Jansen McCord
Living vegetarian in Oslo?

Hei alle sammen!

Jeg begynner å lære norsk som jeg har en norsk venn, og jeg vil gjerne studere i Oslo i 2018. Men jeg spiser ikke kjøtt eller fisk!

(I'll go to English now because that's all I can manage at my level)

I've noticed that a lot of the food in Norway is very fish-based or generally meat-based, but I've always been vegetarian. Although I'm considering stopping being vegetarian, I would like to be sure I can be comfortable either way before I go.

Now, I've done some research and found various blogs, but the problem is, these are all travel-related accounts of how people live. I understand at the very least that in somewhere like Oslo there are many restaurants with vegetarian food available and living the lifestyle is possible, however, my main concern is the social side of it as I'll be at university. So I have two questions:

-Do Norwegians generally have positive attitudes towards people who don't eat meat?

-Would it be easy to be a non meat-eater when I share a house with somebody, or go out for meals with friends? Would I be more of a burden because of the culture's usual food?

I find that, outside of a few curious questions, people in England will usually accommodate any dietary differences quite easily and I'm wondering if I'll have the same ease if I then go to Norway with the same habits.

Tusen takk, og jeg gleder meg å lære mer norsk med dere! :)

Feb 9, 2016 11:15 PM
Comments · 8
Fantastic response, thank you very much! Hopefully things can be sorted out pretty easily within the household - I'm glad to here you also have Quorn over there, too.
February 18, 2016

I am a Norwegian and I'm a vegetarian. We do have some meat substitutes like "Quorn" and something called "farse". Ive been a vegetarian for almost a year now and I'm doing just fine. Attitudes towards vegetarian isn't the same for all of the Norwegians, but I often get questions about why I'm being a vegetarian etc. Some thinks it's a bit weird, others aren't bothered by it. 

If you're going to share a house with someone who eats meat, it could sometimes be problematic, but it could work out pretty good if you just plan it all out. Sometimes I feel like I'm a bit of a burden when I'm staying over at a place and need to get different foods from everyone else, but most people dont mind it and let me get meatfree food. 

It don't really think it should be much harder being a vegetarian in Norway than in England. Most of the food which contains meat says it contains meat. If you are ordering something at a restaurant and are unsure whether or not it contains meat/fish, you should ask just to be sure.

Being a vegetarian in Norway works out just fine, so you don't need to quit being a vegetarian before moving here

I hope this answered your questions. 

February 16, 2016
Thank you too! That was a really nice, in-depth look into the exact lifestyle I wanted to hear about. I'll definitely try to remember your advice in the future, and it's given me a good insight into more of Norway's culture. Thank you so much!
February 28, 2016

Here is a link to a food blog that is vastly popular among Norwegian vegans, vegetarians and flexitarians alike, where you can find recipes based solely on ingredients that are easily accessible in Norway:

<a href="http://www.veganmisjonen.com/">http://www.veganmisjonen.com/</a> ;

If you click on “Linker” at the top of the blog page and scroll down, you’ll find links to a variety of related blogs, organisations and websites with useful information, as well as Facebook groups that might be helpful when planning your vegetarian life in Oslo. 

Reading up on being a vegetarian in Oslo might even turn out being your gateway into learning some Norwegian phrases and providing you with some useful connections before coming to Oslo. 

Lykke til :)

February 27, 2016
- The only social situation I can think of that might get a bit tricky, is if you were to get invited to a fellow student’s parents’ house for dinner (although, this doesn’t happen very often, to be honest). Some people of the older generation might freak out ever so slightly inside when learning that their guest is a vegetarian, not because they have anything against vegetarians, but simply because they have no idea what to cook! So, if that situation should occur, just talk to your friend in advance, and find out if there is anything you could bring with you to make it easier. It’s quite normal in traditional Norwegian cooking to prepare potatoes/rice/pasta and vegetables separately from the meat or fish, so if you get your friend to ask what their parents are planning to cook, in many cases you could – in order to avoid feeling like “a burden” – just suggest you bring with you a replacement for the main thing, and help prepare your vegetarian option to be served together with the same side dishes as everyone else around the table are having with their meat or fish. This might even provide an opportunity to bond with the house cook in the kitchen and get to know them better :)
February 27, 2016
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