Whether you transitioned to a vegan diet, whilst living with your partner or you’ve always been vegan, here’s my ultimate guide on how to live with a non vegan.
Personally, I transitioned to a vegan diet whilst living with my husband. This is probably the hardest adjustment as previously we used to eat and cook meat together. Now, I don’t cook any meat because it’s against what I believe in. Of course, the ultimate best scenario is that both you and your partner are vegan and you live happily ever after.
Whether you’re in the same situation as me or not, I’ve outlined all the scenarios below:
- From day one you’ve been vegan since you’ve met your partner & you’re now moving in together.
- Since moving in with your partner, you’ve transitioned to a vegan lifestyle.
- You have transitioned to a vegan lifestyle since dating your partner, but you are now moving in together.
- You’re both vegan, living together and cooking the best vegan dishes. You’re only here out of curiosity so carry on reading.
Communication Is Everything
Communication is incredibly important when you transition to a vegan diet. It’s so important that your other half understands why you have transitioned to a vegan diet. Everyone has their own reasons to transition to a vegan diet, whether that’s for animals, environment or your personal health. Make sure you discuss your reasons. As well as you speaking about your whys, your partner needs to be in the best situation to really take all the information in. Don’t try have this conversation, whilst you’re both in the middle of doing other tasks. Take that time to sit down, so they understand why exactly you’ve made this transition.
They may not agree with your view point, however as your partner they need to respect your viewpoint. I’m lucky, as my husband saw the good in me turning to a vegan diet. He does embrace it and I love him for that! It wasn’t ‘abnormal,’ to him as his sister has been a vegan for a number of years. Although he hasn’t converted, he completely understands why I made the transition.
You Need To Establish a System
What are you OK and not OK with? Do you mind meat being eaten in the house? Will your partner be willing to eat vegan meals? Will they expect you to cook their meat? Would you be OK with that if they do? Will they replace some simple substitutes like milk? Are they willing to give vegan food a try or are they adamant to stick to their meat?
You need to work out a system and what you are willing to do and not do. Again, going back to communication this needs to be communicated back to your partner so they understand.
Be Respectful of Each Other
Whether you were vegan before you were living together or you transitioned to a vegan diet, it’s so important to respect each other. Just because you’re not 100% aligned in the ways that you live, you chose to be with that person for a reason and don’t ever forget that. If you ever feel as if you’re being mocked for being vegan, talk about it as it’s the only way you’ll get through it together.
Will You Cook A Non Vegan Meal?
Personally, I haven’t cooked eggs or meat since I transitioned to a vegan diet as the concept feels like it’s against my ‘religion.’ I chose to transition to a vegan diet firstly for the animals and health, but also just as importantly the environment. For these reasons, how could I be fine with cooking meat and eggs? It’s entirely up to you what you decide in regards to cooking. If you are purely transitioning to a vegan diet for personal health reasons, then you may not have any issues cooking meat. It all goes back to the WHY.
Would You Share Cutlery and Utensils With Your Non Vegan Partner?
Me and my husband share everything in the kitchen including pots and pans, however I have spoken to other vegans which would not be OK with sharing. Personally, as long as it is 100% cleaned, I don’t mind sharing a pan that has previously had meat on it. If you want separate utensils, make sure that you can clearly establish which set is yours, like having a different colour or size.
Do You Need To Re-Organise The Kitchen?
Are you ok with sharing fridge and shelf space? Even if you are, it may be easier for you to have specific shelves in the fridge and cupboard space in the kitchen. How about keeping meat on a shelf at the top and keeping the rest open to vegetables and anything else you may have in your fridge. Any vegans worst nightmare is getting processed meats leaking on their vegetables, so even if you don’t mind sharing shelf space it would be worth separating vegan and non vegan items.
Surprise Them With a Vegan Meal
Sometimes, the easiest way to convert a non vegan is through their stomach. Have you tried cooking them your favourite vegan meal? Even if it doesn’t mean they convert, at least they can appreciate the great foods that vegans can and do eat. I truly believe that anything non vegans can do, vegans can do with a conscious mind! There are so many meat alternatives, so go start swapping out meat alternatives and see if they notice. Ok, that does sound like trickery and I’m not telling you to deceive your partner but it may be a fun little experiment! By your partner eating delicious vegan food, it may inspire them to incorporate more vegan items into their diet. If you need some help with vegan recipes, go buy this book below – It is honestly incredible!
How About Sharing Some Vegan Sides?
At dinner time, why don’t you make your vegan main whilst they make their meat main and share sides. Make all the sides vegan, which is super easy. You could share a large bowl of salad, even creamy mac and cheese or how about falafel? By incorporating vegan sides, into meal time it makes both your lives easier rather than both having to cooking separate sides.
How Do We Go About Food Shopping?
Do you buy your food together? Are you OK with your money going towards meat products? There is actually no right or wrong answer to how you go about this specific situation. Personally, I’m married and we buy our food from one bank account and it doesn’t bother me that some money goes towards meat. However, I can understand why it may upset some so you need to determine what you will and won’t accept. This could mean that you have separate budgets for food. Again, you need to work out a system that works for the both of you.
How About Eating Out Together as a Vegan and Non Vegan Couple?
As a vegan and non-vegan couple, you can still enjoy going out to eat. Depending where you are in the World, most restaurants will have vegan options. It’s important to make sure that you check a menu before you do go out to eat, as it will give you a bit of stress relief before going. I do tend to call ahead of time, as sometimes a restaurant may not be very clear on their menu whether some items are actually vegan. A number of dishes can be made vegan, even if not specified on the menu. If you other half does want to go to a restaurant, where there are limited/no vegan options, sorry to say it but they may need to find another friend/family member to go with. Unless, of course you’re OK with watching them eat, which would never be me!
Don’t Pressure Them to Change
Pressuring someone to change, when they have no intention to will only frustrate you as well as them more than anything. I personally wouldn’t want anyone to think they can tell me what to eat, so why should I tell someone else what to eat? It’s important that they respect your view point, but demanding them to change is unfair as it is for them to demand you to eat meat again.
Time & Patience Is Key
Vegans I find are generally patient people, but it can be easy to get frustrated in specific situations. Having to explain yourself again and again is never fun. At the end of the day you will either be OK with living with a non vegan or you won’t. Adjustments will take time for the both of you and as long as your communicating, you will definitely get through this together.
I hope you liked this blog, this is one that is close to my heart being married to a non vegan. Let me know how you find living with a non vegan partner and any advice you can offer in the comments below.