What with terrorism, global warming, high fuel prices, endangered species, delicate ecosystems, scary governments, and tight airport security - it's debatable whether we should travel more than ten miles from our homes - on foot or by bicycle.
But the urge to travel seems to be in our human DNA. So what can you do when you get the itch? Here are a few ideas for socially responsible, green veggie travel.
Vegetarian Cycling Holidays In The UK with Bicycle Beano: 'Cycling holidays in the idyllic lanes of Wales and the Welsh Borders of England. Delicious vegetarian cuisine, using home-grown organic fruit and vegetables. Friendly non-macho groups. Relaxed atmosphere.' Clear, detailed information about their bike holidays, and costs. One very useful feature of the site is the currency converter. The prices seem reasonable, even in $US. The lovely pictures and descriptions alone make it worth visiting Bicycle Beano
Vegetarian and Vegan Ecotours: Provides vegetarian and vegan-friendly adventure travel for environmentally-minded travelers. 'Biotica EcoTours hosts nature walks, kayaking trips and outdoor adventures that provide a window to the outside world while respecting and conserving the natural environment on which we all depend. Have fun! Get exercise! Learn more about the wonderful plants and animals that call these wild places their home. Biotica Eco Tours are geared for all skill levels. From Low Gear nature walks, to High Gear ocean paddles, anyone can participate.'
Catskill Animal Sanctuary is a 105-acre rescue for abandoned or abused farm animals. The organization encourages the public to meet these amazing, inspiring animals, and also educates on the connection between factory farming/meat eating and environmental, ethical, and health implications. Tours every weekend April-November, and special events all season.
Celtic Dreams Tours As part of their eco friendly, sustainable initiative, Celtic Dreams will offer Vegetarian Tours to Scotland in 2014. Similar to their current tours, with either vegetarian or very veggie friendly restaurants included. Tour participants dine on gourmet Scottish veg food, in eco friendly restaurants, many organic. Tours are limited to 16 people. Price is $3895 per person, based on double occupancy. Single supplement of $500. The beautiful Scottish scenery is free.
New York City is one of the most veg-friendly cities in North America. NY Magazine New York magazine's food and restaurant blog lists the best vegan food served in New York.
Green Earth Travel caters to the discriminating traveler, who desire to maintain their healthy and sane vegetarian lifestyle while adventuring throughout the world. Donna Zeigfinger, President of Green Earth Travel, is a seasoned traveler and a member of the International Vegetarian Union. You too can travel the world and enjoy the pleasures and excitement of unusual places while enjoying the benefits of your healthy vegetarian life style.
HappyCow offers an international, searchable directory of vegetarian restaurants and natural health food stores, recipes and healthy cooking tips, information on living and raw foods, a travel guide with vegetarian travel health advice and resources, veganism and vegetarian dating. Happy Cow is global in scope, has a site search, and is obviously a labor of love. Highly recommend. Visit Happy Cow and tell them about stores and restaurants in your town!
Lands In Love Hotel & Resort, Adventure Center, Costa Rica: 18 Israeli vegan animal lovers "packed up their lives" including 30 dogs and 50 cats, and settled in a cloud forest in Costa Rica. Six months of hard labor made their dream come true: a modern eco-vegetarian adventure resort, and a rescue center for abandoned & abused animals. The Lands In Love mission is to serve delicious vegetarian meals in a comfortable setting, create ecological awareness and introduce their guests to an animal friendly life. They cater to vegan, diabetic or gluten free diets.
Organic Tuscany offers week-long "farm to table" organic cooking vacations in the Tuscan hills. The small classes visit local organic farms and learn how to use their fresh, seasonal produce in traditional Tuscan dishes. At least two of the courses are vegetarian and the others are vegetarian friendly. Chef Shilpa and husband Ricardo Piatelli practice sustainable living, and in their cooking classes, help students to leave as small an eco footprint as possible.
Our thanks to PETA's Helping Animals for their list of this year's best vegetarian festivals across the country. Check out PETA's Helpful Travel Tips — from gear for the road to what you should wear when you''re there, to taking your dog along!
Porto Club is a unique Greek vegetarian cooking and touring holiday run by the George Portokolakis family on the Island of Crete. It sounds wonderful, and hopefully the wine and ouzo are optional. During the Midwest winter, the thought of a vegetarian vacation on hot, sunny Crete is more than appealing. If you have the winter blues, and are up for a reasonably priced travel adventure, check out Porto Club
Volunteer Latin America: This isn't directly concerned with vegetarian travel, but it's in the neighborhood. Stephen Knight at VLM says that 'being a responsible traveller means more than just offsetting your carbon emissions - it's based on the principles of sustainability ... minimizing the impact of your travel and maximizing the benefits for local economies, environments and host communities.'