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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

Hello gorgeous people... I was wondering if any of you had any sage advice on how to go about transitioning fully to a vegan lifestyle when my partner is not. He isn't a vegetarian however LOVES tofu and kale, lentils etc etc, even uses soy milk- but most nights when we cook together he wants to use butter or cheese or eggs or yogurt etc. Personally I've been a vegetarian basically my whole life (I am 21) and I don't purchase any dairy products and when I'm just cooking for myself I always eat only plant-based foods.
But for the two of us, making dinner every night is the last step I need to take in being fully vegan, which I am committed to... trying to sneak in coconut oil instead of butter and putting cheese on separately at the end is easy enough, but I know it's tough for my boyfriend when I can't eat any of his favourite foods. The last thing I want to do is preach though, so I've tried to explain my values and he is very supportive of that, and I've tried to be as flexible as possible over the last few months but now I want to fully commit myself, anddd you know how it is- when you are a vegan every single person you tell seems to somehow take it personally!!

Anyway anyone who has been in a similar situation or just any general wisdom would be so appreciated in making this a little easier!
Thank you all and namaste :)

Responses (13)

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by The Hammer at 04/23/14 00:21:05

    "The last thing I want to do is preach though"

    i am always amazed when people selfcensor themself and prevent themselves from talking about the things that are dear to them, for FEAR of upsetting people. What's the alternative if you can't speak your mind, keep silent, smile and generally talk about the weather? Asdk yourself, if YOU don't speak up for the animals, WHO does??

    In short, talking about important issues is NOT preaching, it is called an exchange of thoughts, aka conversation.

    Advice for today: don't put yourself and your ethical way of thinking down, don't self censor yourself. Doesn't make you happy in the long run.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by AllyG at 04/23/14 02:00:01

    My husband isn't vegan and I am. I do the cooking so he gets vegan by default.
    If he wants eggs or cheese then I'll give it to him, I'll cook meat for him too. It's his choice what he eats, just as it's my choice what I eat.
    As time goes on, his requests for animal products lessens, I hope by not preaching, making comments etc, I'll lead by example. If he doesn't, then that's ok. I wasn't vegan when we met and he has never complained or been preachy about it.
    It works both ways.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by gillbean40 at 04/24/14 04:31:12

    My husband is a major carnivore and would easily eat my share of meat any day of the week. He is also though totally supportive of my veganism and would never put it down in any way. When we're out he will always ask if there's something on the menu for me before we choose a restaurant. I cook meat for him but steer him towards healthier options too and he will try most things I suggest. That's what a partnership is all about I would think, being considerate of each other and of your choices.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 04/24/14 06:17:02

    Of course it's important to get along with someone you live with.

    But let's not pretend that the choice between eating animals and being vegan is no more than a choice between the colors of your shirts.

    Your dietary choices have a profound effect on the environment, human health and world starvation, not to mention the lives of the billions that suffer and die.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by The Hammer at 04/26/14 02:26:44

    "It's his choice what he eats"

    I am always amazed when people utter words like "it is his choiche" when the choiche at question is DIRECTLY, not indirectly or theoretically, responsible for the worst type of animal cruelty.
    Let me continue that line of arguing of that means that wearing fur is also a persons that we have to respect?

    As Ahimase put it very well, a choiche like that isn't a choiche what kind of color you wear. It is an ethical choiche between and . (we can just do anything with animals because there position in society is weak)

  • StephenS's avatar
    Report Abuse

    Posted by StephenS at 04/26/14 17:24:52

    I'm going to ruffle some feathers here - metaphorically speaking, since I'm a Vegan and would never ruffle actual feathers - but, I am constantly amazed at the amount of folks with a compassionate based diet who wholesale support their "loved ones" diets of murder, torture, rape and abuse! It pains me to think so many folks are Vegan or veg for wholly selfish reasons. When you support, defend and encourage others to eat animal based products you are being speciest. None of you supporters of Veg/an diets would ever stand for it if your loved one went to the store to pick up some breast milk or cheese taken from or made from an imprisoned human woman. You wouldn't cook them some meat cut from the flank of an human prisoner. What I wonder more than "how do I go vegan when my partner is not" or "how do I deal with my partner wanting cheese" is; How Do We Get Vegans And Veggies To Actually Start Supporting A Vegan Lifestyle rather than just look the other way or try to "understand" when their significant other supports and often relishes the experience of dietary rape, molestation, torture, murder, abuse, dominance and general [censored]ness.
    I understand that for many folks on here - and in life - veg/an is just an experiment / phase / fad - but for those of you really embracing a compassionate diet - how can you just look the other way while your partner takes part in Psychopathic and Domineering behavior?? It baffles me and makes me so bummed. Ditch the Sadist and reward a compassionate person with your company / love / time and sexuality.
    Or - stop posing and go back to the animal products - it's so much easier than making waves or holding folks accountable for their actions.
    - Nothing personal - I'm just tired of hearing this argument, and saddened.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by AllyG at 04/27/14 14:05:35

    In the real world, not everyone is vegan. It would be nice to flick a switch and we had shared beliefs.
    No matter what I think, eat, wear... There is no way I'm going to preach to my kind, sweet, caring husband about what he is eating (imprisonment, rape, murder, torture) preaching... Just as I'm not going to lecture him over the dinner table about why I'm catholic and he's not. He knows where his food comes from, but it's his choice to eat it, as it's my choice not to eat animals. He's not going to wave a hunk of steak under my nose, just as I'm not going to talk about slaughter of animals as he's eating.
    As I said before, I wasn't vegan when we met or married, he's accepted my choices. He will leave a restaurant with me without a fuss if there are no gf and vegan options, he never ever complains about buying super expensive vegan cheese or wine.
    Preachy, judgemental vegan police give vegans a bad name. Living in harmony, leading by example, encouraging, is the way to promote change.
    Nothing personal Stephen...

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by The Hammer at 04/28/14 01:17:37

    according to the first line of your original post, your dinner time relation with a non vegan isnt that harmonious as you want us to belive now.

    "I was wondering if any of you had any sage advice on how to go about transitioning fully to a vegan lifestyle when my partner is not. "

    also now you say that you were not veghan when you married him but in your original post you claim to be a vegetarian most of your life..?

    dont feel attacked, we all had the same issue in the beginning how to deal with other people, other vegans, AND our own feelings/confusion about it..

    last but not least, you ask our advice, why don't openly discuss your problem with your non veg partnjert? Just saying..

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by AllyG at 04/28/14 13:45:25

    What? Don't feel attacked when you just attacked her!

    Be nice. Libertyji wanted some support, and in fine vegan-police judgemental mode she gets attacked, as do Gillbean and I because we don't fit into the 'one size fits all' vegan category - we three actually live with non vegans.

    When I first started out my vegan journey I felt alone, weird, marginalised... I have no one in my circle of friends, no family, no colleagues who are vegans. I joined a fb group and went to a meet up. Instead of finding support, I've again been judged, come across the "I'm more vegan than you" attitude and heaven forbid if anyone who admits being vegan because of health reasons rather than animal rights.

    Shouldn't we be embracing Liberty, that she's 21, is on her vegan journey, with a supportive partner but she's having problems with encouraging him to try her vegan lifestyle? Instead of attacking those of us who live in the real world where not everyone is vegan, but cares about their partner's choices, shouldn't we be giving them helpful suggestions to work alongside a non vegan partner with harmony, rather than condemnation. Don't we get enough judging from non vegans?

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by gillbean40 at 04/29/14 03:46:09

    Well said, I would honestly like to know what some people would do if everyone did go vegan because then they would have no-one to judge and would probably have to resort to food comparing, "my lentils are more organic than yours"!!!! Good luck to you Libertyji and just know that there are people who want to encourage your choice too.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by ahimsa32fa at 04/29/14 10:33:02

    There's something missing in this discussion.

    How couples make decisions about diet choices don't just affect those two folks and their personal relationship.

    We forget that we also have a "relationship" with the other animals...that we decide to eat or not to eat. How about considering their experience as a result of our choices?

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by AllyG at 04/29/14 13:13:13

    Like it or not Ahimsa we do have personal choices unless we live in Vegan Land or in a small self contained box. I can't control what other people eat or do. I'm hardly going to snatch someone plate off them in a restaurant and scream that there is a murdered animal in their plate! I'm unlikely to do the same with my husband, friends, colleagues and strangers unless I want to live in the above mentioned lonely self contained box. It's not about worrying about people's feelings, it's about living in a civilised world. Really? Is screaming murder in a restaurant going to bring that poor dead animal back to life or change anyone's dining habits, no.
    What I can control is myself. I live a vegan lifestyle, and promote my lifestyle by example. I have vegan dinner parties, we had a vegan wedding (finding caterers was a nightmare) I take vegan dishes to pot lucks, any church function I host or organise is vegan (which I don't think anyone has complained about) when shopping I ask if it's wool, leather etc, and say I'm vegan I don't wear animal products.
    In our world unfortunately animals do suffer. I can be an example, I can promote vegan ism in my own way... But expecting everyone around me to embrace my vegan ism is going to end up with disappointment. I did expect that when I was first vegan, but I've realised I'm the only one I can change. Btw, two of my friends who are set in concrete carnivores are eating vegan 5x a week. And that's not from me showing them slaughter videos and shouting about the morgue on their plates.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by theveganmuffin at 07/23/14 11:29:18

    I agree, AllyG.
    And on the original note: growing up, while my mother and I were both strict vegans, my father and brother were more or less strict carnivores. My mother, who did most of the cooking, decided to set her beliefs aside and cook two meals for dinner, one meaty and one vegan. When my brother went off to college, she started simply cooking one vegan meal with a meat addition on the side for my father. He got used to this, and accepted it for its health benefits, but was not always satisfied.
    Although you should never determine your partner's diet for them, if you are doing the majority of the cooking, it is only fair that you cook what you feel comfortable with. Personally, I know I wouldn't have been able to do what my mother did (cook with meat or dairy) because I would have been too uncomfortable. However, I would never and will never try to influence anyone or coerce them into sharing my views. The only ways in which I try to help our cause are: sticking to my own beliefs, answering honestly when anyone directly asks me why I am vegan, and selling t-shirts with pro-animal slogans to raise money for PETA and ASPCA. Many people think of all vegans as militant and self-righteous, believing that we all think we're better than people who don't share our views. My goal is to dispel this generalization by being open-minded and hoping that it will encourage others to be open-minded about our cause as well.

    libertyji, if I were in your situation, I would cook a vegan meal for myself and offer to cook the same for my partner, but if they did not want it then I would not make another dish for them. I would tell my partner openly that I felt very strongly about veganism and was too uncomfortable to make a meal with meat or dairy, but also that I would never judge or be at all upset with my partner for eating foods I did not.
    This is what I would do. Many others have shared wise solutions; hopefully one will work for you.

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