Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

is veganism a deal breaker? January 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mmcquirter @ 11:10 am

I’m curious.  Is veganism important to you in selecting a partner?  Over the past eight years, I have had a strict vegan-only policy.  I tried to date someone who was not vegan about 10 years ago and it just didn’t work because I kept wanting him to change.

Is veganism a deal breaker for you?

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33 Responses to “is veganism a deal breaker?”

  1. Vee Says:

    Maybe if you live in Portland or something but considering where I live if I considered it a deal-breaker I’d have nobody to date.

    • cindy beckman Says:

      I have heard that a lot of marriages between vegans and non-vegans end in divorce, just like marriages between persons of strong faith who have different religious backgrounds. Isaac Newton, the father of modern science, said humans will become civilized only when they stop eating animals. I like to think that when a non-vegan marries and/or dates a vegan, a path of enlightenment begins for the flesh-eater. We all learn by example.

  2. Jessica Says:

    Yes.

    I can love my family and friends who don’t share all my moral beliefs, but I need my partner to share these important values.

    Plus, I don’t want any products of cruelty in the house. I can’t kiss a meat-eater on the mouth without an unpleasant reaction.

  3. Holy Moly Says:

    It depends. I have always made my morals known to people I was dating and expressed that I am uncomfortable being around them eating meat in front of me. I also have a strict no dead animal policy in my home. Although some omnis have been resistant to it, many go with the flow. However, I have not been in a long-term relationship with someone who eats meat since I’ve gone vegan. I imagine it would be difficult, but my hope would be to influence!! My boyfriend is vegan and he made the change because he was inspired by me!

  4. Monkey Says:

    I have been with my partner for four years, and he was vegan when we had started out together. Eventually, he dropped the veganism to vegetarianism, and now he’ll eat meat on occasion depending on the situation. I love him very much and I don’t want to take away his autonomy, so it’s a constant internal struggle. We’re in an open relationship, and it’s very hard to find other people who are vegan as well. At this point, it seems futile so I’ve given up on that aspect.

  5. Royce Says:

    My past few partners have all been vegan, but it has never been a thing I look for. I just happen to date people with similar politics and ethics.

  6. Adwoa Says:

    Oh definitely. I was miserable dating an omni (not only due to dietary issues, but it didn’t help) and as soon as I met a male vegan with vaguely similar interests and an agreeable personality, i dumped the omni and married the vegan. no regrets.

    i try to imagine what it would be like to live with an omni (even one who was understanding of my vegan-ness) and i can’t… cooking, shopping, entertaining, dining out, just plain ol’ conversing – and boy, am i glad i don’t have to deal with it.

  7. AB Says:

    My husband is an omni. When I first met him he was eating Purdue chicken every night. Now he eats meat maybe ten times a year and only if it’s free range. He also eats vegan at home since I’m the one who cooks. He loves vegan restaurants just as much as me and wants to raise our child (when we have one) veg. He’s taking steps at his own pace and I’m proud of him.

    I wouldn’t date someone who was against veganism – you know the kind of person who makes fun of it – but I’m happy to be with someone with an open mind. Our relationship has changed his eating habits completely. That’s good for him and good for animals.

  8. Wendy Says:

    Hell yeah. I won’t even mention how long I’ve been celibate, much less without a date because of the trouble I’ve had finding other vegan lesbians in my age range. It’s probably the main reason I moved to where I currently live – the percentage of lesbians is quite high, and there are several veg*n resturants, most of which are primarily vegan.

    But finding the vegans and lesbians!?? I don’t know if there are any here.

    However, I can’t date, much less get into a relationship with someone I don’t respect, or at least whose food choices and lifestyle (leather, P&G, etc) I don’t respect. And I can’t respect someone who views animals as products, nor do I feel like getting involved with someone I have to teach about being vegan. If someone is interested in becoming vegan but not sure how to go about it, that’s one thing. Otherwise, this is an area where I need to have things pretty much equal.

  9. Serenity Says:

    Pretty much.

    You can’t cook meat in my house or eat it in my presence. So …. I’m thinking there is no point in cohabitating with a flesh eater.

    Peace

  10. Erica Says:

    I don’t think I could date someone who was not at least a vegetarian for moral reasons. I could definitely never date some one who was anti-vegan. I don’t see how we would have anything in common. Maybe I could date a meat-eater if they wanted to go veg, but it would be a risk, i think and pretty unlikely.

    My boyfriend was a meat-eater when were first started dating. After making the switch from vegetarian to vegan, I became more actively against using animals and told him, “I don’t want to kiss a meat mouth.” His response was, “You’re making me feel like a monster.” He is a fairly non judgmental, compassionate person to begin with, so he made the switch no problem. My personal thoughts are that if someone really cares about you, they will make the switch (and hopefully not just for you). If they are stubborn about it, then I don’t see how they could even respect or understand you on a deeper level which is so obviously necessary to be in a (serious) relationship.

  11. Noemi M Says:

    I can’t see myself being in a relationship with a meat eater. Or living w/ a meat eater. Its not like being allergic to dogs & cats, I might put up with that-(I’m really really allergic) but how could I live with someone & have them around my kids (i’m a single mom) if they didn’t understand how through veganism I’m trying to teach them to be compassionate, nonviolent & conscious of where their food comes from, how it’s made/produced, treatment of animals & others & how to view that alongside how society views kids of color & mexican kids living in the US.

  12. Niki Says:

    You know, I also wonder if I could have a serious relationship with a non-vegan. But at the moment, I have been pretty much single for years, and only vegan for one. Having met not a single male vegan in my life and hardly any decent men that I fancy, I don’t really have a choice, sadly. Just have to hope that some great guy comes along and is fine with vegan and converts if he isn’t already!

  13. nubpositive Says:

    Yes, Veganism is connected to my core beliefs including my spirituality. It is how I connect to nature, people, animals and the planet. I currently reside with my pro-animal and human rights partner here in the UK.
    I was a vegetarian when we met and started dating in San Francisco. The availability of organic, GMO free foods on the west coast is second to none. Ashland and Portland Oregon are hubs for raw-food aficionados. The numbers of fellow black male vegans attending local events were few. I met my woman on a Vegan website. We decided to co-habit after dating for a year; the prerequisite for this joint residence venture was, I commit to transition from vegetarian to vegan.
    The climate here in the North of England dictates that we are limited to the types of fruits and produce that meets are specifications. But despite the cultural and social differences,I would not change a thing. Growth is sometimes accelerated when you have the courage to leave your comfort zone. My culture is extremely important to me but so is my happiness. Soul food is responsible for a lot of the health ills in the Black communities, but that’s another topic for a different day. To quote a line from the 1975 movie Mahogany staring Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams,
    “Success is nothing without someone you love to share it with.”
    Mahogany (1975) – Brian (Billy Dee Williams)

  14. Stentor Says:

    I guess I’m somewhat more flexible than most people here. In part, I think, it’s because I originally became vegetarian through dating a vegetarian (I evolved to vegan on my own). When I met my wife she was an omni, and she still occasionally eats meat and dairy when she’s away from the house, but she accepts that we eat vegan in the house (where I do all the cooking) and she respects the philosophical arguments behind it even if she can’t commit in practice. It’s a compromise, but I also know that I’m far from perfect by her ethical standards either. I certainly couldn’t date someone who was a proud non-vegan or treated veganism as a burden.

    • supernovadiva Says:

      my husband usually eat meat etc when he’s out. i cook all the timeat home. he likes the way we eat and he sees food in a different way prefering more natural, veg options. he sometimes goes veg for months then return to meat. but he eats way way less since my change. he doesn’t trip. beyond food we both have our faults, so no finger pointing.

  15. Joy Says:

    Greeting: I’m so happy I came across this wonderful blog. I’m new to Veganism and was looking for other Vegans of Color. For me my partner not being a Vegan is not a deal breaker for me. However, due to me choosing a Vegan life for health, balance and harmony reasons I do desire a partner that does have healthy eating habits. Whether or not they are vegetarian, vegan, meat and potatoes or a variation of the three doesn’t matter. Just please be healthy and RESPECT where I’m at.

  16. supernovadiva Says:

    it wasn’t in the past, but i became vegan years after we married, but if some unfortunate reason we should part i would say no to any meat eaters in the future.

  17. I didn’t think it was when I started dating, but I found myself having a hard time feeling attached and loving towards someone who didn’t share my core values. When I finally me “the one” I knew it was right because he agrees with me on animal issues. We were vegetarian when we met and we went vegan together.

    We have the basics in common and that makes both of us stronger. A good relationship is more than the sum of its parts; we’re better people with each other. I don’t think that’d be possible with a nonvegan.

  18. Andreas xVx Says:

    absolutely. all issues of morality aside, i’m not particularly interested in attempting partnerships with people with whom priorities and goals cannot be shared. additionally, the living space/vegan fridge issues are serious for me. the willful denial of reality necessary for happy consumption of animal products is unattractive.

  19. Lucas Says:

    I could never imagine being with someone who was not vegan. The thought of kissing a mouth that took in animal flesh and/or secretions disgusts me to no end. And that’s not to mention the many problems arising from ideological differences. Fortunately I’ve never had to deal with that kind of situation but my wife and I have many times pondered the many difficulties of raising children in mixed (vegan and non-vegan) households.
    I certainly do feel for those vegans that fall for omnis or vegetarians (consumers of bodily functions) and I’m sorry I don’t have any helpful advice for them.

  20. cheyenne Says:

    It’s the ideal. My partner went vegetarian right after we got together, and since we share groceries she’s mostly vegan, and while I think it’s hugely important, I wouldn’t write in stone that it’s a deal breaker.

  21. laurie Says:

    Vegan for life, and loving it. Great life style……urge everyone to go that route.

  22. laurie Says:

    Ops! i forgot. How could I ever date someone who eats meat. I am a vegan first and foremost. Dating and marrying a meat eater would make me physically ill. Just watch him eats meat and dairy would kill me. No. A definite deal breaker.

  23. Joselle Says:

    Well, I’m glad my vegan fiance dated me even though I ate animals. Otherwise I might have never gone vegan and I wouldn’t have the opportunity to be with him. Being with him and having him be open and patient about where I was in life made it possible for me to go vegan. Before meeting him, I thought vegetarians were noble with willpower galore and I thought vegans were just nuts. Now I am vegan and I did it for the animals, never for him. Yet, it’s something really powerful we get to share.

    It’s my belief that vegans should be with nonvegans if the chemistry is there. It might be the most powerful and intimate opportunity for activism ever.

    Or it might not be. But it doesn’t mean that just because that nonvegan doesn’t go vegan that they aren’t lovable and capable of teaching you things you don’t know.

    If you only surround yourself with vegans, veganism is not activism–it’s just a support group.

  24. Louëlla Says:

    Interesting responses. Definitely not a deal-breaker for me. It reminds me that someone I was interested in is a meat-eater and has expressed no interest in veganism despite seemingly having abundant exposure to vegans. It’s something that definitely makes someone more or less attractive for me, but there are too many other reasons I could be interested in a person. As long as they are respectful of my political views and the feelings that come with them and are not actively opposing veganism, a relationship is possible. A major turn-off for me is arguing. It doesn’t matter if the topic is veganism or something else… I don’t like to argue. So if someone starts trying to argue with me, or they have different enough views that an argument is inevitable, then we have a problem. My main interest in a partner is that I can learn from them on a spiritual level. That doesn’t require veganism. I don’t think I would like to date anyone who exploits/kills animals personally, though… that would be really bothersome.

  25. dersk Says:

    You know what’s pretty scary? Replace, say, Christian and Jew (or white and black) for omnivore vs. v*gan.

    Never had an issue with a long-term non-veg girlfriend, again because I did almost all the cooking and she’d do up her fish dishes while I was off on business trips.

    My problem now is a non-veg daughter (who lives with my non-veg ex-girlfriend) who REALLY likes ham. I’ve had to give up a few times and give her meat…

  26. noemi Says:

    so you’re saying that not dating or having a relationship with someone who eats meat is the same type of discrimination when someone won’t date a black or Mexican person?

  27. Vanessa Says:

    i’m in the minority here. while veganism would certainly be preferred, no doubt about that, for many of the reasons stated in previous comments, in the end it wasn’t a deal-breaker. my partner of almost five years is an omni. he’s seriously reduced his meat consumption and although he is very much aware of the arguments, theory, issues in AR, etc., he continues his speciesist ways. in the end, you can’t change anyone.

    it’s a difficult situation, but there’s much opportunity in being with an omni- not only do you school them on veganism, but their family, friends and colleagues learn about it too.

    • Vanessa Says:

      clarification: …would certainly be preferred… for the reasons stated in previous comments.

      and not

      for the reasons stated in previous comments, in the end…

  28. noemi Says:

    I guess the question would be, do you want to school your partner and try to “change them” or not. I’m a parent, I don’t want to be anyone else’s mama.

  29. monika Says:

    Dating only vegans is akin to racism?

    Being white = privileged. So does being a meat eater (not only due to convenience, but there is intersectionality with classism here).

    A better analogy is refusing to date non-vegans is like refusing to date homophobes. Which I am okay with.

    Monika

    (sorry to pipe in; I enjoy this blog and don’t post b/c of my white privilege – this space isn’t about me!) Will go back to reading :)


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