Ethiopian, Nigerian, Indian and Indonesian cooks could teach novices a thing or two, since they’ve had meat-free eating down pat for hundreds or even thousands of years. These four countries, all with robust cooking traditions, are among the Asian and African countries with low rates of meat consumption or high rates of vegetarianism, according to a 2019 agricultural report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. It’s not just economics in Ethiopia, either. Religion influences the consumption of meat and when — and the types of animals permissible to eat. Ethiopian Orthodox Christians fast from meat and dairy for approximately 250 days per year. Because of this custom, a lot of Ethiopian food “is vegetarian-based to begin with.
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