The way we go about finding our lifelong partner has changed beyond recognition from when I was a young man looking for love! The internet allows us to discount a person with the swipe of a finger and we can know a lot about someone before even meeting up. So is being vegan a turn off? Do non-vegans immediately swipe left if they know you’re vegan?
Is Being Vegan a Turn Off For Non-Vegans?Unfortunately being vegan is often a turn-off for non-vegans playing the dating game because an undercurrent of intolerance (from both sides) tends to flow through much vegan discourse. How can a vegan ever reconcile their views with those of a meat-eater? Well, plenty of ‘mixed’ couples seem to make it work!
Watch: Kim from Brownble on vegan/non-vegan relationships.
(Kim speaks from experience on this one)
Vegans Have a Bad Reputation
There are some very common preconceptions held by non-vegans about those of us who follow this compassionate way of life. Words like ‘preachy’, ‘sanctimonious’, ‘holier than thou’ and my favourite of all time … ‘woke’.
The preconceptions kick in and the interaction is now coloured by this new knowledge.
One work colleague actually physically attacked me when she discovered I was vegan. Prior to this, she was as nice as pie! Thankfully, she saw the error of her ways but this is a perfect example of the negative reactions in some.
These general negative perceptions of vegans come from a few different places. For many people, the ethical stance of veganism is enough in itself to trigger that red mist.
The mere fact that I have chosen this set of ethics translates into a defensive position for these people. They take it as a personal affront and immediately close off any potential dialogue we could have, exploring our positions rationally.
At the other end of the scale there are the overly aggressive vegans who feel so strongly about the cause they do whatever they can to spread the message, triggering many non-vegans in the process.
While I align with where the sentiment comes from, most non-vegans don’t react well to being told they’re murderous scumbags driving the animal holocaust.
In my article, “Why are vegans so sanctimonious” I explore these issues in more depth.
So this goes some way to explaining why vegans have a bad rep and it feeds into the world of dating and relationships too.
Can Vegans Date Non-Vegans?
Veganism is a way of life which is chosen because that person objects to the way animals are treated in the meat and dairy industries.
It goes deeper than this for some people but for most it is one way an individual can make a difference. To make a stand against an ethical position which sees the human race slaughter upwards of 80 billion land animals every year.
Regional percentages vary but with vegans making up, on average, only 3-5% of the population at best, the chances of randomly hitting it off with a vegan at a party are pretty slim.
But what if you do meet someone you really like and they turn out to be vegan? How would you feel about that?
Because you can be fairly sure every committed vegan is not going to change their ethical standpoint in order to appease a potential partner.
… and often this is where the brick wall is well and truly driven into.
Would you consider changing your ways to accommodate your new found vegan love interest or would you run a mile?
Many people choose the latter option, assuming (often correctly) that their moral compasses could never align. This is one reason it is a massive turn-off.
Maybe it’s because they simply don’t want to address the issues surrounding veganism. Maybe they know, deep down, the vegans have a point but to face that reality is a step too far.
Or maybe they just couldn’t care less.
It Comes Down To The Individual
There must be plenty of relationships where one party is vegan and the other is omnivore.
Having spoken to a few people about this, one thing became apparent. It boils down to a very personal and individual choice.
Some vegans would pursue a relationship with a non-vegan. They would argue their dietary choices remain aligned with veganism even though they may cook meat for their partner. I’m sure this is quite common.
Personally, I could never do that. When I met my wife to be I immediately accepted her vegetarianism. There was no question that in her domain, meat eating would not be a thing.
I transitioned away from meat relatively quickly so it became a non-issue for us. If I had insisted I wanted to continue eating meat I’m pretty sure we would not have stayed together.
Now, as a vegan, I don’t think I could ever accept my partner wanting to eat meat in my household. I can’t stand the smell or even just looking at it.
But my point is we’re all individuals and we all have our own personal take on this. If you really love someone with all your heart then maybe that transcends ethical positions.
The Reputation Precedes Us
There is no getting away from the fact that the word vegan conjures up negative reactions in many people, for whatever reason.
This negativity breeds misconceptions which travel the internet far and wide becoming amplified and distorted as they go.
We’ve ended up in a place where angry anti-vegans clash with equally angry vocal vegans continuously and this just tends to create more animosity and misconception for those who witness each sorry episode.
This is partly where vegans’ reputation for being militant, shouty, self-righteous activists with no room for compromise has come from.
… and in this case, the expression “Your reputation precedes you” is very true.
If you always swipe left when you see a vegan on Tinder (other dating apps are available) then maybe your preconceptions have got the better of you. Maybe that person was the one!
I hope this article has helped you answer your question today and I’d love to know what you think. What are your experiences? Please leave me a comment below and a quick share with your friends is always appreciated.
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Thanks for reading and have a peaceful day.