Congrats! You have met an amazing man or woman who is willing to explore your vegan lifestyle; someone who is ready to take the leap into what seems like second nature to you now. But beware, “converting” non-vegans is a tricky topic. You do not want to scare them, so proceed with caution. You don’t want to change your partner, rather encourage them to see the light in a vegan relationship. With your help and guidance it should be a fantastic experience for you both. And if it all works out, maybe you can look forward to raising some awesome vegan children in the future.
Vegan food is amazing, and there are millions of recipes that will tame even the biggest meat eater’s cravings. Start by replacing their favorite traditionally meat meals with vegan meals. Little by little they will fall in love with the different flavors and textures.
2. Support Their Meat Withdrawal
This is a time for extra hugs and affection. Give them a lot of water, make sure they get rest and have plenty of vegan snacks nearby. Get the tissues ready every time a plate a bacon passes your newly vegan partner. I don’t know why bacon is such a hard thing to give up for most people. Just remind him or her of all the great bacon alternatives that are both healthier and more compassionate.
Whatever little quip or snide remark you were going to say about meat consumption or animal rights, stop! Take it one step at a time and embrace every success your significant other has. Don’t be so tough on them; after all they are trying their hardest. You don’t have to comment on everything. Hey, maybe one day they might tell you something you didn’t know already. (I doubt it, but they can dream).
Veganism does not have to be so dramatic; it’s kind of what we are known for. So it’s fun to try different recipes, to explore new restaurants, to travel and see how other cultures include vegan food. Show your partner all the places they can eat at, so they aren’t terrified of losing their newly gained veganism out in public. Make it fun, after all you are in a relationship with someone pretty awesome.
5. Listen to Them
Your partner most likely will have a list of concerns. You’re the expert; been there, done that. Sit them down and let them cry it out. Let them scream again over losing bacon. Pat their heads, tell them it will be okay. Assure them they will get more satisfaction from a plant-based diet than an animal-based one. You may have to do this occasionally, especially during BBQ’s and social gatherings.
Not everyone wakes up one morning and swears off all animal products and sticks to it. Becoming vegan is a learning experience. Most people don’t know all the hidden animal products in every day items. Be patient, the transition could take days or months and it’s okay to have slip-ups. No one is perfect, not even vegans.
This is a great way to show your partner animals in a different light, besides food and clothing. Skip the pictures of dead animals hanging from hooks for a dramatic effect. Instead, go to a sanctuary and show him or her how cute the cows and pigs are. Then look into his or her eyes, pout your lips and say, “how could you eat this little guy?” Show them how easy it is to just say “no” to meat.
8. Support Their Curiosity
Have your pamphlets and facts ready, after all you have been preparing for this moment ever since you became vegan. Do not traumatize your partner; go easy with the slaughter-house videos in the beginning. Assure them they will get their protein and that you will love and respect them even more!
Don’t be pushy! Use every ounce of energy to resist going into judgement-mode every time your significant other slips up. They might forget there was gelatin in marshmallows. They may not recall what you said about honey. It is okay, just breathe. Putting pressure on someone could be the biggest turn off to getting them excited about veganism. So no nagging or preaching, just lots of praise for even the smallest victories. Most of us were not born vegan, so go easy on them.
Love them for their support and willingness to try something that they may have never heard of before meeting you. Love them for being compassionate and understanding and exploring your wonderful vegan lifestyle. Please share any comments about your experience with a vegan relationship!