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Thursday, 23 November 2017 | MYT 7:02 AM

Vegetarian-friendly nation index includes Malaysia

A new ranking outlines the top countries for vegetarian eating. Photo: AFP

Island nations and countries with long coastlines dominate a new Global Vegetarian Index, created as a guide to help meat-free travellers choose vegetarian-friendly destinations.

After looking at the number of vegetarian restaurants, the ratio to population size, and the annual meat consumption per capita in countries around the world, online villa booking website Oliver’s Travels named the Seychelles the most vegetarian-friendly country in the world.

It’s not hard to see how the archipelago in the Indian Ocean would take the top spot, given its remote island location and modest meat production.

Food staples include fish, seafood, shellfish, rice, coconut, breadfruit, mangoes, plantains and sweet potatoes.

In the Seychelles, the per capita meat consumption is 35.6kg – for perspective, the United States consumes 120kg per person annually.

While the United States may have the highest annual consumption of meat on the list, it redeems itself by ranking highest for the number of vegetarian-friendly restaurants (18,975).

Here are the top ranked countries per region:

Africa – Seychelles
Asia – Thailand
Europe – Britain
North America – Canada
Central America – Belize
South America – Peru
Oceania – Solomon Islands

Here are the top 10 countries on the Global Vegetarian Index:

1. Seychelles
2. Thailand
3. Malaysia
4. Sao Tome and Principe
5. Peru
6. Singapore
7. Cambodia
8. Solomon Islands
9. Britain
10. Botswana
– AFP Relaxnews