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Positive Changes in Countries

Positive Changes in Countries, Part 40 of a Multi-part Series – Merciful Governments, Merciful Citizens: Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico

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Islamic Republic of Mauritania: This sovereign state in northwest Africa has an Atlantic coast and shared borders with Western Sahara, Algeria, Mali, and Senegal. Mauritania strives to halt desertification, protect ecosystems, and save endangered species. Mauritania has made significant progress in education. Between 2000 and 2013, the general enrollment rate increased from 88% to 97%. As with other West African countries, Mauritanian cuisine is plant-based friendly. Many traditional dishes are already vegan, using fruits and vegetables that are indigenous to the area. People are progressively discovering ways to replace meat and dairy in their usual recipes and enjoy the same or enhanced flavors.

Republic of Mauritius: Mauritius is a beautiful island nation in the Indian Ocean, about 2,000 kilometers from Africa and 900 kilometers east of Madagascar. The fully democratic government introduced free elementary and high school education in 1976, just eight years after achieving independence. Enrollment rates have steadily increased ever since, especially for girls. More recently, online education courses were developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to prepare for future remote learning demands. The country is focused on developing sustainable energy to decrease its dependence on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Electricity from coal will be phased out by 2030. With the majority of people in Mauritius adhering to Hinduism, it follows that vegetarianism is well-established in the country’s culture. Many popular street food snacks in Mauritius are vegan, and plant-based restaurants are getting easier to find.

United Mexican States: Mexico is a Shining World Leadership Award for Environmental Protection laureate. Thanks to its National Alliance for Jaguar Conservation, the species’ population increased by 20% between 2010 and 2018 to exceed 4,800. And Mexico is a Shining World Leadership Award for Compassion recipient. In 2021, the Senate unanimously voted to prohibit cosmetics testing on animal-people, making it the first North American country to enact such a law. Veganism is on the rise in Mexico. According to reports published by Nielsen IQ and VegWorld Magazine, 20% of the population claims to be vegetarian or vegan, and young people are leading the trend. Supermarkets and restaurants are responding to a growing demand for meat alternatives. Currently, lists 1,628 veg-friendly restaurants in Mexico, among which 424 are vegan.

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