You’re a firm believer in living a green and vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, but your partner eats meat and doesn’t do anything to help the environment. Can your relationship work?
It’s not just about food!
Vegetarian/vegan lifestyles are about your view towards animals, your position on environmental issues, and so on. You might find that although your partner doesn’t consider himself vegan, he cares about animals and tries to make a difference in environmental issues. This is a good thing so share your views to see if there’s middle ground.
Put the power in power couple
Let your vegan ways be an example. Let your partner see how healthy your lifestyle is and intrigue him into giving it a try. For instance, cook him a vegan meal so he experiences firsthand that non-dairy and non-meat meals don’t have to be boring. Or, when he says he’s so tired all the time, mention that vegan diets are all about creating energy, whereas a meat-rich diet can zap energy.
Help them understand
If your boyfriend is one of those people who don’t understand the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, express why it is important to you. Sometimes people have a tendency to criticise what they don’t understand, so now’s your chance to have your say, without being preachy about it. You might inspire him through your passion.
If they don’t see the light…
Some vegans strongly believe that they can’t date non-vegans due to various reasons, such as not being able to respect someone who doesn’t respect animals. Other vegans try to find that compromise, believing that love can bring different people together. Basically, if your partner does not decide to become vegan or vegetarian, you need to decide if you can respect each other’s differences or not.
How to respect each other’s differences
- Suggest the lifestyle, don’t force it. Even though your intentions are good, you don’t want to seem controlling.
- Reveal that you’re vegan/vegetarian from the beginning of the relationship. That prevents him from taking you to a burger joint for a date and it’s better to see each other’s differences from the start.
- Set boundaries. If you can’t deal with him eating meat in your house, tell him. Let him set some rules too, such as that he can eat whatever he wants under his roof. Communicate your feelings and set boundaries you’re both comfortable with to prevent lifestyle clashes.
Image via FreeDigitalPhotos.net