My partner Relapses and I don't get it.

LunaNaia

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So my boyfriend has been living a Vegetarianisim/Veganism lifestyle for nearly 3 years now. He was pretty much making the transition when we got together.
I'm vegan now for a year though I was vegetarian for 8 years prior to this.
He has tried raising awareness on Veganisim especially after watching certain documentaries like Cowspiracy. He's been trying to make people aware of the importance of a plant based diet to help the environment, stop animal cruelty & reverse climate change.
He’s relapsed maybe 4 times over the past few yrs...
We had a conversation today and I was telling him how I couldn’t understand how or why you would do this?
If you’re wholeheartedly against the idea of something, firmly believe in it and would fight to protect it and the cause.
Knowing the harm it causes and what the meat industry is....
I don’t get those actions.. How do you justify this.. He says he was in situations where he felt he had no other option but to consume the meat dishes available to him at restaurants with family or whatever.
I find that unacceptable, if you truly believe in a cause and have solid Ethical values, when you know eating it only contributes to the very thing you’re against that harms the planet and animals... Practise what you preach fully. Right?
It feels morally wrong to me and I feel I could never do this myself, it goes against my values. I have no desire nor would I want to have that on my conscience. So we had a big argument over this subject. :( He became really defensive, and angry at me. Said I was being very judgmental of him. Doesn't get where i'm coming from. I’m there trying to understand his reasons.. How can you go back on what you supposedly believe in and stand for? Am I wrong to feel so confused, disappointed and sad by this?
 

Sax

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I've never understood how someone could have that moral awakening about animal products and then backtrack. Did they never really get it? Did they decide animal suffering doesn't matter after all? Are they just too weak to live according to their values? Your feelings are 100% justified.

Let him know how you feel about it and try to move on. What else makes you two work as a couple besides shared veganism? Is that enough for you? What can you both do to strengthen those connections?

Good luck.
 
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Lou

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Am I wrong to feel so confused, disappointed and sad by this?

Not entirely. but I think you need to change your perspective or way of thinking if you are going to "get over" this.

Not too long ago another member here at the forum was giving advice to someone else in your shoes, and it reminded me of a lecture that Dr. Melanie Joy gave. (it's on YouTube. or you can check out one of her many books on the subject.) The lecture I'm thinking of is called "How Vegans Can Create Healthy Relationships and Communicate Effectively". The book that I am thinking of is Beyond Beliefs.

I was just looking for a link to one of her lectures and discovered she has a whole series of 2-minute videos. Here is one that I thought was most relevant. Maybe it will help.

She has a lot of good stuff about relationships, too.

 

Emma JC

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I was actually thinking about this earlier today as I had a family funeral the other day and at the lunch afterwards there fruit and vegetables and I was thankful as that was all there was that I could eat. Lots and lots of meat/egg sandwiches, desserts etc.

So I was thinking about the temptation of having just one sandwich, what would it hurt? and so I thought about it in the context of relationships... if I just go out for drinks with a guy without telling my spouse, is that okay? if I just kiss him and don't have sex with him, is that okay? you see my point... neither of those things are okay and so cheating on a even just a half a sandwich, is not okay for me. If I was starving and there was no other food to be found then I would eat the sandwich. I was not starving, there was lots of great fruits and veggies and I had nuts and pretzels in the car for the drive home.

As @Lou points out, everyone is different and is at a different point in their relationship with veganism. Some use a family occasion as an excuse to cheat and some just truly aren't as dedicated as others. My spouse is a bit more lax than I am and yet I do not make an issue of it. He doesn't do it often and rarely does it in front of me so I will take the "almost all the time" and be thankful and not complain about his "occasional". It probably makes a difference that we came into this for our "health" and the animals and the environment were second and third. For me, now, all three rank equally and for him health is still number one and so 'occasional lapses' are more justifiable.

None of us are perfect in any area of our lives and none of us should expect others to be perfect. As vegan as possible is good and we are all at a different level in our journey.

If you enjoy most of the rest of your relationship with him and that is the only thing that is an issue then you may need to decide if you wish to sacrifice your relationship for a few lapses. I chose not to as he has soooo many other great qualities.

All the best with your decisions.

Emma JC
 

Nekodaiden

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So my boyfriend has been living a Vegetarianisim/Veganism lifestyle for nearly 3 years now. He was pretty much making the transition when we got together.
I'm vegan now for a year though I was vegetarian for 8 years prior to this.
He has tried raising awareness on Veganisim especially after watching certain documentaries like Cowspiracy. He's been trying to make people aware of the importance of a plant based diet to help the environment, stop animal cruelty & reverse climate change.
He’s relapsed maybe 4 times over the past few yrs...
We had a conversation today and I was telling him how I couldn’t understand how or why you would do this?
If you’re wholeheartedly against the idea of something, firmly believe in it and would fight to protect it and the cause.
Knowing the harm it causes and what the meat industry is....
I don’t get those actions.. How do you justify this.. He says he was in situations where he felt he had no other option but to consume the meat dishes available to him at restaurants with family or whatever.
I find that unacceptable, if you truly believe in a cause and have solid Ethical values, when you know eating it only contributes to the very thing you’re against that harms the planet and animals... Practise what you preach fully. Right?
It feels morally wrong to me and I feel I could never do this myself, it goes against my values. I have no desire nor would I want to have that on my conscience. So we had a big argument over this subject. :( He became really defensive, and angry at me. Said I was being very judgmental of him. Doesn't get where i'm coming from. I’m there trying to understand his reasons.. How can you go back on what you supposedly believe in and stand for? Am I wrong to feel so confused, disappointed and sad by this?


A few questions come to mind:

Has your bf told his family and parents? I would assume so since he's been active in raising awareness in what meat effects, but you never know. Are they aware vegans are stricter than vegetarians, consuming no animal products? It's been 3 years and for most people that's at least a few family get togethers/meals.

Was he prepared? I can easily imagine a scenario where one is invited out, one hasn't had much, or any food yet, and then finds themselves out to eat with no vegan options perhaps except a side salad - and hungry.


If I were you, I'd be more concerned with his attitude towards what he did -

Does he feel like a hypocrite, is he disappointed in himself? Willing to do what it takes to avoid this again? This would be the normal reaction especially if one is active in trying to convince others to go vegan - and doing this of his own free will with no pressure from anyone (including and especially you).

or does he brush it off as no big deal?

as a partner - I'd be more concerned about the latter. If instead he's vegan because of you, or partly on your pressure, watch out. This decision really has to come from within...
 
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