Modern dating is challenging as it is, but dating as a vegan is a whole different level of problematic.
Coming from someone who has mainly dated meat-eaters - in hopes of later bringing them into the light - it seems non-vegans feel threatened when they learn about my lifestyle.
Having recently had a short-lived relationship with an omnivore who decided that dating a vegan is like dating a religious person - and he's an atheist - I decided to only date vegans from now on.
As a rule, for the first couple of dates, I don't expand on my vegan beliefs too much. Although I am a 'preachy, annoying vegan', I advertise myself as being the opposite, in a bid to come across as relatable and approachable.
However, on the second date, the guy - let’s call him Lee - said something along the lines of 'being vegan won’t change anything anyway, you’re too small to have an impact'.
Naturally, I pulled out my phone and googled the Vegan Calculator to show him the number of animals, water, and trees I had saved while being vegan.
He let on an 'oh' and fell into silence.
This proved to be an issue when, on the next date, I continued throwing what he later called 'red flags' all over the place.
I did very well at abstaining from sarcastic commentary on the perils of flesh-eating - which all vegans know requires hard work - until he mentioned that meat is healthy.
That’s when I had to unleash the preachy vegan inside. I literally had no choice.
Obviously, it was my duty to inform Lee on how wrong he was, so I happened to mention cholesterol, heart disease, and most probably something along of 'group 1 carcinogen'.
Again, he fell silent, and while I thought I was planting the seed, it appears this was the moment Lee deemed me 'bad dating material'.
He later texted me, saying he's self-aware enough to know that he will struggle to date 'someone like me'. Of course, he also asked to remain friends - why is that still a thing? That never actually happens.
Animals are my friends, buddy. And I don't want to be mates with someone who eats my friends.
What’s unfortunate is that he gave up on good chemistry and a plethora of things in common, simply because he felt his way of life being threatened. And for someone calling himself open-minded, that’s what I least expected.
This has proved to be the issue with all the non-vegans I have dated. The general attitude is usually 'I won't have any issue with you being vegan, as long as you don't push it on me'.
Although they appear to be understanding of my beliefs, most omnis refuse to be educated altogether - and flee.
Now, dating vegans comes with its own issues. From experience and from what I heard, vegan men are more difficult to approach and appease, that is, if I can find them at all, of course.
But I’ll be giving it a try nonetheless. 'Grazer' is my dating tool of choice from now on - and I'll be sure to update you on my future experiences.