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

Vegan Collagen Facial Serum is a game-changer for a more desirable, younger-looking skin

I’ve recently discovered on Tik Tok, a vegan serum that seems to be known for achieving a better-looking skin. Usually, serums can be quite expensive, and we might not know what type of ingredients it could have. However, Truly Beauty has this anti-aging Vegan Collagen Facial Serum that works wonders! I bought mine at Ulta for $35 or you can also purchase it on their website at Trulybeauty.com

After only 2 weeks, I’ve seen an improvement of a tighter, glowy, and clear skin. I was worried, at first, about using a serum and how it would react to my skin. My skin is a combination of oily and dryness. Nevertheless, with their fragrance-free, cruelty-free, and Vitamin C boost ingredients, there were no harmful reactions. 

How to Apply

After washing your face, before applying moisturizer, with only 2-3 drops you can apply it to your face. I usually place the drops on both my cheeks and my forehead. I then start massaging my skin in an upward motion, and down my neck. After spreading it, I pat down with my fingers to really get it on my whole face. Lastly, I put on my moisturizer to finish off. 

Should You Buy It?

If you want to have younger-looking skin, then yes! It’s never too late to start on a skincare routine that works best for you. Although this serum might not work best for everyone, there are always others that can help based on your skin type. You also don’t have to be a girl to care about your skin, anyone can care about feeling good about themselves. I recommend this serum and would definitely buy it again once I finish it. I may not be Skin Care by Hyram, but take my word for it! 

Written By: Ariadna Rodriguez

Photo By: Ariadna Rodriguez

Mike on the Mic with Go Green Save Green

Environmental Instagram (IG) educator Go Green Save Green from Los Angeles, California, joins KCR’s Mike Stark LIVE in the KCR studio. To discuss the Climate Crisis, Recycling, what college students and others can do to help reduce the climate crisis, and greenwashing.

We kicked off our conversation with Ariel Maldonado; who runs Go Green Save Green. The first topic is the beginning. Why start the account? How’s the account different from other environmental awareness accounts?

Ariel shared with us that she was procrastinating for finals. It was 11:00 pm and feeling stressed about the climate crisis. She was discussing the problem with her friends and felt people were not listening. She decided to create an Instagram account to share information about the issue. Content on the account isn’t headlines. She publishes entire articles, relatable memes, infographics, cartoons, and more. No prior knowledge is needed to understand the account. Anyone and everyone can jump right in.

Ariel shared throughout the interview, which you can listen in its entirety here. Tips about how we can make small lifestyle changes at home and school that can go a long way to help the environment. These small lifestyle changes will not make you feel overwhelmed or add to your already busy schedule. She warned us to be mindful of companies that use greenwashing to take advantage of the climate crisis.

Screenshot of a picture of GoGreenSaveGreen founder, Ariel Maldonado, boyfriend Martin Hernandez, and KCR’s Mike Stark. | Screenshot taken from @GoGreenSaveGreen Instagram

In concluding our interview; ariel’s hope is that people can leave the account feeling more educated. There are a ton of resources on the account at your disposal to use; like a ethical shopping site. To purchase earth-friendly products; at a low price. You can follow Ariel’s Go Green Save Green account on Instagram @GoGreenSaveGreen.

Full Interview with Go Green Save Green on SoundCloud. Audio provided by Mike Stark.
Written By: Mike Stark

FoodieBooty: Death Metal & Vegan Kabobs at Kindred

What’s up lil’ snacks? This is FoodieBooty and for this week’s post, I treated myself — Goth style — at San Diego’s renowned vegan bar, Kindred.

Midterms have fallen upon SDSU and if any of you know what that means, you know I’ve been in pain. The horror of the past week has called for a meal so delicious and decadent that it would make me forget all about the trauma also known as midterm season. So with this cause in mind, I chose to taste KINDRED in South Park because I knew it was going to be bomb and because google defines it as a “Whimsical, eccentric space for contemporary vegan fare & drinks complemented by death-metal tunes”, and that’s just too good for a romantic like me to ignore.

The first thought as you walk into the restaurant is that you’re in the wrong place. When I think of a vegan restaurant I think micro-greens, Bob Marley, some random people doing yoga poses outside the window, and advertisements for mindfulness by the cashiers. KINDRED is none of these things.

KINDRED is more like the vegan cousin who moved to New York to be a poet but then failed, became an alcoholic, dabbled in hardcore drugs, and touched rock bottom until he was saved by discovering the wonders of death metal, seitan, and cats as pets.

KINDRED is edgy, dark, and just like Google says, “whimsical.” It has beautiful granite tables and a granite bar perfectly complemented by dim lighting and an elegant ceiling filled with tiny mirrors. As soon as I walked in I felt Tim Burton/witchcraft/Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets vibes that I had never experienced in relation to food. I was excited to try the food and even more excited to try the drinks!!! So lemme dig in here and tell you what I thought.

The Drinks

Something funny about KINDRED is that there are more pages in the menu dedicated to drinks than to food. They take their alcohol very seriously, and it shows. I ordered a drink called “Horrorchata” because I was feeling sweet and the Mexican inside was begging for it.

It was a concoction made with bourbon, brandy, biscotti liqueur, forbidden rice horchata, and mole bitters. Granted, apart from the horchata, I have no idea what half of these ingredients are or what they are meant to bring to the table but, I can tell you that this drink was seriously delicious. It is not for the lighthearted (or lightweights teehee) because upon the first sip this drink deep throats you with bourbon. But as it sits in your mouth it becomes sweet, creamy, cinnamon-y and slightly bitter. What gives the horror to the chata is the dark tint added to the drink which is usually white but it honestly could be the hangover a day later if you drink more than 2 of these with your dinner.

The other drink shown in the picture is the one my Old-Fashion, whiskey-loving sister ordered and it was a specialty drink not on the menu. I thought I would hate it because I usually hate the taste of whiskey, but combined with lime and the other special KINDRED juju, it was pretty tasty with just enough sweetness and hints of wood.

The Main Squeeze: The Starters

Now let me talk about what I really went to KINDRED for. It all started with the puffs… The beautiful, buttery, amazing puffs…

The dish is called “Herb Puffs” and they’re what I wanna float away in when my spirit makes its way to wherever it ends up going. I ordered them because according to my sister, it was the most hyped menu item when she looked up KINDRED and let me tell you: THE HYPE IS SO LIVED UP TO, IT DIED AND THESE HERB PUFFS RESUSCITATED IT!

I expected little fluffy bread balls with some kind of special butter but these extraordinary mini croissants were what I received. The plate comes with about 8 puffs dressed in butter and herbs, and they are accompanied by a vibrant spicy mayo. Taking a bite out of this puff is like biting a buttery, savory, crunchy cloud, and when dipped in the tangy spicy mayo, the fat in the puff is perfectly balanced and they practically become crack. If you order anything from here, please do me a favor and just order the puffs.

The next dish we ordered was the “Skewers” of chargrilled seitan (veggie protein) bathed in chimichurri, horseradish aioli, and harissa. This dish was the most dynamic and interestingly flavorful from the bunch we ordered.

The seitan was beautifully tender on the inside and slightly crunchy on the outside. It tasted smokey and peppery and the 3 sauces were the perfect complement to it. The chimichurri was zingy, the aioli was creamy, and the harissa had a sensual bite to it. Although two of the sauces were cream-based, the dish itself did not sit too heavy on the palate or stomach. The dish comes with three skewers and it is so good I could have honestly called it a day after this dish.

Moving on: The Entrees

We ordered two entrees. A sandwich called, “The Dip” and a dish called “Soul Crush”. The sandwich had shaved peppered seitan, grilled peppers and onions, lemon cilantro garlic butter, tapioca mozzarella, porcini mushroom Au Jus (the dipping juice), and potato chips on the side. This sandwich is a play on the french dip sandwich made famous by Los Angeles. Kindred’s version is a hot sandwich that is meant to be dipped in the savory mushroom Au jus with a baby soft bun, thin slices of seitan and perfectly melted mozzarella. This sandwich was perfect. It hit all the notes of salty, sweet, savory, fatty, and umami, and in terms of textures, it was a dream. With the tender seitan, the juicy juice, the crunchy sauteed onions, the melty cheese, and the unbelievably crispy potato chips, the sandwich was truly da bomb.

The “Soul Crush” on the other hand was the first thing I disliked about KINDRED. It is described as one of the most ordered items, composed of cornmeal-crusted gardein, parsnip potato mash, broccolini, creamy cashew beer mac, and tomato lemongrass veloute. The plate itself looked beautiful but once I got to tasting, the dish was not as beautiful as it looked.

The chicken had a gorgeous crust to it that was crunchy and very well seasoned. But, the chicken patty inside the crust was actually pretty bland and the mac and cheese under it was creamy and spicy but not flavorful. The broccolini were cooked in al dente heaven with a tart vinaigrette enveloping its charred leaves and were the tastiest part of the dish. The parsnip potato mash was very smooth and buttery but it had a flowery aftertaste to it that was somewhat unpleasant. The tomato lemongrass veloute was very tasty and had a smooth texture to it. The only drawback from the sauce was that it came in a little tub on the side, and since it made the dish come together the small amount included was not enough to save the dish. I don’t want to make it seem like it was inedible because it wasn’t! But, it was the first dish from the ones we ordered that did not blow my taste buds away through its components or cohesion.

The Belle of the Ball? Dessert.

My sister and I ordered the brownie because of course.

I was craving a rich, fudgy, warm brownie that would sink my worries with the depths of cocoa and fudge. With its description as a TCHO chocolate brownie, with a blood orange-red wine gastrique and pistachio cacao nib bark, I thought that would be exactly what I would get. However, what I got was very different. An itty bitty brownie arrived sitting on a violent yet poetic splatter of red wine reduction with some shards of bark on the top and sprawled around.

Surprisingly, the good parts of this dish were everything but the brownie itself… The gastrique was perfectly acidic and bright with the citric notes of the blood orange wonderfully balanced with the taste of wine. The pistachio cacao nib bark was superb! It was slightly salty, nutty, and super dark chocolate-y, so if you are more of a die-hard hershey’s lover then you probably would not like it. But for those with a love for chocolate as dark as their twisted souls (like me), this bark would be the highlight of the dish.

Now for what I didn’t like. The brownie was very similar in size to one of those mini brownies they sell at Costco. It was the skinny version of the dessert I thought it would be. The taste itself was good at first but as I chewed more the taste of the chocolate became synthetic and reminded me of what play-doh smells like. It was not a spit-out meal but it wasn’t very pleasant either. The texture was fudgy on the inside and had a nice crust but it didn’t have the taste to back it up. I decided to just skip the brownie and have the delish pistachio bark with the wine gastrique and that was delicious on its own. I’m thinking it might have been an off batch since everything else was almost perfect but I would still recommend skipping the brownie if you want something with more umph!

Final Booty Points

Oh KINDRED, I love you so. Your service is so fast, welcoming, and accommodating. Your design is so edgy and unique, it makes me feel edgy and unique just for being there. Your merch bar including sick T-shirts, bandanas, pins, and stickers, is sooo cool. Your food is majestic (specially the puffs and skewers, the soul food and brownie not so much)! Your drinks are as powerful as they are innovative. And your interpretation of veganism is magnificently opposite to whatever anyone thinks of veganism.

The only thing I might deduct points on would be on the price since my bill came out to $84.35 bucks…. However, I did order almost everything on the menu so I still think it’s pretty affordable for a nice night out if you only get a drink and some starters.

Out of 5 points, I give KINDRED a nice and even 4.2. For the mix of the experience, taste, and textures. I strongly recommend bringing someone on a hot date at night, or a cute lively date when they have brunch on the weekends. The pancakes look BOMB.

Until next time,