Inspiration from a Lifelong Vegetarian
– Writing and Photos

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 have been around for awhile, and meetups and Google are helpful. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below the article!