Move over meat-eaters; there's a new sheriff in town. Veganism, which is the practice of not eating meat products, is making head's way. This dietary movement has risen in popularity in recent years worldwide. Whether due to personal reasons or medical concerns, the world is slowly becoming vegan. Grocery stores are stocking themselves up with plant-based nuggets, fresh produce, and more. The long story short is veganism is becoming more accessible. It features a lot more menu items than the standard salad.
Despite its growing popularity, the truth is that compared to meat-eaters, vegans may face limited options when traveling. However, there's a whole new world out there. There are chefs determined to invite tourists to their international kitchens to try new cuisines. Vegan travelers, these countries will welcome you with open arms due to their plant-based cuisines! These countries are also starting a movement that involves focusing more on eating plants and reducing meat consumption.
Being the second-largest population globally, India is home to dozens of states, each with a unique history and cuisine. Many people do not consume meat products; some identify as Lacto-vegetarian (they do not eat eggs), especially in places like Punjab, Telangana, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, states with a high percentage of vegetarians. Travelers with a plant-based diet will also enjoy eating at restaurants that are strictly vegetarian (otherwise known as "vaishno shaba”) and refrain from using meat-based ingredients like lard or meat stock. On the other hand, vegans traveling to India will know that the population still consumes dairy or honey.
7 United States
The US is famously known as a melting pot of cultures. Cuisines of all over the world can be found in North America, especially the US New York City, the supposed "international food capital of the world." According to HappyCow, there are about 111 veg-friendly restaurants in NYC within a 5-mile radius! Travelers can otherwise head to the famous city of Los Angeles in California. This sunny city is home to a plethora of celebrities (some of which happen to be vegan). The sunny city in California is chock full of vegan restaurants, despite the US being one of the largest meat consumers on the planet.
Thailand is the land of smiles, and Bangkok is perfect for vegan foodies. Not only is Thai cuisine full of healthy vegetables, but some restaurants specifically only sell vegan food, known as "Jay" restaurants. Despite having a vegetable-heavy cuisine, Thai food is also known for containing lots of fish sauce because it's flavorful. So be sure to ask for "no fish sauce" when ordering a dish at a restaurant, and be sure to add some spice to food for flavor. Once travelers sample authentic Thai food, they'll understand why it's so popular!
Israel vegans make up 8% of its population, over 400,000 people! Many of these vegans settle in Tel Aviv. Having a large majority of the Jewish population, the kosher-centric diet of many Israelites has allowed them to embrace veganism. Israel is home to one of the best vegan cafes in the world, Anastasia. They also are home to the world's only vegan chocolate shop, COCO Vegan Chocolate. It's also easy for vegan travelers to buy groceries here as Tel Aviv is home to 2 vegan grocery stores, known as Taam L'Chaim (Taste for Life) and Makolet Teva. Best yet, Israeli and Mediterranean cuisine has some vegan favorites, such as falafel or baba ganoush.
4 United Kingdom
This internationally acclaimed country leads the vegan movement, with the highest number of people converting to veganism for several years. In 2019, there are about 600k vegans, which make up 1% of the UK's population. That number is expected to grow and even more appealing during the pandemic. In London, it's easy to find a vegan restaurant or grocery store in a couple every block. They even are home to the world's first cheese vegan shop, the La Fauxmagerie! From plant-based milk to meatless meat alternatives, citizens of the UK are the largest consumers of these plant-based products worldwide. Aside from checking out London's most iconic landmark, vegan travelers can let their tastebuds travel when stopping by the international city of London!
Canada's diversity of cultures is often commended, and this diversity leaks into its food scene. In the streets of Toronto, vegans don't have to scramble to find a good restaurant because it's all over the city! The city hosts one of the most extensive vegetarian food festivals of the year, also known as Toronto's Veg Food Fest. Canada also created some famous national vegan chains, like Branch Copper (which has a good shiitake teriyaki burger) and Fresh, which has even made its way to Los Angeles!
Germany is one of the leaders of the vegan movement (though the UK has overthrown their thrown). Traditionally, though German cuisine is heavy on meat, recent trends show that Germans are more conscious about reducing their meat consumption. This number is expected to increase; vegans represent 1.6% of their population. Vegans will especially have no trouble finding Vegan-friendly (and even exclusively vegan) restaurants in the capital of Berlin. Reportedly, there are 333 veg-friendly restaurants in the capital, with 202 belonging to Berlin!
Australians are heavy meat eaters (one of the largest meat consumers in the world). However, the citizens are looking to change that and are one of the fastest-growing countries of the plant-based market—home to inventions like carbon-neutral ground mince. Vegans heading to the beautiful country of Australia will even find a Seven-Eleven serving up vegan sandwiches!