Being a vegetarian is challenging enough in everyday life. Trying not to take the easy way out through constant bread and pasta concoctions and people asking for an explanation on why you made the choice can be reasons enough to feel discouraged. Vegetarian-inclined diets are becoming more and more common, and a 2008 Vegetarian Times study suggests that 7.3 million Americans are vegetarians, while 22.8 million follow a vegetarian-inclined diet. But traveling as a vegetarian shouldn’t be as hard as it is for some, as countries like Spain, Ireland, and Tunisia incorporate meat into many of their cuisine’s common dishes. Here are three countries where vegetarians might not have to plan ahead quite as much before booking a flight.
Matador Network named India number one for vegetarians, partly because the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ranked the country as the world’s lowest consumer of meat in 2007. Many people who consider themselves Hindu or Buddhist don’t eat meat, so there are plenty of vegetarian meal options across the country. Tuck in to some red lentil curry, crispy vegetable pakoras, or fried vegetable fritters.
Thrillist reports that Italy is the number one European Union state as far as vegetarianism goes. About 10 percent of resident Italians consider themselves vegetarians, and with pasta and bread as regional favorites, you won’t be hard-pressed to find something delicious to eat. Try some old-fashioned Margherita pizza or vegetarian ravioli.
Another Matador Network feature is Jamaica, and the country’s island climate makes it easy for produce and greens to grow. Rastafarians, who make up about 10 percent of the country’s population, don’t eat meat, and vegetarian dishes aren’t hard to find. Try banana fritters or mixed vegetables with brown rice.