Vegan or vegetarian? How to take your principles with you anywhere and everywhere

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Ushtobe, Kazakhstan

One of the most common topics of discussion with fellow travellers is food, though when I casually mention that I continue to uphold my meat-free lifestyle even when travelling, I get a mixed reaction. From time to time I cross paths with someone who disapproves, passive-aggressively inferring that I am rude for rejecting local food. There are of course also those that understand how important it is for me, or anyone else, to hold onto principles regardless of the culture in which we find yourselves. I would not eat meat at a stranger’s house in Mongolia, just as a I wouldn’t eat it when going to a carnivorous friend or colleague’s house in England. I have found people to be understanding wherever I find myself in the world, once I explain my reasons (that is, once I get past the language barrier). That said, there are some places where it is far more difficult to get by as a vegetarian or vegan–not because people are less open to the idea–but because the culture has historically not practiced agriculture and fewer vegetables are consumed.  Continue reading