Being in a vegan/non-vegan relationship can be tricky. In case you are wondering: my boyfriend is not vegan. In our house, it’s all about his baby steps towards making eco-friendly decisions, as well as effort on my part not to be a judgy a-hole. WhenI first went vegan, it was hard for me not to be pushy for him to change his ways; I sooooo wanted to “veganize” him. But what is that saying, again?– ah, yes: you can’t change people. The caveat, though, is that people are in fact capable of change, if they want to change. My boyfriend is, for the most part, so respectful, sweet, and encouraging about my belief system and my passion for animals: he doesn’t keep meat in the house, he eats vegan with me several times per week, and if anyone raises an eyebrow about my lifestyle when we are in public, he is the first person to jump in and not only defend, but brag about the way I live my life. He frees lobsters with me every time we visit his family in Cape Cod, and he adores our fur babies just as much as I do (“dog people” really doesn’t begin to describe it). But I was caught off guard when, recently, we were on the couch watching reality TV while also zoned out on our laptops, and he casually said to me, “babe, any idea where I can find a vegan belt?” Everything inside of me wanted to let out a gleeful squeal and give him a hug… But I knew better. Don’t be desperate, Molly; don’t scare him off!! So instead, I nonchalantly answered back, “mmmhmm, lemme look.”
Not to say that he’s a stranger to animal-friendly fashion. It’s basically 80% of what I’m talking about at any given time, and I gave him these vegan leather shoes from Brave Gentleman and vegan leather briefcase for Christmas 2 years ago; both of which he wears constantly. (Sidenote: My man is a bit of a clotheshorse. He won’t wear just anything.) He gets compliments from his coworkers and friends on both the briefcase and the shoes all the time. No one can tell the difference between these items– which caused no harm to any animal, and were slightly more affordable– and genuine leather goods. (Another note: the briefcase is possibly his favorite possession. One thing I love about the luxury-meets-eco Canadian brand Matt & Nat is that as the bag ages, it weathers the way that leather would, aesthetically improving with time.)
The thing is, this was the first time that HE actually initiated replacing a worn out clothing article with a vegan replacement. It was a milestone.
Moral of the story: Don’t try and change your partner. Be a good example, continue to educate with a good attitude and with patience, and the rest will fall into place. Trust that if you have indeed picked a compassionate & kind partner, that there is no limitation to these traits. Second moral of the story: animal-friendly guys are seriously sexy. The end.