Love knows no boundaries, love knows no dietary restrictions. This is a story about how a vegan girl is madly in love with a carnivore.
Kenny and I started dating at the beginning of 2014. A year later I became a vegetarian and then made the switch to vegan during 2016. Throughout this entire journey Kenny has been more supportive than I could have ever hoped for. These past few years have taught me some tips and tricks on how to navigate dating a meat eater.
Tip #1: DON’T TRY TO CHANGE THEM. Yup, you heard me right. When a lot of people first become vegan they feel as if they have ‘seen the light’. They make the connection of eating and harming animals and want to scream it from the rooftops. I get it; I was one of those people. But I quickly learned that other people don’t respond kindly when you tell them that you’re right and they’re wrong. In reality you were probably eating meat a few weeks ago anyways. I genuinely believe that being vegan is a personal choice and I therefore am not going to try and force Kenny to go vegan. Being the incredible boyfriend that he is, he takes me out to vegan restaurants, eats food I make for him, and listens/understands why I am vegan in the first place.
Tip #2: “VEGANIZE” THEIR FAVORITE DISH. Kenny’s love for Pop-Tarts runs deep. He grew up eating them and still does to this day. Because of this I decided to ‘veganize’ his one true love; S’mores Pop-Tarts. Not only do I love creating new recipes in the kitchen, but I wanted to make him something he loves that we could enjoy together. Veganizing a dish can give you and your partner the best of both worlds; you can show your appreciation for them while getting to mutually devour delicious vegan food.
Tip #3: EAT MEALS WITH THEM. Although Kenny and I don’t live together, we tend to eat dinner with one another every night. Through trial and error we have come up with a handful of recipes that we both enjoy and are easy to make after long days at work. However, if Kenny wants to add chicken to his dish I don’t get angry. He gladly cooks his food in a separate pan and we still get to sit down and enjoy time together. Don’t take it personally if your boyfriend, girlfriend, friends, or family want to add meat to a dish you made. It’s NOT a
personal attack on you or your food so just remain calm. Even when we end up eating completely different meals we still take time to sit down together. You don’t have to be eating the same food to benefit from some quality time with one another.
Tip #4: LOVE THEM. At the end of the day love them. When it really comes down to it relationships are about trust, support, and compassion. Kenny doesn’t have to eat vegan to show that he loves me. Simply by supporting me I can feel his love. I don’t ridicule him for eating meat or try and make him watch 15 documentaries about veganism. And while veganism is a big part of my life it doesn’t dictate who I love. I enjoy making vegan food for us to share but will love Kenny even if he eats meat for the rest of our lives.
While I didn’t need anyone’s permission to go vegan, having the support of the person I love most made a HUGE difference. Whether you or your partner wants to try something new (go vegan, run a marathon, change careers) showing your support can make all the difference. So don’t be afraid of carnivores…I promise you they can be pretty incredible people.