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Vegan-Friendly Retirement Spots

Posted by at 10:31 AM | Permalink | Comments (4)

When I moved to Sarasota, Florida, about six years ago, I figured that I was getting a jump on retirement. In addition to being warm and sunny, the area offers a variety of vegan-friendly restaurants and plenty of fun and relaxing activities for people of all ages.

Although Sarasota is practically paradise and therefore a popular retirement and vacation destination, it’s not the only vegan-friendly spot for retirees. In fact, according to ABC News, Tennessee tops the list of the 10 best states for retirees.

I can’t say that I’ve ever even thought of retiring to the Volunteer State, but the cost of living there is quite low, and there are a lot of exciting places to see, including Earth- and animal-friendly Chattanooga; Nashville, the country-music capital, which is perfect for vegetarians and music lovers alike; and Cumberland Plateau, central Tennessee’s expanse of underground caves.

Louisiana, which holds the second spot on ABC’s list, offers balmy temperatures as well as the fourth-lowest tax burden in the nation and is also home to more than 80 vegetarian-friendly restaurants and stores, many of which are in New Orleans—for those of you who like Cajun-style fare, along with plenty of soul and jazz.

South Dakota, ranked third on ABC’s list, was a bit of a surprise to me, but apparently it has the lowest crime rate in the country in addition to a low tax burden. And Sioux Falls is full of intriguing sculptures and scrumptious vegan food.

Kentucky is fourth on the list, despite being the hometown of KFC. Louisville actually has an “edgy veggie Bardstown scene,” and Lexington is a good place to go for an array of farmer’s markets and lots of sightseeing options. The Bluegrass State also has a very affordable cost of living, warmer-than-average temperatures, and a lower-than-average crime rate.

Rounding out the top five is Mississippi, which also has a warmer-than-average climate, a low tax burden, and a lower-than-average cost of living as well as various vegan-friendly restaurants and stores.

Check back in coming weeks for a follow-up blog post offering a vegan perspective on the rest of the list and other vegan-friendly places for retirees and tourists.

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  • Patricia Caraballo says:

    Realistically, if you’re a vegetarian, progressive, fight for animal rights, anti big oil/gas/coal/chem/ag and politically left, then TN, SD, KY (TN & KY are also in Tornado Alley) are not the places for you. I’m trying to figure where to retire but considering the political climate in this country (McConnell, Rand Paul are from KY, Boehner from TN) it’s really hard to come up with any other places besides northern CA, OR and WA that have temperate climates, or to brave the winters in the northeast. I live in the Chicago area now and do not relish dealing with subzero/ice/snow for months and really high property taxes, I can’t stay here. I also can’t move to a place where everyone drives around with shotguns in gun racks and dead deer in the back of their truck. It’s a tough thing to decide, but this list is just crazy. Yeah, they have low property taxes, but the scale really tips to the NO side with all of these choices.

  • Dorothy Skadsheim says:

    I lived in Grundy County TN on the plateau, and I had to leave because the main grocery stores were Piggly Wiggly, and there were no real health food stores or vegan cafeterias in the county, though there was an herb store. I had no car, SETHRA bus, the only transportation, would not take me to Wildwood, as it was out of state (GA), and I had to pay $10.00 round trip to go to Chattanooga to one place for 1/2 hour or so. Earth Fare there has a fair amount of vegan things. Whole Foods has sold out to Monsanto, though it is saying it is changing. There is one vegan cafeteria in Chattanooga, and hopefully there will soon be a second again.

  • Stephanie says:

    I grew up in Louisville KY and I know live in Sarasota. I know LOU has grown quite a bit since I left and not as rural as it once was. Louisville i known for its wide variety of local restaurants, and is a great place to live. Sarasota is nice… I did not think that the options were that plentiful when I first moved here 7 years ago, ( lots of Steak Houses). But there are more options here now and the city is trying to be more green… to preserve its natural beauty. Also a very nice quiet place to settle down.

  • Dave in TN says:

    Having lived in Tennessee for over 3 decades now and constantly looking for vegetarian and vegan options I could not let this article pass without comment. First, Knoxville has a couple of restaurants that are at least vegetarian friendly but most also serve meat side-by-side. There are many dog friendly patios here now, but with a puppy store and dogs tied everywhere and in the back of open trucks I wouldn’t call it animal progressive by any means (not to mention the recent big turnout for the circus despite the PETA protests). Nashville is a capital city and being large has more options, but until they stop allowing horse and buggy rides in the hot sun on the hot pavement all over the 2nd Ave tourist area I cannot recommend it to anyone. The horses look miserable and my wife and I have protested with the only response from the city being that since the tourists like it too bad. Why ABC News mentioned the Cumberland Plateau I have no idea. Sure, there are some caves in the area and some retirement communities around Crossville but the area is extremely rural. Things are better there for ethical eating than they used to be but to put it on the number one list is unbelievable. Again, cattle farming, dead deer in the backs of trucks during hunting season, tied dogs, a terrible stray and shelter situation in the counties south of Crossville (Rhea for example) make the area fall very, very far behind so many more vegan friendly places. There are many good things about living here but the wide availability of ethical eating options and the acceptance of animal rights are not among those things.

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