Saturday, August 13, 2011

Of Love and Ethics...

Being in love isn't easy all the time. And it certainly isn't easy when you don't eat/drink/wear animal products but your partner does... I met the love of my life before I became a vegan. We moved in together and lived in relative bliss right up until the time I decided I wanted to overhaul my life and live a more cruelty-free lifestyle. As some of you would know from my blog chronicles, S was happy to give the new "menu items" a go, even loving a lot of the new dishes to the point where he'd request I cook them again and again! Over time he went from eating a meat-based meal every night to eating one about every fortnight or so. However, about a year afterwards we moved our separate ways...

Retrospectively, he cited our split down to the fact he'd felt immense pressure to change his diet and his lifestyle ways because of my beliefs; beliefs that he'd felt I was forcing onto him on a daily basis. Of course, I was offended and angry and completely disagreed with his perspective, and so decided I'd rather be alone with my ethics than be with someone that knew of the cruelties inflicted upon animals, but still chose to eat and wear them!
But
Then
There's
Love.
I loved him before I chose to go vegan and even as I was apart from him I still loved him and missed him. It was a daily battle in my head and heart and I felt so much confusion and frustration around it... Eight months later and we are back together, about to move in with each other again, in two months time. Some vegans might say -how could you?! How could you live with someone that eats meat?! Shock horror. And yes, quite frankly it will be a bit of shock horror and I'm not sure how I will go with it. We have talked in depth about me being "vegan" and S not, and we have even discussed children, raising them and how we would come to make that work (S is happy with vegetarian but not vegan, and I am willing to meet him in the middle with that). Compromise, it's so much harder than I thought. We've also had to work out some "house rules" such as no meat in the house and no animal products, however S will still eat meat if he feels like it (about once a week), just not at home. And as for leather... Hopefully one day he will just stop wearing it. Arghhhh. We are even planning on going to visit a psychologist to discuss how we can work on potential conflicts around this issue if (more like 'when' as I'm sure they'll come!) they arise...

I find it so hard -the apathy I sometimes feel from those around me (including S), around animal welfare. People see footage on TV of animal cruelty, they see photos of puppy farms, seals being clubbed to death, pigs being taunted and tortured before slaughterhouse death, yet they'll still laugh as they down a beer and sausage sizzle, gush when they bring home their cute little dog from the pet shop, and still think they look "luxe" when they sport fur vests or leather jackets... Sometimes I feel so alone in how I feel and yes, perhaps sometimes I can be a bit forceful in how I choose to educate others on animal welfare and rights, but animals don't have a voice so someone needs to help them. Right? I just hope that my new journey with S will be a happy one. I know he tries and he's made so many positive changes in his diet and lifestyle for animals. I guess I can't have him 100% like me because he isn't me -he's him! I just hope that in time he will make even more changes to his lifestyle because he sees it as something he wants to do as his own choice...

Has anyone else ever been in this situation before? Or is?




2 comments:

  1. My fiancee is not vegan. I am, and this is the way we were when we met. We have a very 'live and let live' attitude towards it all - I don't hassle him, he doesn't hassle me. He sometimes has meat in the house, but that's ultimately his decision and he does not 'wave it around' in front of me. At the same time, he only eats organic and free range animal products and in small amounts. I know he cares about animal cruelty, it's just a lower priority for him. Based on our love and mutual respect for each other, we can both live with that.

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  2. Hi Caitlin, thanks so much for your comments. My partner is the same -he cares very much about animal cruelty and does a lot to show that to me through donating to charities and volunteering when he can... I think the key is love and mutual respect like you said. If I had of met him when I was vegan perhaps things might have been different, however I fell in love with him prior to my decision to go vegan so it makes it a tad harder, but worth the try! ;-) Thanks for sharing.

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