raveling can present something of a dilemma for vegetarians.
We love to explore the world like countless other travelers, but finding a vegetarian-friendly meal in a foreign country can be challenging at best, particularly when you don’t speak the local language.
The website Oliver’s Travels recognizes how difficult it can be as a vegetarian and recently compiled The Global Vegetarian Index to help resolve the problem. The index was issued just in time for World Vegetarian Month, which is celebrated each October.
It identifies the most vegetarian-friendly countries around the world based on a review of data from 183 nations. The site considered factors such as:
—The number of vegetarian restaurants in a country
—The number of vegetarian restaurants in relation to the country’s population size
—The annual meat consumption per capita
All of this data was combined to develop a point system that was applied to every country in the index.
So what are some of the most vegetarian countries?
The Seychelles (also one of the most stunningly beautiful places to visit) topped the list with a score of 328. Not only is there a plethora of veggie-friendly restaurants, the country is known for its relatively limited meat consumption. It only consumes about 78 pounds of meat per capita annually. To put that into some context, the U.S., by comparison, consumes a massive 264 pounds of meat per capita each year.
Thailand came in second on the list, and Malaysia third.
Of the countries studied, The U.S. had the highest annual meat consumption. It also has the most vegetarian restaurants overall, but not when compared in relation to our overall population. The Seychelles, with its tiny population, beats the United States.
Bhutan is at the other end of the spectrum; It only consumes a minuscule six pounds of meat per capita annually.
The top-ranked vegetarian destination in Europe was the United Kingdom with a global index score of 299. The country consumes about 185 pounds of meat per capita and offers a selection of about 4,433 vegetarian restaurants.
A place vegetarians may want to avoid altogether is the country of Belarus. It was found to have a grand total of 13 vegetarian restaurants. Based on the population, that’s about 728,334 people, per vegetarian restaurant.
The Central Africa Republic meanwhile has zero vegetarian offerings. Something to keep in mind, the next time you’re planning a vacation.
The following are the top-ranked vegetarian-friendly countries by continent:
—Europe: United Kingdom
—North America: Belize
—South America: Peru
—Oceania: Solomon Islands