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This surprising map shows how vegetarian-friendly your state is — and which state only has one meatless restaurant

Sorry, South Dakota vegetarians.

Meatless restaurants

Photo Credit: iStock

Do you live in a veggie-friendly state? Vegan multivitamin blog Mint has a map that shows if you live in a carnivore state, a herbivore state, or somewhere in the omnivore region. 

After compiling numbers on Europe's veggie-friendliness, Mint turned its sights on the U.S. 

In case you're wondering, Iceland was the most plant-loving country, while Albania is more carnivorous, with only one vegan or vegetarian restaurant in the whole country found in the research in 2020. 

To develop this map, Mint blogger Brian O'Sullivan looked at the number of vegan or vegetarian restaurants in every state. He then did the math with the population of each state to find the number of meatless restaurants per million people. 

The map shows that the coasts are more meat-free than the middle of the country.

Washington, D.C. (not a state) led the way with 54 meatless restaurants per million people, while Hawaii topped the list of actual states with 51. South Dakota is on the other end of the spectrum, with only one such restaurant in the entire state when these numbers were compiled. 

It's fun to look at the map and see where your state ranks on the list, but this was by no means a scientific study. However, plenty of scientific studies show the benefits of moving toward a plant-forward diet

A report from data and consulting company Kantar found that vegan meals cost approximately 40% less than meals with meat. The study also shows that a meat-free meal takes less time to prepare and cook. 

There are health benefits, as well. In another study, research suggests swapping animal-based proteins for plant-based proteins "could help you live longer and lower your risk of dying from heart disease." 

The cherry on top of this plant-based sundae is the environmental benefits. Plants use much less water and land than animals. Farm animals also expel a lot of methane, which heats the atmosphere. Meanwhile, plants filter out carbon dioxide. 

So if you're in South Dakota, consider hitting up that one veggie restaurant. If you live in Washington, D.C., there's probably a vegan place just around the corner!  

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