How To Date A Vegetarian
The first step toward dating a vegetarian is in understanding how vegetarians dietary needs and attitudes are different.
According to a Jan 2011 article in “NaturalNews.com”, the four reasons people choose vegetarianism are:
Food Shortage Reasons
Did you also know that there are two divisions in the vege community? One is called a vegetarian and the other is called a vegan, and heaven help you if you get the two of them mixed up.
What is a Vegetarian?
While there are different answers depending on who you talk to, in general a vegetarian does not eat meat. Many vegetarians will however consume products produced by or based on animal products such as milk, cheese, ice cream, and eggs. The one exception is fish. Some vegetarians will eat fish. A very strict vegetarian may not even eat honey.
What is a Vegan?
A vegan is a kind of vegetarian who doesn’t consume any meat or anything produced by an animal – what-so-ever. The vegan’s diet is strictly plant based.
In the vegetarian camp, but also and maybe especially in the vegan camp, values and opinions are firm and insults can be easily if unintentionally delivered.
So if the topic of conversation you want to introduce is about that great cheese burger you had down at the local greasy spoon, you’d best rethink it.
If on the other hand, you want to discuss recipes for portobello mushrooms, you can do so safely, for the most part, with either a vegetarian or vegan.
Why Adopt Vegetarianism?
Well as we we mentioned above there are four basic reasons.
The first is that over time, it’s been shown to be a healthier choice. Our bodies respond better, disease rates go down, energy and strength go up and more.
The National Institute of Health in a July 2012 articles states, “They [vegetarians] generally live longer than the rest of us, and they’re more likely to bypass heart-related and other ailments.” See Digging A Vegetarian Diet.
Another reason vegetarians list for becoming vegetarian is ethical reasons. They don’t believe we should be killing animals for food when food is provided so plentifully by the earth.
They are opposed to the cruel treatment of any animal, but especially that of food animals such as chickens who spend their lives in cages the size of their body with their legs cutoff to make their meat more tender.
It’s a fair statement to make that vegetarians want to have a clear conscience about where their food comes from.
So the topic of conversation probably shouldn’t wander over to that great hunting trip you took with the boys last week if you get my drift.
A third reason is environmental. This is a reason that can affect every person on the planet.
For example, consider these somewhat alarming facts:
3 to 15 times as much water is used to produce animal protein vs plant protein.
78 times as much fossil fuel is used to produce 1 calorie of beef protein as is needed for 1 calorie of soy protein
Through soil conservation we use fewer agricultural resources to support the same amount of people.
Land to raise livestock is growing more and more scarce. Rainforests are being destroyed to provide room for livestock. Rainforests account for 76% of the oxygen you breathe.
The final reason many vegetarians list for being vegetarian is food shortage. Just the amount of grain required to feed cattle could instead be used to feed an entire nation. Food shortages could be reduced or eliminated.
According to “Vegan Society”, about one third of the grain grown worldwide is diverted to cattle production. And consider this, it can take as much as 6 pounds of grain to produce just one pound of poultry, or as much as 16 pounds of grain to produce just one pound of beef.
Dating A Vegetarian Starts With Respect
Whether or not you agree with or believe in the same things that vegans and vegetarians do, dating one begins with respect. If you can’t talk intelligently about their life choices, ask questions, show interest, show respect,your date is going to fail.
And it’s going to fail with no chance of recovery. If you’ve been paying attention at all, the above issues are non-trivial. They are deep seated beliefs and life style choices.
So little snide remarks or jokes about vegetarians – even when meant well – will never go over well.
Should I Eat Meat In Front Of Her?
So you’re a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Turns out many vegetarians can be pretty tolerant of people who eat meat. Just don’t shove it down their throats so to speak.
In fact, once you find out she’s vegetarian, why not ask her if she would mind if you took her to a place where you could get a steak and she could get a delicious vegetarian entree.
Or better yet, why not let her pick the place and let her order for the both of you. So what if you for one night without a steak, it will show her that you really respect and care about her values and that you have an open mind.
What Are Some Good Eateries If You Have To Pick A Place?
Many restaurants have pasta dishes, salad bars and such, but a good choice is a Chinese or Japanese restaurant. There are plenty of meat and non-meat dishes to choose from.
Also large salad bars can be great. You can get pizza while your date gets soup and salad.
There are also a growing number or gourmet vegan and vegetarian restaurants springing up across the country. Check your local phone book.
And if you just have to have that burger, many vegetarians who used to eat meat will tell you that you really can’t taste much difference between a good veggie burger these days and the real thing – and they’re right.
So What Do You Do If You’re Dates A Vegetarian?
We started this article by asking that very question. A vegetarian/non-vegetarian relationship is more than possible and definitely worth it as long as the understanding and respect is also there.
Here’s a recap:
Learn more about vegetarianism it will give you conversation starters at the least
Treat your date with respect
Don’t make jokes about their lifestyle choices
Understand their values
Keep and open mind
Huh. Kinda sounds like what you’d do on a regular date.