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

Holiday Drinks and Food from Starbucks are Here

[Cover Photo] (Photo Credit: Starbucks)

You know the holidays are close when you have the holiday movies on Hallmark Channel, Mariah Carey releasing her kickoff video for the holidays and now to top it all off Starbucks holiday red cups are here.

The popular coffee chain announced on Nov. 3, 2021, that their annual red cups will make their return to stores on Nov. 4, 2021. In a press release from Suzie Reecer, Starbucks associate creative director she shared “This holiday, we wanted it to feel magical, we wanted it to be warm, and we wanted it to be inclusive. Our goal was to really bring joy to every customer and every partner.”


Photo Credit: Starbucks

She continued “The 2021 red cup designs, inspired by all the gifts of the season. They wrapped each of the four cup designs in classic shades of red, green, and white with hints of frosty lilac. As a finishing touch, they added a little gift tag on the back of each cup to create room for a cheerful message.”

Starbucks Holiday Menu this year includes

  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Toasted White Chocolate Mocha
  • Caramel Brulee Latte
  • Chestnut Praline Latte
  • Irish Cream Cold Brew

We also have a new drink joining the line-up this year. A new Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte. Available both iced and hot has a taste of home-baked holiday cookies and according to Starbucks features sugar cookie-flavored syrup and Starbucks Blonde Espresso all topped with red and green sprinkles. Yum.


Photo Credit: Starbucks

Holiday food items hitting the pastry case include:

  • A Reindeer Cake Pop
  • Sugar Plum Cheese Danish
  • Cranberry Bliss Bar
  • Snowman Cookie

With finals season around the corner, will you be trying any of the new Starbucks menu items to get you through? Let me know by hitting me up on Twitter or Instagram.

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Stressed? Here are 5 Ways to Feel Better in 5 Minutes

School, work, relationships, bills, everyday life events, and long to-do lists. Things that can make us feel stressed and overwhelmed throughout our day.

Our stress is at an all-time high, not to mention we are still in the middle of a global pandemic while reacclimating to normal life. It’s important to take care of your mental health.

Here are 5 easy tips you can take to help with your stress and bring some calm back into your life:

  • Focus on your breathing
    According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) taking deep breaths is important for working your flight-or-fight response.
    • Set a timer for two minutes
    • Take a deep breath through your nose while counting to four
    • Hold your breath seven seconds
    • Exhale for eight seconds
    • Repeat the process for the whole two minutes

Photo Credit: Sage Friedman
  • Take a break from your phone
    Constantly checking your phone for and scrolling social media can overwhelm you. Unplugging for at least an hour a day to do some deep breathing, exercising, coloring or another activity can help you in reducing stress.

    Just because you are taking a break from your phone, does not give you permission to hop on social media via your laptop or turning on the news. Take a complete break from the screen.

    Also, to help with managing notifications on your phone, check out my article on focus mode from iOS 15. 

Photo Credit: Yahdi Romelo
  • Go outside for a walk
    Getting fresh air is important. According to the American Heart Association, “Nature presents scenes that gently capture your attention instead of suddenly snatching it, calming your nerves instead of dazzling them.”

    So go for a walk around the neighborhood with your favorite playlist on or you can go on a walk without your playlist and enjoy the scenes around you, being present and aware of everything around you. From the birds chirping to the sound of the tree branches moving from the wind.

    Moving your body is important during times of stress because you are keeping the tension in by sitting there feeling stressed.
  • Connect
    Connecting with people you trust is important to discuss your concerns and how you’re feeling. This could be your friends, family, or even a therapist. SDSU offers an option where you can connect with a therapist, more information on that can be found here.

Photo Credit: ​​Friends by Helena Lopes
  • Make time to unwind
    At the end of a busy workday, be sure to take 60 minutes for yourself to unwind at the end of the night. This could include journaling, coloring, watching an episode of your favorite tv show to laugh at, or reading a book. When you make time for yourself, your body will respond accordingly.

Photo Credit: Jess Bailey on Unsplash

A friendly reminder to also be sure to eat healthy, exercise, and get plenty of sleep (7-8 hours) each night.

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Feeling Stuck? 5 Ways to get Yourself Up Again

2020 has been insane. Between coronavirus, quarantine, the election, virtual school, and the regular everyday stressors, we may get stuck. It’s ok, though; we’re in the middle of a pandemic. The important thing is getting yourself back up when you’re feeling stuck. Here are 5 activities to lift your spirits

1.  Journaling: I know what you’re thinking; what’s the point? In the abbreviated words of my rocker listening/motorcycling therapist, journaling is a mindfulness activity that is good for you. It gets everything out of your head and on paper, causing your mind to slow down, something that happens when you are anxious or stressed. You do not need a fancy journal or an expensive app to do this activity. You can use the notes app on your phone and then lock the note or go old school with some pen and paper around the house and then shred or keep your entry in a binder.


Photo Credit: Screenshot of Individual journaling from NAMI.

2. Sweat-It-Out: I cannot describe how good I feel after taking an outdoor Orange Theory Class. When you are stressed out, the last thing you want to do is go for a run or take an at-home fitness class but trust me when I say afterward; you will feel much better you did because those endorphins will lift your spirits.

3. Blast your Favorite Playlist: Create a playlist of your favorite songs, and when you are feeling down, blast that playlist in your house and feel free to dance around shaking off those blues.

4. Socialize: Socialize, but not on social media. Connect with a friend or family member via facetime or zoom. By nature, we are social creatures, so when we connect with people, we love this improves our mood. Even if you are struggling, reach out to a friend and let them know what’s up but don’t overwhelm them. Let them know why you are struggling and see if talking it out helps. If not, you can always seek help from a campus therapist (619-594-5220) who can guide you in the right direction of getting you the help you need.


Photo Credit: Screenshot of Zoom Meeting from Zoom.Us Blog

5. Get your dose of Vitamin D: Getting out to get some Vitamin D has proved to improve mood, be sure to keep your physical distance and wear a mask, but head to the beach, bay, or your favorite park and lay down soaking up the sun. Don’t forget your sunscreen.

What tips will you be trying, or songs have you added to your self-care playlist? Let me know by hitting me up on socials @MikeStarkCA on Twitter and Instagram.

Written By: Mike Stark