5 Tips for Loving Couples to Remain Loving When Only One Partner Is Vegan
1. Remember that you became vegan. In other words, you were once in the same place that your partner is still in. He or she may just be lagging behind. Be understanding to this fact.
Remember that some people hold on to what they were taught as a child more than others. They may have difficulty giving up the conditioned idea that they need meat to live a healthy life. They may be holding on to traditions like typical holiday menus and social gatherings. Or they may just love what they’re eating so much that they are in denial.
2. Think of your partner as a potential vegan; however, instead of nagging or manipulating them into hopefully becoming vegan, just live your life and them observe how well you’re doing. Create wonderful vegan dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Go out to eat at one of the great vegan restaurants in your area. When your partner realizes they will not be giving up taste or enjoyment, they may be more receptive to veganism. Perhaps when your partner sees you are becoming healthier as well as more vibrant and fit, they will want to join in. Your passion and excitement can be contagious.
3. Even though you desperately want to educate the omnivore in your life, it would be counterproductive to pound your partner over their head. You can ask nicely if your partner would be open to reading material or seeing videos on the subject. Or, if you prefer, you can leave material around the house for your partner to read at their leisure if feeling compelled to do so. Of course, you can also use Facebook as your soapbox for your partner to peruse.
4. Another way for you to educate without teaching is by leading. How you connect with animals and the way they are treated may rub off. Express your feelings that animals’ lives matter. Some people really have never stopped to consider that a nonhuman animal has feelings. For example, voice your sadness and horror when seeing a video of a defenseless animal abused, raped or murdered; relate to animals by talking to them, being concerned for their comfort; or visit an animal farm sanctuary together. Visiting one will help your partner meet all kinds of animals, hear their stories and learn to respect them. All this will help show your partner that all animals feel pain, fear and love—just like us.
5. Set up boundaries and rules so you both feel emotionally safe. It’s important that you both know the score. For example, you may establish that your home is vegan but that you will be accepting of your partner eating whatever they want at a restaurant. Think about what you will and will not feel comfortable with. Talk it out. If there are children involved, this probably will be a stickier situation. You both need to know your bottom line and express it clearly and respectfully.