My boyfriend wants me to become vegan

ellaxo

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My boyfriend wants me to become vegan but I need patience from him. Pls help.

My boyfriend and I have been fostering a really healthy relationship, and we both have discussed the fact that we see this going very far. From what I can tell, neither of us have any interest on ending it any time soon.

He is a vegan, and knew prior to dating that I was not- I had never been exposed to the lifestyle before, but was very open to learning and exploring it. A couple months in, he expressed concerns about the fact that he did not see himself ending up with someone who did not make the same dietary decisions as him, because he values veganism so closely. I expressed that knew this and loved this about him- and I would consciously make changes to work toward this lifestyle. As you know, this is a big change to make, and cannot realistically happen overnight for someone who is so new to the idea. We started to cook many vegan meals together, any animal products I did buy, I tried to purchase as ethically as possible, and I have started buying much more alternative foods than I did before. He expressed that this made him feel a lot better about the relationship moving forward.

He recently brought up this concern again, even though I had been making strides in his direction. I expressed that I need patience and gentleness from someone who will hold my hand during this transition, because I know it matters so much to him and I want to align with him in ways that make him feel seen and loved, as well as the opportunity to see the world and his values through his own lens. I guess I am frustrated because I want him to know that I really am trying, but I need patience. And time. Along with the same open-mindedness that I have shown to him.

Please let me know your thoughts- I love him too deeply to let this sever anything. Just need guidance, as well as advice on how to communicate this to him.
 
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silva

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Do you want to become vegan? Is this something you would do regardless of being in this relationship?
When we try to change something about ourselves for the love of another it becomes conditional on the relationship. If you don't have the desire to change with or without them, it's liable to become contentious when things aren't as fresh and pretty as they are now.
 
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ellaxo

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Do you want to become vegan? Is this something you would do regardless of being in this relationship?
When we try to change something about ourselves for the love of another it becomes conditional on the relationship. If you don't have the desire to change with or without them, it's liable to become contentious when things aren't as fresh and pretty as they are now.
The more I have learned about the lifestyle through him, the more interested I have become in making that decision both for my own body and the world around me. It isn't something I would completely forget about by any means if he were to leave me tomorrow. As we spend more time together and eat more vegan meals, it feels less like a culture shock and more like something I could genuinely see myself doing- happily. I think my main struggle is asking him for the patience I need from him, and not making him think I'm just stalling or buying time instead of gradually transitioning.
 

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What specifically do you struggle with? It takes time to transition when you've spent your life with one idea and then find it's really just a sham!
Look to good, well researched sources, not the shock value docs, or the idea that eggs are as bad as smoking cigarettes.....
Books I've found esp helpful are:
Whole by Colin Campbell
Diet for a new Planet by John Robbins
 
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ellaxo

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What specifically do you struggle with? It takes time to transition when you've spent your life with one idea and then find it's really just a sham!
Look to good, well researched sources, not the shock value docs, or the idea that eggs are as bad as smoking cigarettes.....
Books I've found esp helpful are:
Whole by Colin Campbell
Diet for a new Planet by John Robbins
Thank you so much. I will take a look at these.

I want to do it for the right reasons, and I know it will benefit me physically, but I struggle with denying myself comfort foods. Im trying to remind myself that there is always an alternative, but food is a connector to my childhood and something I hold onto. I want to find healthy ways to overcome this so I can feel good every time I eat.
 
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Jamie in Chile

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Thanks for sharing and hope you are doing well. He does need to show some patience in the transition.

If you are eating meat or fish or factory farmed eggs then I suggest you quickly move to phase them out - there are many benefits towards doing so including the ethical reasoning. Just make a jump, just go for it, you can do it!

If you have already given up meat and he is getting annoyed because you eat a non-vegan doughnut or chocolate or cheese slices then it suggests more of a controlling attitude from him which might be concerning.

It's a bit hard to give advice without knowing whether you live together, how long you've been together, what stage you are at in the transition and so on. But understand if you don't want to share those details.
 
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ellaxo

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Thanks for sharing and hope you are doing well. He does need to show some patience in the transition.

If you are eating meat or fish or factory farmed eggs then I suggest you quickly move to phase them out - there are many benefits towards doing so including the ethical reasoning. Just make a jump, just go for it, you can do it!

If you have already given up meat and he is getting annoyed because you eat a non-vegan doughnut or chocolate or cheese slices then it suggests more of a controlling attitude from him which might be concerning.

It's a bit hard to give advice without knowing whether you live together, how long you've been together, what stage you are at in the transition and so on. But understand if you don't want to share those details.
Thank you so much for your advice, it is really nice to have the encouragement. We have been together about 5 months, and are not in a rush to live together but we do plan to move further away & to the same area within the next few months. We decided that it is most responsible to wait another lease term before making that step, and I know he will want to live in a vegan household. That gives me plenty of time to transition, but you’re right- it is a big jump to make. I am willing to put in the work and make those changes but I know it starts with education and mindset. I am very open to any advice.
 
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David3

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My boyfriend wants me to become vegan but I need patience from him. Pls help.

My boyfriend and I have been fostering a really healthy relationship, and we both have discussed the fact that we see this going very far. From what I can tell, neither of us have any interest on ending it any time soon.

He is a vegan, and knew prior to dating that I was not- I had never been exposed to the lifestyle before, but was very open to learning and exploring it. A couple months in, he expressed concerns about the fact that he did not see himself ending up with someone who did not make the same dietary decisions as him, because he values veganism so closely. I expressed that knew this and loved this about him- and I would consciously make changes to work toward this lifestyle. As you know, this is a big change to make, and cannot realistically happen overnight for someone who is so new to the idea. We started to cook many vegan meals together, any animal products I did buy, I tried to purchase as ethically as possible, and I have started buying much more alternative foods than I did before. He expressed that this made him feel a lot better about the relationship moving forward.

He recently brought up this concern again, even though I had been making strides in his direction. I expressed that I need patience and gentleness from someone who will hold my hand during this transition, because I know it matters so much to him and I want to align with him in ways that make him feel seen and loved, as well as the opportunity to see the world and his values through his own lens. I guess I am frustrated because I want him to know that I really am trying, but I need patience. And time. Along with the same open-mindedness that I have shown to him.

Please let me know your thoughts- I love him too deeply to let this sever anything. Just need guidance, as well as advice on how to communicate this to him.
.
So, he began a relationship with you, knowing that you're not vegan. He gave you affection and caring, and thus brought you close to him. But then, he tells you that he'll end it, if you don't change.

I would ask yourself whether the relationship is worth continuing. He may be the kind of person who tries to control his significant other.
.
 

Lou

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So, he began a relationship with you, knowing that you're not vegan. He gave you affection and caring, and thus brought you close to him. But then, he tells you that he'll end it, if you don't change.
I don't think that is what she said.
 
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Lou

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I'm a right brained kind of guy so I usually rely on things like lists, checkmarks, and charts.
but if that is not you than just ignore the following.

One of my favorite vegan gurus suggested keeping a list of the foods/meal you eat for a week. then making a meal plan for the following week. Look at your previous week's list and circle the foods and meals that were vegan. be sure to include them in the following week. Then look at your meals and pick out the ones that can be easily be made vegan. For instance spaghetti and meatballs can easily be made vegan by leaving out the meatballs. Vegetarian pizza can be made vegan by not including cheese. For the third week look at the previous two weeks and look for places you can use subs and alternatives. For instance replacing milk with a plant based alternative in your breakfast cereal. Or using non dairy cheese on your pizza. Replacing chicken in recipes with tofu or one of the chicken-like alternatives.

The last step is something you will do forever. Its the hardest but also the most rewarding. not just eliminating or replacing non-vegan things but creating meals that are new AND vegan. A trip to the library or bookstore for a vegan cookbook is a good step in the right direction.

When he peeks into your frig and finds soy milk, non dairy cheese, Big Salads, Vegetable soup, and lentil stew. And your freezer includes things like tofu, Just Egg, Boca Burgers*. your boyfriend ought to be suitably impressed. :)

* just examples - that is what is in my frig.
 
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Emma JC

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welcome to the forum @ellaxo and this is an interesting viewpoint which we often don't encounter as it is normally the vegan partner here trying to work things out with their non-vegan partner

I am conflicted about this as all who have commented already have interesting points.

I personally found it very easy to switch completely once I heard Dr McDougall talk about all the good comfort foods that I could still enjoy (potatoes, rice, pasta, breads etc). That, though, was the final piece of the puzzle, for me, that I had been working towards for a number of years.

It is actually very simple to follow a plant-based lifestyle, there are so many animal alternatives available that there is really no excuse. The challenge is getting the brain to come along and I think that if you spend time reading books and watching documentaries and vegan youtubers then you will have a clearer vision as to whether this is right for you within the time frame that seems to be required.

I do have some concerns about the "control aspect" of your relationship and hope that you are able to tell if that is an issue or not. 22 is a very young age to be getting into a 'controlling' relationship and 22 is a wonderful age to start a vegan lifestyle as the impact on your body, the planet and the animals will be massive.

Wishing you all the best in this journey and would love for you to keep us up to date as you go.

Emma JC
Find your vegan soulmate or just a friend. www.spiritualmatchmaking.com
 
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ellaxo

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welcome to the forum @ellaxo and this is an interesting viewpoint which we often don't encounter as it is normally the vegan partner here trying to work things out with their non-vegan partner

I am conflicted about this as all who have commented already have interesting points.

I personally found it very easy to switch completely once I heard Dr McDougall talk about all the good comfort foods that I could still enjoy (potatoes, rice, pasta, breads etc). That, though, was the final piece of the puzzle, for me, that I had been working towards for a number of years.

It is actually very simple to follow a plant-based lifestyle, there are so many animal alternatives available that there is really no excuse. The challenge is getting the brain to come along and I think that if you spend time reading books and watching documentaries and vegan youtubers then you will have a clearer vision as to whether this is right for you within the time frame that seems to be required.

I do have some concerns about the "control aspect" of your relationship and hope that you are able to tell if that is an issue or not. 22 is a very young age to be getting into a 'controlling' relationship and 22 is a wonderful age to start a vegan lifestyle as the impact on your body, the planet and the animals will be massive.

Wishing you all the best in this journey and would love for you to keep us up to date as you go.

Emma JC
Find your vegan soulmate or just a friend. www.spiritualmatchmaking.com
Thank you so much for your insight. My last relationship was a very controlling and manipulative one, and my current partner and I have put a lot of effort into making sure we are well communicated and fulfilling each other’s needs in the healthiest way possible without hurting ourselves in the process. Due to my recent relationship experiences, I have been very open about any concerns I have regarding control and freedom in the relationship, while aligning our values. Some people on the thread have interpreted his perspective as an ultimatum, which I wouldn’t say is entirely accurate- he has just expressed that as he grows, he finds this to be something more and more important to him and wants to cultivate a life surrounded by likeminded people. I will definitely look into the resources you suggested, and I really appreciate you welcoming and encouraging words.
 
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Lou

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I personally found it very easy to switch completely

A lot of people don't. as can be attested to by the number of people who stop by here seeking advice.

I myself had a hard time with the transition. However in my defense that was back before all the alternatives showed up in the grocery store aisles.

I would think its just so much easier nowadays.

However overcoming the craving for various comfort foods is probably just as hard to overcome.
 
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ellaxo

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I'm a right brained kind of guy so I usually rely on things like lists, checkmarks, and charts.
but if that is not you than just ignore the following.

One of my favorite vegan gurus suggested keeping a list of the foods/meal you eat for a week. then making a meal plan for the following week. Look at your previous week's list and circle the foods and meals that were vegan. be sure to include them in the following week. Then look at your meals and pick out the ones that can be easily be made vegan. For instance spaghetti and meatballs can easily be made vegan by leaving out the meatballs. Vegetarian pizza can be made vegan by not including cheese. For the third week look at the previous two weeks and look for places you can use subs and alternatives. For instance replacing milk with a plant based alternative in your breakfast cereal. Or using non dairy cheese on your pizza. Replacing chicken in recipes with tofu or one of the chicken-like alternatives.

The last step is something you will do forever. Its the hardest but also the most rewarding. not just eliminating or replacing non-vegan things but creating meals that are new AND vegan. A trip to the library or bookstore for a vegan cookbook is a good step in the right direction.

When he peeks into your frig and finds soy milk, non dairy cheese, Big Salads, Vegetable soup, and lentil stew. And your freezer includes things like tofu, Just Egg, Boca Burgers*. your boyfriend ought to be suitably impressed. :)

* just examples - that is what is in my frig.
I am so appreciative of this response because practical and feasible practices are the most effective for me. I am lactose intolerant, so that’s not the hardest part for me. Last night, I made a list of my favorite foods that are vegan, my favorite foods that COULD be vegan, and things I’d have to give up. The last list was mostly made of things that I don’t feel great after eating, so that was motivating. We are also moving to an area where vegan food is MUCH more accessible, so I can imagine that will be helpful. Thank you again.
 
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I am so appreciative of this response because practical and feasible practices are the most effective for me
I learned this from author and chef, Colleen Patrick -Goudreau.

Her online 30 Day Vegan Challenge used to be free. I'm not sure what she charges it for nowadays. I took it back when it was free. I really liked it. there is also a book. Amazon has it for pretty cheap - and you can even buy it used. Her Joyful Vegan is also worth reading.

Also might be of interest to you is the 21 Day Vegan Kickstart Program. From the folks at PCRM. Its FREE. I also did it years ago just for the experience - and it was great. Not sure if this is still true but there is social aspect to it. If you start it on the first of the month you can share notes with other people who just started it. Makes it feel like a class.
 

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My personal experience is that whenever I thought of quitting eating dead animals (somewhere between when I was around 12 and thought it would be a good idea to be vegetarian and about 20 when I first tried it), it seemed completely impossible and hard … until I just tried it out and found out after a month it was not hard at all. Same with going vegan some 20 years later.
Yes, quitting eating dead animals might be hard, but you will never know until you give it a try. I would suggest you to watch the documentation “The Peaceable Kingdom” - it is NOT GRAPHIC, no horrible pictures of animals getting murdered, but still very powerful.
IMO, taking “baby steps” would just have made it more difficult and drawn-out for me, stopping to eat the stuff from one day to next and trying to stick with it for a month … worked for me.
 

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Well only thing i found difficult about switching over was having essentially withdrawl from the stuff previoulsy putting in my body.
 
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My boyfriend wants me to become vegan but I need patience from him. Pls help.

My boyfriend and I have been fostering a really healthy relationship, and we both have discussed the fact that we see this going very far. From what I can tell, neither of us have any interest on ending it any time soon.

He is a vegan, and knew prior to dating that I was not- I had never been exposed to the lifestyle before, but was very open to learning and exploring it. A couple months in, he expressed concerns about the fact that he did not see himself ending up with someone who did not make the same dietary decisions as him, because he values veganism so closely. I expressed that knew this and loved this about him- and I would consciously make changes to work toward this lifestyle. As you know, this is a big change to make, and cannot realistically happen overnight for someone who is so new to the idea. We started to cook many vegan meals together, any animal products I did buy, I tried to purchase as ethically as possible, and I have started buying much more alternative foods than I did before. He expressed that this made him feel a lot better about the relationship moving forward.

He recently brought up this concern again, even though I had been making strides in his direction. I expressed that I need patience and gentleness from someone who will hold my hand during this transition, because I know it matters so much to him and I want to align with him in ways that make him feel seen and loved, as well as the opportunity to see the world and his values through his own lens. I guess I am frustrated because I want him to know that I really am trying, but I need patience. And time. Along with the same open-mindedness that I have shown to him.

Please let me know your thoughts- I love him too deeply to let this sever anything. Just need guidance, as well as advice on how to communicate this to him.
I doubt that the majority of people could make that leap overnight. This is a personal decision, and you have to transition naturally on your own terms. Let him know that the transitioning period can be a little bumpy at first, but your in it for the long hall, its a life style change. It's important to be very honest and open with yourself and others, talk about foods you crave, and what to do about those cravings. Your feelings are important too, if you feel deprived of your favorite foods, and your quality of life is being affected, itll be hard to stick with it. It's important to be able talk to him about everything.
 

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I would be very happy if my partner was open to the idea of becoming vegan even if it took him a while.
It took me 3 years, and recently been having slip ups after moving and having less options. Once in a while I'll switch between vegan and vegetarian.
 
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I would be very happy if my partner was open to the idea of becoming vegan even if it took him a while.
It took me 3 years, and recently been having slip ups after moving and having less options. Once in a while I'll switch between vegan and vegetarian.
Where I grew up, there were no options, so I understand. It's hard to cook everything all the time, and vegan choices can be so hard to find in some places. I think we should stay positive, do our best to eat vegan, and be thankful their we're caring people, and acknowledge we are all only human