How to Date a Vegan: Part 1

I’m surprised this hasn’t come up yet.  From the outside, I’m sure veganism is some sort of insurmountable hurdle in a new relationship.

Shit.  I can’t just take her to McDonalds.  What now?

Suggestion #1: Ask them.

So, undoubtedly, your prospective mate probably knows how to feed (him/her)self fairly well.

However, it’s always nice to take initiative when asking someone out.  So you’re not all:
“Let’s go out!”
“Okay!”
“Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know, I live 8 hours away.”
“So….. McDonalds?  I mean, they have an array of iceberg lettuce-based salads for you to choose from.  Some even come in a convenient shaker cup!”

As delicious and nutritious as iceburg lettuce may be, I’m not a salad girl.  I think I have some sort of vendetta against it because that’s what people think I eat.

Suggestion #2: Don’t ask them.

Even if the food is terrible, the initiative you take to choose a restaurant that your prospective plus one can eat and enjoy an actual meal at goes approximately 758.926 million times farther than just asking them where to go.  So, unless they insist on a location, your choice of venue may be some sort of secret test that his/her crazy friends have cooked up to set you up for success or failure.  “If you end up eating french fries, you aren’t allowed to talk to him anymore.”  Good thing they don’t serve fries at Indian restaurants.

Suggestion #3: Know your vegan.

I read an article a few months ago that I almost found funny.  It was about different types of vegans.  There are many.  Admittedly, it was a stupid article with good intentions.

I’m not going to apologize if you’re insulted.  Most people are a mix of these extremes.  If you’re insulted, I will apologize for hitting too close to home.

The Ethical Vegan:

I attempted to date an ethical vegan once.  Our views were so different, he may as well have stuck himself with an olive oil iv and slathered himself with earth balance, cinnamon and sugar while drinking coconut milk.  Translation: Ethical vegans can eat whatever they want, as long as it’s in the realm of not hurting our furry/scaley/skin-laden/eye-looking/mother-having friends.

Tip: These vegans likely will not be happy if you eat meat in front of them.  Be prepared.  Be honest with yourself.  Is that something you can do?  Maybe they won’t mind.  Ask.

The Vegan Tourist:

“I’m vegan, except for (something with cheese or chicken or whatever non-vegan food item).”
“Oh, I’ll eat (said food item) sometimes, because I’m a good wife.”
“I’m not THAT extreme.”

I’m sorry.  If eating macaroni and cheese is going to save your marriage maybe you need to look into some sort of counseling.  Don’t use other people to justify your want/need to eat that food, go right ahead.  Just admit that it’s because you want it, not because your husband insists on you eating an occasional dairy product.

Tip: These people are probably okay with whatever you eat.

Vegan Evangelist:

If you’re not vegan or ready to go vegan, just walk away now.  If you ARE vegan but not a crazy preachy person, this may not work either.  Often, these people aren’t happy with you being vegan, you have to BELIEVE in what they do, otherwise you might as well be eating 7 steaks a day.

If this is you, lighten up.  If someone is helping your cause, do you really care what their reasoning is?

Tip: Unless you go vegan 3 years before dating these people, you will have too many dead carcasses in your skin cells to risk you even breathing on them.

The Vegan Purist (see: Vegan Police):

Will burst into flames if they think non-vegan thoughts.  Will judge every vegan/non-vegan decision you make.  They don’t usually carry guns, though.  That’s a plus.

Tip: They will try to change you.

The Health-Minded Vegan:

These people don’t want to die some sort of preventable premature death due to any of an array of diseases of affluence.  Probably don’t use a crap load of oil.  Probably don’t sustain themselves on processed food.

Tip: Don’t be overweight.  Don’t eat horribly.  Don’t talk about how amazing bacon is, even if it’s freaking delicious.  People tend to be the caliber of person they are looking for, on all fronts.

The Bodybuilding Vegan:

Badass.  Out to prove you wrong.  Ask them how they get their protein if you want a huge eye-roll followed by an over-used lecture on amino acids.

Tip: Seriously, don’t ask about the protein.  These people can take you out.

The Dating a Vegan:

The person who went vegan simply because they’re dating one.  This can be for any reason from “Hey look, my new weight loss plan!” to “Man, she’s right.” to “At least I don’t have to cook.”

Tip: Why are you trying to date someone who is already taken?  Seriously, man.  Find your own.

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How to feed a Vegan

So my friend T.M. Göttl (the amazing poet) recently e-mailed me a blog suggestion.

“So, more than once, I’ve had friends ask what to feed me when I’m coming over, etc.  They want to be hospitable, and at the same time, I don’t want to put them out, and usually just tell them not to worry about me.  Whatever they have, I’ll find something to eat, and might snack a bit beforehand to make sure I don’t go hungry.

But is there actually an easy answer when someone asks you this?”

We’ll try. Continue reading

Thinking about going Veg? Letter to a student.

We had senior exit project presentations yesterday.  One student did hers on going vegetarian.  She even mentioned the differences between vegan, lacto-ovo, pescatarian and even macrobiotic!  Excitement!  (Vegan was even the first one… and she said it’s “true vegetarian” mmmm hmmm.)  She’s going to try to say lacto-ovo, so this letter is guided toward that.  Enjoy.

Continue reading