Living With A Non-Vegan Partner While Trying To Go Vegan
I have done just this, and I can say it is not easy living with a non-vegan partner while trying to go vegan. Stay strong, and never forget why you are making this change.
The list of reasons you are choosing veganism will certainly only get longer with time. Also, find support. A support group on Facebook or friends with similar views. It always helps to have someone you can call on. Here are some tips that hopefully help you out.
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1. Be stubborn. If you have decided to make veganism your lifestyle, then don’t let anyone or anything change that decision for you. Having a partner who is not supportive of you trying to go vegan can make this incredibly challenging. Brush the sarcastic comments off as nothing, and ignore it when they make non-vegan choices. Picking an argument or being an “activist” inside your own relationship will lead to more harm than good.
2. Do you. When I was first trying to go vegan, I explained to my husband what was going to happen. I wasn’t going to buy products with animals in them anymore. If those were things he couldn’t live without then he was going to have to find the time to go buy them himself. More often than not, he didn’t bother. I also do most of the cooking around here, so when it came time for dinner he understood that I would not be cooking carcass or dairy anymore. If he wanted those things he was going to have to have that while he was out for lunch or cook it himself. He ate those things out of the house, but never took the time to cook anything. So he ate vegan at home. And he bought snacks I didn’t agree with every once and a while. But I did me.
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3. Have a meeting. And then have another meeting. Going vegan isn’t just a diet change like most people think. It is a lifestyle change. More than just the food in the fridge changes. It is good to sit down, and have a talk so you can explain exactly what changes you are wanting/going to make, and how much your partner is willing to support you. Sit down again after 3-6 months, and see how you both feel you are getting along. Is it working for you both? Can your partner maybe compromise a little bit more in order to make you more comfortable?
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4. Educate them. Instead of watching that new action movie on your cozy date night ask if they would be willing to watch a documentary. I did this about 2 weeks into my vegan journey. The first night we watched Forks Over Knives. The second night my husband wanted to watch another and after viewpoint nights in a row of watching documentaries he agreed that we could keep a vegan household. He also agreed that raising vegan children was the best we could do as far as having healthy, compassionate kids. These days, we maintain a vegan household, and he eats vegan if the kids are around. He will even read our vegan storybooks to the kids.
Some people will say that being vegan in a relationship with a non-vegan would never work. I can understand their viewpoint. But, if you are just setting off on your journey and trying to go vegan, don’t give up all hope that your partner will at some point join you. You have new knowledge that is compelling you to change. In due time, they might make some changes of their own.
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