Vegan/Non-Vegan Relationships. Can They Work?

Vegan/Non-Vegan Relationships. Can They Work?

Regardless of the warm and fuzziness you feel about the relationship, I am here today to tell you that it can’t.

And the more your persist with it, the more you are selling yourself and veganism short.

To be clear, when I refer to someone as vegan, I am referring to those labelled as ‘dogmatic’, ‘purist’, etc.

I am not talking about those who consume a plant-based/reducetarian/x% ‘vegan’ diet. Because we know there is a huge difference between the two.

Relationships, Not Dating

In this article, I am talking about long term relationships.

Not, short term ‘dating’.

By this I mean where the two of you live together, and are heavily involved in each others lives.

If you are only interested in dating, it could work, though that depends on where your line is drawn.

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You Have Been Hoodwinked

Sure, there are some ‘leaders’ who claim that vegan/non-vegan relationships can work. They are probably also the same ones who tell you that being vegan is similar to being vegetarian.

They probably also tell you that we should ‘get along’, because we all have the same ‘goals.

The reality of things is, if you hear this from a vegan, they probably don’t understand what veganism is.

Or worse, they are telling you what you want to hear.

Why Are You Vegan?

For a majority of people it will be for ‘animal rights’ reasons. That is, you believe that other animals have moral rights that should not be dismissed or ignored.

If so, can you really spend your life with someone who ignores your beliefs and does what they want?

Let me put it another way.

Let’s say that you are in an ‘exclusive’ relationship, because you think that is the morally right thing to do.

How long would you tolerate your partner ignoring that, and sleeping around, or going out to ‘pick up’ every night?

I would be willing to bet that it wouldn’t be too long.

So, why would you accept it if your partner consumed other animals?



The Difference Will Become An Inconvenience

No matter how much time you spend in that river in Egypt, or how much you want to sugar coat it, having one partner that is vegan WILL become an inconvenience.

In a past relationship of mine, it started just before dinner time.

The smell of animal flesh being cooked in the kitchen was making me nauseous.

Thankfully at the time I was a shift worker, so I didn’t have to endure dinner being cooked that often. Though when I did, I literally had to leave the kitchen while dinner was being cooked.

From there, things got worse.

Going to the fridge became torture due to seeing and smelling a piece of animal flesh in there.

The final nail in the coffin came one Christmas.

Rather than going out somewhere for Chrissy lunch, I offered to make a full on, ‘vegan’ lunch for my now ex-wife and her family.

I was told no, that my ex-wife’s mother wanted to go somewhere where she didn’t have to worry about cooking or cleaning up.

I should have taken that as a sign.

Except I didn’t.

Anyway, we all arrived at the club for lunch, and walking up to the door, I kid you not, all I could smell was animal flesh.

Being a buffet, there wasn’t the opportunity to request a meal, so I made do with a very disappointing garden salad.

During the meal, I bit my tongue while the people I was out with complained about the pig flesh being dry. The marine animals being small. And the bovine animal flesh being over-cooked.

Needless to say, that was the last Christmas I spent with that family.

Love Will Get Us Through

I don’t doubt that there will be many people who believe this.

Except that life isn’t always rainbows and lollipops. There will come a time where tough questions have to be asked.

If your partner does love you, would they put you in a situation that made you feel uncomfortable?

If they do love you, would they continue to do something that you goes against your morals?

I genuinely do believe, that if they love you, they WILL go vegan.

Life Is Complicated

By no means am I saying that once you go vegan that you should only date other vegans.

What I am saying is that we need to stop believing the fairytale that we will meet the person of our dreams and they will go vegan, living happily ever after.

Good for you, if that has happened.

Though you do need to prepare yourself for the reality that it may not, and if it doesn’t what’s to come.

If you were in a relationship before you went vegan, then once again, that is a decision you need to make yourself.

While we are vegans living in a non-vegan world. We shouldn’t be selling ourselves short or lose our self respect simply to be in a relationship.

We are all worth more than.



The Straight Edge Strategist – A Hypothetical

The Straight Edge Strategist – A Hypothetical

Before I begin this piece, I do want to make it clear that I am in no way mocking those who live by straight edge principles. I wrote this to show why the ‘strategic’ message should be purged from veganism. In the same way that it would from other movements.

For those who came in late, those who are straight edge, refrain from using alcohol, tobacco, and other recreational drugs.

<Hypothetical>

Despite being around since the late ’70s, early ’80s, being straight edge hasn’t caught on much outside of punk circles.

To make straight edge more mainstream, the ‘straightedge strategist’ starts writing blog posts.

The ‘strategist’ comes up with the idea that if straight edge becomes more ‘flexible’, it will attract more to it.

It should also be known that this ‘strategist’ isn’t really straight-edge, (he vapes every now and then, viewing it as a grey area).

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Frequency and Intent

The ‘strategist’ is of the view that how others view those who are straight edge is the most important thing.

He believes that ‘edgers’ are weak, and have little will power if presented with alcohol. Whether this has resulted from his own insecurites or lack of will power is unknown.

Thus, he decides to refer to those who smoke when they go out, or those who have a drink at ‘special occasions’, to be straight edge.

His view is that if ‘edgers’ betray their beliefs, it will entice more to join the fold.

In the ‘strategists’ eyes, being straight edge is all about frequency and intent.

Pointless Gotchas

The ‘strategist’ comes up with pointless ‘thought experiments’ to reinforce his view.

For example, you are out at grannies place on the weekend for a visit. While there, she tells you that she has your favourite beer in the fridge, and offers you one.

What do you do?

Do you refuse the beer, thereby upsetting your granny who went to all the effort to buy the beer for you?

Or, do you drink the beer, going against your core beliefs, because it is much better to ‘look good’.



Redefining Straight Edge

The ‘strategist’ is one of those people who wants to leave some sort of legacy behind. And his legacy is an attempt to redefine what it means to be ‘straight edge’.
He wants to redefine straight edge to being:

Avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and other recreational drugs, insofar as practical, possible, and effective.

What this means is that if you upset someone by refusing a drink when out one night, you aren’t being ‘effective’. It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are, you MUST consume that drink. Failing to do so will cause someone to be turned off being ‘straight edge’ for life.

Enter The Reducers

The ‘strategist’ is embarrassingly obsess with reducers. You know, the people who think they are better than everyone else because they have a “dry” day every now and then.

He also thinks that those who drink non-alcoholic drinks now and then will be the ones who bring about an alcohol free world.

What he doesn’t, and refuses to understand is that those who reduce, have no incentive to reduce to zero.

They are also more likely to ‘fall off the wagon’, when the alcohol industry launches a new advertising campaign.

Somehow, he attributes the existence of alcohol-like products as proof that reducers are creating the demand.

What he fails to realise is that those who give up alcohol may not want to consume an alcohol-like beverage. They may simply choose something different entirely.

Enter The Dichotomies

The ‘strategist’ then creates a dichotomy as part of his message. He regularly tells those who are straight edge, that they cannot refer to themselves in this way. Claiming that by doing so will cause people to shun being straight edge for ever.

He goes further by saying that you can call yourself straight edge, even if you do drink or smoke every now and then.

Regular slogans of his are that edgers are “dogmatic’, “purist” and
the “fun police”.

Except that he expects everyone to follow his version of ‘straight edge’, without question.

Somehow, this ‘strategist’ has hoodwinked people into believing that the only way to get straight edge to grow, is by not being straight edge. Unless you are one of the group that the ‘strategist’ says are straight edge…

</Hypothetical>

Why Do We Accept This?

This sort of rubbish wouldn’t be accepted or tolerated in any other movement, social or otherwise.

So, we are we allowing, and encouraging it to happen within veganism?

It is time to draw a line in the sand and stop those ‘professionals’ with an anti-vegan agenda from crossing it.

If we don’t, there will come a time where a vegan is a person who eats a plant based meal a majority of the time.

What’s Wrong With The Vegan Strategist?

What’s Wrong With The Vegan Strategist?

Many of us regard veganism as a social justice movement.

Others regard it as an environmental or health movement.

Then there are those who think of it as nothing more than a vehicle towards fame and notoriety. Or, as some would say, “vegan world domination”.

Tobias Leenaert definitely falls into the latter category.

Rebranding as the “Vegan Strategist”, the former “VeganSapioSexual” is turning ‘veganism’ into his career.

Yet, despite his claim to want a vegan world, or “Veganville” as described in his book, his actions speak louder than his words.

(For those who don’t know, the person in the image above is Brian Kateman, Tobias hero of the reducetarian movement).

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Problem #1 – No one knows what it is he stands for

Actually, I don’t think he does either.

Way back in May 2016, he is quoted in an article from The Guardian as saying “I’m a vegan for animal rights reasons”.

Then he jumped into the “effective altruism” movement.

Then he became an “animal rights reducetarian”

Then, the next thing we know, he is a “reducetarian badass”.

Problem #2 – He wants to redefine veganism

While there is nothing that says the definition of veganism can’t grow and stay relevant with the times, though that isn’t what Tobias wants to do.

While he claims to want everyone to journey up the mountain to Veganville, his redefinition of veganism will allow everyone to be vegan.

passage from Tobias’ book “How To Create A Vegan World: A Pragmatic Approach”

While we all acknowledge that people may slip up every now and then on their road to Veganville, Tobias is a little different.

Translation of an article Tobias appeared in

His gotchas, otherwise known as ‘thought experiments’, are written to promote his belief that the consumption of animal products is the only answer.



Problem #3 – He is anti-vegan

For some unknown reason he has created a false dichotomy around veganism.

He claims that the term “vegan” is off putting, and that as vegans, we shouldn’t use it.

Despite labeling himself as the “vegan strategist”, he seems intent on destroying veganism

He also doesn’t understand why people consume animal products.

While it true that “people eat meat, because people eat meat”. It isn’t as simple as that.

The reason that people consume animal flesh, wear animal skins, experiment on other animals, and more is because other animals are thought of as property.

A resource to be used.

It doesn’t matter how ‘tasty’ you make plant-based food, or how ‘clean’ you make lab grown animal flesh, until other animals are no longer considered as property, there will not be a Veganville.

In closing, I would like to share with you the image below, which actually were spoken by Tobias at an animal rights conference a few years ago

Daiya Boycott Is Pointless

Daiya Boycott Is Pointless

Should vegans be boycotting Daiya cheese now that the company that makes it has been bought by the pharmaceutical company Otsuka?

Petitions are being circulated. Facebook posses are being organised. And the wagons are being circled around this defining issue.

Will a boycott of Daiya have any impact, or is it simply a waste of our time?

If, we are to boycott Daiya, who is next? And where do we draw the line?

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What The Issue Is

People are getting upset that Otsuka test some of their products on animals.

They claim that by purchasing Daiya products they are ‘supporting’ animal ‘cruelty’.

What is it that makes this such a ‘bad’ thing?

Let’s remember that Daiya was never a “vegan” product.

With regards to the Cruelty Free Shop, how is buying Daiya any different to the support given to other organisations?

If you have a look at the charities that The Cruelty Free Shop has supported in the past, not all of them are “vegan”.

Or, the other products that The Cruelty Free Shop stocks that are owned by companies that produce animal based products?

Bonsoy is imported into Australia by Spiral Foods, who also import and sell products that are not suitable for vegans.

Gardein is owned by Pinnacle Foods who make and sell products that are not suitable for vegans.

Red Seal toothpaste is owned by the EBOS Group, who also manufacture pharmaceuticals, animal based pet ‘treats’, and a number of other brands

Other Things Overlooked

I am not going to dismiss animal experimentation, or down play the impact that it has on other animals.

Though why is that being focused on when they use palm oil in some of their products?

The palm oil they use is EcoSocial and RSPO certified, and I don’t doubt that it is.

The question here is about the use of that product.

There is also the support that Daiya has given to the Salvation Army, Mercy for Animals, and PeTA.

What Will The Boycott Achieve?

In a perfect world, by refusing to stock a product in one store, that store’s customers will follow suit and refuse to by that product elsewhere.

Yet, here in the real world, all that will happen is those who want to buy Daiya will go elsewhere. Thereby giving their support to other businesses that may not be “vegan”.

Sure, the boycott may lead to a few social media Hi Fives, though the reality is, it will have very little impact on the the business they are targeting.

The other side of the coin is that all this is doing is giving the anti-vegans more ammunition to claim that veganism is all about “dogma” and some unattainable level of “purity”.

If you want to boycott Daiya, go for it. Just keep in mind that you may have to do it for ever, as I doubt it will be sold again any time soon.

If you have a business and are refusing to stock Daiya, is it because your customers want you to, or because you don’t want them buying it?

Either way, it may be an idea to use your time wisely, as this is one ‘battle’ that can never be won.

Show Me The Money!!!

Show Me The Money!!!

Should vegans be able to make money from 'veganism', or is it something that we should be doing "for the greater good"? If, "we" are able to make money, how much should we charge, and at what point does our "fee" become profiteering? If, "we" are doing it for the "greater good", what happens when this "greater good" isn't able to "put food on our table"?

Should We Be Making Money Off Other Vegans?

While I do agree that people should get compensation for the time they spend on something. I also believe that there is a line where expected fees or gratuities are "too much". As a blogger, this is something that I have had internal conflict with for many years. Should I 'monetise' this site and YouTube? Do I create a member's only area of this website? Or, do I give it all away for 'free'? This then lead to the conundrum of spending time on things that weren't "making me money", while ignoring those that were. What makes it even more interesting is that "we" as vegans will happily spend $9.00 on a block of "cheese", yet criticise those who put ads on their website. The sad reality of life is that we need money to survive and play our part in this 'matrix'. Read More