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Is it compatible with ethical veganism to buy an omnivore a non-vegan meal?

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by nobody, Dec 11, 2017.

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Is it compatible with ethical veganism to buy an omnivore a non-vegan meal?

  1. Yes

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  2. No

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  1. nobody

    nobody Member

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    I want to ask an omnivorous woman I don't know out to dinner and I want to pay for her meal without insisting she order vegan food on this first and possibly only date. I would think it is incompatible with ethical veganism to financially support animal exploitation under any circumstances but for this: if I do not take her out on the date, she will eat an omnivorous meal that day or evening anyway. By going on a date with a vegan, perhaps it will plant a seed in her mind that will eventually lead to her going vegan herself.

    Ethically, it would be preferable to only date vegan women or to make any woman who wants to eat non-vegan on a date pay for her own meal, but for the sake of discussion let's just eliminate those two possibilities. I am interested to know what people think about this. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
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  2. Forest Nymph
    Scurvy

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    When I first went vegan I bought my boyfriend at the time a cheeseburger one night. However, it's not something I would do now. I'm not a man, but honestly you're not obligated to buy anyone animal products. You're actually setting a poor example as a vegan by giving your money to the animal product industry, and she'll probably merely acknowledge it as complicity with her participation in eating meat. It's a slippery slope. Don't go down it.

    It's not like you're a Christian or a Muslim trying to show your compassion by giving a Nazi your coat when he's freezing and homeless, you're a vegan - if you were donating your old dairy products to starving children in low-income families, that what be one thing, but what I gather from this post is that your motive is actually to impress or have sex with this person. I don't see that as a charitable or moral reason to compromise your vegan values.

    You can obviously do whatever you want, but if you're an established vegan and she's not already your partner, I have no idea why you would buy meat for her. I can see dating an omnivore - fine, that's obviously fine - but I don't get the logic of buying her an omni meal to show her vegans are nice. To me it looks more like you're just trying to be a "nice guy" which doesn't have an ethical leg to stand on, since it's usually motivated by lust rather than actually kindness.

    For all you know she could be like "one time this vegan guy took me out on a date but he bought me crab legs, what a weirdo." It could totally backfire.

    It would be like a Jewish guy saying "one day I'm going to ask out a non-Jewish woman and to show her what a good Jew I am, I'll buy her bacon and tell her that it's totally fine to take the Lord's name in vain" or something...all that would show the woman is that he was a push-over who would compromise his values to try to get laid. It is highly unlikely it would inspire her to convert to Judaism.

    It would be much more effective - in my opinion - to date omni women, refuse to pay for any omni meals but freely offer payment for vegan meals, and otherwise be such a pleasant person to be around that she won't feel threatened by it. Or take her to the movies. Do something that doesn't directly involve a big dinner, so you she can get to know you as a person before it even comes up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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  3. poivron

    poivron Member

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    Are there any good restaurants near you that serve only vegan food? Most omnivores don't have a problem going to a vegan restaurant with a vegan; they think of it as a new and interesting experience.

    If not, then I think it's probably best to just pay for her meal, for the reasons you stated. It's unpleasant and distasteful and will probably make you feel like you've been manipulated into acting against your principles, but I don't see a good alternative.

    You can soften this various ways. If she offers to pay or split the bill, you can let her do so. (As a woman, I always feel a little disrespected when a man insists on paying for something. Unless you have reason to believe that this is a conservative woman with traditional values, it seems a little old-fashioned to insist on paying. Letting the woman pay shows that you respect her independence; it sends the message that if things progress further, she can expect a relationship of equals. If it feels too awkward to split the bill, you can explain that since you invited her, you would like to pay, but that she can pay next time. Of course, you would have to follow through and let her pay the entire bill the next time. An additional advantage of this is that after she pays for your vegan dinner, you will be even.) Or you can pay for her meal and then, later, invite either her or an omnivorous friend to your home for a vegan dinner. Or, if this woman finds out that you're vegan, she might want to avoid eating animals in your presence. In the past, when I've gone out with friends (paying separately), I've always told them to eat what they liked, sometimes even insisting that they eat meat, just to show that I was not trying to control or convert them and was not judging them, but I'm starting to think that it's better to let people eat vegan or vegetarian in my presence if they choose to do so.

    There are situations where respecting someone else's choices is more important than vegan purity: if my grandmother were still alive, for example, I wouldn't be able to take her out to dinner and make her pay or insist that she order something vegan. If she cooked something non-vegan, I don't think I could break her heart by refusing to eat it. I only wish she were alive.
     
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  4. Clareh13

    Clareh13 Member

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    The general rule I think on paying for dates is that whoever asks/invites should pay, whatever their gender! So if you want to ask her out then yes, you are on the hook for paying.

    I think poivron's suggestion of going to a fully vegan restaurant is the best answer here. Whoever asks/invites also chooses the venue, usually. If you hit it off on the first date it will be much easier to broach the subject in the future, and if she's understanding I'm sure you could easily fall into a dating pattern of alternating omni/vegan with her choosing/inviting/paying for the former and you the latter. If she's not understanding it was probably never going to work out!

    Good luck, have fun!
     
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  5. Lux
    Cheerful

    Lux Member

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    When I first met my boyfriend he was already vegan and I was not (yet). He asked if we could go to vegan restaurants and I was excited to go. So that's what we did for our dates. I'd say suggest it anyway and see what she says. She could be absolutely fine with it and even curious to try.

    Good luck! Hope it goes well!
     
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  6. nobody

    nobody Member

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    In the OP I presented a little case for why buying animal products on a date would be justified. Here is a case for why it would not be. For me to be willing to buy animal products for a date would be valuing my convenience and pleasure over the lives of animals, which is unacceptable.

    Let me break that down. Many omnivores do not go vegan because they think it would be too much work for themselves and others. They don’t want to worry about taking supplements or reading lists of ingredients, or requiring extended family members to prepare vegan meals for them on holidays/special occasions etc., so essentially they believe that human convenience is more important than the lives of animals.

    One reason that I would pay for a date’s animal products is so that I can just ask for a date without bringing up awkward stipulations about what I am willing to pay for, without even knowing if she is the kind of person who insists on paying her own way anyway. But that would be valuing my ease/convenience over the lives of animals, which would would make my behavior no better than that of a lazy omnivore who does not go vegan for reasons of convenience.

    Also, stating up front that I do not buy animal products under any circumstances could cause a woman to decline my invitation, which would mean that my social life would be worse. A social life brings one pleasure. Many omnivores do not go vegan because they enjoy steak or cheese too much. Essentially, their palate pleasure is more important to them than the lives of animal. To buy animal products for the sake of my sexual pleasure or companionship is no different. It’s just a different form of pleasure but pleasure is pleasure.

    So, after thinking about it some more but with my brain this time, my answer to the OP question would have to be no, buying animal products for a date is incompatible with ethical veganism.

    Also, in my barbarous city there are no vegan restaurants. That would surely be a solution for a dinner date, but it would not cover a case where I invite an omnivore to a movie and she wants Milk Duds at the concession stand, or a cappuccino at a coffee bar, or all the other dilemmas a vegan may face on a date with an omnivore.
     
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  7. Jamie in Chile

    Jamie in Chile Active Member

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    I suggest you pay but but suggest splitting the bill in future. Also, I would explain your reasons gently at some point. "I personally don't want to support the factory farming industry" or something.
     
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  8. nobody

    nobody Member

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    Actually, now I am thinking along the lines of, ask for the date, but don’t say a word about veganism until we are brought the menus, at which time I explain that I can only pay for hers if she orders vegan. This tactic is a little dishonest but at least it gives me a chance woo her, whereas if I explain it at the time of the ‘ask’, who knows, it may be a deal-breaker.
     
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  9. poivron

    poivron Member

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    I'm afraid that this person will end up feeling judged, which won't help her develop a positive view of veganism. It would be great if you could watch this presentation by a vegan psychologist before your date. It doesn't answer your question, but it provides a lot of food for thought.



    ETA: Also, please consider that by making such a statement, you would not even be giving her the opportunity to offer to pay. You would be putting her on the spot without allowing her a graceful way out. (Does she order vegan and look like she wants a free dinner? Or does she order meat and look like someone who doesn't care about animal suffering?) If this happened to me, I think I would say, "I never asked you to pay for my food," and walk out of the restaurant.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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  10. Forest Nymph
    Scurvy

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    This is great, I also need to watch this, thanks for sharing!
     
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  11. nobody

    nobody Member

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    I have just discovered a new way to search for vegan women online so I am not even going to ask that omni out anymore, but thanks very much for all the advice. Also, I watched the whole Melanie Joy video and plan to watch some more of her stuff. She has a different perspective from the animal rights guy I usually listen to/read, Gary L. Francione. He actually has a problem with her Carnism thing, which he talks about here and in the video below. I would love to see a moderated debate between those two. But I'm totally open to different perspectives and I need Melanie Joy in my life because I can be a little too harsh and judgemental at times and she has a more gentle approach.

     
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  12. poivron

    poivron Member

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    Francione grossly distorts Joy's points in the video you posted. I have not seen a single video where Joy promotes "humane" exploitation of animals as the goal of the vegan movement. Nor does Joy argue that meat-eaters are not responsible for their actions; she shows ways to understand their thought processes in order to be able to help them become vegan. Moreover, when Joy says animal suffering is hidden, she is referring to the factory farm industry's efforts to hide its operations from the public. If there were no need to hide the reality, why would it be illegal in so many states to film or photograph the inside of a factory farm? If people were happy to contribute to animal suffering, why would the dairy industry put pictures of cows on sunny pastures on milk cartons? They would put the actual pictures of the inside of their farms, which horrify nearly everyone who sees them. Finally, caling someone's points "nonsense" (three times in under five minutes) and "crazy" (once) is unprofessional and unconvincing. It suggests that the accuser doesn't have a rational response.

    If you are a follower of Francione, then you should stick to dating vegans, since I doubt very much that Francione's approach could be very effective in turning any but a tiny minority of people vegan for more than a few weeks. I sincerely believe that empathy and compassion are the way to effect change. It's when a person feels understood that they are able to open up to another person's viewpoint, not when they feel their personality and morals have been attacked.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
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  13. gib
    Veggedout

    gib Member

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    Dude, don't pay for her meal regardless.

    I would keep the whole veganism to yourself until she notices your choices.

    One this shows she's actually interested in learning something about you and two it shows that she does in fact possess a thought process.
     
  14. VjohnV

    VjohnV Member

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    In cases like this i would try to be up front about it from the beginning, telling her your'e vegan and that in general you don't buy or pay for anything non-vegan, not in a sense of telling her your not going to pay, but in the sense of explaining to her your point of view on the matter.

    If she doesn't want the date then fine, but usually they ask about you being vegan, why you are vegan, for how long you have been vegan, general questions about veganism, etc. Its usually an interesting topic for non-vegans, they tend to ask a lot of questions, so it could also be a good opportunity for you to show her you are a serious person with some knowledge..

    Even though you said you aren't going to ask her out.. maybe for the future then.
     
  15. Forest Nymph
    Scurvy

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Funny story: Ingrid Newkirk of PETA turned Francione vegan by barging into his house, knowing him for only about a week, and pouring his cow's milk down the sink in the early 80s. There's something to be said for Ingrid.

    Francione, on the other hand, bothers me - not because he is the type who would only date vegans, but because he's so useless. He talks **** about PETA (the organization that made him vegan and evolved his professional activism) but he does..nothing. I hate Francione not for his abolitionist purity but for his complete naval gazing uselessness. "When's the last time you actually did something in the real world Gary? The early 90s? K. Thanks. Bye."

    I'd be fine with his academic philosophy and lack of compromise if he wasn't such a complete and total Vegan Christ Superstar. That's what I've started calling these "lead by example" types. Like, seriously, when were you sainted, Gary? Are you Jesus? Who gives a **** about your "example"? Go get your hands dirty you self-righteous academic.
     
  16. Sax
    No Mood

    Sax Active Member

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    I don't feel responsible for other people's choices. If I offer to pay, and they order an animal product, I'm okay with that. If they were paying, or we were splitting the check, or they were going on a date with someone who doesn't try to police their food choices, they still would have ordered animal products.

    Eventually I'd let them know that I don't like my money going to pay for animal products. Hopefully they'd respect that enough to get the hint, and if not...I still wouldn't feel responsible for their choices. I'd just have to decide if I want to date someone who doesn't try to accommodate my values. If everything else about the relationship was great besides paying for a steak every now and then, I think I could get over that. Especially considering they may reduce their overall animal product consumption as a result of being with you.
     
  17. alleycat

    alleycat Active Member

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    How about a moonlight picnic that you prepare ? Make sure you ask if she has any allergies or food she simply won't eat. A stroll on a moonlit beach, or at a local park to watch the nocturnal wildlife.
     
  18. veganDreama

    veganDreama Active Member

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    Take them to a vegan or Vegetarian restaurant. That way you don't have to pay for meat.
     
  19. Kellyr

    Kellyr Active Member

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    This has been a great read. I'm sure "nobody" (love that name) has already long since come to a conclusion or solution to the issue at hand.

    I think overall it was best that you didn't ask her out. All in all it would have been very selfish and dishonest and that's no way to start a relationship with anyone you feel you'd like to try to have in your life for a long time.

    Take heart, there are more and more vegans transitioning into the world every day.
     

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