Posts Tagged ‘dating a vegan’
How Not to Date a Vegan

So it’s happening. As much as I am emotionally and mentally unprepared for it, I have once again found myself thrust into the dating pool. I’ve got the profiles, I’m doing the e-mail banter, phone calls, and dates. The last time I was “on the market” was almost two years ago. I was working as a Jr. Project Manager at a company where my workload was much lighter and no one seemed to depend on me to move things forward. In addition to my strenuous 35 or 40 hour workweek (minus lunch, coffee, and sometimes just breaking for a walk in the middle of the day), I enjoyed an intense workout schedule of 2 gymnastics classes, yoga, and a cardio session weekly. I had time to not only to write this blog, but also to spend weekends experimenting in the kitchen. I was pretty much living the dream, even if I was financially just getting by.

Fast-forward to 2012. My job means so much to me, and it feels great to be able to excel at something and be recognized and rewarded for it. I work with a talented group of people and I run my own team of project managers. The pace is addictive and the work is mentally stimulating. I consider myself successful and I know what I want out of my life, but it comes with a price. In other words, I don’t have any time to waste. This is why I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with two things: men and the stigma of being a vegetarian.

That’s right, I don’t even advertise myself as being a vegan. When I control for factors like intelligence, geographic desirability, and not having some vague job in “sales”, I’m working with a very small percent of the male population. Adding a big scarlet V to my name just seems like too much to ask for. I was even summarily dismissed by a guy because he “love(s) bacon so much that he could never date a vegan.” So I tell them I’m a vegetarian, because hey, I eat honey, I go to restaurants without asking too many questions,the occasional dessert isn’t a cardinal sin, and the Paris exception counts. You would think this would make things easier on me. It doesn’t.

There’s probably no hope for me, but I figured that I could at least write something to offer a little advice to people who might be searching for tips. Here are eight simple rules for dating a vegan.

1. I don’t want a lecture

Yes, I am aware that humans have evolved as omnivores, I know that we have canine teeth. I shop at Whole Foods on a weekly basis, and I am all too aware that it is more expensive. Yes, I am aware that vegans have to pay attention to their B-12 levels. Did you know that that’s the only nutrient not present in a plant based diet? Did you know that our teeth are much smaller and less sharp than those of natural predators, making us unsuited for tearing apart flesh?  Did you know that the meat and dairy industries are heavily subsidized by the government? Oh, you didn’t know those things? Maybe it’s because a first date is the absolute WRONG time for a science lecture and I’m not looking to give you one. I want to wittily banter back and forth and talk about the declining quality of How I Met Your Mother and hear your charming awkward high-school stories.

2. I don’t want to argue

The only thing worse than a holier-than-thou lecture is when someone takes personal offense at the things I choose to put into my body.  If you’re getting all fired up that a girl you barely know doesn’t like to eat things with faces, then you Sir have control issues. There’s no need to raise your voice about it, there’s no need to try to engage me in a defense of veganism by taunting me or talking about all the baby animals you love to eat. You sound ignorant, so just stop talking.

3. Meat is gross

If you have just asked me a question about my diet, and I have responded that I don’t eat meat, then the very last thing I want to do is hear about you putting away half a pound of bacon last weekend. Now I not only have a mental image of you shoveling massive amounts of fatty fried animal flesh into your body, but I also can’t stop picture it churning around in your stomach before eventually causing an intestinal blockage. I don’t eat meat because I can’t get over the imagery associated with it: factory farms, little chickens with their beaks cut off, pigs living in their own feces, blood and guts on the slaughterhouse floor, and that disturbing video of pink “chicken meal” being pumped into McDonald’s chicken nuggets. It ruins the mood for me the same way that me talking about how girls do indeed poop would ruin the mood for you.

4. Don’t justify your diet to me

These people don’t annoy me as much as the others. You know why? It’s because I can tell that they feel guilty about all the crappy food that they put into their bodies, and they want to justify themselves by talking about all the greek yogurt they eat or how they only eat Salmon sometimes or how they would never touch veal. You’ve made a lot of healthy changes to your diet lately? That’s good for you and you should be proud of it, but you shouldn’t seek my validation of it. I can see right through it. The best thing to do when dating someone who embraces a different lifestyle is to just pretend that that difference doesn’t exist. It’s different when I talk about it with my friends or colleagues. You, sir, are a stranger and this is one of the most personal aspects of my life.

5. No, I can’t just “get a salad”

This one is just plain rude, and I see it on the internet all the time. A guy wants to take a girl out on a date, but he wants to go to some expensive steakhouse, so he asks a question on yahoo answers. There are always a chorus of people telling him to just go where he wants to go and that she can just “get a salad”. Well guess what, I can’t just get a salad. Want to know why? It’s because most salads have chicken or eggs or other unsavory things in them or the dressing is made out of mayonnaise. Sometimes all I can do in those types of places is get a bowl of lettuce, maybe with some raw carrots or cucumbers on top and then ask for no dressing and a side of oil and vinegar. Not vinaigrette, vinegar. Now, if I am going out with my friends and they ask me if I want to go to a place like that, and I say yes, I am owning that choice and I will figure out something to eat. However, the early stages of a relationship are all about being polite and putting your best foot forward. I know that a guy is never going to treat me as well as he does on our first couple of dates, and I know that it’s all downhill from that point on.

I know this is a rant and I know that I come off as a completely self-entitled bitch, but I’m just incredibly frustrated with what I’ve been going through lately. My real opinions are somewhat more tempered than what I’ve represented in this post, but I just had to get it all out there. So thanks for reading.