Well I’m two glasses of 19 Crimes Chardonnay, a vegan pizza, and three episodes of Avatar the Last Airbender in on the night and I am here to say (slightly slurring) that just because you eat vegetarian with your girlfriend does not make you a fucking saint.
So I’m a vegetarian, my boyfriend is not, BUT he eats mostly vegetarian when we’re home. He’s down with the vegetarian/vegan food I buy and it’s way easier and cheaper to just make one meal instead of a meat meal and non-meat meal each night.
We still keep deli meats and microwavable sausage in the fridge for him because I’m not going to straight up deprive him of the foods that he likes.
In the beginning of our relationship I constantly thanked him for eating Morning Star with me and getting the vegetarian appetizer options when we went out for dinner. Then he started going out to vegan restaurants with me, eating vegan spinach and artichoke dip and vegan chicken tendies. Now he actively buys vegan pizzas and searches for Beyond Meat.
I still thank him for making me dinner, but it’s for just that, making me dinner. After all, I’m not a savage, I appreciate people putting in the effort to make me happy, and food DEFINITELY makes me happy.
But the further we got into our relationship, the more disbelief I was seeing in people.
When co-workers would find out I’m vegetarian they would always comment with ‘Tyler puts up with that?’ Or ‘Is Tyler?’ Or a ‘Wow, Tyler is so amazing for doing that with you.’
Then there was my family who REFUSES to try my vegan meals. My mom ate my food once because she thought my sister made it with ground beef but really it was my food with tofu crumbles. She made a wow face but never again went for the vegan food.
My boyfriend went to Halloween Horror Nights with my family (I was on a work trip) and on the way there he told me how my family berated him with questions about how he deals with the food I eat. My brother audibly scoffed at him when Tyler said he can’t even tell the difference between vegan chicken patties and meat chicken patties.
People continually fail to realize that vegan food is not just grass and ice as many seem to believe. Vegan food is actually baller and basically all foods quality depends on how you spice it.
People always seem to think that dating a vegetarian/vegan is such a fucking sacrifice, when it is not! Tyler and I have agreed multiple times on how eating a plant based diet would be way healthier for us. He was the one that got super into The Game Changers. But homeboy loves a good cheeseburger and will never go veg for that one reason. And I’m totally okay with that. Just the same as him not belittling or restricting what I eat, I won’t judge or restrict what he eats.
But back to the point, everyone acts like he’s a saint for putting up with me and eating my food – even though he enjoys it too. Yet, no one has ever said anything about me being a great girlfriend for letting him eat meat.
Meat is the norm and people do not like accepting anything other than normalcy, which is why I’m the weird one and he is the martyr for being with me.
I’m not saying what I’m doing is right, I’m not saying what he is doing is right, I’m just saying his is the normal way so people associate that as right. And no, I’m not saying I deserve a round of applause for letting him eat a bacon cheeseburger in front of me. But people need to stop treating him like he’s taken in a reformed convict.
He’s a great fucking boyfriend, I don’t want to downplay that at all! He lets me cry whenever I need to, he’s taken in both of my bunnies as his own, he pulls bee butt stingers out when I get stung, he does my laundry, he goes and hangs out with my dad, and he does a million little things for me because he knows it’ll make me smile.
But accepting me for not eating meat is what any significant other should do. Acceptance is a huge part of any relationship. We need to accept who each other are to truly love each other. So why the heck do people think he is a great for that? They should be thinking he is a great boyfriend for supporting my writing, for listening to my fears, and dropping everything for me when I cry. Not for doing the bare minimum of being in a supportive and caring relationship.
I was cool with this for a while because it was what I heard on a daily, always directed towards my relationship. I never thought of it as more until I was watching Too Hot To Handle and I heard them joking about Harry going vegan for Francesca like it is such a big deal. Then I started thinking back and I was like ‘huh, everyone treats vegans like they are some different human species and conforming to their wants is such a burden.’
Part of this is because vegans have such a bad rep. People think all vegans are those Hollywood type vegans seen in movies, but that’s not true. Vegans can be literally anyone. Part of it is because people struggle to accept anything they are not used to.
But I’m here to say that us vegetarians and vegans are not here shacking up non-vegans to extinguish the meat eating community, you don’t need to do anything special to hang out with us, we accept you and you accept us. Don’t act like a martyr for eating one vegetarian meal.
Okay, end rant.
PS: No, Tyler never even thinks about the fact that he lives a mostly plant based life now. He actually always tells people how great vegan substitutes are and how he doesn’t even notice anymore that he’s not eating meat because he just does not care. It is never him saying it’s so hard, it’s everyone around him trying to make him believe that I’m a burden.
PPS: I’m don’t expect everything from my significant others and I have thanked my boyfriend and he always laughed about it like it’s no big deal, because it really is, no big deal.