I'm struggling with my boyfriend not becoming vegan

Dbarton93

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I was vegetarian for a year then I've been vegan for the last 7 months. I've been with my boyfriend for 5 years and all that time I've wanted to be vegan but he's been against it but I decided to do it anyway recently because it was important to me. He has now come round to the idea and is happy with my decision and supports it and we don't eat meat or dairy at home but he shows no interest in becoming a vegan himself. When we go out or he buys himself lunch he always buys meat products cause he says he enjoys them. This is becoming increasingly stressful for me and I've expressed to him that I will be raising my kids as vegan and that it's not fair for them to see him eating animal products but he still doesn't seem to want to change. I don't know what to do because obviously I really care for him and don't want to break up but its very difficult for me to watch him making the conscious decision to eat animal products despite everything he now knows about my reasons for becoming vegan. Any advice would be hugely appreciated
 

Mom2vegan

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You certainly have a dilemma and it's a good thing you're thinking about it now, before you have kids.

As women, we always think we can change men. I've learned it doesn't work that way. My husband is not the least bit interested in being vegan or vegetarian and our relationship still works out. I've tried the vegetarian thing off and on during our marriage and now I'm trying to do the vegan thing and stick with it. It doesn't cause us major problems, but he's not my first husband and I did not raise children with him. I get annoyed when he says the things I cook are "missing something" and then adds some ham or cheese to his serving, but since we're older and not raising children it's no big deal.

Imagine the challenges you'd face day in and day out trying to raise vegan children with a non-vegan husband. It's hard enough when grandparents who are not vegan take the kids for a weekend. Imagine the daily struggle......if you felt very strongly about your kids never eating any animal products but your husband did not feel that way. If he was in a hurry to go somewhere and the kids were hungry, and you weren't there, would you be terribly hurt if your kids ate McNuggets? Is he a "guys' guy?" Does he have a lot of friends he hangs out with? If so, his friends aren't going to be supportive of the diet and people sneak animal products to kids all the time. If he doesn't care, he won't object. Will this lead to fights? What about Thanksgiving with the inlaws? If your husband was vegan it would still be difficult but if he wasn't and you were......would he have to go to Thanksgiving without you and the kids? What if you didn't get along with your mother in law and he went to Thanksgiving without you and the kids? That could lead to some major drama.

Are you willing to just be a good example and let your kids grow up seeing you not eating animal products and hope your example would put them on the right path eventually? That could work. Raising a child vegan is no guarantee they will continue to be vegan when they grow up........eventually they have to make up their own minds. There's a lot to think about!
 

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it took me 3 years living with a vegan before I made the switch

sometimes it just takes time

anecdotal, I know. your results may vary
 

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I'm of the belief that each have a fundamental right to make our choices, the best we can do is to make educated choices. I have children, two go to their fathers away from me, he feeds them dairy, meat, soda, and so much beyond just what they consume.

My kids have freedom to eat meat if it's around, they are such clean eaters have grown up with this exposure, not force. If you offer them a burger they may eat a few bites, but if there's fruit, veggies, fresh anything they're going for that, their palette is accustomed to fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and grains.

My choice to not eat meat and dairy is for my health. I feed them healthful foods because I want them to know what health is, to have good health!

Freedom of choice, education, exposure. That is my philosophy when it comes to everyone else.
 
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Dizzy

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You can't change who and what people are. They can only change themselves and that comes because they want to, not because they've been guilted into it. My husband isn't vegan. He isn't 100% veggie, he does still occasionally have meat. It's not the end of the world - he doesn't have dairy milk or eggs but he won't give up cheese. Also, I married a non-vegan and if I try to force him to change he'd resent me very much.

I just gave it time - it took years for him to change to flexi, and then a couple more years for him to go mainly veggie. Sooner or later he'll get there but I think he has trained himself not to look behind the supermarket packaging and to see past the product to the being whose life was stolen to produce it. My job is to help him see without forcing him into a lifestyle he doesn't want to choose - yet.

With the possibility of kids it's different All you can do is raise them vegan so far as you can, and if your partner/his parents sneak them meat products now and again the world will not end. When they reach the age of reason they will choose their own path anyway - if they know the truth about meat production they will likely choose to be vegan. You just need to educate them in a way suited to their age so that they choose kindness as their path.
 
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FredVegrox

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I will say my perspective, as this goes for me as I am single and vegan. Either the love interest is to be interested in having vegan food and trying veganism, or will seduce you from living vegan ultimately, or it will be a doomed relationship. So I need a woman who can actually love me and live with me, as I don't claim it is so easy, to be vegan or seriously going to try it. There is reason to be vegan, the information should be looked at and there should be challenge to having better reason to not be vegan.
 
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Dizzy

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I don't know; I think real love helps you find compromises and workarounds. I love my husband very much, and he loves me. We've been together a long, long time and he's still my very favourite person to spend time with. He cooks me vegan food happily, and checks all the food labels in the shops before buying and is enormously careful about anything he makes for me. If he's buying bath or shower products he checks the labels first - got to be vegan and cruelty free. I don't cook meat, at all, and I don't buy it. I don't let any animal produce in "my fridge", only in the "other fridge". Who is making the compromises?

He'll get there, but not if I push him too hard. Like most people if he's pushed too hard in a direction he doesn't feel sure about, he simply digs in his heels and says "no way". I take it slow and steady but I'll get him there eventually.
 
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Ardnazela

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I understand your situation, my husband is a type 1 diabetic and "can't eat a plant based diet" We eat one meal together a day that is vegetarian. That seems to help. As long as he does not put pressure on me to eat meat products, which he knows not to.
He eats what he wants for breakfast and lunch. I try to find meat alternatives for dinner that make the meal seem more "filled out" for him. I am vegetarian but plant to transition to vegan within the next year. I told him ahead of time and plan to change my diet gradually. I am hopping that I can help him to do the same.
If your husband keeps adding things to the meal, don't cook for him. It is not kind to add an entire ingredient to the food, if he is doing that he can cook his own meals.
 
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Lou

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I understand your situation, my husband is a type 1 diabetic and "can't eat a plant based diet" We eat one meal together a day that is vegetarian. That seems to help. As long as he does not put pressure on me to eat meat products, which he knows not to.
He eats what he wants for breakfast and lunch. I try to find meat alternatives for dinner that make the meal seem more "filled out" for him. I am vegetarian but plant to transition to vegan within the next year. I told him ahead of time and plan to change my diet gradually. I am hopping that I can help him to do the same.
If your husband keeps adding things to the meal, don't cook for him. It is not kind to add an entire ingredient to the food, if he is doing that he can cook his own meals.
I like your advice but I have two questions.
1. Why did you put "can't eat a plant based diet" in quotes?
2. and what makes you think that is a true statement?
 
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I like your advice but I have two questions.
1. Why did you put "can't eat a plant based diet" in quotes?
2. and what makes you think that is a true statement?
I'm just going to guess that that's what he says (or some other [ignorant] person that has told him that
 
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Lou

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I'm just going to guess that that's what he says (or some other [ignorant] person that has told him that
Oh! do you think that is why she put it in quotes?

-----

Isn't there a whole book on how to cure diabetes with a plant-based diet?
(Googling)
Oh, of course, there is! And it's by @Emma JC's favorite vegan, Dr. Neal Barnard.


And it has at least one companion. A cookbook. Plus youtube videos and other stuff.
 
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Emma JC

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Type I diabetes can't be cured with a plant-based diet, as opposed to Type II which is diet related.

It is possible that it will help to stabilize a Type I diabetics sugar levels and help to avoid the spikes.

@Ardnazela - Type II diabetes is caused by fat in the cells of the body interfering with the cells ability allow the insulin to process the sugars into glucose, which is the fuel for the body/brain as opposed to the myth that too much sugar causes Type II diabetes, it is fat that causes Type II diabetes

As per @Lou Dr Barnard has a lot of great information to share about diabetes and I would recommend spending time with his books, his videos and his websites.

Emma JC
 
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Lou

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Type I diabetes can't be cured with a plant-based diet, as opposed to Type II which is diet related.
Oh. Good pickup Emma. I didn't notice that it was diabetes I. I'm not sure but I suspect that a Diabetic I patient could eat a PB diet, too.
 

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TofuRobot

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I was vegetarian for a year then I've been vegan for the last 7 months. I've been with my boyfriend for 5 years and all that time I've wanted to be vegan but he's been against it but I decided to do it anyway recently because it was important to me. He has now come round to the idea and is happy with my decision and supports it and we don't eat meat or dairy at home but he shows no interest in becoming a vegan himself. When we go out or he buys himself lunch he always buys meat products cause he says he enjoys them. This is becoming increasingly stressful for me and I've expressed to him that I will be raising my kids as vegan and that it's not fair for them to see him eating animal products but he still doesn't seem to want to change. I don't know what to do because obviously I really care for him and don't want to break up but its very difficult for me to watch him making the conscious decision to eat animal products despite everything he now knows about my reasons for becoming vegan. Any advice would be hugely appreciated
Hi there - I do feel your pain... At my age and current situation in life, I would find it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to be in a serious relationship with someone who was not at least pescatarian - even then, it would be hard. I don't really have any advise for you, except to say that while you can continue to share information with him and have "hope," you're not likely to change him unless he wants to change (this goes with anyone about anything). If you have already sat down with him and watched Earthlings, What the Health, Dominion, Running for Good, & The Game Changers (etc), there's really not much else you can do. You really only have a couple of choices - accept him for who he is and the very real fact that he may never change, or you can choose to end the relationship, as difficult as that might be. After 5 years, I can understand how this would be a very difficult choice.

I will say this - My son's dad and I agreed when our son was born that we would raise him with my diet at the time (pescatarian). He (my exH) was and still is an omnivore, but he kept his end of the bargain and tomorrow our son turns 17 and I am happy to say he has never eaten a mammal ever in his life, and while he still does occasionally eat fish, he quit eating dairy and eggs almost a year ago, and he eats vegan when he's with me. Of course now it's really up to him, but has no desire to start eating the animals he's never before eaten. So, it can be done if both parents respect each other enough to come to an agreement and stick to it.

There's no doubt in my mind that your BF is able to follow a PB diet (despite what he says or has been told by whomever), but whether or not he chooses to do so, is entire up to him, and any attempts to force change upon him about this or anything else are likely going to backfire. So the real decision ultimately is yours, in that you need to come to terms with what you can live with long term and what you can't - and be honest with yourself and with him and make your decision based on being true to yourself. You have one thing going for you - and that is the fact that he supports your decision and that he doesn't bring meat into your home.

I also have to applaud you for being so forward-thinking that you are considering how you would raise your child before having children. Many people do not, and given that there are 2 adults in the mix, it's extremely important that you 2 are on the same page about stuff with regards to every aspect about raising children.

I wish you luck and peace with your decision, whatever it may be. xo

EDIT: Somehow I think I got the BF and the person with Type 1 diabetes all mixed up --- but U get the idea I think :p
 
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Forest Nymph

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You cannot change anyone. In my longest relationship my ex berated my attempts to become vegan. When I was vegetarian he wanted me to drink whole fat milk because he thought I wasn't getting vitamin D otherwise, and he always had yogurts because he knew I would eat them. He'd say let's go to the bagel place together. It all sounds very sweet but it wasn't. He framed River Phoenix's death as due to diet (um what about Jim Bilushi or Chris Farley???) and accused me of pretentiousness, being a picky eater, and do you know what, we weren't compatible in other ways either. Six years but good Lord I could never be with him now.

You need to take a good hard look at how serious this is or HOW he deals with your veganism. People bond physically and emotionally over time but can honestly be a bad match for the long term or to have children.

The last man I dated more than casually was an "ex vegan" who said he "should be vegan" but was eating meat, he ate small amounts of meat, but he wasn't even a vegetarian. I started to think I'd rather hold out for someone who shares my values. I may have to move to Berkeley to meet them, but I'm past the stage of wanting to change someone. After that last guy I just decided I'd rather be alone.
 

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I'm just going to guess that that's what he says (or some other [ignorant] person that has told him that
I put that part in quotes as those are my husbands words not mine.
He knows about all the studies that show that a vegan or just vegetarian diet could help his BGLs. But I think he uses it as more of a this is my body and I want you to stop talking about what I eat tactic. I think it is his go-to on stopping the conversation.
Like I mentioned earlier, he does his food and I do mine. I offer him mine and he does not offer me his.
 

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I put that part in quotes as those are my husbands words not mine.
He knows about all the studies that show that a vegan or just vegetarian diet could help his BGLs. But I think he uses it as more of a this is my body and I want you to stop talking about what I eat tactic. I think it is his go-to on stopping the conversation.
Like I mentioned earlier, he does his food and I do mine. I offer him mine and he does not offer me his.
Thanks for clearing that up.
 
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Frosty20

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I would tell my mate we only have so much time on this planet so why not make the most of it? Plant based eating will take you into old age with the ability to do things not sitting in bed waiting to die.
 
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Andy_T

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I would say do consider seriously how important being vegan is for you and whether you can abide by the person sharing the rest of your life not sharing your core values. Might be this is not an issue for you („Ah, true love is much more important“), but might also be it could be very important for you („I also would not want to live with a person who is racist“).

Do not do one thing, however: Do NOT enter a relationship with a non-vegan thinking „Oh, they will see the light and come around one day“. While it can happen- and I am genuinely happy for everybody who has this experience- that your partner learns from your example, it can also very often not be the case, in which case you would be setting yourself up for disappointment and your significant other for unrealistic expectations.

How do I know that? When I met my wife 20 years ago, I was a happy-go-lucky vegetarian and happy if I got my own veggies (and lots of eggs and cheese, of course), but did not care much about what others did. Also, I did not closely know a single other vegetarian in my whole life then, so it was either dating a meat-eater or joining a cloister. However, when I then went vegan about 9 years ago, I became aware of animal rights and it suddenly became much more important for me whether other people continued to murder animals or not. So while my wife is very supportive of my veganism, I am still very sad that she and our kids continue to partake in the murder of animals for food. And they have been experiencing my example for 9 years now, yet still show no inclination to join me.

You are still young and free, make your choice :cool:
 
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