I would say I was quite an angry vegan for the first year or so after I switched to a plant-based diet.
That was mainly down to the fact that I’d done a shit tonne of research about what goes on behind closed doors at slaughter houses and the thought of someone – let alone someone I was romantically involved with – still wanting to eat meat quite frankly repulsed me and made my blood boil.
Anyone I was dating/getting to know on a more intimate level during that period got a right earful about veganism and how they were contributing to global warming, murdering innocent beings and preventing the world-hunger crisis from being stamped out once and for all.
When that tactic didn’t work, I’d start asking them questions and guilt-tripping them. I’d say things like: ‘Would you kill that sheep with your own bare hands? No? Why are you paying for someone else to do it for you?’ I’d make them watching horrific documentaries about the meat and dairy industry and I’d ban any meat products from coming inside my house – I’d literally make them eat it outside!
I would’ve literally done anything to make them see things from my point of view but, the more I got into veganism and the more research I did, I realised me moaning at them was 1) proving the claim that “vegans are pushing and preachy” and 2) driving them away because who wants a naggy girlfriend?
Once I gave it some thought, I decided that the best way to approach the issue is by asking them why they like to consume these animal products and educate them on the slaughter process; from the animals being born, right through to them being bought in the supermarkets.
I might even show them the documentaries – ones that rave about the health benefits of a vegan diet – and ask them how they feel about it. If they still want to eat meat after that then that’s their choice. You can’t force your way of life onto other people, just like you can’t force people to switch to your religion.
These are a few things I believe may be an issue:
Sharing your household
I live on my own so my fridge/freezer and cupboards are completely vegan but – unlike how I was a year ago – I won’t ban people from eating it in my flat.
Obviously, I’d rather they didn’t and I’m completely against raw meat, nor will I handle or cook meat myself in my home, but I’m happy for them to eat a kebab and then get rid of the rubbish outside.
This will all change when I move in with someone because the property will belong to both of us but that will have to be a conversation we have once we’ve decided we want to live together.
Eating out together
I don’t have a problem with going to a restaurant that cooks meat – providing they have vegan options – because I don’t think it’s fair that I make a meat eater pay and eat a vegan meal if they don’t want to.
But if I can get away with going to a completely vegan restaurant, then I will push my luck.
Speaking to one another
I think it’s important that you talk to one another about why you prefer to live that kind of lifestyle – whether that’s plant based on meat based – and try to understand where each other are coming from.
So, in short, yes, I do believe vegans can date meat-eaters – providing you both respect each other’s views and try to accommodate one another.
At the end of the day, you can’t help who you fall in love with. Would you dump someone just because they have a different skin tone to you? Would you dump someone just because they’re a different religion from you (in some cases, it’s forbidden, I get that)? Would you dump someone just they don’t share the same love for exercise as you do? The answer is probably no.
Obviously I would love for everyone to be vegan but people will get there on their own. You can’t force anyone to do anything and the more you rant about something, the more they’ll rebel out of spite.
Love and hugs x