Highly populated areas provide more vegetarian and vegan options making plant-based diets easy in SoCal

In Opinion

It’s common to be at the front line of up-and-coming trends in Southern California. Though it was thought to be just a fad, the vegan and vegetarian movement has proven to have made a lasting impact on culture.

Aside from getting into the animal rights debate, this lifestyle choice has been shown to improve one’s appearance and overall health.

Those on the fence about trying out this lifestyle should definitely consider it. There are so many vegan and vegetarian options available.

Outside of adopting vegan or vegetarian beliefs due to religion, this way of eating has only been widely popular in the last 20 years. Within the past 10 years, vegan and vegetarian options seem to appear on almost every menu, and the plant-based eateries have been popping up all around Southern California.

Yet, there is a lack of vegan and vegetarian options in less urbanized areas throughout the country. Why does this plant-based culture seem to be confined to highly populated cities?

The influence of people’s surrounding society has a lot to do with it.

We are products of our environment. A person from a city has a whole different set of values than someone from the rural parts of the United States. The same goes for businesses and food trends–what is popular in the Southern California bubble is probably not going to be the same in say, Hugo, Oklahoma.

Another thing to take into consideration is how populated California is compared to other states. It is so much easier to get to a market with an array of fresh produce than traveling several miles in Oklahoma to a store, only to find a select few options.

Public transportation is a huge factor in a successful economy of an urbanized area and that affects trends, including food culture. A vegan or vegetarian restaurant would not last in a less urbanized area of the country due to the need for an array of fresh produce daily.

The overhead would not be worth the investment to put a plant-based eatery in a rural small town, unless the demand was there.

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