When you’re about to take your relationship to the next level, and one of the two partners is a vegan, here are some questions to ask as you’re considering a long-term union:
Food: Would there be a vegan kitchen? What concessions would be made? What would you be willing to change? Try? How much do you eat together? What are you not able to give up? Or would be difficult to give up? What personal habits may be offensive to the vegan if the nonvegan continues to eat animal products, and how can that be remedied (e.g. brush teeth, shower after barbequing meat)?
Non-food items: Do you have nonvegan items (leather, wool, silk, feathers, fur)? Would you keep them? Donate them? Use them until they wear out? Replace with vegan when possible? Buy what like/need regardless of source?
Kids: Would they be raised vegan? Would they eat vegan food at home? Would they see a parent eat nonvegan food? What choices do they have and what information would they receive? What if there are kids already? Would they be expected to adjust? Would choices be explained and supported by both parents? What would each parent explain?
Social settings: What is each person comfortable with? Are both people vegan all the time? Should the nonvegan person eat animal products with friends and family?
Other topics: What does each person know about being vegan and from what perspective: health, ethics, and environment? About which areas would it be good to learn more? How? Watch videos? Attend a conference? Go to a local vegetarian group? Would you go apple-picking together? Tour a slaughterhouse?
What issues are related to veganism, but not essentially vegan? Are there environmental and health concerns such as voluntary simplicity, organic food, recycling, health care and immunizations, vehicle options, or where to live?
Excerpted from Dating Vegans: Recipes for Relationships * by Anne Dinshah. Published by American Vegan Society, © 2012. Reprinted by permission. Anne Dinshah is a lifetime vegan and author of Apples, Bean Dip, and Carrot Cake: Kids! Teach Yourself to Cook*(co-authored with Freya Dinshah), and Healthy Hearty Helpings,* a vegan cookbook for busy people who wish to eat well. She coauthored Maribeth Abrams’ cookbook The 4-Ingredient Vegan.* Visit the web site for more information on the American Vegan Society.
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