Omnivore boyfriend

KitKat1101

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I've been driving myself mad since last night. I've been in a long term relationship with my boyfriend and he's the best thing I've ever had. He's an omnivore. And he completely understands my reasoning about being a vegetarian and never argued against it. He never really explained why he's an omnivore. He usually just says it doesn't bother him and he's never really made the emotional connection. I really want him to see the connection between the animals he's eating and the suffering that goes along with it. The cognitive dissonance is super strong. I want to gently pursuade him. But not sure how to.
 

Lou

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I recommend a movie night.
If you have Netflix you can watch Okja. It's not going to convince him, but it is really enjoyable and a good jumping off point for conversations. If you are looking for something more convincing try Cowspiracy of What the Health? If you don't have access to Netflix you can find these movies and dozens more at the library.
 

poivron

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I've been driving myself mad since last night. I've been in a long term relationship with my boyfriend and he's the best thing I've ever had. He's an omnivore. And he completely understands my reasoning about being a vegetarian and never argued against it. He never really explained why he's an omnivore. He usually just says it doesn't bother him and he's never really made the emotional connection. I really want him to see the connection between the animals he's eating and the suffering that goes along with it. The cognitive dissonance is super strong. I want to gently pursuade him. But not sure how to.

What if you pointed out to him that every time he buys an animal product at a grocery store or restaurant, he’s supporting the factory farm industry with his hard-earned money? The only thing the factory farm industry cares about is making a profit. When you buy from them, you’re helping them continue to inflict unimaginable suffering upon defenseless animals.

When I went vegan over six years ago, at first I didn’t see a fundamental problem with eating animals. I just didn’t want to support the factory farm industry. But once I stopped eating animals, it wasn’t long before I began to feel that killing animals for food is completely unnatural for humans.

Another approach would be to point out the health argument for veganism. There is a lot of research that shows that animal products are dangerous for health even in small amounts.

That being said, people don’t like to feel that they’re being pressured. They like to feel that they’re free to make their own choices. So by being upset about his refusal to become vegetarian, you may actually be inadvertently causing him to resist going vegetarian. If you completely let go of this and “respect” his (admittedly indefensible) choice to eat animals as long as he respects your choices, then, over time, if he’s a good and compassionate person, he may gradually move toward vegetarianism of his own accord.
 
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betiPT

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I am married to an omnivore who’s basically a vegan. What did I do? Nothing!

I just continued to cook good healthy vegan food and if he complained about wanting meat I said, “Sure, go buy some meat and put it on the BBQ”. Guess how many times he has done that? You got it... 0

I didn’t appear preachy and now he is telling me about vegan benefits... go figure :)

He even got a Beyond Meat Burger by choice on his own the other day :) woohoo :)

At boyfriend stage... I had the same approach. I never made it an issue so it never was and he supported me and even confessed to feeling bad for eating meat in front of me. Which I think is a great step forward.

Dr Lisle talks a lot about this topic, he has podcasts and does YouTube shows with Chef AJ, Dr McDougall and others.
 

Bob Who

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KitKat,

I don't have any advice to offer regarding relationships, I'm not all that experienced in that area--, I'm still on my first wife...

I think that the concept of cognitive dissonance is really an urban phenomenon . I live in a tiny town in rural Iowa where I'd say at least 90% of the households in the area have at least 1 hunter. I personally know families that have raised an animal, paying it extra attention to the point of it being a truly pampered family pet, and yet it still wound up on their dinner table and in their freezer. Usually, the comment after tasting the results of their efforts is something like , " That was the best and most tender meat I've ever eaten".

I wish you the best in being able to resolve these issues.
 

Lou

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I think that the concept of cognitive dissonance is really an urban phenomenon .

I'm sure there is something to that but I think cognitive dissonance exists even in rural communities. Maybe at a lower level than the woman with 9 cats on the way home with McDs. But there is still some in probably in every omnivore who doesn't think about what they are eating.

do your hunting friends kill and eat their cats and dogs? Have they ever captured a wild animal and then penned it and treated it cruelly for a few months before slaughtering it?
Of course not!
Why not?

??t??
 
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Forest Nymph

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I recently dated a guy who was "vegan" (plant-based) in the past, who gave up and started doing the whole pasture egg, grass fed meat thing, but he still ate things like beans, nuts, and tofu curries. He said "I know I'm a hypocrite, I should be vegan, and I don't know if I can do it." I tried to convince him to be at least be vegetarian, like can you just eat eggs or something.

His overall personality appeared to be at war with itself, though. He claimed to want a relationship with me, then backed out suddenly and frantically (he ended it, not me, to be clear, abruptly and for no apparent reason other than fearing being trapped in a monogamous relationship) only to recently apologize, say he feels bad for the way he treated me, and blah blah.

I mean, I see a pattern to his behavior, of him wanting to do the "right thing" and yet a part of him self-destructing and making these decisions to eat animals, or run frantically from a relationship he claimed he wanted. He pursued me, won me over, then randomly let me go. I do see the same issue with his plant-based diet in the past, where he knows it's what he wants and yet a part of him is not willing to ...hmm...I don't know...exert the control required for things like being vegan or being in a monogamous relationship?

I'm not saying your partner's issues are the same, in fact they obviously are not. He seems to be committed to you, and also have no clear emotional problem with his own consumption of animals. But what I am saying is that you can probably look deeper into his overall psychology, just like I did with my guy, and see what the over-arching "issue" he has is. If you can find the heart of the "issue" then you'll know what the answer is in how to reach him in making him vegan, or at least vegetarian.

I think with the guy I was seeing, if we ended up getting back together, I would probably have to convince him that somehow our relationship was not "restricting" or "trapping" him in any way, and by the same token, I would probably have to show him just how many vegan products are out there, how fun veganism can be, to look at it as an adventure rather than a restriction, and probably cook him some super delicious food. His issue seems to be he fears his freedom being taken from him, or that his life won't be as "fun" in terms of sensual enjoyment. I can relate. When I went vegan I lived in LA and I loved my vegan products and trying new recipes and going to vegan restaurants.
 

Sax

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If he feels like he's being pressured or persuaded he'll resist that and possibly become more entrenched in his views. It will make you both feel a little alienated from each other. And it will set you up for disappointment.

I don't think it's a change that can be imposed - it has to come from within. The best you can do is expose him to your thoughts and lifestyle without forcing them on him. Maybe he'll enjoy Okja...but if he senses an ulterior motive he won't be receptive to the message.

The scale of harm and suffering in animal "agriculture" is unfathomable and represents an urgent crisis. I'm in favor of the most aggressive tactics that will be productive. I'd tell you to scream at him all night about the horrors of factory farming while slapping him in the face with kale if I thought it'd help. But I think he needs to feel accepted and respected before he can lower his defenses and allow your thoughts to affect his own.

You can't control his choices but you are 100% in control of your own. If you want to reduce animal suffering think about your own contributions to it and what changes you can make to live more inline with your values.
 
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