Despite the growing trend, vegetarianism and ‘veganism’ (the way of living that seeks to exclude animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products and other animal-derived substances) is still not widespread. Meat consumption is quite high throughout the western world. Americans consume about 120 kilograms of meat per person, per year! The quantity of meat consumed is declining per say in almost all the countries, though. So are there any countries which are largely vegetarian?
Technically, the answer is ‘No’, but there are some countries with high number of vegetarians (as per the data), or at least with ample vegetarian options (it’d be safe to assume a plethora of exclusive vegetarian joints in some nations do have ‘vegetarians’ to cater to), and these are:
- India – About 31 percent of Indians are vegetarians. Most Indians are lacto-vegetarians and not vegans, and many others opt to remain vegetarian on select days.
- Israel – Israel has a significant vegan population. So much so that it is soon becoming a vegan hub. There are 200,000 vegans in Israel out of a population of 8 million.
- United Kingdom – The percentage of vegetarians in the UK is pegged between 15 and 20 percent by various reports.
- Taiwan – About 10 percent of the Taiwanese population is vegetarian. The government, too, encourages a vegetarian lifestyle.
- Jamaica – Rice, fruit, vegetables make up a considerable part of the traditional Jamaican meal. More and more Jamaicans are turning vegetarian these days. The followers of Rastafari movement, representing between 8-to-10 percent of the population, follow the ‘ital’ diet, which is strictly vegetarian.
- Germany – In recent years, Germans are increasingly giving up on the consumption of meat. Reports suggest that there are about 7 million vegetarians in Germany.
- Switzerland – It must be the ready availability of fresh vegetables and dairy products that Switzerland, too, has a number of vegetarians. Around three percent of Switzerland’s population is vegetarian.
- Singapore – With a large number of Buddhists, Singapore offers great food options for vegetarians.
- Ethiopia – Ethiopia is a surprise entry in the list of countries with high number of vegetarians. Many Ethiopians are vegetarians on certain days.
- Malaysia – Another country with a great deal of variety when it comes to cuisine and a number of vegetarians.
According to a report published in The Telegraph (UK) in 2016, the countries which consume least amount of meat (per person, per year) are: