With more than 3000 different types of potatoes and 55 varieties of corn, Peru should be a vegan heaven. Indeed it may once have been far easier to be vegan in more traditional times. But since the contamination of its cuisine with the richer western diet, old recipes may now contain milk, butter and cheese which were not previously added (see LOCAL FOOD page).
Peru is often classified as the most vegan friendly country in South America because it tends to consume the least amount of meat on the continent. However, outside of Lima and Cuzco, you still will have to explain to Spanish-only speaking restaurant staff that you do not eat meat, dairy etc. And hope to be taken seriously. A good piece of advice given by vegan Peruvians, is to prioritize bean and lentils dishes. Which are almost always meat-free. Still, make sure to ask, see VEGAN WORDS page.
Modern day veganism in Peru is only in its infancy, although Lima boasts almost a dozen vegan restaurants already. It is heartwarming to see that in recent years, laws were passed that defend some animals (especially cats and dogs) against cruelty, even if they are not always enforced.
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