Relationship with a non-vegan

Meyersaurus

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Hi there, I'm new to the forum but I'll just quickly get to the point
I have been in a relationship for 1 1/2 years with an omnivore (I have been vegan for 3 years and I was raised as a vegetarian) and I have such difficulty accepting that he eats meat. I'm currently studying sustainable development and I do lots of research on the negative impacts of meat industry (amongst others) and I always tell him about the facts and so on.. The thing is -given that I was raised without meat- I might be even less open-minded to the omnivore lifestyle than other people, and up untill recently, I always thought that people just didn't know how terrible it all is and that they would eventually avoid eating meat and such if they were more aware. Now it's true my boyfriend does eat less meat since he met me but he still eats quite much. I just have such a hard time understanding how he could even want to eat meat after learning all this. People will always tell me to just give him time, but it has been over a year now and he still eats meat.. I really don't know what to do, we had a huge fight yesterday.. I even offered him a deal: If you quit meat, I will quit smoking but it seems he is more addicted than I am.
Apart from this I really love him very much, I don't think I could leave him for this, it just hurts me to see him not care about it, especially when I care so much..
Thank you for any advice!
 
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Damo

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Hi,

Obviously any advice you get here or anywhere should be taken with a pinch of salt. I've not been in situation such as yourself but I feel that guys are a little close minded and stubborn to change when in comparison to women, I have dated someone that smoked which didn't initially bother me even though I absolutely hate smoking I don't understand how anyone can be addicted to it (no offence), as the relationship matured it started to bother me more and more mostly because of the smell, it got to the point where I gave her the ultimatum of either she'd stop smoking or I couldn't be with her any longer (I offered to do whatever I could to help her stop) thankfully she agreed to stop smoking.

I personally feel I can't be with anyone that isn't vegan or at least vegetarian but I'm learning that I'm not being realistic which sucks a lot. Considering you love this person I don't think there's anything more you can do other than just "deal with it" maybe one day he'll be open to change. Life isn't fair sometimes unfortunately and it completely sucks.

Good luck.

P.S I'll remove your other thread in the support section? Trying to not have duplicate threads everywhere.
 

Meyersaurus

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Thank you for your reply!

I guess you're right. Actually, it got me thinking a lot yesterday and, eventually, I wrote him a letter (I know it seems tacky) in which I tried to explain to him why it's such an emotional thing for me and that I don't mean to "force my views upon him" and so on. It's more like I feel forced to tolerate things that I don't consider tolerable, and that's why it's hard for me to accept other people's omnivorous diet.
This was also very inspiring, in case someone ever has a similar confrontation with an omnivore: http://veganstrategist.org/2015/10/01/dear-omnivore/
Anyway, he then said: "Yes, you're right. I'll try" So that's something :blush:


Of course, sorry for the inconvenience!
 

TofuRobot

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I think it's sad that we feel like we have to apologize and preemptively say that we're not "forcing our views" on someone when literally they're forcing us to deal with the sight and smell of something that is literally offensive to us. People who smoke cigarettes are usually kind enough to smoke away from us... The smell of burning flesh is the same to me - keep it away from me! ...They are the ones who should be apologizing.

I live alone (with the exception of my son who eats vegan here), so I guess I'm spoiled, but when I lived with his dad I was pescatarian and he never brought uncooked meat (other than fish) into the house (occasionally he'd get some takeout or something with chicken which didn't bother me at the time). so I never had to see it raw or smell it cooking. Now, I don't think I could be in a relationship with an omnivore ever again. There was a guy I was seeing off and on for a couple of years that made a couple of derogatory remarks (along the lines of "mmm bacon") that rubbed me the wrong way - enough so that we haven't talked to each other in months. He's otherwise a great guy, but I'm just not motivated to call. I found it to be rather insulting and I don't need that kind of $hit in my life - and when I really think about it, I just don't think I can get past someone choosing to consume animals and animal products anymore.

Anyway - I hope things get better - at least he's listening to you? xo
 

Lou

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Before I was vegan, I had some vegan friends. And looking back I was extremely accommodating. I didn't live with them but never ordered meat when we ate out together. And always bought vegan stuff to their homes when I ate there.

I'm just guessing but I have a thought that unless someone is accommodating than they just don't get it.
 
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TofuRobot

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Before I was vegan, I had some vegan friends. And looking back I was extremely accommodating. I didn't live with them but never ordered meat when we ate out together. And always bought vegan stuff to their homes when I ate there.

I'm just guessing but I have a thought that unless someone is accommodating than they just don't get it.
The other day I got into the elevator at work with 3 other dudes - one was carrying 3 cups of coffee from Starbucks, and the other was EATING a hamburger. IN the elevator! I could barely look at him. Who eats in an elevator??? Who even eats a sandwich walking around, let alone a hamburger, in an elevator?? That is the epitome of "doesn't get it." :confounded:
 

Lou

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The other day I got into the elevator at work with 3 other dudes - one was carrying 3 cups of coffee from Starbucks, and the other was EATING a hamburger. IN the elevator! I could barely look at him. Who eats in an elevator??? Who even eats a sandwich walking around, let alone a hamburger, in an elevator?? That is the epitome of "doesn't get it." :confounded:
Well, how could he know he was going to share an elevator with a vegan.
 

Meyersaurus

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I think it's sad that we feel like we have to apologize and preemptively say that we're not "forcing our views" on someone when literally they're forcing us to deal with the sight and smell of something that is literally offensive to us. People who smoke cigarettes are usually kind enough to smoke away from us... The smell of burning flesh is the same to me - keep it away from me! ...They are the ones who should be apologizing.
Yes, I think so too. It should be implicit that we are only sharing facts and not "forcing" anything. It's the omnivores who force thousands of beings into slaughterhouses and on tables, not the vegans..
I told him that, too. It's not me who forces anyone to do anything, it's he who forces his views (that animals are meat) onto other beings. If I had asked him to not beat a dog or a child, this entire discussion would never have started, right? It's a complete misconception on the omnivores' part... And it is tough for us to keep quiet and pretend as if the meat in other people's mouths hadn't been a unique living being before being killed, and not say anything about it. And if we do say something, we are the ones who are "enforcing" views onto others.. It's ridiculous

But then again, I think many people aren't aware of this, and if they were they might understand the importance of veganism and kindness a little better.
 

Forest Nymph

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Yes, I think so too. It should be implicit that we are only sharing facts and not "forcing" anything. It's the omnivores who force thousands of beings into slaughterhouses and on tables, not the vegans..
I told him that, too. It's not me who forces anyone to do anything, it's he who forces his views (that animals are meat) onto other beings. If I had asked him to not beat a dog or a child, this entire discussion would never have started, right? It's a complete misconception on the omnivores' part... And it is tough for us to keep quiet and pretend as if the meat in other people's mouths hadn't been a unique living being before being killed, and not say anything about it. And if we do say something, we are the ones who are "enforcing" views onto others.. It's ridiculous

But then again, I think many people aren't aware of this, and if they were they might understand the importance of veganism and kindness a little better.
Hmmm I have recently met someone (not a serious relationship....yet??) who isn't vegan or vegetarian, but he eats very little meat and tried being vegan before and apparently didn't know how to feed himself properly so gave up. He says he feels like a hypocrite, because he's aware of some things (but not all things, I've observed). I am approaching the situation cautiously because 1) I like him 2) he's tried being vegan before and 3) if I move slowly in with all the facts and trying to help him eat differently, it might work better than me bombarding him with it. I already corrected him about a couple of things, but I don't think it's conducive to getting along with him in a more personal relationship or friendship (where people are obviously more sensitive or take things more personally or are paranoid about "red flags" early in dating) to just be like "Look, here's a stack of books and movies, and I have typed up some menu plans for you" ha ha ha!

On the other hand, if we end up being together in a year, I'd be disappointed if he wasn't at least vegetarian and maybe would wonder how compatible we really were. Maybe you've been too "nice" about it...if you held back not because of a new relationship, but because you were afraid you were being "judgmental" after the relationship was firmly established, he may have developed this attitude like it really doesn't matter. I went out on a few dates with a couple of guys like that in LA. Never turned into relationships, because their cavalier attitude that veganism was for me as a "girl" and something they would tolerate with the occasional vegan meal...but not for them as a "dude," turned me off. It made me actively dislike them as people, and I definitely did not want to be intimate with guys who were whining about how they didn't like vegetables, got edgy when I brought veganism up ever outside of meal times, and/or told me openly they felt that as long as things were "organic" and "local" it was fine - one even told me that he thinks the meat and dairy industry simply needs to change from the inside, and I should be careful to get all my nutrients, don't I eat an egg once and while?

I have read things, though, about most people not being capable of switching to plant-based diets through reason, they need emotional reasons like culture, taste, habit, whatever. It's part of why PETA is so manipulative, because they know that. Bless them for changing the fast food industry one veggie burger at a time.

So....you may have to set some ground rules that "manipulate" him emotionally. Such as, he's not allowed to eat meat around you...tell him you can't tell him what to do with his life, but you can set boundaries of what you'll tolerate in such a serious relationship. You can't just let this go on. If he wants to eat animals, he can do it elsewhere, but never in your face. You don't cook it for him, do you? He's not your roommate. You don't have to politely ignore it like you might with someone you simply agreed to pay rent with.

I wonder how tied up this is in his sense of masculinity. There are some men out there who seem to think eating meat is manly.

Show him this article on how vegans actually have higher testosterone: https://www.oneingredientchef.com/vegan-men/
 

Forest Nymph

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The other day I got into the elevator at work with 3 other dudes - one was carrying 3 cups of coffee from Starbucks, and the other was EATING a hamburger. IN the elevator! I could barely look at him. Who eats in an elevator??? Who even eats a sandwich walking around, let alone a hamburger, in an elevator?? That is the epitome of "doesn't get it." :confounded:
He just wasn't thinking. One of my roommates just casually cooks meat in front of myself and my other vegan roommate because we can't just scream at her and tell her not to, since we all pay bills equally, and the only ground rules we set were things like not sharing pans or cutting boards for meat, and keeping meat away from our food in the fridge.

Yes, people really DON'T "get it." They're on auto-pilot. And really when we go off on our roommates or yell at people in elevators, it doesn't really get the best response. I did strongly correct said roommate one night when she started saying there was too much estrogen in soy milk (she's started drinking almond milk, but still eats "white meat" and eggs)...and I had to literally suck in my breath and stop myself. I was a little harsh with her, and it wasn't even as strong as I had felt for a while about everything she says and does around the subject. I like her just fine as a roommate otherwise. I don't know how healthy it is to repress stuff to the point you go off on someone about estrogen in soy milk though because you finally found a science-based loophole to confront her with, without looking like "crazy vegan."

 

TofuRobot

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Well, how could he know he was going to share an elevator with a vegan.
IMO - it doesn't even matter, LOL. I don't eat my sandwiches walking around or in elevators. Am I the only one who doesn't like eating and walking around at the same time? :/
 

TofuRobot

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And really when we go off on our roommates or yell at people in elevators, it doesn't really get the best response.
I just want to say for the record that I didn't say anything to this person. I fought the very strong urge to make a "Ew gross!" face until he got off 2 floors below mine. But really - I just think that chowing down on a sandwich in an elevator with 3 other people is pretty tacky, even if it's not a hamburger. I mean, it wasn't like this guy was starving or anything. He was literally steps away from his desk or lunchroom or even a nice seating area with cozy chairs under the trees just outside in the courtyard. The food trucks literally pull up in the middle of the courtyard about 100 feet from the building. Heck - we have tables and chairs in the lobby and bench seating with a TV... sit down somewhere and eat, pretty please :p
 

Meyersaurus

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Hmmm I have recently met someone (not a serious relationship....yet??) who isn't vegan or vegetarian, but he eats very little meat and tried being vegan before and apparently didn't know how to feed himself properly so gave up. He says he feels like a hypocrite, because he's aware of some things (but not all things, I've observed). I am approaching the situation cautiously because 1) I like him 2) he's tried being vegan before and 3) if I move slowly in with all the facts and trying to help him eat differently, it might work better than me bombarding him with it. I already corrected him about a couple of things, but I don't think it's conducive to getting along with him in a more personal relationship or friendship (where people are obviously more sensitive or take things more personally or are paranoid about "red flags" early in dating) to just be like "Look, here's a stack of books and movies, and I have typed up some menu plans for you" ha ha ha!

On the other hand, if we end up being together in a year, I'd be disappointed if he wasn't at least vegetarian and maybe would wonder how compatible we really were. Maybe you've been too "nice" about it...if you held back not because of a new relationship, but because you were afraid you were being "judgmental" after the relationship was firmly established, he may have developed this attitude like it really doesn't matter. I went out on a few dates with a couple of guys like that in LA. Never turned into relationships, because their cavalier attitude that veganism was for me as a "girl" and something they would tolerate with the occasional vegan meal...but not for them as a "dude," turned me off. It made me actively dislike them as people, and I definitely did not want to be intimate with guys who were whining about how they didn't like vegetables, got edgy when I brought veganism up ever outside of meal times, and/or told me openly they felt that as long as things were "organic" and "local" it was fine - one even told me that he thinks the meat and dairy industry simply needs to change from the inside, and I should be careful to get all my nutrients, don't I eat an egg once and while?

I have read things, though, about most people not being capable of switching to plant-based diets through reason, they need emotional reasons like culture, taste, habit, whatever. It's part of why PETA is so manipulative, because they know that. Bless them for changing the fast food industry one veggie burger at a time.

So....you may have to set some ground rules that "manipulate" him emotionally. Such as, he's not allowed to eat meat around you...tell him you can't tell him what to do with his life, but you can set boundaries of what you'll tolerate in such a serious relationship. You can't just let this go on. If he wants to eat animals, he can do it elsewhere, but never in your face. You don't cook it for him, do you? He's not your roommate. You don't have to politely ignore it like you might with someone you simply agreed to pay rent with.

I wonder how tied up this is in his sense of masculinity. There are some men out there who seem to think eating meat is manly.

Show him this article on how vegans actually have higher testosterone: https://www.oneingredientchef.com/vegan-men/
Thank you, that was really helpful! Well I do cook for him, but only ever vegan stuff and he even learned to like it. I also taught him some cooking skills (before he knew me, he could barely make pasta) and now he even cooks vegan food when I'm not around, which is sort of a break through for him. I guess I should appreciate that more..
I tried to tolerate him eating meat at restaurants at the beginning of our relationships, but it got harder in time (and I think I lose more and more tolerance in time, too), which is basically why we had this fight, I think. I don't want to see him eat it anymore, so he will have to do that on his own time, and he understands that.