Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Dating a Vegan: You Don’t Need a Guidebook

Published on October 19, 2013 by   ·   No Comments Pin It
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I recently read a book that touted on the cover that it would explain how to date a vegan. Because I am a vegan, I was instantly curious as to why anyone would need a guidebook to take me out.

I mean, dating someone who chooses not to chew on animals isn’t like dating some kind of mutant alien life form or a Kardashian. Personally, I’ve actually never dated a vegan or even a vegetarian, but my aversion to eating animals has never been a problem. In my experience, guys are happy that I enjoy being healthy and fit. You certainly never hear anyone who’s rattling off his or her list of desired qualities say, “Sick and out of shape,” amiright?

Dating

And it’s not like most vegans beat people over the head with it. True, most first dates involve dinner, so it certainly comes up. If a guy asks me why I don’t eat animals, I tell him it’s because I want to save animals, be healthy, and protect the environment. And most of the time, the guy just says, “Oh, well, that’s really cool.” Easy as pie. So since there seems to be some sort of weird misconception about it, here’s my vegan girl’s un-guide to dating an animal-friendly woman:

  • Don’t be a jerk. I won’t say anything about your choice to eat animals, as long as you don’t “moo” over your steak or try to convince me that my asparagus suffered and didn’t want to die. (Yes, both of those things have happened to me, which is why I refer to those two gentlemen as “one-date wonders.”)

  • Don’t worry that I’m out to force you to change. We’re all adults here. I’m not out to make anyone change for me. That being said, in my experience, people who date vegans do start to make some changes voluntarily. As they start to ask questions about cruelty and how PETA saves animals, they want to do things such as steer clear of SeaWorld or adopt, rather than buying from animal breeders. And when they discover that vegan food is healthy and tasty, they start to ask me to make dishes that they’ve tried and liked. And now I have to live in fear that I’ll run into an ex in the section of the grocery store that has the veggie bacon. Everyone (friends, family, and dates) that I’ve ever introduced to veggie bacon has subsequently declared their undying allegiance to it, finding it considerably more delicious than the stomachs of pigs.

  • Woo away. Yes, we are modern, progressive, socially conscious gals. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t still fantasize about having Prince Charming sweep us off our feet. Feel free (but certainly not obligated) to surprise us with flowers, give us a sweet compliment, steal a kiss, or plan a romantic picnic with foods that you know we like.

  • It’s not rocket science. “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” (Yes, Paul McCartney is vegetarian—and is also awesome.) There’s no magic formula for dating a vegan, just like there’s no magic formula for dating anyone. Really, we just want the same things that everyone else does. We look for someone who can carry on an intelligent conversation, who is attractive to us, who shares some of our values and respects the others, who is considerate, and with whom we have fun. It’s pretty simple.

20100209_axlove_560x290

(whomever you choose to love)

So I guess you’re wondering, with all the advice that I’m dishing out, am I speaking from personal experience? Well, yes. There is someone: a software architect who loves to eat healthy and stay active. So even though he’s a self-professed carnivore, he’s developed an appreciation for vegan food and has created his own vegan beef stew that is the stuff of legend. He even surprised me with a picnic on the beach replete with his famous chopped salad. And I have to say, this sometime carnivore made a vegan gal believe in salads again. And also in love.

Written by Michelle Kretzer  

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    • The Lusty Vegan: Cookbook Meets Dating ManualThe Lusty Vegan: Cookbook Meets Dating ManualThat may seem redundant - dating and cooking. After all, isn't dating about restaurants and bars, courting and sex? Isn't the post-coital, locked-down phase rampant with Homeland reruns and Chinese food containers? Maybe the new dating (we've been married a decade, so perhaps we don't know how the youngun's hook up these days) is showing off your homemade cashew cheese recipe over bonding over your last protest together? When I was dating - the wild 90's to early 00's - dating was all nighters and rock shows. 2014's cool kids are more into yoga than fake eyelashes, more into meeting at Juice Press than the hottest bar. This attitude is evident in the massive swell of collective health consciousness of the millennial generation, which vegan chef Ayinde Howell (co-author of "The Lusty Vegan") captures perfectly in this uncommon pairing of sex manual meets foodie journal of plant based aphrodisiac recipe heaven. And although my dating experience now borders on ancient, you'll be privy to some of my quotes in this newly released dating tome. Ayinde and his co-author Zoe give tips that solve the vegan on omnivore dating issue. He's vegan and you are bacon? They can make it work (I, however, made my bacon eater watch Peaceable Kingdom - and we now raise multiple vegan rugrats as a fully vegan family!) Ayinde Howell (lifelong vegan) who says; The Lusty Vegan is a cookbook and lifestyle manifesto for vegans and the people who love them. My co-writer Zoe Eisenberg and I wanted to explore the world of vegans and non vegans and how they have to understand joke, compromise whatever, with their non vegan significant other to make it work. Why? Because as vegans we both have never dated other vegans (and we’re not attracted to each other like that so shut up.) Seriously though, all the experiences came together in a tongue in cheek narrative and tips guide to go along with 80 recipes. On the culinary side, I wanted to show people who love my food how to cook like I do and eat like I ate growing up. I wanted to create a book that you could constantly go back to in the kitchen for a staple recipe to add to whatever else you were doing. I even have a chapter in the book called hack this book where I teach how to mix and match recipes to make something new! Part cookbook, part lifestyle book, The Lusty Vegan uses humor and great recipes to solve one of the biggest issues in the vegan community: you're vegan, your partner is not. The book include tips, anecdotes, narrative stories and 80 original recipes to help bridge the divide at the dinner table. Hopefully this will lead to more vegan babies! Worst case, you'll get Ayinde's killer soulful recipes and drool-worthy food pics. Watch the cute trailer […]
    • russell_simmons.topRussell Simmons Exclusively Tells Us If He Would Date A CarnivoreRussell Simmons is a music legend, best-selling author, yogi, and media personality, but there's a lot of heart behind the hip hop bravado. GGA HQ remembers being at all the same parties as Russell in the early 90's, when life was decadent and fast. But we've all evolved since those fast love/ fast money days. Now - Russell is a diehard vegan, animal rights activist, and meditation expert. And THAT is sexy. Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple, Russell's newest book, has been on the New York Times bestseller list for 4 weeks. In his book he promotes stillness, meditation, mindful eating and promoting health and wellness. Simmons, early on, had been known as Rush – it is also his twitter handle. Always looking for the next thing, living fast, living tough and living dangerously. But once meditation was introduced into his life, he noticed subtle changes: he was able to think more clearly about business decisions. He paid more attention to the food (and substances) he was putting into his body. He was more mindful. He was more in-tune with everything around him. And he found that other successful people he knew: basketball players, media tycoons, actors, and more, were all doing the same thing he was: meditation. But we asked Russell what we really wanted to know: GGA: Russell, DOES meditation make for better sex? Russell: Does meditation make for better sex? Of course! At its’ root, meditation is about becoming more connected. Both with yourself and the world. Great is sex is also about being connected. If you’re comfortable and at ease with yourself, then you’re going to be able to share that energy with your lover. On the other hand, if you’re uptight and have a distracted relationship with the world, then you’re never going to be able to truly connect with someone else. GGA: At this point in your life, would you date a carnivore? Russell: As to whether I date carnivores, let me say this: I don’t like to judge individuals, but I will speak on the collective: In general, I have better relationships with women who like don’t eat animals. Just as I have better relationships women who like to meditate and who don’t smoke cigarettes.If your someone who casually---or even worse, deliberately--- wears fur on your back, to me you’re walking around with a billboard advertising cruelty. So it would be very hard for me to be in a good relationship with someone who interacted with the world that way. Read Russell's newest book, out […]
    • Lessons in Recovery: Who’s Your Daddy?Lessons in Recovery: Who’s Your Daddy?What happens when a Jewish gypsy signs up for a Christian dating site? Darrah de jour is a fearless redheaded dervish, a glamazon and "Suicide Girl" who will be sharing some of her innermosts with us from now on. We know you'll enjoy her like we do. Welcome Darrah to the family! by Darrah de jour Recently, I stumbled upon one of those Christian-centric dating sites, and being that I’m one of those odd birds that will do shit just to experience it, I signed up.  I don’t necessarily identify as Christian (I’m of Jewish and gypsy ancestry, and was also “saved” - it’s a long story) and I probably wouldn’t go on a date via an online site -- not that they aren’t fantastic, and friends aren’t, like, getting married due to the magic of Match.com. But, if you must know, the scent of a man or woman is a huge indicator of my attraction and our future.  And, I can’t smell shizz through the keyboard. All of this being said, reading their profiles, proclaiming endless devotion to Jesus, got me thinking. If you are not part and parcel of an organized religion, but you do have a spiritual path that shapes your everyday choices, at the end of the day, Who’s Your Daddy? Furthermore, if you were raised in an alcoholic home, or you are dating or friends with an alcoholic or addict, are you forever doomed to the hamster wheel of redefining your identity within the scope of both program, as well as your relationship with the alcoholic? They say alcoholics drink, and Al-Anonics think. Sitting on my couch for an hour analyzing a situation is tirelessly easy for me. What would seem arduous for a "normal" person (I hate that word!) is quite simple, and even enjoyable for me. However, part of my recovery is to stop sitting around analyzing and thinking the shit out of shit. I will never know the mysteries of another -- especially because, as Dr. Gregory House says -- everybody lies! Judging my insides against others' outsides is an exercise in futility. And when the shit hits the fan, you don't want a futile mess to clean up on top of it. Because I can get very lost in trying to decipher why people do the things they do, unfortunately, in the midst of analyzing somebody else, I quite literally lose myself.  This is a wonderful gift if you’re writing a fictional character, not so awesome if you are living the life of this character! I used to have a post-it stuck to my computer that said "my god is peace." Whenever drama ensued, or if I was flirting with disaster, I would look at it (or rather, my roving eyes would find it by will of something greater than myself) and time would sort of envelop me. Time and grace. "Shhhh. Stop," it would say. "Relax." And thus, I did. Now, I struggle to reclassify my intention, and my direction... Is my god still peace?  Or is it: purity, drama, fun, violence, sexuality, rebellion, health, my family, my facebook friends, my goals, my downfalls, my accomplishments, money, wonder, curiosity, other people's words and choices? Lately, I've felt happiness in ways that I have prayed for for a long time now. To be seen and revered for who I truly am, rather than some gazey perception or provocation or projection of another’s sexual fantasy. (Not to say I don't like that from time to time -- because I most certainly do. But, I really want to work toward wholeness, and toward somebody knowing me fully, and from that fullness, I can sink into being "objectified" if that makes sense.) I'm looking forward to seeing where this new space that's being held for me leads. Perhaps, the space was always there. I have a feeling it was. Now that I recognize it, god will maybe reveal more. Today, I embrace the ‘not knowing’ and in other words, the fact that right now, my god is faith in the unseen, and while I am still stumbling and fumbling, I can only hope it’s one step closer to ecstasy. Darrah de jour is a freelance journalist, publicist, and consultant, with a focus on sensuality, environmentalism, and fearless women in the media.  Her lifestyle writing and celebrity interviews have appeared in Marie Claire, Esquire and W, among others.  She contributes author and filmmaker interviews to The Rumpus. Darrah’s column for SuicideGirls,“Red, White and Femme: Strapped With A Brain – And A Vagina” takes a fresh look at females in America. Twice monthly, Ms. de jour co-hosts SG Radio on Indie 103.1 FM. She lives in LA with her doggie Oscar Wilde. Subscribe to her blog at: www.darrahdejour.com and friend her on Facebook: […]