Dilemma with Boyfriend who is not Veg - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-26-2009, 04:49 PM
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Hi everyone,

I am a vegan who feels very strongly about this lifestyle. I met my boyfriend when I was early in my vegetarian endeavors, and really didn't mind that he ate meat. Now I am becoming older and wiser, and I don't feel the same way, although our relationship has progressed. Everything else is amazing, but this really bothers me. I've tried really hard to tell myself its silly to get upset at this, but it really has become a way of life for me, not just a belief. I told him tonight that maybe we shouldn't see each other anymore, of course that is not what I want but I get so unhappy about his meat eating that it's really unfair for both of us. Does anyone have any advice or similar stories that can give me some peace of mind?

Thanks so much!
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#2 Old 02-26-2009, 04:58 PM
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I know how you feel. I was in the same type of thought about 3 years ago and Im still with him . I see it was the majority of folks out there aren't vegan or vegetarian for that matter. Have you tried to get him to try vegan foods? Is he wanting for you to make his foods? Maybe if he didn't eat meat in front of you? If you love him and you don't want to let him go then you shouldn't. Maybe a few weeks apart could help you realize that you really could deal with it or realize that you really do feel better now. I don't know. Im just trying to offer some advice. (I dont think I am too great at it)
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#3 Old 02-26-2009, 04:58 PM
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It's not silly for you to be bothered by him eating meat. Veganism isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle. If it bothers you enough that he eats meat then he may not be the best fit for you, even if he once was.



Welcome to VB by the way!
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#4 Old 02-26-2009, 05:33 PM
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Yeah, I think you have to decide what is most important to you. Do you love him so much that you're willing to deal with the fact that he eats meat? Or are you into veganism so much that you're willing to lose someone you love?



And, not saying it's not possible, but we all know there is a MUCH smaller percentage of vegetarians, let alone vegans, out there in the world... so, if you're hoping to find a vegan, of course best of luck, but you know, you may be looking for a while...
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#5 Old 02-26-2009, 09:31 PM
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hey there sorry you are going through this



My Fiancee is an Omni...a very supportive omni...who cooks and eats veggie at least four times a week...I am fine with who he is and what he eats...and I dont want to change him and I couldnt even if I wanted too...LOL...he doesnt want to/nor could he change me either...and it works well for us...we are really happy you guys have to figure out what works for you guys and go with it....good luck whatever you choose to do
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#6 Old 02-26-2009, 09:41 PM
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It sounds to me like you already know what you want to do about this. But it couldn't hurt to try some things before deciding for sure to break up. What does he do specifically that bothers you? Does he eat meat in front of you? Does he often talk about wanting meat or eating it? You could work out some compromises, like maybe you could eat vegan meals together more often. I myself am dating an omnivore and he eats veggie when we're eating in, but eats meat when he is not with me or if we are at a restaurant together. If he insisted on eating meat with every meal we had, then our relationship would definately not work, but thankfully that's not the case. That's just me though, I mean everyone has different limits on what they can deal with. Talk to your boyfriend about it and try to find something that could work for both of you. If there is no compromise that will make you happy, that's okay too. No use staying in a relationship if you can't both be happy.Good luck.

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#7 Old 02-26-2009, 10:56 PM
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Just my $0.02 here. No one's relationship is perfect, so keep that in mind.



Personally, I'm married to an omni. While I don't like him eating meat and don't approve of his choice (I also feel very strongly about the choices I've made and the lifestyle I live), I've basically resigned myself to the fact that it is his choice. I've given him the information he needs to make an informed decision and he's made his choice. He's receptive to eating the foods I make (he enjoys most of them although tofu is a no-go with him) and he's supportive of my choice, but it's not something he's willing to make a lifestyle for himself.



I've made it clear that I won't touch any meat and won't cook it for him (the exception is if he puts together a grilled cheese and turkey sandwich or something, I'll cook it since he's not good in the kitchen). If I'm cooking, he's eating veg and that's that.



But I understand your being upset about your boyfriend's inability to get on board with you. I think it was easier for me since my husband and I have been together for far longer than I've been a serious vegetarian (I tried and failed at being veg around the time I originally started dating him--about 9 years ago), so I can't (and shouldn't in my opinion) expect him to change his life around just because I've had a moral awakening with regard to what I'm eating.



Compromise is what works for us, but if you're completely against being in a relationship with someone who isn't willing to go veg*n, you're probably going to have to accept that you're going to have to move on. Your priorities are going to make the final decision. Staying in a relationship when you have a deep moral divide over an issue that's important to you like this is probably isn't going to work unless you're willing to compromise.



As much as that may hurt, you're not going to be doing either one of you any favors if you're staying in a relationship where you deeply disapprove of his choices and aren't able to accept the ones he's made. It's a matter of priorities. Does he matter enough to you that you're willing to live with his "imperfections" and choices you don't approve of/agree with? Or do your commitment to the vegan lifestyle and your moral feelings about his omni diet trump your feelings for him?



I don't agree with my husband (or parents) by any means when it comes to diet, but I've been willing to accept them with their choices. But that's a very personal decision. Of course, I couldn't dump my parents regardless and it would seem strange to me to dump my husband because he made the same choice as them (although I suppose it would be understandable since I have a choice in that issue and have chosen to be with him).



I'm not saying that every veg*n out there is going to be able to make a compromise like I have. Or that I'm in the right. I'm sure some people would feel that I'm not being a committed enough vegetarian to tolerate my husband's omni diet, but I've found a balance I can live with. I also agree that it seems that you've made up your mind and what you end up doing will ultimately depend on what feels right to you. I can't tell you how to live your life or whether to compromise. If you haven't already weighed the options, I'd recommend you do that before making a final decision, but you seem like you've already come to a conclusion on your own and that's your call.

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#8 Old 02-26-2009, 11:23 PM
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I have to say that I am in a similar situation as well... Met my boyfriend three years ago and since then have become a vegan and much more hardcore in my morals.



I find myself making a lot of comments when he orders meat or gets double cheese on something or what have you. On one hand I value his personal freedoms to choose to do what he likes but on the other hand I find myself becoming upset and frustrated... I don't want to be so pushy, and I know he understands how important veganism is to me.



Eventually I would like to move out with him and I am already worried about how the whole food situation will go here...
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#9 Old 02-27-2009, 02:35 AM
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I have no advice, just wanted to let you know I'm in a similar situation. I was already vegan when I met my boyfriend, but I didn't think I would have issues with dating an omni. But now I am struggling. He's respectful, he stands up for veganism even when I'm not around, he says he understands my point of view and he agrees with many of my arguments, it's not like he's a jerk about it. That's not the problem. It's just conflict in my mind that someone I see as so perfect could take part in something so cruel. I'm still struggling with it, and I doubt I'll break up with him over it, but it can be painful. We have had a lot of talks over it and SOME of the issues have been resolved (i.e., I can now ***** to him about meat-eating generally without him thinking it's an attack on him personally) but I just don't know if I can devote my life to someone who has such different values. It's a struggle. Hugshugs. :hugs:
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#10 Old 02-27-2009, 03:48 AM
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wish i could give some good advice to you.. but it's just my $0.02 AUS without a conclusion....



it really comes down to 3 possibilities



1. Accept him as an omnivore

2. Get him to become a vegan

3. Find a vegan partner



now let's look at Some pros and cons of all the three



1. Accept him as an Omnivore.

P: I suppose this would allow you both to live together

C: but like mentioned before, veganism is a lifestyle. You feel for the animals that were killed so he can have his steak.



2. Get him to be vegan

P: this would be ideal

C: this is very hard to make happen. Veganism or Vegetarianism needs to come from within. Can't be forced.



3. Find a Vegan Partner

P: your partner and you will live the common lifestyle and embrace veganism

C: Just because your partner is vegan, doesn't mean you both have common ground in other areas.

C: it'll require you to breakup with your current partner, (breakups can be painful)
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#11 Old 02-27-2009, 04:44 PM
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Just like I would be offended if my boyfriend tried to force his meat-eating behaviors on me, I would NEVER set an ultimatum for someone else about being a vegetarian. I don't think it's fair. The only thing you can do is try to educate the omnis. If they don't want to be a vegetarian, that's their lifestyle choice.



If you can't handle not having a vegan boyfriend, then you've made the right choice. Although think of it from your boyfriend's perspective. Has he set an ultimatum for you? If your partner is OK with you being a vegan/vegetarian shouldn't you try to be just as understanding? Trust me, it's not easy for an omni with a veg SO. He or she will have to change their restaurants when they go out with you, they'll have to buy veg-friendly products and eat veg-friendly food for the duration of your relationship. If your boyfriend can put up with that, it is only fair you put up with him being a meat-eater.
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#12 Old 02-27-2009, 06:31 PM
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Hello! I'm sorry to hear you are going through this I completely understand as I was/am in the same situation. I have been married for nearly 4 years. I became vegetarian 2 years ago.



In the beginning it didn't bother me that my husband ate meat, either. But same as you I eventually became very strong in my beliefs - and as time went on his meat eating did start to bother me.



I would see him eat a big bucket of fried chicken or grill up some steak. It would turn me off & repulse me so badly that I didn't even want him to kiss me. It used to frustrate me that everything HAD to have meat in/on it -- even if I cooked a nice vegetarian meal, he'd then take it and throw some meat on top of it to make it "better."



How much meat he eats makes me very sad and very grossed out. (On multiple levels; for the animals, for his health, etc).



I started to realize that our dietary choices was actually an indication of an bigger underlying problem. Really, our whole life philosophies were completely different. (Yes I will admit - veg*ism is a very large part of that) I started to evaluate things like wants and goals. What I came up with showed some pretty blaring differences. (I know people think "why didn't you talk about those things BEFORE you got married?" Well... we did. But it seems I have grown and changed a LOT in the last few years and now our beliefs don't really align anymore. It's noone's fault; that is just how it is. Sad.)



In terms of vegetarianism - I know he's not ignorant or uneducated. I have educated him. He would say he is proud of me for doing what I'm doing, but he "loves meat" too much. It "tastes too good" for him to ever switch.



When I told him how I felt he was broken, it was very sad for both of us. He proclaimed himself vegetarian in a last-ditch effort to change my mind but we both knew it wouldnt last. (And it didnt, and I wouldnt have wanted that as Im sure hed have started to resent me).



My advice for you is to think REALLY hard about what is important to YOU. If possible, take a few days to be alone with your thoughts (you dont have to announce it, just quietly do it). Picture your life and how you want to live it -- the kind of person you want to be -- Can you live that life and be that person while in a relationship with a meat-eater? Does your home still feel like a peaceful and harmonious environment if your spouse cooks meat? Do you feel attracted to your spouse knowing they just consumed flesh?



I found that thinking about those things really helped clarify my decision. This has been the hardest, most stressful, and most sad thing Ive ever had to go through; but I think Ill be happier and healthier when its all over.



Good luck. Feel free to PM me if you ever need someone to talk to who understands your situation.
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#13 Old 02-27-2009, 06:40 PM
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I was in the same predicament as well. My boyfriend of over 3 years was vegetarian when I met him but is now an omni. I of course wish and dream that he would become vegan, or at least vegetarian again. I don't dwell on the fact that he eats meat, but rather focus on the amount of vegan food that he DOES eat. I cook a lot (and of course I cook vegan) and he is more than happy to dig into some delish vegan food! He is also more than happy to eat at a vegetarian/vegan restaurant. I think of it like this...he is eating a lot less meat than probably a "regular" omnivore does so I am grateful for that! Maybe someday he will change his mind and become vegetarian, but as for now, I just praise him for all the vegetarian and/or vegan food that he DOES eat.
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#14 Old 02-27-2009, 11:38 PM
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You cant force him to become vegan but you can educate him.



You have to accept who he is and if you chose to be with because of who he is then you should accept the differences and learn to live with him. Its same thing that you're vegan and while vegans are considered "crazy" to some, learn that he has to put up with you too.
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#15 Old 03-02-2009, 03:59 PM
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I really have to admit, I did not expect such great responses! Everyone really brightened my day.



Well, I wrote the original thread right after I got off the phone with him, suggesting that we take the weekend to think about things. We are in a semi-long distance relationship, so we haven't seen each other in a week (I go to school 2 hours away). I was really stressed and needed some good advice, and I was not disappointed!



----> Just a little more information about my boyfriend: He is extremely supportive and doesn't cook meat when I am home, only eats deli meat once in a while when I am actually there. He also sometimes orders meat when we go out. I just recently found out he cooked meat at the apartment we kind of share when I come home. That was disappointing. He also defends me when I'm not around to some questioning friends. His mom is a vegetarian, and his dad (they aren't together) and rest of his family are carnivores! He's in a tough situation, and I give him as much credit as i can possibly muster. He does eat mostly vegan when I am home, and I really do love that part. I mention how happy it makes me very often.



I ended up going home and we had a really great conversation. Our communication is out of this world, but it just turns out he really never took the time to let what I was saying sink in, or realize how important this way of life is for me. All weekend he was amazing, he didn't hesitate once to get all vegetarian. It was so nice.



So I guess all in all, I just wanted to write another post to let everyone know how things turned out, and to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all of the responses and great advice. I took everything in.



You are fantastic!

Thanks so much again.

Chelsea
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#16 Old 03-02-2009, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Ziggenslbc View Post

Hi everyone,

I am a vegan who feels very strongly about this lifestyle. I met my boyfriend when I was early in my vegetarian endeavors, and really didn't mind that he ate meat. Now I am becoming older and wiser, and I don't feel the same way, although our relationship has progressed. Everything else is amazing, but this really bothers me. I've tried really hard to tell myself its silly to get upset at this, but it really has become a way of life for me, not just a belief. I told him tonight that maybe we shouldn't see each other anymore, of course that is not what I want but I get so unhappy about his meat eating that it's really unfair for both of us. Does anyone have any advice or similar stories that can give me some peace of mind?

Thanks so much!



Sorry if this has already been said - didn't get a chance to read the whole thread (meant to be working lol)...



In my opinion this can be seen as quite hypocrital - we want people to accept our lifestyle but we won't accept someone elses??



My husband is an omnivore - in no way does he want me to eat meat in the same way I never want him to become vegetarian/vegan just for me.



I think acceptance/tolerance is the key. Perhaps you can tell him how you feel and work towards a compromise that will work for the both of you.



Again just my opinion.



Cheers

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#17 Old 03-02-2009, 11:34 PM
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In my opinion this can be seen as quite hypocrital - we want people to accept our lifestyle but we won't accept someone elses?

Veganism is about not harming. Why does this need the meat eaters' stamp of approval? Its the people who kill animals who should be begging for acceptance (and not getting it!), not the other way around.



Its not the slightest bit hypocritical for someone who feels that animals should not be killed to have a problem with people who kill them.

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#18 Old 03-03-2009, 12:17 AM
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No worries SomebodyElse I can see your point of view.



If I alienated everyone that did something I didn't agree with I would never ever have any interaction with human beings. I just can't see how you could write off someone you obviously care about because they don't follow your lifestyle.



It is however hypocritical to cry that we want to be accepted and not ridiculed only to not accept and ridicule someone else. Tolerance and compromise are wonderful things that often achieve more.



And by the way i am not preaching peace love and fairy bread.... I hate the human race and despise what we have done to this planet.... I also have an exceptionally bad habit of random angry outburts (which is why I am banned from reading the paper at work lol) which are often directed at the ignorance of other people.



Again just my opinion.
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#19 Old 03-03-2009, 12:20 AM
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No worries SomebodyElse I can see your point of view.



If I alienated everyone that did something I didn't agree with I would never ever have any interaction with human beings. I just can't see how you could write off someone you obviously care about because they don't follow your lifestyle.

That's not what I am suggesting. I just don't think its hypocritical to be unhappy with what your loved ones do, when its not what you would do.



But yeah, that's only my opinion, its not set in stone or anything!

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#20 Old 03-03-2009, 12:22 AM
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Kewl - and I think that you can't expect tolerance if you don't give it



Wow some actual intelligent sharing of differing opinions that didn't end in childish name calling.... I like this forum
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#21 Old 03-06-2009, 09:03 AM
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Hi. Here's my 2 cents. When I went vegetarian, my husband was supportive but continued eating meat for several months. (I've only been veg for 8 months). Then one day out of the blue he just told me "you know, I've been thinking about everything you've told me about factory farms, etc., and I"m gonna give vegetarianism a try".



So far it's been only about 6 weeks but he's had no trouble transitioning!



I guess the point is don't give up on someone you love, definitely not without a fight, anyway!
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#22 Old 03-06-2009, 01:39 PM
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I heard this discussion on just about every vegan board I'm a member of. I'm repeating some of what others have said.



You need to prioritize what is more important to you. The relationship or your lifestyle. Secondly, I don't think trying to convert or encourage a partner to veganism is a good idea. Its like trying to convert someone to a religion. Lastly, when you made this lifestyle choice I'm sure you realized that you are limiting your dating pool.
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#23 Old 03-06-2009, 08:27 PM
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Veganism is about not harming. Why does this need the meat eaters' stamp of approval? Its the people who kill animals who should be begging for acceptance (and not getting it!), not the other way around.



Its not the slightest bit hypocritical for someone who feels that animals should not be killed to have a problem with people who kill them.



It almost shocks me that people can't realize this. I respect meat-eaters but I do not respect their decision to support an industry that mistreats sentient beings to the extent that it does. I'm honestly astounded that people who claim to feel compassion for the victims of factory farming can say with a straight face that vegans should respect someone's right to support such an industry. Should I respect someone's right to kill, rape or enslave other human beings as well?



For the record, I could be in a relationship with a meat-eater but I would never "tolerate" her choice to pay other people to torture and kill conscious, feeling beings for her benefit and I won't shy away from letting her know that. Eating meat does not make you a bad person but that doesn't mean that your behavior should be considered exempt from criticism.
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#24 Old 03-06-2009, 08:37 PM
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It almost shocks me that people can't realize this. I respect meat-eaters but I do not respect their decision to support an industry that mistreats sentient beings to the extent that it does. I'm honestly astounded that people who claim to feel compassion for the victims of factory farming can say with a straight face that vegans should respect someone's right to support such an industry. Should I respect someone's right to kill, rape or enslave other human beings as well?



For the record, I could be in a relationship with a meat-eater but I would never "tolerate" her choice to pay other people to torture and kill conscious, feeling beings for her benefit and I won't shy away from letting her know that. Eating meat does not make you a bad person but that doesn't mean that your behavior should be considered exempt from criticism.



For many people vegetarianism is only one of many viable dietary and lifestyle "choices". For some though, there is no choice at all but to refuse to take part in the killing of other animals. To me, there simply is no other way to be. That's why I find it very challenging to have to cope with the loved ones in my life who do partake in the consumption of flesh.

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#25 Old 03-09-2009, 08:37 AM
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so, here's a bit of my story.



being vegetarian (once vegan) is definitely a part of who i am and want to be. i'm certainly in it for animal--as well as other--reasons, though i am a welfarist rather than rightsist. my husband has long been omnivorous, though only buys his meats through certain sources.



we are considering a dramatic move, and in this move, we have discussed issues of cost and such. he asserted to me--"it might make sense for me to be vegetarian for a time. i found that when iw as veg during that whole trip there, it was great. i was never hungry and i felt and looked great!"



so, after many years of my being vegetarian, my husband is interested in trying it.
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