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#1 Old 01-17-2011, 03:18 PM
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Hello! So, as the subject indicates, I'm vegetarian and my boyfriend hunts. His whole family does. I was aware of this when we started dating (just as he was aware that I was against the concept of hunting), but at the time, I wasn't vegetarian. I decided to go vegetarian when I walked into their garage and there was a deer carcass hanging from the ceiling, and, though I was already sensitive about animals and meat-eating, I think the sight of it was the reality-check I needed to push me that extra inch toward vegetarianism.

But hunting is part of his lifestyle, he's been participating in the sport since the age of 12 (though he has yet to actually catch something and he's 24 now). They do eat most of what they catch. But the fact that he goes out, armed, with the *intention* of actually killing an animal makes me sad to the point of crying. It, for some inexpllicable reason, feels like a betrayal when he goes hunting, and I have trouble being open and intimate with him for a while afterward. It's that he can voluntarily do the violent act of killing and be consciously ok with it. The more time I spend exposed to his family and this way of life, the more disgusted I become with the concept of hunting. Everytime he goes, I cry on-and-off for the whole time that he's gone. I don't see myself hurting this much every hunting season, and he doesn't see himself stopping.

I do love him and he's everything I want in a man. I want only him and no one else. I do wish he would stop, but it wouldn't be fair for me to ask it of him, so I haven't, but I have explained to him how it makes me feel.

I'm writing this in the hope of getting some thoughts and advice. Please don't tell me that the initial decision to start dating him was stupid and that the only solution would be to break it off with him, because right now, breaking up just doesn't seem to be an option for me. But perhaps some of you might have ideas for comprimises? What would be fair for me to ask and what would be pushing it too much?
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#2 Old 01-17-2011, 03:29 PM
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I don't think it would be unfair to express your disagreement with it and your wish that he stop. Normally: yeah, you can't really control another person and expect them to make their choices based on what you tell them. But: this is obviously causing you a lot of stress and anguish (not to mention the animals, but I'll keep this in the context of the relationship), so if it happens to be something he doesn't feel strongly about, it's not that unreasonable to suggest he consider that change. Maybe you can accommodate him in some area of your own life, as a compromise. I dunno.

Please don't take the route of rationalizing his hunting, however, like some are tempted to do at a point like this. Realistically, hunting is better for animals than factory farming, but so is kicking puppies better for puppies than factory farming is for farm animals, and yet you would likewise find difficulties living with someone who went puppy-kicking once in a while. The reason why you're bothered by this is not the consequences for animals as such, but what his personal participation in killing reflects in his emotional and psychological makeup. All that you can really do about that to make yourself feel better is to understand that it's what he's grown up with and into. He has a choice about his actions, but he's living in a sick culture in which it is considered acceptable and natural to hunt. Maybe in a different culture he would have chosen differently. Maybe he didn't want to go against the grain. Maybe he didn't want to seem like a sissy for not killing animals. I don't know; you do, since you know him.

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#3 Old 01-17-2011, 03:35 PM
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Wow, thanks Sevenseas! Very well put! You have no idea how good it feels to get a little support about this! None of my friends and family understand and they all think that my asking him to stop would be inconsiderate, but there's nothing wrong in his asking me to be ok with his hunting. I am definitely taking your words to heart and thanks again!
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#4 Old 01-17-2011, 03:41 PM
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No prob.

If you suggest that he accommodate you on this issue, you need to be extra-careful how to bring it up, though. It can't be a hostile confrontation and you have to avoid judging him and focus more on how it makes you feel, and, most importantly, how it affects your relationship and your intimacy. Even if you don't bring up hunting directly, "I have trouble being open and intimate with him for a while afterward" is a real problem in your relationship and worth addressing one way or the other. That should be the main focus when bringing it up.

Because if he experiences you as just laying a moral judgment over him, he'll get overly defensive and probably categorize it as an excess of your veg*nism, and will spend more time defending his way of life than on thinking about what you should do about the conflict in your relationship.
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#5 Old 01-17-2011, 03:43 PM
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I agree. Good tips! Thanks!
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#6 Old 01-17-2011, 03:50 PM
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Consider the other VB members' views too, though, I have a feeling there will be a lot of people who won't agree with my take on this

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#7 Old 01-17-2011, 04:45 PM
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I don't think I could say it any better than sevenseas. But I would like to mention that hunting is not a sport, shooting an animal that is completely defenseless and has nothing against you at all is not sport, it's murder. I would have respect for your boyfriend if he hunted to survive, and did so with his own two hands or a tool that he crafted himself from nature, such as a stone knife or spear. But since he is a coward and feels he needs a gun to take down a deer he disgusts me.
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#8 Old 01-17-2011, 04:58 PM
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This podcast is relevant to you... How To Talk To A Hunter:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Veget..._to_hunter.mp3

Personally, I've never had the extreme anger that some people in the animal movement have towards hunters. I just don't. I've met too many of them who actually care about the environment and animals. I would never ever hunt and I think it's absolutely wrong. And I don't think I could date a hunter. However, I think many hunters are actually closer to veganism than most of the general public. Hunters at least understand where meat comes from and they confront it head-on. Most want to kill without causing suffering. Most hate factory farming. Most love to hike and camp. Most love dogs... I think they just need to learn more about how hunting can be very cruel, about how people don't need to eat animals, about how the environment works better when humans don't interfere so much, about how the tradition of compassion is more natural than the tradition of killing... etc.
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#9 Old 01-17-2011, 05:05 PM
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Thanks MikeLines and ElaineV! Elaine, unfortunately I can't access the link you posted and I can't seem to find it online. Good points guys and thanks for the support!
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#10 Old 01-17-2011, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by azerea_02 View Post

Thanks MikeLines and ElaineV! Elaine, unfortunately I can't access the link you posted and I can't seem to find it online. Good points guys and thanks for the support!

The link worked fine for me but try this:
http://hw.libsyn.com/p/a/b/7/ab7e5d8...&l_mid=2388166

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#11 Old 01-18-2011, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by azerea_02 View Post

Please don't tell me that the initial decision to start dating him was stupid and that the only solution would be to break it off with him, because right now, breaking up just doesn't seem to be an option for me. But perhaps some of you might have ideas for comprimises? What would be fair for me to ask and what would be pushing it too much?

I have no ideas for compromises in this situation because I can't imagine one that would go anywhere near alleviating how you said you feel in paragraph two. If he hunted a lot less, the thought that he is still doing it at all is going to continue to torment you. Him stopping his hunting altogether is probably the only way you could get peace of mind, and he's said he's not willing to stop and you've said you're not willing to leave him.

So unless he has a huge change of mind in the near future, I think you have only one choice - let the relationship take it's natural course.

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#12 Old 01-18-2011, 11:24 AM
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Thanks Nishani Well said, very true.
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#13 Old 01-18-2011, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by ElaineV View Post

This podcast is relevant to you... How To Talk To A Hunter:
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Veget..._to_hunter.mp3

Personally, I've never had the extreme anger that some people in the animal movement have towards hunters. I just don't. I've met too many of them who actually care about the environment and animals. I would never ever hunt and I think it's absolutely wrong. And I don't think I could date a hunter. However, I think many hunters are actually closer to veganism than most of the general public. Hunters at least understand where meat comes from and they confront it head-on. Most want to kill without causing suffering. Most hate factory farming. Most love to hike and camp. Most love dogs... I think they just need to learn more about how hunting can be very cruel, about how people don't need to eat animals, about how the environment works better when humans don't interfere so much, about how the tradition of compassion is more natural than the tradition of killing... etc.

These are my thoughts, as well. I just don't find hunting more offensive than being an omnivore, and I've always dated omnivores (of course I'd love to date a veg*n, but they're in low supply here). How is being a hunter more cruel than going and buying a pack of steaks at the grocery store? Eating animals means that animals have died for your meal. To be honest, I see hunting as the lesser of two evil, because at least they're not supporting factory farming. At least they're owning up to the fact that they are causing an animal's death instead of pretending like that Thanksgiving turkey didn't once have a beating heart inside instead of cornbread stuffing.

I could never kill an animal or eat meat again, but I also can't spend all my time beating myself up for other people's actions. Hopefully I haven't caused any offense; these are just my personal thoughts on the matter.
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#14 Old 01-18-2011, 08:04 PM
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No offense taken! Thanks for your thoughts, it helps me to see anoter side of it, which is what I was hoping for.
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#15 Old 01-20-2011, 01:41 PM
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Heya, personally I agree with ElaineV and SeitanWorship. I think it's wrong to try and change a person you're in a relationship with - you knew he hunted when you went out with him, and yet you still did, so there must be a million more important things you love about him! I don't think it's impossible, or even nessersairly difficult, to be in a relationship with someone with completely polar veiws to you on some things. Is he accepting of your vegetarianism? Does he respect your choices? I think these are more important questions than does he agree with you, his beliefs are a part of who he is, but they don't reflect his attitude to you and his feelings to you, but how he feels about your differences does.

However, that said, clearly the hunting is really upsetting you and I don't think you should ignore it either. I think you should tell him, and talk about it, but not to try to get him to stop but just to talk. Just for the sake of understanding eachother, and discussing things together, and helping your relationship. Try to use *I* statements, not *you* statments, ie "I get really upset knowing you've been hunting" instead of "you going hunting is upsetting me" so you don't place blame. You really need to decide what you want to happen, maybe if he understood how you felt he could make efforts not to say things that will upset you, etc.

Personally, I live with an omni who eats meat and he said he would only eat vegetarian or vegan when we moved in together, I insisted he didn't have to (much to many VBers horror I'm sure) because I didn't want him to do something he would be unhappy with to please me. He now eats mostly vegan, but non-vegan food when he fancies and I think we probally have amuch healthier relationship for it.
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#16 Old 01-20-2011, 02:02 PM
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I think hunting is a hard subject mainly because many times it's "in the family". Just like my family biked a lot together when I was growing up, some families hunt together. I think that one thing to keep in mind is his attatchment to hunting may be based a lot on the fact that it's how he spends time with family and friends, or that's how he has a connection to them. I can't imagine being passionate about killing animals. Just because you're family has always done something doesn't make it right, that's not what I'm saying. But especially if he started at a young age, he is most likely descensitized to it. That may be kinda scatter brained but hopefully it makes sense.

Maybe you could get him a range membership. I would NEVER shoot an animal but I'm enrolled in a gun safety class so I can go fire away at a range . There are ways he can shoot his gun without killing a living being.
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#17 Old 01-21-2011, 10:08 AM
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Thanks Id thief! Yes, he is very accepting of my vegetrianism, if he wasn't I doubt we would still be together. We have talked about it and I'm sure the topic will come back up many times again. I will keep your advice in mind when it does!Thanks Loveyourarchnug! Yes, it does make sense. And good suggestion!
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#18 Old 01-21-2011, 07:28 PM
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(though he has yet to actually catch something and he's 24 now).

Ok, I might be the only one here who finds this statement questionable. I mean, as if maybe you think it would be a step up if he actually "caught something" ?
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#19 Old 01-21-2011, 07:47 PM
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I see your really torn here and thought I'd chime in.
My boyfriends dad hunts and he used to go with him all the time. The only reason he stopped is because his parents separated and he's very angry and distant from his dad now.

I don't think my boyfriend ever killed anything himself but he went out, set up traps, and emptied out a deer they hunt for food. I met him way before I was veg but have always been an animal lover. When he used to hunt I'd get upset when he'd say he was out in the woods. He'd rationalize it as saying they only hunted for food. Wrong still of course but i atleast slightly respected that he wasn't being brutal or bloodthirsty about it.
If your guy hunts all the time I'm sure it's a big problem and you guys should talk it out, but if it's something he does sometimes and respects your views against it I'm confident you'll make it work. I always say if he's right for you then things will work out, you just need to be open and honest about your views.

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#20 Old 12-21-2012, 03:38 PM
 
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Hello eveyone: I'm a producer in LA seeking stories about people in unlike coupling but still in relationships that work. The idea of interviewing people that are divided on issues like this would be great for our show. If you would like to bring this dialogue to the show, we are seeking submissions. Please reply to [email protected] Must be LA local as this will be shot in Beverly Hills studio for a prominent online channel! - Thank you, Casting

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#21 Old 12-21-2012, 03:52 PM
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Hello eveyone: I'm a producer in LA seeking stories about people in unlike coupling but still in relationships that work. The idea of interviewing people that are divided on issues like this would be great for our show. If you would like to bring this dialogue to the show, we are seeking submissions. Please reply to [email protected] Must be LA local as this will be shot in Beverly Hills studio for a prominent online channel! - Thank you, Casting

You know this threads two years old?

You should contact the administrator though, she may be of help.

Is this a reality show? rolleyes.gif Hope not!


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#22 Old 05-09-2013, 06:22 PM
 
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#23 Old 05-10-2013, 06:24 AM
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Hi Ellie,

 

Thanks for your input smiley.gif  As it happens, this guy ended up breaking up with me. Three months after I moved in with him. I really should have known better, but it's so difficult to see a situation objectively when you're so involved in it. I suspect he felt challenged by my deep rooted morals and couldn't cope. tongue3.gif

 

Now I'm in a relationship of a year and a half with a wonderful man who has recently decided to go vegetarian and is working towards veganism grin.gif

 

I have not seen the hunter since our break up. However, there is a wedding happenning in two weeks from now for friends we had in common and I know for a fact he will be there. I've since become even more immersed in my veganism and have had time to come to hate anyone who harms animals willingly for their entertainment. Hopefully I will be able to keep my cool and not lose my sh*t  on him furious.gif

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#24 Old 05-10-2013, 09:22 AM
 
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You could always try hunting him..... might change his mind about things. grin.gif

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#25 Old 05-10-2013, 09:30 AM
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You could always try hunting him..... might change his mind about things. grin.gif

Haha!! Brilliant! I agree tongue3.gif

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#26 Old 09-19-2016, 06:34 AM
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Hello, out of curiosity ... what happened to you and the hunter? I am a vegan and also dating a hunter .. and would like to talk to you about this. How can i reach you?
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#27 Old 09-19-2016, 06:28 PM
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Hello, out of curiosity ... what happened to you and the hunter? I am a vegan and also dating a hunter .. and would like to talk to you about this. How can i reach you?

The real conflict will emerge if the two of you have children. Would a compromise be possible? Would you allow your children to be raised eating meat? Would he allow your children to be raised vegetarian? During the pregnancy, will he or his family pressure you to eat meat (because they believe it is necessary for a healthy pregnancy)?

Even if he says that it's OK for you to raise the children vegetarian, what will happen if the child has health problems along the way? Will he or his family blame it on the vegetarian diet?

Please understand that I don't mean to be harsh. However, these things can really cause huge problems.
.
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#28 Old 09-20-2016, 02:46 AM
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Hello, out of curiosity ... what happened to you and the hunter? I am a vegan and also dating a hunter .. and would like to talk to you about this. How can i reach you?
If you read back a few posts, she updated that she is no longer with the hunter and found someone else.

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#29 Old 09-26-2016, 01:09 PM
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The real conflict will emerge if the two of you have children. Would a compromise be possible? Would you allow your children to be raised eating meat? Would he allow your children to be raised vegetarian? During the pregnancy, will he or his family pressure you to eat meat (because they believe it is necessary for a healthy pregnancy)?

Even if he says that it's OK for you to raise the children vegetarian, what will happen if the child has health problems along the way? Will he or his family blame it on the vegetarian diet?

Please understand that I don't mean to be harsh. However, these things can really cause huge problems.
.
This is exactly why I think its easier to date someone who you are like minded with. Where minds disagree has been known to cause marriatal break-ups - especially when raising children.


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#30 Old 11-26-2016, 04:57 PM
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I think I would have to date some one on the same page as me. I could not date a meat eater. I am sorry I just cant.
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