As more and more findings indicate that limiting meat consumption can improve one's health, even lifelong, flag-waving carnivores are beginning to explore new food options. But where to start?
As with many things these days, the Internet has proven to be fertile ground for sites and apps catering to vegetarians or veg-curious.
The most recent entrant into the category is V-lish, offering vegetarian-friendly dining advice, recipes and other resources, such as a meat-free grocery guide designed by bestselling author and celebrity health activist Kathy Freston.
The vibe of V-lish is decidedly unsnobby, with one recent blog post reminding readers of classic comfort foods that happen to be vegetarian, including PB&J sandwiches, tomato soup and bean burritos. In fact its largest mission appears to be spreading awareness for alternative eating options, whatever way one can get them.
"Not all of us live in an area with access to natural foods grocery chains and health food stores," the site reads. "If you find yourself bored with the offerings at your local grocer (and aren’t feeling ambitious enough to try some of the amazing, meat-free recipes on this site), there are many places where you can order meat-free products online to be delivered right to your door."
For those who are more likely to order in or dine out, there are helpful advice sections too.
"If you know which restaurant you’ll be eating at in advance, you can always call ahead and ask about their meat-free options," reads a recent post. "If they don’t offer anything enticing, any chef worth her salt will be happy to whip up something special for you with a little advanced warning!"
V-lish also informs its readers of ingredients in ethnic cuisines that may be invisible at a glance.
"Thai restaurants often use fish sauce to flavor some of their dishes, so be sure to ask the server to leave it out to keep your meal meat-free," the site also advises.
In addition to those tips, V-lish also points toward apps such as VegGuide, Happy Cow, Food Tripping and Healthy Out, which all can help travelers find vegetarian- and vegan-friendly restaurants in unknown locales.
While this latter concern may sound niche, it actually applies to two thirds of travelers, according to Bjorn Hanson, divisional dean of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University.
But for travelers who choose to dive into the deep end of the vegetarian pool, they might do better to simply book a stay at a property sourced via VeggieHotels.com, which filters accommodations based on their meat-, poultry- and fish-free menus.