I’m pretty confident that this post is going to be akin to a lamb leading itself to slaughter, but I’m going to give this a shot. It’s important to me. I’m a 33-year-old non-vegan guy, my girlfriend will be 24 next month, and is the staunchest and most devoted and dedicated vegan I know. And when I say staunch, I mean it, she’s converted both of her sisters, her mother, her father, and all of their partners. She’s is tremendously conscious, the kind of person that will take ten minutes out of her lunch break to go and just pick up rubbish off the streets. We’ve been together for two years, and I guess I just need a bit of insight from people of a similar mindset to her. I don’t have any vegan friends. Her love of animals, generosity, and kindness is one of the things I love about her; but it has always been the cause of a rift as well. I’m going to lay it out on the line: I’m never going to be a vegan. That’s all there is to it. I have come a very long way—my girlfriend cooks amazing food, and 90% of it is good enough that I sometimes get in the mood for it and expressly ask if she’ll make it for me that night. So, I have reduced my consumption of non-vegan food considerably. I am a lot more conscious than I used to be too, to the point where I’ll avoid a restaurant if it has a live lobster tank on the premises. There are lots of other little examples of how my thought processes and my behaviour have expressly changed to adopt certain vegan ideals to certain extents, but none of it seems enough. I’m sure we’re all aware of the phrase: “give a woman an inch and she’ll take a mile.” That’s kind of what I’m experiencing at the moment. My girlfriend is so ardent, anything other than total compliance is unacceptable, and her way of thinking really alarms me. I’ve gone to great lengths to appease her and make her feel more comfortable, but it’s like, the more I do, the more she wants to push things, and I can foresee hardships on the horizon if it keeps up. You can’t argue with her. You just can’t. Veganism, as a movement, has the moral high ground, there’s no denying that, and in my girlfriend’s mind, that makes it an unquestionable and unchallengeable ideal that you are evil if you don’t adopt yourself. She calls me a murderer. And believe me, I get it, complex and beautiful lifeforms are systematically bred and slaughtered to cater to my tastes, and my consumerism contributes to the demand for that to happen. But whereas I can concede that, and acknowledge I am playing a part in that cycle (and shame on me to a certain extent, sure), actually being labelled with the word “murderer” seems a bridge too far, and it’s hurtful. Furthermore, it’s skewing her perception of me in really negative ways. Who wants to sleep next to a murderer? I guess I’m seeing if that way of thinking is just what veganism does to a person, or are there ways to be more moderate with things? My girlfriend knows I’m not a vegan, and she’s come to accept that I won’t be, but then her tact shifts. “Fine, don’t be vegan, just don’t eat anything non-vegan in front of me, don’t have any non-vegan things in your house that I live in and don’t pay anything towards, and we can’t ever go anywhere that has non-vegan options,” is her idea of compromise. And again, I get it, she’s literally disgusted by non-vegan things, she’s very sensitive and very emotional. It conjures images of terrible things that she can’t put out of her mind, so I try to cater to her as much as I realistically can. But to essentially have to be something I’m not every minute that I’m in her presence is not going to be sustainable, and it doesn’t seem reasonable to say to your partner: “I know you’re not vegan, I accept that, you just have to play the part in front of me forever after.” That’s not acceptance. Does anyone else here have a non-vegan partner? Are there ways to sustain it? I’m constantly defending myself. Veganism has the moral high ground, I don’t dispute that, and that fact alone has altered my behaviour and choices radically. Veganism is often portrayed to have the medical high ground to, that’s not as clearcut at least with the research I’ve done, but there are lots of merits there as well, no doubt. But I also have a stance on the matter, some of which is routed in cultural and societal norms that I’ve been imbued with, some of which is health-based, and some of which is pure self-centred hedonism which I won’t deny. Do I deserve to be tagged as a murderer?