I have a non-vegan gf and...

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I have a non-vegan gf and...

Postby BillyArrudaXVX » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:00 pm

..we've talked about getting married and such before but we talked about it again today and having kids came up. First off my gf isn't vegan/vegetarian although she was for a couple years before I met her. I guess I always thought she might go back. It's not like she even eats tons of meat or anything but obviously it still bothers me. Anyways I mentioned that if we ever had kids that I obviously want to raise them veg. She really doesn't seem on board with that. I mean that's not something that'll be happening anytime soon but it does worry me. I absolutely love my gf, but I also don't want to jeopardize my beliefs in anyway. Any advice would be cool. Thanks in advance.
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Re: I have a non-vegan gf and...

Postby Gelert » Thu Apr 08, 2010 7:49 pm

IMO one of the key things in a relationship is a tolerance of the give and take (misogynist hat on: I give, she takes...) and respecting the boundaries of your partner. One couldn't and should not dictate stuff like this to your partner as they retain the freedoms of personal choices no matter how intense and formalized the relationship is, so long as those choices don't truly seriously impact on you in the direct sense.

Without being a crystal ball reader, but it seems like she is already doing this for you in that you're happily vegan while she isn't. What if she said no to that? And so forth. This is sort of the flipside.

Best thing to do is to be content, secure and non-judgemental in your veganism and leave the door open for her to join in as she wishes. A time may indeed come when she changes her mind in so many different ways (and I recall threads on here where vegans noted their long term partner had suddenly decided to go vegan themselves apropos of nothing, so it does happen)

Regarding kids, if this is a long time away, well again - circumstances change, people change their minds about stuff. To your shock horror, but what if you're not vegan yourself by that time?!

So, don't sweat it, just love the person you're with. Because the only viable alternative to this minor dilemma is to dump her right this minute by text message and then burn all her gifts, return her possessions coated with a fine sprinkling of glitter and scratch her out of all the photographs she's in and then go out and get very drunk with your mates and insist to your bezzers that you never needed her anyway, clamp on the beer goggles and pull a rebound shag at 0155h to prove this to all parties with line of sight to your corner of the kebab bar. Yeah.
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Re: I have a non-vegan gf and...

Postby Catt Queen » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:49 pm

What he said ^^^^

Well put Gelert :wink:
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Re: I have a non-vegan gf and...

Postby mabli » Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:46 pm

Disagree, with above posts. Ive had a long term relationship with a pseudo vegetarian and the basic differences in our beliefs caused problems at root. This gets worse, so much worse when you bing kids into the equation. If one of you fundamentally believes that an animal has a right to existence and the other doesnt then imo thats insurmountable long term, you cant meet on an equal footing, the other person just doesnt get where your coming from and you dont get them.

I raised my two kids as vegans, their Dads were veggies. Pretty hard to explain why a kid cant eat a twix bar but the Dad can, would be even harder if the Dad were eating McDonalds or chicken nuggets that were being advertised with a catchy jingle on the telly

Dont know where your from, but in UK most dietry choices seem to lie with the Mum from my experience, pretty hard to raise a vegan kid without the mother's agreement.

Then the next point, kids love eating, just think of all the books you read when you were little, even Harry Potter spends a good deal of time talking about food. Food is everywhere and vegan treats dont look nearly as good or as conveneint as dairy stuff so it takes a huge amount of commitment from everyone including grannies, schools, kids' friends Mums, etc to keep a kiddie vegan. You cant get that concerted effort if you're not both into it.

You probably wouldnt go out with a rascist or want your kids to grow up listening to fascist banter at the dinner table, dont think its any different with eating meat personally.
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Re: I have a non-vegan gf and...

Postby Gelert » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:26 pm

mabli wrote:You probably wouldnt ... want your kids to grow up listening to fascist banter at the dinner table.


Actually I would. Any banter is better than no banter, and banter is an endangered species, especially within the home and within the family. Banter is the glue that holds stuff together when there isn't enough duct tape to stop the world falling to bits. As for it being fascist banter, I'd suppose any old port in the storm, seeing as in those circumstances the good old starter for ten of "I fvcked your mum" is so easily countered with "Please, Dad, shut up."

In seriousness, I would agree with what was said/deleted a little earlier: there is such a thing as a supportive non-vegan partner.
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Re: I have a non-vegan gf and...

Postby mabli » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:35 pm

Gelert wrote:Actually I would. Any banter is better than no banter, and banter is an endangered species, especially within the home and within the family. Banter is the glue that holds stuff together when there isn't enough duct tape to stop the world falling to bits. As for it being fascist banter, I'd suppose any old port in the storm, seeing as in those circumstances the good old starter for ten of "I fvcked your mum" is so easily countered with "Please, Dad, shut up."

just becomes very difficult if two people want to raise kids in fundamentaly different ways. I would personally prefer silence to listening to somone talking rascist crap, but I geuss thats just a matter of taste.

What language would you want your kids to be taught in if they were brought up in Wales? If your gf fundamentally disagreed with the speaking of Welsh, would you have a kid with her? If you did could you see problems on the horizon?
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Re: I have a non-vegan gf and...

Postby Johnboy74 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:58 pm

Why does Mr Talyn keep doing that :lol:

In respect to non-vegan gf's, It's not for me i'm afraid, I'm sure there are some very understanding omnivore girls out there. Who would be respectful of my veganism but it's probably a case of a needle in a haystack. I haven't found that needle, veggie/vegan lasses for me, but then again an ex-veggie might pass first inspection but would probably end up causing tensions in the long run.
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Re: I have a non-vegan gf and...

Postby Gelert » Thu Apr 08, 2010 11:29 pm

mabli wrote:If your gf fundamentally disagreed with the speaking of Welsh, would you have a kid with her? If you did could you see problems on the horizon?


If that were the case, to that extent, I would not be in a relationship with that person in the first place, and certainly not cohabiting. Nothing more counterproductive than getting all psyched up for a good night's work of pouring some petrol in some letterboxes with the bois and then realizing that number eight on your calling list is your own gaff, is there?

It's a bad analogy to use, not least for the inherent overstatement - from my understanding of this specific instance, and of others like it to a greater or lesser extent, the more apt analogy would be to have a non-Welsh partner who is happy for me to be Welsher than Welsh and all that entails, but is reluctant to really describe themselves as being Welsh and has reservations about say, a Welsh medium education for the kids. (For the record on this matter, I'd be disappointed if Gelert 2.0 were only subjected to Welsh and/or English. I'd hope for at least one more language. Or several. Bonus points for languages to be able to safely slag off the old man in.)

Call me picky, but if someone had a major difference of opinion on something important to me (and that person) that I couldn't talk with them about to resolve the matter to at least some kind of eventually mutual satisfaction, I'd not be looking to have kids with them, I'd be looking to pop smoke and bug out.

Most relationships involve (at least) two people with not only a big overlap in the Venn diagram but also mutually exclusive bits which can sometimes need some work to reconcile. Even a bed of roses has its thorns. What those bits of the Venn diagram are is immaterial compared to how the people go about resolving them.

This is not because this is a problem specific to veganism, or raising kids in a particular language, or dinnertime topics of conversation, or repeatedly maxing out the joint account on deluxe fetish paraphernalia. It's a problem of communication or, most bluntly, about two people being together that perhaps should think about that fact very carefully if they can't sort it out.

From an isolated post on an internet forum by someone I've never met, I'm confident that is not the case with the OP and his partner!
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Re: I have a non-vegan gf and...

Postby calico » Fri Apr 09, 2010 1:57 am

If she doesn't "get" what veganism means to you, it will always and forever be a point of contention between you and her when it comes to childrearing. She won't understand why she can't pack milk in Junior's lunch. When you find out about it later, you'll be upset, and then what? Will you cave in, to avoid the constant struggle back and forth, and then quietly resent how she forced your to raise your kids as unenlightened as every other meat-addicted American child out there?

This is more than her liking one food and you liking another. It's a fundamental difference of core values and priorities.

Here's a different way to look at the problem: if veganism was common and killing animals was the rarity, would this decision really be that hard? Sometimes we give up our principles to fit into a world so centered on animal exploitation. I am as guilty as anyone.... I am quietly uncomfortable while someone cooks animal flesh in my pans in my kitchen, filling my home with the odor of burning tissue. It's a balancing act between being principled and being alone. I guess we all have to make some concessions. When it comes to raising kids with your own values, only you can decide what you can live with.

Sometimes I wonder if we replaced "vegan" with some popular religion such as "Orthodox Jew", would the person with the strong values still be seen as the bad guy? If you were Jewish and a woman had to convert to marry you, it would be accepted as tradition. She could decide to convert to Judaism or not, but she wouldn't marry you while quietly raising your kids an incompatible way. However, if vegans hope a non-vegan reconsider their choices in a family context, we're "controlling" "intolerant" and "pushy". Sometimes society is so confusing to me.
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Re: I have a non-vegan gf and...

Postby Talyn » Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:52 am

Johnboy74 wrote:Why does Mr Talyn keep doing that :lol:

In respect to non-vegan gf's, It's not for me i'm afraid, I'm sure there are some very understanding omnivore girls out there. Who would be respectful of my veganism but it's probably a case of a needle in a haystack. I haven't found that needle, veggie/vegan lasses for me, but then again an ex-veggie might pass first inspection but would probably end up causing tensions in the long run.


Haha JB 8)

I can only speak for myself, but it is possible to have a long-term relationship with a non-vegan. My non-vegan partner and I don't plan on having kids but have talked about if it did happen what we would do. You have to compromise at some stage, or not make the commitment to the person.

Some non-vegans are actually very supportive and not obnoxious, which is something a few people here seem to miss.
Last edited by Talyn on Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: I have a non-vegan gf and...

Postby mabli » Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:57 am

Gelert wrote:It's a bad analogy to use, not least for the inherent overstatement!
I disagree, I assumed you'd have a definate view on this issue. In fact quite a lot of folk dont like the idea of Welsh speaking, incredible though that seems, accounts for the relatively high proportion of private schools in Wales that dont teach the language and are full to bursting during a resecion in areas that have below average wage. Folk prefer to pay to stop their kids learning any Welsh whatsoever, and if you're in the services and get posted to Wales you can have your kids' private school fees paid for by the state rather than having the infringment of them learning another language. Mindboggling given that all the evidence points to major benefit from being bilingual in any languages.
Gelert wrote:Call me picky, but if someone had a major difference of opinion on something important to me (and that person) that I couldn't talk with them about to resolve the matter to at least some kind of eventually mutual satisfaction, I'd not be looking to have kids with them, I'd be looking to pop smoke and bug out.

Exactly, that's how I feel about veganism/veggie :D
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Re: I have a non-vegan gf and...

Postby JS » Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:23 am

The way that I look at it is acceptance. If not being able to raise your kids vegan is a deal breaker than it's not the right relationship for you. I guess you could look at it that maybe when your child is old enough and hears mum and dad's views on animal exploitation they may just side with you anyway. I wish when I was a kid I had a lot more info at my finger tips about animal exploitation. Perhaps your gf has concerns a child raised vegan may have health issues? It's a topic to be discussed some more especially since she was veggie and stopped - she must have had her reasons for that.

It's a tough call being in a relationship when the principles each person lives their life by is such an opposite but we all have the choice of whether we stay and compromise or leave. Life is full of hard choices that we have to compromise on - i feel the secret is not to always be the person comprimising as you find that you no longer appear to be you as you may be compromising just to make others happy and in the long term you will feel miserable. Couples have to talk about it and work out if it really is something you can or can't accept as part of a relationship. Last thing you need is constant arguements or those "loud" silences because someone is so pissed off. Seems like you have a while to talk about it though...........happy discussing and I hope you find a compromise that works for you.
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Re: I have a non-vegan gf and...

Postby baldy » Fri Apr 09, 2010 7:39 am

To add to this, what are peoples opinion of creating vegan children? Of course everyone would like vegan children, but there is always a chance they run off and become a scientologist.

I would assume that trying to create vegan children is the wrong approach and that you just need to have kids, show them how easy it is to be vegan and be a good vegan role model, everything else is up to them (same approach would work for adults).

If grandmother or aunt gives them a sneaky bit of sausage when your not looking. Its not likely to be a deal breaker?
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Re: I have a non-vegan gf and...

Postby Gelert » Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:42 am

baldy wrote:If grandmother or aunt gives them a sneaky bit of sausage when your not looking. Its not likely to be a deal breaker?


I read this wrong and nearly choked on my sausage.



To add to this, what are peoples opinion of creating vegan children? Of course everyone would like vegan children, but there is always a chance they run off and become a scientologist.


Beats them running off and becoming scienticians!

Personally, I think the trick - and the challenge in general with raising kids - is to on the one hand, set a rock-solid good example to them of your values in life, to give them guidance, advice and support in developing their own but on the other hand not to be too stifling or disappointed if they fall short occasionally on the journey to taking full responsibility for themselves. Or pick a different route. If they can pick it for themselves, weigh up the pros and cons of it themselves, and stick to it themselves that is some kind of success. Even if it conflicts with my own. Objective is to guide the development of a functional, independent adult human. Because I'm not always going to be there to carry the can. And I have no pretenses that my choices in life are right for everyone else as well because I chose them for me.

I'd consider myself a failure as a parent if all I succeded in doing was a clone of my own attitudes.

That kind of thing is the root of a lot of money wasted in counselling later in life.

There is not much hope for the future if all we suceed in doing is raising the next generation doomed to repeat our own mistakes.

On a very general note, some of the posts on this thread show a slight tendency towards what is apparent at some other occasions: Vegans sometimes seem to have a real problem in understanding the boundaries of an individual's responsibility and influence and the concept of free will in other humans. And seeing as we wish to move towards a state of being where we recognize these things in other non-human animals, the apparent contradiction strikes me on the arse like a two by four with a rusty nail on the end.
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Re: I have a non-vegan gf and...

Postby Johnboy74 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:03 am

Gelert wrote:[strikes me on the arse like a two by four with a rusty nail on the end.

You are one kinky Motherf*cker Mr Gelert, and I am concerned that you live in close proximity to dead people :shock:

Gelert wrote:I'd consider myself a failure as a parent if all I succeded in doing was a clone of my own attitudes.

I think it would be very difficult to create a clone of yourself in your child. Time and culture is in constant flux and so would your own and your childs attitudes. Especially a childs attitudes in a youth culture. But to instill your thoughts about veganism in your children is a very good thing in my eyes.

Back on original topic, yes relationships between vegans and non-vegans can be very successful and rewarding relationships and then can also be failures like any relationship. It's all about understanding and respecting each other, if there is no understanding of each other's viewpoints it's doomed. It's a case by case basis.

In the case of Billy and his GF, they are obviously in love and thinking about marriage and spending lives together which is fantastic. The niggles he has in his mind are just little creases that need to be ironed out I feel.[/quote]
Last edited by Johnboy74 on Fri Apr 09, 2010 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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