Does the phrase “bacon-wrapped sausage” set your heart aflutter? Do you respond to high cholesterol’s menacing voice with the proverbial “YOLO”? Does Safeway’s butcher aisle send shivers through your body? You, my friend, are not alone.
Here in the US, people eat 276 pounds of meaty goodness each year--that’s 1380 Big Macs if you have high enough math and eating skills to count in terms of burgers. And pat yourselves on the back bros (maybe reward yourself with a steak?), because I am proud to announce that this earns us the silver medal in meat eating. Can I get a “U.S.A! U.S.A!” ?
But don’t let that meat seeking tongue stop you from exploring unknown destinations for fear of having to adopt a *GASP* plant-based diet! Fret not, fellow carnivores. You can rest assured that you can look forward to every meal of your study abroad experience.
We’ve compiled a list of the 4 most friendly study abroad destinations for meat eaters (aka our fiercest opponents). Disclaimer: should you choose to study in any of these locations, spying on the competition is not only encouraged, but downright expected.
Our biggest competition in this race to the top of the food chain is Luxembourg. Yes, Luxembourg. That tiny European country tips the scales at 300 pounds of meat per person every year. Impressive stuff...almost too impressive. I chock it up to them being filthy rich. Wealth is the steroid of meat eating, is it not? I smell another Lance Armstrong situation on our hands.
If you do head to Luxembourg, here’s a crash course on their fave meat medleys: “Judd mat Gaardebounen” = smoked neck of pork and broad bean casserole with a thick creamy sauce (yum?). “Fierkelsrëppchen” = grilled spareribs. “Thuringer” = small sausage. Hah. Good luck with those.
G’day “meat”! (I acknowledge that is a terrible pun, but I could not pass it up.) Australia finishes in third place with 267 pounds of meat consumed per person per year. Watch out--they are creeping up on us. Those Aussies are getting creative with their meat habits, too. Kangaroo. Emu. Barramundi. What’s barramundi you ask? I have no friggin clue. They are eating animals that I cannot even picture in my head. WUT. That is skill. I tip my hat to you, Australia. We may be competitors, but a true bro can still appreciate the meat eating beauty in others.
3. New Zealand
Welcome to New Zealand, the only country in the world where both the cow population and the sheep population outnumber the person population. HOLY COW/SHEEP. More animals = more food. Plain and simple. Unfair advantage if you ask me. Not our fault U.S. farmland is magically turning into Walmart’s. Your average Zealander eats 255 pounds of meat each year, putting them just out of medal range (LOL sux 2b u!). Hey Kiwis-- a friendly word of advice: if you ever plan on actually breaking into this big-boys game of meat eating, you might want your nickname to be a little less...fruit-tastic.
And then there’s Spain, coming in at numero 4 with 242 pounds of meat per person every year. They’ve got chorizo sausage, that heavenly blend of spice and flesh, running through their veins. While our spot seems pretty secure against Spain, I have my concerns. My worry is that as meat becomes more popular than Catholicism and as popular as soccer, Spain’s population will redirect all that religious fervency towards meat eating. There’s no stopping a Spaniard scorned by the church and angered by a futbol loss from consoling himself with extraordinary amounts of ham. They’re definitely a dark horse to keep an eye out for--if someone else on this list doesn’t eat that horse first.
While I have a few reservations about sending you abroad to these countries to fraternize with the competition, I’ll allow it. Remember, though, that you are ultimately a mole for our country (but, like, if they eat moles in any of these places, which wouldn’t be much of a shocker, prepare to self-sacrifice). I expect you to come back with insider info on their strengths and weaknesses--what meats can they basically inhale? Which meats give them stomach aches? This is a cut throat game (literally, if you opt for kosher meat), and we won’t stop til we get the gold.
No matter which meat-friendly destination you find yourself in abroad, hopefully you’ll find something (or someone) to “steak me home tonight!”
Emma is a senior at UC Berkeley, majoring in Cognitive Science. Since studying abroad in Utrecht, Netherlands, she has been itching to travel more. She works at Go Overseas.
[Man eating meat image via ShutterStock]