So you’ve made the decision to be vegan. Bravo!
You’ve found non-animal alternatives to all your favourite foods, you’ve told your friends and they are all supportive… You’re feeling excited and really positive about your decision….
But now you’ve been asked out on a date. EEK! Not just any date. A dinner date. Panic!
So now you have a dilemma. Do you tell your date that you are vegan and risk him/her jumping to the conclusion that you are a fussy eater/fad dieter, a pain in the bum or worse? Or do you just ‘wing it’ and say nothing and hope that there will be something on the menu you can eat and that you can order it discreetly without even having to have The Conversation?
Having this talk on a first date is not always ideal. It’s a heavy subject and can in some cases go down like a lead balloon. And if the subject comes up then it’s likely that you are going to feel the need to explain why you are vegan, which is a rather meaty subject (pardon the pun) and certainly not one to have at the dinner table as your potential new partner is tucking into their steak.
…Which brings you to the next hurdle. Do you even want to kiss someone who has just been chomping on animal flesh?
What if your new date’s favourite pastime is hunting or fishing? Would you be OK with that? Can two people be truly happy together when they have such conflicting views on animal rights?
Perhaps you are thinking that you can overlook your new partner’s meat eating/hunting initially and then get to work on attempting to convert them. Aha!
But is this even fair? Attempting to change someone or expecting them to change for you is a recipe for disappointment. If we constantly nag our new partner, do we run the risk of coming across as ‘one of those preachy vegans’?
So what’s the alternative? Only date other vegans? It’s a pretty small pool and chances are you already know them if you’re moderately involved in animal rights!
So where does that leave us vegan singletons, mismatched with the majority of the human race?
Well, I think perhaps we need to find a middle ground. After all, nobody’s perfect and for all we know, our need to tick all our mental tick boxes could be getting in the way of an otherwise perfect match. And do we really need to have everything in common with our significant other?
The thing is, we really can’t help who we fall in love with. Often someone who is completely wrong on paper can be the perfect match in reality and vice versa. Sometimes attraction between two people cannot be logically explained. So is it better to simply keep an open mind?
There are plenty of vegan-friendly/vegan-sympathetic people out there. Perhaps we should be aiming simply for a level of understanding and respect.
And who knows, maybe with a little gentle educating your new date might even come around to your way of thinking.
The world of dating is a crazy and colourful one! Even if you do bag yourself the perfect vegan date, who’s to say you will agree on other issues?
So perhaps for now, you should stick to worrying about what you are going to wear.
SAFE National Volunteer Coordinator