Is the world vegetarian friendly ?

Image result for vegetarian food
Image source:kitchn.com

I have not traveled much internationally to judge that. Talking with respect to my travel experiences the struggle I have had to find good vegetarian food in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and within India in the state of Orissa was like hunting for my lost earring while scuba diving in the Atlantic ocean. I am a from a caste group which is forbidden from eating non-vegetarian. Hence, I am born and raised vegetarian all my life. The only animal products that I am allowed to eat are egg and dairy products. If you do not know about the caste system in India you can read about it here.

Image result for kerala
Image source:hellotravel.com.A houseboat at Kerala.

I had gone on a trip to Kerala in December 2017. While we were having lunch at the restaurant in Lakshmi resort(the place where we stayed) in Kumarakom, Kerala I ordered vegetable noodles.

WHAT I ORDERED

Image result for vegetable noodles
Image Source:Archanaskitchen.com.Vegetable noodles

 

When I received my order the noodles tasted pretty good but the only difference was that there were pieces of something soft that had a marshmallow-like texture in my noodles. I knew it was neither a vegetable nor a dairy product. When I took a piece separately and tasted, it was salty and squishy. I then called the waiter and asked him what it was. The pieces were pretty big and when he cut it further there were some legs popping out. Then he told me that it was chicken. I told the waiter that I am a vegetarian and asked him to take away my noodles and give me the vegetarian one which he did. He recooked it for me and did not ask me for any charges like people usually do. I blatantly refuse when the mistake is by them though.

WHAT I GOT

Image result for chicken noodles
Chicken noodles.Image Source:Swasthi

The same thing happened with my mother when she ordered Hawaiian salad for dinner that night. They gave her a Russian salad with chicken pieces in it

WHAT MY MOTHER ORDERED

Image result for hawaiian salad
Hawaiian Salad.

  WHAT SHE GOT

 

Image result for russian salad with chicken
Russian chicken salad.Image Source:pakistanicuisine.com

I am partly a Keralite (native of Kerala) but I did not realize that I would face this struggle in my own native state. I have not had a problem finding vegetarian through my travels in India most of the time since vegetarianism is widely practiced in India due to caste restrictions.

I recall an incident at a restaurant in Singapore where I accidentally ate chicken powder or meat powder(not sure what it was) and oyster sauce(which I mistook for chili sauce). It was after we all had finished eating that my cousin brother realized it and pointed it out.

                  WHAT I WANTED

Image result for chilli sauce
Image Source:Amazon.com

                   WHAT I GOT    

Image result for oyster sauce
Image Source:Amazon.com

 

 

So I do feel that some parts of the world need to become more vegetarian-friendly as the tourist attraction to this place increases. I have noticed that people these days are becoming extremely health conscious and are switching to veganism or vegetarianism. More vegetarian restaurants need to be opened everywhere to cater to their tastes as well.

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6 thoughts on “Is the world vegetarian friendly ?

  1. Interesting read. I am myself a vegetarian and I have survived well as a vegetarian traveler so far. What I have learnt is that the definition of vegetarian varies from place to place. So sometimes you have to specifically tell what you want and which ingredients you don’t want in your meal 🙂

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  2. I would tend to agree with this. We’ve spent the last 6 months in South America and although I am not completely vegetarian I do prefer vege food a lot of the time. Explaining that to anyone in South America though is a huge challenge! In some of the touristy places there were up and coming quirky vege restaurants but they are few and far between. A lot of the time the only vege option available is rice and beans. I have spent a lot of time in Africa as well and it’s even worse there. I think it’s important to remember, however, that being able to choose to be vegetarian is quite a privileged thing to be able to do. In a lot of places I’ve travelled to people are too poor to eat meat most of the time and so it’s such an expensive treat they cannot understand why people would choose not to eat it.

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  3. I’m not a vegetarian and I probably never would be. But I truly appreciate vegetarian dishes because it allows me to eat healthy and fill myself up. In the Philippines, it’s truly hard to be vegetarian because you’ll often have meat in most meals. Some of our best dishes include pork and chicken. Plus there’s a mindset that a meal is not complete without meat.

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  4. i can see u had some difficult experiences, but i guess one needs to be bit careful like how u have started to be when the dishes come on the table

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  5. Sorry to see this Harini, but I have a complete different view on this. I found this world vegan-friendly as well. I am a vegan who do not even consume dairy products but love the food from every part of the world. You need to know the right words, and yes sometimes even the chef goes crazy, but I would say if u become a little more careful, you would avoid facing such issues in future. I hope you have a great gastronomic vacation ahead.

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  6. So that explains it, now I know why there are many Indians who are vegetarian. I have read so many blogs by Indian bloggers about finding a vegetarian option in places they traveled to. I have always wondered why they seem to be all vegetarian. Now I know that it has something to do with the caste system. I am a pesco pollo vegetarian, I am new to this lifestyle actually having just started this year. I do not miss pork or beef, but I can’t give up chicken and seafood. There was a whole month when I didn’t eat chicken though and boy did it give me trouble finding food when I traveled. Filipinos like meat that it’s hard to find vegetarian options here. On that trip, which happens to be on a remote island, I thought I’d die of hunger because I couldn’t find anything that doesn’t have meat.

    When you do eat meat accidentally as your story, does it have consequences in the caste system?

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