Vegetarians Dating Meat Eaters

A common challenge for vegetarians and vegans is how and whether to navigate dating and relationships with meat eaters. My friend, a very dedicated vegan, found herself in a serious relationship with a carnivore, but she had the easiest situation in that he quickly became interested in adapting to the vegan lifestyle.

Some people believe that to have a larger population of potential mates, they should date beyond vegetarians or vegans. However, this can be difficult, from being grossed out by kissing someone who eats meat to disliking the sight and smell of animal products. Veggies may enjoy serving as a pathway to health, fielding many questions about their unique lifestyle and showing people a wealth of options in veg-friendly and ethnic restaurants and grocery stores of all types. The danger, especially for those passionate about their vegan or vegetarian ways, is secretly wishing to be with someone who shares their compassion for animals, the planet and their health, and it may be too much of a stretch to have different values and negotiations about each meal.

One way to compromise is for the carnivorous one to follow a vegan or vegetarian diet in the home, but eat meat in restaurants. Other vegheads are ok with fish but not meat or poultry. Each couple has to figure out what works for them and be flexible. Acceptance is key – we cannot expect someone to change, so we need to look deeply within as to which choices work for us personally.

A few good resources for people grappling with this issue, which can be more complex than it seems, are articles such as Jo Stepaniak’s thoughtful response to a reader and the article “My Boyfriend’s a Meat Eater.”

Luckily, in modern times we are blessed with many websites in which people can search for love with someone who eats and thinks the same way. VeggieDate and Veggie Connection.com have been around for awhile, and meetups and Google are helpful. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below the article!

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9 Responses to “Vegetarians Dating Meat Eaters”

  1. kevin Says:

    sometimes i think i’m getting too set in my ways, and i’ll try dating a meat eater again.. then it blows up in my face.. i try to avoid dating the carni’s.

  2. Eco-Vegan Gal Says:

    I’ve unfortunately met very few vegan men than I was interested in dating and thus have only dated one. My current boyfriend is not a vegetarian but is very accepting of and interested in my lifestyle, plus he loves eating vegan food. He eats very little meat and dairy but doesn’t want to give it up (at least not yet). Ultimately, it’s about finding someone I connect with, even if he doesn’t have the exact same lifestyle, and I don’t want to insist he adapts mine. But of course I’d love it if my boyfriend becomes vegan too!

  3. omar Says:

    It depends on why you became a vegetarian/vegan: If it’s for health reasons, it’s usually easier to maintain a relationship with a carni. There is nothing personal about it. But if it’s for ethical reasons too, it becomes extremely difficult, because it feels like your significant other is murdering a living being every meal… and they know that you know that they know they’re being judged for it, even in complete silence at the dinner table.

  4. Teagen Says:

    Love and chemistry are mysterious. Having veganism in common is a great place to start but isn’t enough on it’s own. I would date (and have) animal eaters and give them a chance to come around but I don’t think it would be a lasting bond or marriage likely situation. Veganism is not about food it’s a moral foundation based on love and respect for our fellow earthlings. If someone really looks at the issue and still feels entitled to kill and eat animals, I just don’t think that’s my soul mate ya know?

  5. Sara Says:

    My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 9 years. I went veg about six years ago. I never wanted to tell him what he could and couldn’t eat, so I didn’t. But I did educate him (read, nag) whenever I could – telling him the facts about how a certain animal he was eating was likely raised or the health consequences of eating something so unnaturally produced. He ended up listening and then realized how important being veg was to me and he then started finding things out on his own and telling his own friends about it. He started cutting meat out of his diet about two years ago and he went entirely vegetarian last year. While I never thought it bothered me before, I don’t think I could have gotten over the fact that after knowing the facts he still thought it was ok to support the kind of torture and environmental devastation a omnivorous diet creates. So I definitely think his change to veg life has made us happier. Plus, now that we have the same diet grocery shopping is a lot easier!

  6. Paige Newman Says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments and thoughts. Please know that I have dated meat eaters myself and was married to someone who at times ate meat. . .I tried to write an article that is open to seeing all sides and respectful. Some of the readers’ comments here and on Facebook are offending people unfortunately . .

  7. Teagen Says:

    Offended really? I know some folks prefer to date/marry only within their own religion and I respect that. You want to share the same values as your life partner, pretty simple really. I think it can be a challenge when you have a change (or opening) of heart after you are already with someone and they may not shift in their view in the same way. That can be a fork in the road, but some people can make it work. There’s really no wrong answer.

  8. Rich from All-Veg Says:

    My wife was a vegetarian for a few years before I became one. We would cook two different meals or she would eat only the veggies if we had the same meal. So…that may be a little different but I guess it is possible. That doesn’t make it palatable however. I would think that if I were to be young enough to date again, or in a position to date again that I would allow my conscience to be my guide. I choose not to eat animals for compassionate reasons more than for health reasons. I would want a partner who is equally committed but in the end…does love trump all? Whatever choice one would make let’s hope that the actions and reactions that go along with it only convey that sense of compassion more deeply.

  9. Jeanetta Eilderts Says:

    One question often asked by those considering a vegetarian diet is; “Will I get enough protein? This is certainly a valid question, as protein is necessary for the building, maintenance and function of all body cells. In fact, a varied and well-balanced vegetarian diet actually provides all the protein the body needs, obtained by eating such things as whole grains, beans, nuts and soy products.-

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