Which U.S. States are the Most “Vegan?” [A 2021 Study]

Veganism has gained a lot of support in America in the last 20 years, with many people making that lifestyle change for both health and ethical reasons. 

As with most human behavior changes, trends towards veganism have been very different from state to state.

That’s why we had our team focus on researching and gathering data from all 50 states to come up with a definitive list of the most vegan states of 2021.

How Did We Rate Each State?

Our research approach focused on four indicators that we measured for every state, and with that complete data set, we could then rank all 50 states.

1. Vegan Population per Capita

To assess the vegan population of a state, we looked at online search trends published by Google. 

We measured the average monthly search volume for the phrase “vegan restaurants” for each state, as this is the clearest indication of how interested the local population is in vegan dining. 

The final step in this research involved weighing the search volume of each state on a per 1 million people basis to achieve a data set that allowed for clear comparison and ranking. 

2. Number of Vegan Restaurants

The second most important data point in this research involved gathering details about the total number of dedicated vegan restaurants in each state. 

Our team approached this using online resources to gather details from Google Maps, HappyCow.com, and Yelp.com. 

The critical part of this research was that we strictly focused on vegan restaurants and excluded vegetarian ones where we would have had to make subjective decisions about how vegan each restaurant was. 

Weighing the number of restaurants against the population provided a clear objective ranking. 

3. Number of Vegan Meetup Groups

The third part of our research data looked at how many vegan meetup groups are registered in every state to gauge how active the vegan population is in promoting this lifestyle. 

We were able to quantify this data by using online resources at Meetup.com and Google search, which proved to be the most reliable sources. 

In order to be able to compare states of different sizes, we also weighted the data per 1 million people. 

4. Number of Animal Welfare Groups

And finally, we looked at how many animal welfare groups were registered in each state as an indicator of people’s support for animal rights. 

Google Maps proved to have the most reliable information about animal welfare groups and shelters. 

The final step was again to weigh this number per 1 million people to make a comparison between states possible. 

The Top 10 Vegan States in America

1. Nevada

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 942 per 1 million people 

• Vegan Restaurants: 14 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 8 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 4 per 1 million people

The most significant driving factor for Nevada achieving the top ranking came down to very strong growth in search traffic among the local population. And once we added a fourth-place ranking for the number of vegan dining options, we got data that put Nevada marginally ahead of California.

2. California

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 838 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 11 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 6 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 3 per 1 million people

With a slightly lower search volume, and a number of vegan restaurants per 1 million people than Nevada, California still ranks very high with a growing trend in both data sets.

It’s also a state that has a lot to offer vegans who want to grow their circle of vegan friends through organized meetup groups. 

3. Oregon

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 688 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 16 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 5 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 21 per 1 million people

Oregon has a solid ranking in the top 5 for search volume, but it was the third-place ranking for vegan restaurants that pushed it up into the overall third place. 

The one area where there seems to be the most opportunity to gain some rankings is through organized meetup groups. 

4. Hawaii

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 622 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 19 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 18 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 40 per 1 million people

The data point that stood out the most for Hawaii is the density of restaurants. It seems like both locals and people vacationing on the islands have a significant demand for vegan dining experiences. 

Combined with the eighth-place finish for the number of people using vegan search terms, the data supported a strong overall ranking. 

5. New York

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 622 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 9 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 6 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 4 per 1 million people

One thing we noted during our research is that NYC has the highest density of vegan restaurants. However, that density doesn’t continue throughout the state.

The strong overall search trends have supported a top 5 finish for NY, and there are many active meetup groups to find more like-minded people. 

6. New Jersey

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 405 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 29 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 16 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 17 per 1 million people

What stands out the most for New Jersey is that despite only ranking in 18th place for local search trends, it’s the highest-ranked state for the selection of vegan restaurants. 

With 29 vegan dining choices per 1 million people, New Jersey is well ahead of second-place Hawaii with 19 restaurants. 

7. Maryland

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 480 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 11 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 22 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 22 per 1 million people

Maryland made it to the top 10 due to good supporting search trends and choice of restaurants. It stands out on this list, especially when you consider the small population size. 

We also found that it’s one of the better places to get involved with meetup groups and animal rights support groups.

8. Arizona

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 742 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 5 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 5 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 16 per 1 million people

The surprising fact about Arizona’s data points is that it ranks in fourth place for search trends but only in 24th place for the density of vegan restaurants. 

That would suggest that there is significant scope for more vegan dining options to open up and support that growing search trend. 

9. Massachusetts

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 421 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 10 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 14 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 12 per 1 million people

Opposite to Arizona’s data, Massachusetts is one of the top-ranking states for the selection of dedicated vegan restaurants, but it only ranks in 17th place for Google searches.

Massachusetts also ranks very high when it comes to animal welfare activity and meetup groups throughout the state. 

10. Michigan

Quick Facts:

• Vegan Population: 441 per 1 million people

• Vegan Restaurants: 9 per 1 million people

• Vegan Meetup Groups: 4 per 1 million people

• Animal Welfare Groups: 4 per 1 million people

The 10th place is another well-deserved one with a good combination of high search trends and the number of vegan restaurants. 

But what stood out more for us was the very high fourth place for both the number of animal welfare and meetup groups available. 

Here’s the full list of all 50 states in order:

  1. Nevada
  2. California
  3. Oregon
  4. Hawaii
  5. New York
  6. New Jersey
  7. Maryland
  8. Arizona
  9. Massachusetts
  10. Michigan
  11. Virginia
  12. Florida
  13. Rhode Island
  14. Colorado
  15. Georgia
  16. Utah
  17. Washington
  18. Vermont
  19. Illinois
  20. New Mexico
  21. Delaware
  22. Texas
  23. North Carolina
  24. Connecticut
  25. Pennsylvania
  26. New Hampshire
  27. Minnesota
  28. Ohio
  29. South Carolina
  30. Tennessee
  31. Missouri
  32. West Virginia
  33. Louisiana
  34. Maine
  35. Indiana
  36. Wisconsin
  37. Idaho
  38. Nebraska
  39. Kentucky
  40. Kansas
  41. Oklahoma
  42. Iowa
  43. Montana
  44. Arkansas
  45. Mississippi
  46. Wyoming
  47. Alabama
  48. South Dakota
  49. Alaska
  50. North Dakota

Best States by Category

A detailed look at each set of data points provides some interesting insights into where each state is performing particularly well. 

The following is the detailed ranking for the four data sets we analyzed. 

Best U.S. States for Vegan Restaurants

These are the ten best states for the number of vegan restaurants to choose from. 

  1. New Jersey
  2. Hawaii
  3. Oregon
  4. Nevada
  5. California
  6. Maryland
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Virginia
  10. Michigan

While California has the highest total number available in very densely populated areas like LA and the Bay Area, it’s New Jersey that has set a new mark for the availability of vegan restaurants per capita. 

U.S. States with Highest Vegan Population per Capita

This is the list of states with the highest Google searches for “vegan restaurants” per 1 million people. 

  1. Nevada
  2. California
  3. Colorado
  4. Arizona
  5. Oregon
  6. Texas
  7. New York
  8. Hawaii
  9. Washington
  10. Florida

There are a few surprises in there, including Texas, which would be more famous for traditional BBQs. With Texas not on the top 10 list for vegan restaurants, that could be a good indication that the vegan population per capita has outgrown the number of available vegan restaurants. 

Best U.S. States for Vegan Meetup Groups

Here is the list of U.S. states based on the number of meetup groups per capita.

  1. Delaware
  2. Rhode Island
  3. Connecticut
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Vermont
  6. Maryland
  7. Maine
  8. Hawaii
  9. New Jersey
  10. Massachusetts

The overall rankings favor some of the smaller states, but it’s a good indication that residents of less densely populated states have become a lot more active in getting organized and spreading the lifestyle.

Best U.S. States for Animal Welfare Groups

Based on our research it looks like a lot of the smaller states seem to be leading the way when it comes to providing animal welfare services.

  1. Delaware
  2. South Dakota
  3. North Dakota
  4. Vermont
  5. Rhode Island
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Wyoming
  8. Alaska
  9. Idaho
  10. West Virginia

What surprised us the most about Delaware is that the state has almost twice as many animal welfare groups per capita as second-ranked South Dakota.

Written by: Total Shape

An Interview with Hope Tala

While opening for Alina Baraz, we sat down with Hope Tala for a great conversation on Nov. 4, on their San Diego stop of the Alone With You tour

Bringing such a down-to-earth yet exciting energy to the stage, it is apparent that every part of Hope Tala’s music is truly a reflection of herself. Opening for Alina Baraz, whose tour travels throughout the U.S. until February, Hope Tala played songs that ranged her entire discography on the tour’s stop in San Diego last Thursday, Nov. 4. From slower ballads, like her song “Drugstore” that swayed the audience, to bossa nova beats like “Lovestained,” her set carried ethereal energy. Although Tala was only accompanied by a keyboardist and a guitarist, she filled the space with her presence, dancing and skipping across the stage during songs. The audience appeared to feed off this energy. Many of those in front seemed to melt as she reached for their hands while she sang. It was surprising to see how humble Hope Tala was, both on and off stage.

“Thank you for coming to see Alina Baraz,” Hope Tala said during her opening performance. “We’re just here to keep you entertained while you wait,” not realizing what a huge portion of the crowd was solely there to see her. During her interview, she continued to be so kind and thoughtful with each of her answers. It was easy to see that she pours herself into her projects and what genuine energy surrounds her. Opening up about her music and her experiences in the world so far, Hope Tala shared with me everything from her inspirations to how fans have impacted her. 

Photo Credit: Talya Levy

“So you have an English literature degree, do you have any authors or poets that you like to take inspiration from for your songs?”

  • I have quite a few. I think my all-time favorite poet is Sylvia Plath and I definitely take a lot of inspiration from her poetry, particularly her collection Ariel. I really like the way she writes about the body and corporeal themes which I like to take into my own stuff. Shakespeare is a writer that I have always really looked up to, and Zadie Smith as well. There are loads but those are 3 big ones to me. 

“When you first found out you were going on tour with Alina Baraz, what was your first reaction?”

  • I was so incredibly excited for a few reasons. First of all, I’ve listened to her since I was 14. I’ve loved her music for a really long time and in that sense, as a fan, it was amazing. Her most recent album put out last year is just one of my favorite albums and I love it so I was really excited. Also, I’ve never been on tour before, so that was amazing to think about. Particularly coming to the U.S. was exciting because I haven’t seen much of it besides L.A. and New York. It’s been wonderful to see new places and travel around and just meet loads of new people and play shows. Particularly due to recent events and the pandemic and everything, being able to play shows is amazing. Just excitement, joy, happiness, all of the above.

“I don’t know much about the music industry but what was the process of planning to go on tour like?

  • It was lots of rehearsals, me and the band. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted the setlist to be. That was a really fun process for me because obviously, I’ve released EPs that are all in order but it’s fun for me to rummage around and reorder things and work out what went well together from different projects. Lots of trying to prep and vocal warmups and drinking tea and making sure I am healthy and prepared in that sense. And mentally healthy too. So there’s a lot that goes into it, a lot of people that work and I’m very grateful in that sense. 

“When you finish creating a song, who is the first person that you go to?

  • Probably either my close friends, like Tulula, or my parents. I play my parents loads of stuff when I first make it because I really trust their musical opinion since I got my musical nature from them. The person whose opinion I really really trust is my brother but he has decided that he doesn’t want to listen to my music anymore before it comes out because he wants to be excited with his friends. So I can’t go to him anymore but I’d like to. I also go to my team because I really trust all of them. I’m lucky to have them. 

“It seems like you make every word in your songs have some sort of significance or symbolism to them. Is there significance to the name Hope Tala?”

  • Well, the first part of it is my first name, so that’s significant to me. The name Tala is interesting because my real middle name is Natasha. I really love that name but I never related to it that much. My mom took it from her favorite book “War and Peace.” One day I was looking up nicknames for Natasha and I saw Tala and I thought, “That’s such a cool name. Let me take that.” Because the name Natasha comes from the Russian name Natalia and I thought “Let me just poach it.”

“What is one aspect of your music that you think is unique to you and without it in a song, it wouldn’t be yours?”

  • I think for me what’s most important is chords. Having very specific chord progressions. I’m very particular about that. And also guitar. I play a lot of guitar and I mean I’m not the best at it at all but I love playing it and I think that it adds such a texture to my music. It wouldn’t feel like my music if it didn’t have guitar, specific chord progressions, and lyricism that feels unique to me. I like a lot of major and minor 7th chords, major and minor 9ths. It just has to sound right, almost a bit magical.  

“A lot of your songs are about emotional topics, like heartbreak or frustration. Do you think that these typically uncomfortable situations you’ve been in have helped not just you but also your music grow?”

  • Yeah, I think those types of things are really so formative for everyone. I think in my life and my experience, those kinds of big crazy emotions are the ones that I draw inspiration from in the end, even if they’re negative, even if they’re difficult. I try to keep a good balance between heartbreak, frustration, all those sad and negative things compared to all my happy music, like my songs ‘Crazy’, ‘Lovestained’ and just happy love songs. I think for me, life is just all about love, even if it’s not romantic love. I’ve been writing a lot of songs recently that are more about friendship and family. I think that drawing from love, whether it’s heartbreak, the happy beginning, or frustration, is always going to be the most inspirational and interesting to me. 

“So you originally put your music onto Soundcloud in the attempts to get the attention of a girl that you liked. First of all, did it work?”

  • It did work, temporarily. That’s the keyword – temporarily. Then it stopped working. It was cool though because once it stopped working I realized that I actually really love making music just for myself. So, that was actually a blessing in disguise because I realized that I could make music for me.

“Also relating to that last question, it is so amazing to be getting some more representation of the LGBTQ+ community in the music industry. Has there ever been part of your identity that you’ve at first been hesitant to talk about in your songs?”

  • Definitely being queer. I think that it was such a driving force for me to start making music in the first place but also something that I was scared of. And really through my teenage years, I remember discovering Kehlani when I was 14 or 15 and she was one of the few artists, there were others, but she was one of the few around at the time that was singing about queerness. It was so important to me as a queer person so it made me think ‘Well if I ever make music I want to make sure that it is loud and proud’. But it is also scary to put yourself out there like that in a world like ours where, obviously it is becoming more accepting and there’s been so many amazing things happening for marginalized people, but it still is a harsh world. It was a bit of both but it has been so worth it. It is so wonderful to just feel free. I think what I’ve realized over the past couple of years is that I would never want to close anything off from my music. I always want to make sure that I’m being honest in my music and nothing matters more than that. I would never keep something secret or not write about something because I’m scared of the consequences. It’s been very liberating and freeing. I feel very grateful that I’ve had that experience and not a more negative one. 

“Watching videos of you so far on the tour, you have been playing to huge numbers of people. Is it scary at all? Do you get nervous?

  • I get absolutely terrified. We played L.A. last night and, granted, as the opening act, not everyone is necessarily there, but it was so many more people than I ever played to. I was terrified to go on stage but I have always carried the ethos that you just have to push yourself outside your comfort zone. That might not be going on stage and singing for everyone but I think just pushing yourself a bit outside your comfort zone, outside of your box, every so often is so important. As humans, we need challenge and we need change. I noticed how much performing has helped me be a better and more confident person. It helped me realize how amazing and fun and wonderful life is. We’re all here together on this rock that we’re living on.

“What do you feel is your most intimate and vulnerable project or song?

  • There’s a song that hasn’t come out yet that I think is my most emotionally vulnerable song. But of the projects that have come out, probably my 2nd EP ‘Sensitive Soul’. I mean it’s called ‘Sensitive Soul’, so it’s all about being emotional. If I were to say a specific song that’s the most vulnerable, I would have to say “D.T.M.’ off that EP or maybe ‘Drugstore’ off the next EP ‘Girl Eats Sun’

“You’ve been quoted saying, ‘Why have a life if you’re not going to do something crazy and make a difference in the world?’ Have you always felt like you were going to make a difference or was there more of a specific moment that made you realize that?”

  • I think that I’ve always been a fairly driven, ambitious person. I’ve always wanted to make sure that I leave something behind me. I always live every day to the fullest. My motto is ‘If you get hit by a bus tomorrow, just do what you want to do and reach for the stars.’ I think until my late teens I didn’t know how I was going to do that. I wanted to be a lawyer or work for a charity but then I realized that what I love to do is music. I realized I was able to help people with music, which I don’t think I’d ever really thought before. But definitely, music helps me so much through difficult periods. I remember back when I only had songs on SoundCloud and only 200 Instagram followers, I was barely making music, this woman messaged me on Instagram and had said she and her family were going through a really hard time. My music had really helped them through that day. As soon as I read that, I was like “Wow, I could really do this and help people.” And since then I realized “Let me just do this.” Not only that, but music is also really fun. It took me a while to find what my vessel was to get to that phrase but music was it.

Written by: Talya Levy

SDSU MBB Needs to Play Better

Recap of the 66-53 win over UC Riverside on Nov. 9

SDSU MBB returned to Viejas Arena on Tuesday to face off against UC Riverside. The Aztecs looked to show their dominance after a sort of disappointing win against St. Katherine.

Any win is good, especially if it’s starting off the season 1-0. But for the Aztecs, these are not the wins that they should be ecstatic about. The Aztecs won by 13 against UCR but a double-digit win doesn’t tell the whole story.

The two teams were close throughout the entire game even being tied 13-13 with 11:38 left to go in the first half. Offensively besides Seniors Matt Bradley and Trey Pulliam, the Aztecs could barely buy a basket. Only two players for the Aztecs scored in double digits, Bradley 23 and Pulliam 15.

The team shot just 2-11 from deep and 18-29 from the line. Although the Aztecs won the rebound battle 34-26 it wasn’t pretty. Without Nathan Mensah on the court, the rebounding was sloppy and lackadaisical. 

Again, Sophomore Lamont Butler struggled in 16 minutes scoring just five points. Although Butler started in the preseason versus St. Katherine, Senior Adam Seiko started versus UCR. In 29 minutes Seiko scored zero points, had one assist and one turnover.

A bright spot for the team was Chad Baker-Mazara. In 16 minutes, he brought energy, energy, and more energy. Baker-Mazara had a crowd-raising block and knocked down three free throws early in the game.

After another game in Viejas Arena, the Aztecs still don’t look like a top 25 team in the nation. They struggle to shoot the three-ball and outside of Mensah, Bradley, and Pulliam they struggle to score the ball. Bradley is going to have to score the ball at a high rate if they want to have a chance in a competitive game. 

Once again, if the Aztecs want to be a top 25 team in the nation, THEY NEED TO PLAY BETTER! Next up will be a good matchup against an always competitive BYU team.

Full game recap: https://youtu.be/kuMumFKT_yA 

Written by: Carson Cook

Concert Review: Soccer Mommy at San Diego’s Music Box

Reviewed and photographed by Maya Tomasik

I had never heard of Soccer Mommy before attending her show at Music Box, here in San Diego. I discovered that I did have a few of her songs saved on my Spotify but, ultimately, her stage name didn’t stick to me before appreciating her live performance. 

Photo Credit: Maya Tomasik

Swiss-born singer-songwriter Sophia (Sophie) Allison, sounded so soft and dreamy on stage. I respect her honest and expressive lyrics, and her transitions between songs were incredibly smooth.

Photo Credit: Maya Tomasik

The band had the whole crowd swaying but, I still felt like something was missing. They sound like a melancholic indie dream, and maybe I’m just not into that type of music anymore. Other than that, I also felt like Sophie could’ve brought a bit more energy to the venue. I didn’t hear much from her and she seemed a bit rigid that night. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the show and Music Box.

Photo Credit: Maya Tomasik

It was my first time attending a show at Music Box and I’m so happy to have spent my night there. It’s a three-story venue with many tables and seating areas. They also have two outdoor areas you can mingle at without having to leave the venue entirely.  I am now in love with this venue and can’t wait to attend more shows there.

Written by: Maya Tomasik