Should Vegans Date Meat Eating Non-Vegans?


Yet another downside of a vegan diet unfortunately.

If you only want to date other vegans, you limit your options a lot.

There aren’t that many vegans, even in progressive countries.

Ideally, you’d still be comfortable with dating omnivores.

This is a topic I’ve been thinking and reading about a lot about lately. I’m going to lay out the conclusions that I’ve drawn, and hopefully these help you decide on what’s best for you.

Dating an Omnivore Only Works if They Later Turn Vegan

That’s a bold statement, but it’s what I believe now after a lot of thought.

Let me walk through how I came to this conclusion, so you can see if you agree.

First, do you think people who eat meat are bad people?

I don’t think most vegans do, since most vegans ate meat at one point in their lives. It’s hard to say someone is “bad,” if they don’t fully understand the consequences of their decisions.

When you went vegan, you didn’t all of a sudden become a different person. You (and I) were just ignorant before.

The change simply came because you were open-minded, and wanted to know the truth, among other things. Once you became informed, the decision became clear.

That leads me to my next point.

If You Date Someone Who Thinks Something is Important, You Learn About It

Think about when you still ate meat (or pretend if you never have).

If you were dating a vegan, someone you cared for, would you not do some research into whether or not eating meat was right?

I know I would, and I’d expect someone I was dating to do the same.

I wouldn’t expect them to do it immediately, but over the course of weeks or a few months I’d expect them to spend a decent amount of time on it if they actually respected me as a person.

If they wouldn’t even put any effort into something that I cared about and thought was important, I wouldn’t want to date them anyways.

So assuming they did…

After that period of time, they would become informed on why people go vegan. And at that point, they will either:

  • Go vegan – If they have similar values that you do, they will go vegan, just like you did.
  • Not go vegan – If they are selfish, or close-minded, or lack empathy, they don’t change. They have fundamentally different values than you.

Can You Date Someone With Fundamentally Different Values?

My answer is no, yours may be different.

But being vegan, assuming it’s for ethical reasons, says a lot about what you care about and think a good person should do.

And if you can’t see eye to eye on fundamental values like empathy and compassion, I think it’s very difficult to be in a relationship with someone.

Which leads back to my opening statement:

Vegans can date omnivores, but if they don’t go vegan at some point, it’s going to be a rough relationship. Expect some frustration and possibly anger.

While I think it’s not a great idea going into a relationship expecting them to change, you’re not asking them to change who they are. 

You’re asking them to re-evaluate some beliefs that you think are wrong, which lets you learn what they truly value and if you’re compatible.

I don’t know what the success percentage of this would be, but I’ve seen a fair number of stories where a non-vegan partner later “converted” after learning more from a vegan partner.

Why I’d Prefer to Date a Vegan From the Start

So while I’d be open to dating an omnivore if they seemed kind and thoughtful in other ways, I’d still prefer to date a vegan.

That way, you already know that at least some core values line up.

The downside, as mentioned is that you have a much more limited pool of dating candidates, and they’re hard to find.

Veganism itself, also isn’t enough in common to base a relationship on. You still need to have some other common interests other than eating a particular diet.

Ultimately, my approach would be to try and find vegans to date if possible. At the very least it would reduce the risk of accidentally eating an animal product.

But at the same time, don’t fully close yourself off to dating a non-vegan, as long as you see some indication of the values that you have. For example, I’d consider someone who has and loves their pets, but wouldn’t consider dating someone who hunts.

And to end things off – this is just my opinion. Hopefully it gives you some things to think about, but you may come to a different conclusion.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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