When it comes to veg or non-veg, Macao’s tastes definitely fall on the meaty side of the plate.
A survey by the Macau Association of Vegetarian Culture (MACV) has revealed that just 1.3 per cent of residents are full-time vegetarians, although 31 per cent eat at least one vegetarian meal each week.
The MACV interviewed 313 adults last June in collaboration with the Macao Research Centre.
Of the dedicated vegetarians, 55 per cent said that they pursue vegetarianism for health reasons, 10 per cent chose it for personal values, while eight per cent specified for religious reasons. The remainder gave other reasons.
The survey found that respondents eat vegetarian because they believe vegetables are healthier, are not processed like meat and are more easily digestible.
Respondents generally agreed that “humans can obtain adequate protein from plants”, and that “vegetarians and non-vegetarians can be equally healthy”.
Interestingly, around 30 per cent of the respondents said that if there were more vegetarian restaurants or options available, they would eat more meatless meals.
Just over a quarter of the respondents said that if there were more varieties of vegetarian meals or more methods of cooking meatless meals, they would consume more of them.
Some 82 per cent of the respondents said that Macao should encourage nurseries, schools, day-care centres, prisons and hospitals to offer vegetarian options. Also, 84 per cent of the respondents agreed that Macao could learn from other regions to encourage the public to make one day of the week vegetarian.
A spokesman for the association said it hoped that the government and restaurants would offer more vegetarian options and increase their availability, adding that public health strategy should promote vegetarianism more strongly.
The association has launched “Vegetarian Map Macau” for residents to easily find the currently 57 vegan restaurants and shops in the city.