“Is your husband vegan?” This is a question that I get asked surprisingly often.
I get all kinds of reactions when I tell them that my husband is, in fact, not vegan. People are shocked, confused, disappointed… And I’m here to tell you: that is completely ridiculous.
While more and more people are choosing a vegan diet, we are still in the minority. I know there are people who refuse to even date someone who isn’t vegan. I think there is a misconception that having an open-mind when dating is akin to lowering your standards. Of course, standards are important when choosing a partner, you definitely shouldn’t let someone walk all over you and throw your ideals out the window. But you might be missing out on getting to know a great person if you completely discount someone over something that is essentially a first-world problem (more on that later).
A friend of mine once had a crush on an acquaintance. She pined for him to ask her on a date. One day, he finally did ask her to attend a concert with him, and she said no because it wasn’t the type of music she liked. Are you kidding me?! Needless to say, he didn’t ask her out again.
Its important to note that while I was always “veg-curious”, and dabbled in veganism as a teen, I wasn’t vegan when my husband and I got together. We dated for 7 years, and were married for 1.5 when I decided to take the plunge and switch to a vegan diet. My husband, at the end of the day, could not care less about what he eats, and is definitely not the type of person to spend time researching where his food comes from. So naturally, since he didn’t immediately become vegan with me, we divorced, right? (See how ridiculous that sounds?) Of course we didn’t. Because while he wasn’t necessarily eager to suddenly become an ambassador for Peta, he didn’t shut down the idea.
I am the main cook in our household, which I’m sure plays a role as well. My husband doesn’t enjoy cooking, and typically just eats for fuel (Side note: I wish I was that type of person. I get too much pleasure from delicious food, unfortunately). Its pretty easy to control the meal plan when you’re the only one cooking. And since I’m such a foodie, I made sure everything was super tasty, so he wouldn’t be missing out too much. And for the most part, he has genuinely enjoyed 99% of the meals we have eaten over these past 2 years of veganism. I think being an omni for most of my life was actually helpful when it came to crafting yummy vegan-conversion meals, because I’ve had exposure to such a variety of flavours.
My husband happily goes to vegan restaurants with me, drives to grocery stores an hour away with me just because they have a great vegan cheese, and has even watched a documentary or two. He understands the movement from an environmental impact stand point, and has made an effort to cut back. He has never, ever mocked me and respects my beliefs. He accepts that I have completely changed our diet and I accept that he is willing to try. It goes both ways.
The moral of the story is that two people, who respect, love and support each other, can have a happy life even if they don’t agree on everything. So what if he eats a burger once in a blue moon at a restaurant. We are still making a tremendous impact, together. The most important part is a willingness to try. Veg-supportive, if you will.