Veganism comes under an awful lot of scrutiny. The meat eating public is suspicious of its alleged health benefits, which is perpetuated by the much-disputed notion that eating meat is unequivocally good for you and that vegans are all calcium, protein, and vitamin deficient. The other side is not without aggression, either. Vegans have a reputation for being militant in their pursuit of an animal product free world, and that can spill over into dogmatic preaching.
For a bit of background, I’ve been in a relationship with a vegan for the past four years. I am not a vegan. I’m not even vegetarian. I eat every kind of meat available, though my diet is probably 80% vegan. This has been wonderful from a lifestyle perspective because it has forced me to be constantly aware of my diet. But I recognize a full transition can be a challenge for a lot of people.
More and more people are converting to veganism, and if you’re on the dating scene you may encounter someone with rather intense dietary requirements and have no idea what to do! Well fear not, I’m going to give you some tips on how to navigate the minefield of dating a vegan!
Figure out what kind of vegan he/she is.
Are you dating an animal rights vegan? A strictly health-conscious vegan? Or a militant vegan who throws cow shit at butcher shops and rescues farm animals on the reg.
It’s important to know precisely who you’re dating because it will dramatically influence your relationship with food.
It’s not going to work if you don’t accept it. So accept that you’re going to be eating less meat and occasionally be subjected to some strategic information that will put you off your steak.
Any additional attention that you pay to your diet is positive. So whether you go vegan, vegetarian, or nothing at all, embrace the fact that your diet is under scrutiny and you’ll be more conscious of what you’re consuming in general.
Learn about it.
While it’s a personal choice, veganism does have the tendency to rear itself in conversation early on. You should have something informed to say. It’ll score you some major cool points.
Adapt your diet a little.
It would be unreasonable for your significant other to expect you to become a vegan during the early stages (and possibly beyond, but that’s another argument), but eating more vegetables and consuming less flesh is a) good for you and b) going to go a long way to impress your vegan lover.
Always check menus online before booking.
This is a no-brainer. You don’t want your partner to feel he/she is being complicated. At the same time, you want them to enjoy something more than a bowl of leaves without dressing. Check menus, call ahead, make it happen.
Learn to cook without animal products.
If you like to throw down a spread every now and again, learn to pull the animal products out of the food. Check out this guide we threw together for switching out meat, and consult some of these no-fail recipes for your vegan lover!
Get used to hearing stuff designed to stop you from eating meat.
If you’re dating the animal activist vegan, things can get messy. You may be confronted with the harsh realities of the meat and dairy industry in an extremely candid fashion. But hey, regardless of how you respond, you ought to recognize that it’s very important to know how your food got to your plate.
Perhaps a little excessive, but we put this one in because it’s the biggest gesture you can make from a dietary perspective. While it would certainly score you maximum cool points, you shouldn’t change your diet just to make someone happy. But it would work…that’s all we’re saying.