TEFLDaddy.com
A Practical Guide to Teaching English Abroad

 
Frank and Friendly Advice written by a Retired Teacher-Trainer, Experienced EFL Teacher
& Former Peace Corps Volunteer Living & Working Abroad since 1989

What if I am a vegetarian or have special dietary wants and/or needs?

Will I go hungry?

This is something you had better ask on the boards about.  If you are creative, generally no problem.  But, some countries, particularly in Africa and in Central and South America are big meat eaters.  In the Buddhist countries of Asia it is much easier to find vegetarian fare.

Veggie Markets

One common characteristic of the second or third world is the presence of a daily market.  Vegetarians will find these very useful as this is where you can find your daily supplies.  It is generally not difficult to find soy or tofu or other things to provide the daily protein that you will want/need.

Health Issues

Know that many countries still fertilize their crops with "night soil"  - the polite term for human waste.  Cleaning your vegetables well will usually require the use of a disinfectant.  But, such disinfectants are often easily found - you will need to ask.  Know also that hepatitis A, B, and C are very common in many parts of the world. 

Asia

Personally, I'd head to Asia.  It is not difficult to ask for very common meat dishes to be made with only vegetables and I often do if I am not sure of the quality or source of meat that might be involved.   Most restaurants in Thailand, for example, have no problems with such requests.

Strict Vegetarians

Vegans will certainly have more difficulty than ovo-lacto vegetarians.
Milk and eggs are easily found almost everywhere.

Special Dietary Needs

For religious diets or diets designed for health problems - best to ask on the discussion boards.

 

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