would assume that in the liberal areas of the country in the northeast and west coast would be similar (especially California).

In the rest of the southeastern US, on the other hand (the "deep South"), I can imagine that it'd be hard to find a salad that wasn't fried in lard. I'm actually going to be in Tennessee this coming weekend for the first time since going veg, so I'll see how it goes. My family seemed pretty accomodating when I talked to them, though. It's my first time seeing them since going veg, and my dad was even thinking of what restaurants would work for me, so I should be ok.

--Fromper

 

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My guess would be Greenland!!!

With China you have the problem that the Buddhist concept died out with the cultural revolution (大文化革命). Even in Taiwan it had been difficult, because lots of dishes would contain just a tiny bit of meat. But at least for Taiwan that has chanced about 10 or 15 years ago.
 

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Originally Posted by madder View Post

Isn't Lent, according to the Greek Orthodox Church, a time of abstaining from animal foods? As far as I know, this is a time of vegan eating! (Well, for those who observe Lent anyway)
Yeah, you'd think. The Orthodox Church defines the Lent fast as abstention from animals with blood and their products. For some reason, that excludes seafood (sea animals other than fish). So Lent becomes the great shrimp fest for some people. On the other hand, of course, during Lent you can get plenty of vegan or veganized food that you wouldn't normally find as easily.
 

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Originally Posted by Fromper View Post

I didn't realize the UK was so good about it.

Here in the US, I think you'll find pretty extreme differences depending on what part of the country you're in. Here in southern Florida, it's actually pretty easy. We've got veg stuff in the major supermarkets and plenty of veg*n or veg-friendly restaurants. I would assume that in the liberal areas of the country in the northeast and west coast would be similar (especially California).

In the rest of the southeastern US, on the other hand (the "deep South"), I can imagine that it'd be hard to find a salad that wasn't fried in lard. I'm actually going to be in Tennessee this coming weekend for the first time since going veg, so I'll see how it goes. My family seemed pretty accomodating when I talked to them, though. It's my first time seeing them since going veg, and my dad was even thinking of what restaurants would work for me, so I should be ok.

--Fromper

Hmmm, I live in Mississippi and I have never ever seen a salad that is fried in lard.
I think Tennessee is a great place for being veg*an. I'm sure they have lots of restuarants that are veg*an. I mean take Memphis, it has lots of good resturants, and it has 3 Whole Food stores.


Where there is a will, there's a way.
 

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Originally Posted by Meka2829 View Post

Hmmm, I live in Mississippi and I have never ever seen a salad that is fried in lard.
I think Tennessee is a great place for being veg*an. I'm sure they have lots of restuarants that are veg*an. I mean take Memphis, it has lots of good resturants, and it has 3 Whole Food stores.


Where there is a will, there's a way.
I was exagerating, obviously. I've never seen fried salad. But food in southern culture does tend to revolve around fried foods, often involving lard. And my dad and step-mom do live in the Memphis area, which is the biggest city in Tennessee, so I'm sure there are more options than the more rural areas.

--Fromper

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Does anyone know what Australia is like for veggies? I'm going out there on Saturday and am hoping no one is gonna offer me a 'shrimp on the barbie'
 

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Originally Posted by Pescas View Post

Norway is okay, not the worst but definetly far from good. There just seems to be no vegetarians around :p There is no veg restaurant in my city, and its one of the biggest in Norway. 98% of norways population eats meat..
So what happened to Den Gode Klode? And happycow has another restaurant listed, but it says it might have closed down ... Hm, this is sad. I thought Bergen was supposed to be such a progressive city.
 

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I have been to Cuba and the locals i have met freaked out that i didnt eat meat.

I would talk to the head chef of the hotel every day about the food being served.

he was german,so he understood,but the Cubans working in the kitchen or dining area would come up to my table to talk about it with me.

They are so poor,that they cant understand how someone can have the option of eating meat and not taking that option.
 

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USA Norhtern Alaska, Any Eskimo Village. All are subsistence hunters. A vegan would perish under these long cold winter conditions.
 

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I travel to Denmark a lot for work and in some ways they're accommodating and in some ways they're not. They eat a lot of fish and pork so it finds it's way into seemingly "safe" foods like minestrone soup.

Most restaurants have at least 1 veg option (not usually more than that) and the pizza places will make you a "Pizza Margahrita" if you ask for it.

Organized meals like those served during meetings are not veg-friendly at all. You pretty much get what you get so I usually trade my meat for somebody else's veggies like I'm at summer camp or something.
 
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