Dating as a veggie or vegan
Whether you are fairly new to vegetarian and veganism, or a seasoned fan, you may have differing views on whether you would be happy to date someone who is still a meat/dairy consumer, writes Helen Rossiter.
Maybe you have just turned veggie and are wondering how your existing partner will adjust to this… There are a whole ream of questions which may leave you scratching your head regarding being veggie and your love life. Here we examine just a few.
Veggie/vegan looking to date
For many people being vegetarian or vegan becomes an integral part of their personality and how they view the world from many perspectives.
If you are attracted to likeminded people – you may find many of your friends either have similar diets or share a love and compassion for animals.
On the other hand, many of us still have lots of meat-eating friends, who we hope one day will see the ‘light’. The point with dating however is whether you wish to enter into an intimate relationship with someone who continues to eat animals.
It might be your first reaction to say ‘certainly not, I just couldn’t do it'… but limiting yourself in this way may not help you find your Mr or Mrs Wonderful, it could be argued.
A positive mind
Personally, I couldn’t possibly date someone who didn’t show at least a good interest, compassion and understanding towards animals, their suffering and the needs of the environment. With this comes the hope that if a relationship was to flourish, a new partner may begin to move down the road of meat-reducing/vegetarianism/veganism themselves. I know many people for whom this has been the case, so don’t turn down a meatie too quickly – you maybe just what they need to help them make the change.
Turning veggie or vegan in an existing relationship
“Darling, I have something to tell you… “I’m going vegetarian”. With more people meat reducing and going veggie and vegan than ever before, this phrase is sure to be cropping up in millions of relationships every day. Your partner may be 100 per cent supportive of your decision and if they know you well, understand why you’ve made it… and may even say they want to join you. But if you are faced with a more reserved reaction, there are several things you could consider doing.
- Talk to your partner – what are their concerns?
- Arm yourself with lots of great information from Viva! and the Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation about why veggie diets are the healthiest possible, why they are the most effective thing anyone can do to reduce their carbon footprint, and why factory farming has to go!
- Visit our recipe section and learn how to cook you both up a lovely dinner to celebrate your decision – show them just how tasty veggie food is!
- Visit our Eating Out guide and book a table in your nearest veggie friendly restaurant - show them that meat-free dining can be a treat to remember!
Helping a partner go from veggie to vegan
Giving up meat or moving from vegetarianism to vegan is a personal journey which people take to at many different paces and stages of their lives. May be your boyfriend/girlfriend is vegetarian and you are vegan… and you’d really love it if they would just stop eating cheese sandwiches and drinking cow’s milk in their coffee… I believe patience is the key in this situation.
No matter how much you love and care for someone, they won’t give up meat/dairy/eggs until they are ready. A forced decision is never a right decision. The best thing to do is share some good books and literature with them, cook for them when you’re together, and talk about how you feel.
Sometimes silence can be a very powerful tool, too. The more other people see you loving life as a healthy, vibrant and content vegan, the more they begin to see it as the liberating lifestyle it is.
Meeting of minds
Whatever your reasons to go veggie or vegan, then there’s someone out there for you. And the growing number of veggies in the UK means it’s less like finding a needle in a haystack but more like finding tofu in your local supermarket – easy peasy these days:
- Joining a vegetarian dating agency! Established in 1980, Veggie Matchmakers (VMM) is a personal service run by vegetarians helping straight and gay vegans, veggies and those aspiring to become either all over the UK get together over the web, by phone or by post – for relationships and friendships. Also see Veggie Romance – who donate 10 per cent of their membership fees to Viva!.
- VeggieVision have also developed their fabulous Veggie Vision Dating website which includes loads of wonderful veggies and vegans from all over the place!
- Get involved in your local animal rights/veggie group. It’s a great place to make new friends as well as help a worthwhile cause, from joining in demos and giving out leaflets to letter writing meetings and attending local talks.
- Check out your local college’s/art centre’s/catering school’s veggie cookery classes – a great way to meet veggies or wannabes as well as pick up some culinary tips. Restaurants such as Acorn in Bath and also the Vegetarian Society run courses so look through the web and your local newspaper or prospectuses.
- Log on to Vegan Village and their list of forums, events and contact groups. And if you’re not on the web, independent health food shops often have noticeboards with similar information posted up as well as veggie magazines complete with helpful listings of local events you can get involved in.
- Put your glad-rags on and have a wander to your local veggie pub – the perfect place to pull! And why not see if your local veggie café or restaurant are running a singles’ or speed-dating evening (and if they’re not, encourage them to!).
- Viva!’s supporters’ magazine, Viva! Life, also has a personals column in the Classifieds section, helping our supporters (virtuous vegans and mindful meat-eaters and everything in between) meet their perfect match. To receive Viva! Life, join Viva!. To book an ad, contact Liam Nolan for more info on 0117 970 4631 or firstname.lastname@example.org