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Huge fight with non-vegan bf?

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by Mona, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. Mona

    Mona Member

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    Hey guys

    I'm new to this forum and could use some advice. So my bf and I have been together almost a year and friends before that for two years. We have a great relationship and he treats me really well. The thing is he isn't vegan and I am.

    Tonight we watched around half of the earthlings documentary. Yes, I was hoping he would consider slowly going vegan or at least partly. I've always tried to not be pushy or preachy about veganism and respect his choices. However, after the documentarry he said he already saw part of it a few years ago and he is still going to eat meat and cheese. Well as much as I tried to stay calm I couldn't. I pretty much blew up on him and yelled how he couldn't even try slowly cutting out animal products. Well long story short he is now sleeping on the couch. We fight very rarely and never this bad. I love him sooo much but I can't understand for the life of me how he can't even try. He said he already eats much less meat and not much milk. That's true but he still eat enough. At the same time I don't want to be a hypocrite. I actually fell of the vegan-wagon for a while, which I regret a lot. I was really depressed and couldn't deal with life, and pretty much stopped caring about my life. Not that that is an excuse. I don't know what to do. I love him sooo much and I hate fighting. It is stressing me out so much but at the same time I feel really resentful towards him.

    He is a great guy in other areas of life. He loves our cat and he did say he doesn't like how the animals are treated but he likes meat and animal products and it's too hard. I cook him vegan food all the time and he likes it. I just don't understand how someone can't even try and cut out animal products.

    If you read this far thanks:) any similar stories and/or advice?
     
  2. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Active Member

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    You have really got three choices. You need to either leave him, become more accepting, or alternatively just do nothing and let things continue on as they are and see if the things eventually works itself out. It's not obvious which is the best.

    You could also stop and think to yourself - what would upset you more, if he left you, or if he carried on eating meat. Try and imagine the two things and see which seems worse.

    Based on your short story, I just don't see how we can give clear and definite advice for sure. Although I'd be leaning towards a possible compromise for now at least - such as asking him to do mostly vegan but occassional meat, or only vegan when you cook or a vegan free household (it seems like you live together) but eating vegan outside of the house.

    He may change his mind over time - or he may not. But few people suddenly go 100% vegan because someone showed them a video , that's often not how it works. If he's going to do it it may happen a year or two later.
     
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  3. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Active Member

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    For my story, I became vegan after getting married. When I try to talk to my wife about it, she generally won't listen to my arguments or refuses to discuss. If I suggested that we watch a vegan movie, she just wouldn't watch it. So, at least you have got one step further than I have.
     
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  4. Mark Mywordz

    Mark Mywordz Active Member

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    Hi Mona.
    You have a right to hold the views you prefer and so does your boyfriend. If you stop talking about being vegan and leave him to follow his chosen way of life/eating, he may change in time. Your opposition to his chosen diet probably does more to alienate him to the vegan way of living than your silence would. In time he might change, if you respect his freedom to choose. But he may not. You have no option but to accept that or leave him. If you really love him, leaving should be out of the question. Love should be unconditional. If your attitude does not change, you cannot expect change from him. If you were a man, I would say "Man up. Accept him as he is."
     
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  5. DCab

    DCab New Member

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    Hi Mona,

    I have been vegan for six years and I'm still the only person whom I know who is. I live in a rural farming area - beef country for sure - so people here are not open to vegan thinking at all - in any way, whether it be the health benefits or empathy for animals. Though my husband will eat many vegan dishes that I make, he has no intention of making the switch, and I don't ask him to. I always think to myself, what if he gave me a hard time about not eating meat/dairy and insisted that I change because he thinks I should? I would resent him and would dig my heels in for sure. I find being an inconspicuous vegan is best for keeping the peace and also making this lifestyle the peaceful one that it is supposed to be. The reality is this: many people (most?) will not change over. They will remain as they are, so I just have to eat how I like to eat and let everyone else do the same. I always think - you get more flies with honey than vinegar. He's more receptive to trying my vegan dishes when I don't make it a moral issue. Same with all the other people in my life. When I share my recipes and food with people, I try not to label it. There's some kind of psychology behind it - they'll try a "new recipe" before they'll try a "vegan recipe," though actually it's the same dish. Interesting!
     
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  6. Mark Mywordz

    Mark Mywordz Active Member

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    Does your bf expect you to cook meat products for him? I would not consider that acceptable, personally. I would make him vegan meals and let him cook some meat to go with it, if he wants.
     
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  7. Mona

    Mona Member

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    No, I don't cook him animal products and he doesn't expect me to. He is very supportive of me being vegan and generally likes vegan food. I can't complain.
     
  8. Mark Mywordz

    Mark Mywordz Active Member

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    I'd keep this one, Mona!
    Good luck.
     
  9. Paul Gammage

    Paul Gammage Guest

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    Tell him to sod off. There are plenty more fish in the sea.
     
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  10. tegan_the_vegan

    tegan_the_vegan Member

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    I don't think you can change people, I am vegan, my wife is an omnivore. But I do most of the cooking, so now she is pretty much a vegetarian (she will add cheese to some stuff I have made). I feel okay about the fact she has massively reduced the amount of animal products she has eaten, yes, I do hope that one day she will become at least fully vegetarian and eventually vegan but I don't force it. I think if I had made her watch documentaries and lectured her, she wouldn't be eating (and more importantly - buying!) as little as she does now.

    I bought her acrylic wool for making dog coats. We got donuts the other day, I only bought the vegan varieties, etc. Do small things that don't affect their lives so much and they will eventually see it isn't an issue.

    Accept that they are who they are and they will occasionally eat meat/use leather/etc. But do what you can to reduce it, cook their meals for them if you live together, either 1. they are vindictive/wasteful enough to go and cook their own meat one or 2. they will just eat what you give them.

    If they are no.1, get rid. If they are no.2, accept that there is an improvement and just keep slowly and silently improving.
     
  11. Plant Muncher

    Plant Muncher Guest

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    My wife was a vegetarian for 37 years before I leapfrogged over her and went full-on vegan and I can't recall one time when her vegetarianism caused a rift in our relationship. And mind you, I do all of the cooking in for the entire family and always have. I used to love all meat, cheese, eggs, etc AND vegetarian food. My wife never once tried to convince me to be a vegetarian. I have never tried to convince her to be vegan. We've certainly had disagreements over other issues but not food. I guess that I find myself asking what difference does it make if someone else, even someone else very close to you, happens to want to eat a different diet than you do? In the end, you can only be responsible for your own food intake once you are no longer living with your parents.
     
  12. Forest Nymph
    Scurvy

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    I think I must be different from a lot of vegans who frequent forums, because I don't see this as just a "we eat different things" issue. I think if it's a "we eat different things" issue, you're not vegan, you're on a health-inspired plant based diet, which isn't an ethical world view or deeply held value.

    My veganism is a part of who I am and part of my ethics. I would have a hard time with a man whining that it's "too hard" to go vegan, I would see him as childish, weak or self-absorbed...not traits I find appealing in men (though I know some women like to have a big baby they can take care of I'm not one of them). That's ME though. It's not who you are.

    To me it sounds like your veganism is ethical, not plant based. And I can't tell you what you should or should not find appealing in your chosen partner. I would definitely give him points for not eating meat around you and eating vegan food.

    I honestly find some vegans too passive. I find it obnoxious, just as obnoxious as they probably find me. Oh well.
     
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  13. Plant Muncher

    Plant Muncher Guest

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    So you have decided to be at odds with 99.5% of the country? Let me know how that works out for you.
     
  14. poivron

    poivron Member

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    The fastest way to get a vegan to go back to eating animals is to tell them, "You're not vegan." And what happens when they go back to eating animals? You get to feel morally superior, but more animals get tortured and killed.

    Veganism should not be an exclusive club for people who want to feel morally superior to others. Veganism should always be about the animals. You might want to look at the research that shows that shaming someone never results in positive change. Being obnoxious to non-vegans does not help animals. On the contrary, it hurts them because someone who might have internally made a small first step toward love and kindness toward all living beings now feels attacked, defensive, and shut down. What you so condescendingly label "passive" may in fact be a much more effective approach toward moving more people to veganism.
     
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  15. Lesley

    Lesley Member

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    Hi Mona,
    It's difficult when you have a partner that doesn't see the world the way you do.
    It sounds like your bf supports your life choices, as you're in a relationship you have to accept his too, if you can't, you have your answer.
    Your bf may just need time and support to make his own transition. I became pescetarian for a year before taking the leap to vegan.
    Give yourself a bit of time to reflect and try to approach it more objectively.

    Good luck.
     
  16. Forest Nymph
    Scurvy

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Yeah whatever. My major is in Environmental Science, Environmental Ed and Interpretation, and on my final presentation half the freaking class wrote on their optional survey they would stop eating meat, eat less meat, stop eating red meat, or reinforce their vegetarianism. You don't know me. I know what I'm doing. The "Onision" style does work. A vegan who goes back to eating meat by being told they aren't a real vegan was never vegan to begin with, they were on a plant-based diet. Thanks for your response, but we don't have time for an excess of passive-aggressive ********. Certainly the passive approach works on a certain type of person, but it does not work on everyone, just as the in your face approach doesn't work on everyone. Grow up.
     
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  17. Forest Nymph
    Scurvy

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    I'm doing awesome, thanks for your concern.
     
  18. Plant Muncher

    Plant Muncher Guest

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    Concern...yes.
     
  19. IconickVegan

    IconickVegan New Member

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    this is a difficult one. maybe take a break from the relationship? let him know how his unwillingness to change affects you. none of my friends are vegan which is usually never a big deal but i doubt i could date a girl who is not vegan. if he truly loves you and you can handle not being with him he may consider it but the reality is that even if he can see the benefits of being vegan he likely cannot shake the fear of being the .5% sadly.
     
  20. Plant Muncher

    Plant Muncher Guest

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    I don't believe that you should coerce, force, intimidate, nag, or apply any other pressure to anyone to adopt the food choices you make. If it is a personal relationship and you feel that you have to change your partner to make them more acceptable, you've already lost the battle, you just don't know it yet.
    My wife has been vegetarian since we met 37 years ago. She never pressured me to eat vegetarian in all that time, not once. She did however allow me to taste her vegetarian dishes and I grew to like them as much as I liked meat dishes. There was never even subtle coercion on her part. Last year, I leapfrogged over her and became vegan. Do you want to know how that affected our relationship? She is very proud of me. She is still a vegetarian. I don't try and convince her to be vegan but she likes vegan food.
    The only food issue we have ever had is that my wife has never been able to cook. I mean anything. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is completely beyond her talents in the kitchen. It's O.K. because I am an extremely good cook and always have been. Her friends are now jealous that she is married to a vegan cook. It all works out if you just let it. :)
     
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