That's right. I'm living a complicated balance between my desire to change the cruel and unfair system, and the desire to maintain my relationship with my boyfriend. And it's really hard; I feel like I am being ripped in two different directions. I haven't told my boyfriend about my veg-to-vegan transition, (though I think all the veggie burgers I keep eating are really starting to freak him out...), and I don't know the best way to approach telling him without hurting him. I don't want to intimidate him, and I don't want any other element of our relationship to change.
Most vegans I've talked to said they couldn't be with someone whose views were so drastically different from theirs. And I suppose I could understand that viewpoint, too, but it's not one I am likely to adopt myself. There are tons of things my family, my friends, and my boyfriend and I have different opinions on. I still love them, and I understand that the circumstances they have experienced in their lives have given them a different relationship with food than I have.
I never claimed to be a vegan activist. In fact, that's always been the thing I set out most to avoid. I saw vegans as judgemental, and I felt without a wholehearted commitment to the activist stance, my veganism was in vain. That's why it took me so long to make the switch. But after talking to many of you, through many different media, I have found that there is a large range of vegan acceptance. I saw that many of you struggled like me. And maybe that's different for many, or all of you vegans who see the importance of surrounding yourself with people who share your values, and that's great. You are certainly lucky to have found supportive people like that in your lives.
I value my boyfriend too much to reduce him to enemy. And the other aspects of our relationship outweigh my feelings about his meat-eating. I have to appreciate that while we don't see eye-to-eye on a lot of issues, he has always accepted my right to my way of life. I hope that this begs no exception.
I have found that if you understand people the way you want to be understood, you can be rewarded with their understanding. I am not looking to alienate anyone becuase of my beliefs, and I absolutely appreciate that there are principled vegans out there who are changing the world. I support and admire them wholeheartedly. They have undoubtedly made more sacrifices than I can imagine to do so.
What has been your biggest struggle in going vegan? What helped you to overcome it or to see it differently?
Interview Series: Heather Nicholds
22 hours ago