Alexa is working toward a vegetarian diet, and is loaded with questions. Jennifer’s got answers. We talk about anything as long as it is vegan. Are tattoos vegan? How do I politely not eat Thanksgiving dinner? How do I order without pissing off the waitress? We know you are dying to ask!
**NOTE: This question has not been asked by Alexa, she and Mr. Ian are doing well. This is simply a common question I’ve been asked by several friends and co-workers.
Unfortunately there is no clear cut yes or no answer here. The answer is complicated and involves you to do some self-reflecting on your points of view and your relationship. Each answer will vary from person to person. But the general consensus is that it shouldn’t MATTER if your significant other is vegan or not. Why? Because if you are truly “in love” then your interests, morals, and values should be somewhat match your significant other.
Think of it this way, if you and your partner have very different points of view on money, there is probably a good chance your relationship won’t last. If you like to save money long term, and spend minimally, while your partner believes to spend most of the money you earn and racks up debt, there will be fights. Now I am not saying you need to have identical spending patterns to be happy. In fact, your partner’s willingness to spurge for daily indulgences might balance out your rigged spending.
The first step is asking yourself why you are vegan? Is it for your health? Is it for the environment? Is it for the animals? How important is veganism to you? Your beliefs might change as time goes on, but take your answers and see how it matches your partner’s point of view. Let’s say your biggest reason to go vegan is for health, maybe your spouse is really unhealthy and that is what bothers you about their omnivorous ways. Perhaps you are vegan for the animals, and your spouse going hunting bothers you.
When I was dating my current husband, I remember I knew it was all going to be okay. Why? I had to go away for a week to visit family, so I asked my husband to watch my pet hamster. At first he was hesitant and had a hard time getting the hamster to come out of the cage. But slowly the hamster learned to trust him and started to come out of the cage just by seeing his hands. My husbuand grew a connection knowing that the hamster learned to trust him. Fast forward a few months ahead when we get mice in the apartment. We set a few traps and caught one. He asked if I could “empty” the trap, feeling guilty and a connect between the mouse and my pet hamster. This was when I knew my husband respected animals just as much as I did, he just needed his own time to develop feelings about veganism.
But there are times where you should question your relationship and have a really big discussion with your partner. If your significant calls your veganism “selfish” because you are standing between them and their meat, then you are going to have problems. Some might read this and think it is pretty silly, but I’ve seen some situations like this. Your significant other is a full grown adult who should be able to cook for themselves, or eat things they don’t like from time to time.
If your partner is trying hard to convert you back to meat-eating ways then you should question your relationship. If your partner is feeling your veganism is a threat then that might be a sign that your points of view aren’t lining up. That being said, you shouldn’t confuse questioning as trying to change you. Your significant other is just trying to understand where you are coming from. Explaining (calmly) about the animals, the environment, and how maintain your health, you are helping them understand, and perhaps might convince them to change.
That being said, lets backtrack to my story about my husband. Is he vegan? No. He still eats meat, dairy, and eggs on roughly a monthly basis. I don’t think he would of eaten mostly vegan diet if it wasn’t for a few things.
- He didn’t feel the gender roles apply to our relationship. What do I mean? He never “demanded” that I make meat for dinner just for him. It worked out that I like to cook and had the time. So whenever we ate dinner, we ate whatever I made. But he was completely open to make his only meat dinner if he chose to.
- I was there to educate him about nutrition. We all grow up thinking meat and milk is a necessity. It isn’t, but I had to help him understand how to stay full and on budget with plants.
- When he said he wants to transition more away from animal products I stick my neck out for him. Chiming in at restaurants asking questions about meals for him, helping navigate parties, etc. We all need to learn these things.
- I never expected him to change. I never pressured him about it, and let him take his time to decide. He had visited animal sanctuaries, dairy farms, and read news articles about animal cruelty, all not forced by me.
I hope this article helped you with your burning question about your relationship. Maybe I gave a little hope to you and your partner.