Veganism around the world: Portugal

Hello and welcome back to our monthly voyage, in which we check out the vegan situation in different countries around the world. This month, our destination is Portugal, where the future of veganism is looking more promising and delicious than ever. Let’s go!

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a rooster and various symbols of portugal celebrating veganism in portugal

Portugal made history in 2017 when it officially became the first country to pass a law requiring all government facilities to offer at least one vegan option on their menus. That includes schools, prisons, hospitals, universities and more. Pretty amazing, huh?

This achievement was possible thanks to the hard work of Portugal’s own vegetarian organization, the Portuguese Vegetarian Society (PVS), who worked to promote the law by collecting over 15,000 petition signatures back in 2015. PVS are still very much active today, promoting veganism and vegetarianism in Portugal in any way they can.

In 2017 it was reported that the number of vegetarians and vegans in Portugal grew by 400% since 2007 (to around 120,000 people) and we’re sure it only kept growing since then.

When it comes to food, the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Portugal is seafood, but that doesn’t mean that this beautiful country doesn’t have anything to offer to vegans. The bigger cities are packed with excellent vegan restaurants and almost everywhere you’ll be able to find decent vegan options, including versions of some famous dishes from the Portuguese cuisine, such as Pastel de nata, Francesinhas and Feijoada. Don’t look it up, it’ll only make you hangry (hungry+angry).

Portugal’s oldest university, the University of Coimbra removed beef entirely from all of its cafeterias back in 2020. The dramatic move is part of the university’s attempt to become-carbon neutral by 2030.

The Portuguese government banned wild animal circuses back in 2018, demanding all circus operators register their wild animals so that they could be placed in sanctuaries. In return, they are offering the operators help with transitioning into new professions. We think that’s pretty neat.

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