I remember when I went vegan (in a matter of minutes, literally), and as I have detailed in a previous story, I think my husband initially thought I had lost my mind entirely.
Right from the get-go he was completely supportive, and not knowing better I even entertained the idea of “humane meat” for him – as I’m thinking eating a beloved cow who died of old age wasn’t such a bad thing, right? (shows how little I knew or even fully understood back then)
We had a wedding to attend 2 days after my sudden veganism…and we had already chosen the ‘Prime Rib’ dinner. I wouldn’t touch anything on the plate. Everything was covered in some suffering animal goo or was a carcass. Everyone at the table surely thought me incredibly rude; and being a new vegan I barely knew what to say.
Hubby didn’t quite seem to know what to do at first. I quietly told him I wouldn’t be mad at him if he ate the food. I did understand I had sprung this on him and he was doing some thinking of his own. But ultimately he did not eat the poor animal’s carcass either. In fact, he quickly chose to be vegan and we learned how to live vegan together.
I never wanted him to choose to be vegan because I was vegan, though of course I wanted him to be vegan! I wanted him to be vegan because I believed in who he is, the kind of person he is. And he did not let me down. I consider our vegan change to be basically the same date, something that we did together, because his change began just as quickly as mine - though he delayed his proclamation by a couple of days!
But here’s the part some might find offensive…We’ve been vegan for 10 years now, and my thinking has changed and evolved, and I hope it will continue to do so as I learn…but I can say with some assurance I would likely (very, very likely) be divorced if my husband had not chosen to be vegan of his own volition. This is a touchy subject as surely some will gasp in horror that I would say that and question if I love him at all, which is silly.
I have thought about this, often when I see someone with a nonvegan significant other. I am NOT commenting on anyone’s life or their personal threshold/tolerance, only that I have been faced with considering how I would react were my significant other were not vegan.
I sincerely love my husband very much. We do everything together. He is my best friend in the whole world. And it would kill me in every sense of the word, but I do not believe I could continue to be with him if he weren’t vegan. I know it would wear me down...I would see the cruelty he was capable of. I would see the selfishness of his actions and wonder who he really was…actually, I would not even wonder…I would absolutely know he was not the person I thought he was.
Because it isn’t about labels, it is about the actions we are permitting and perpetuating. The taking of personal responsibility. Living in a thoughtful and ethical manner to other beings. How could I work in the yard with him putting up a birdhouse and imagine him eating a chicken? How could I suppress the inner anger at his deep hypocrisy and ability for ignorance? How could I be expected to dismiss my own feelings and the horrific result of nonvegan actions to instead tolerate something so hurtful from someone who claims to love me?
There is a meme I see occasionally on FB, that being vegan is “like trying to save drowning animals while everyone around you is throwing them back in” (or something to that effect).
So I would be working for animals to have my “best friend” crap all over me and my feelings about this? As he kept “throwing them back in”? That seems shitty and thoughtless from someone who professes to love me and claims to be a decent human being.
So no, to each their own, but to even think I was married to someone who would hurt anyone else and myself so willingly, so thoughtlessly - I would have fallen out of love over time because it would have turned out that he wasn’t the person I thought he was anyways.
I wake up grateful every day for so much. And one thing I am incredibly grateful for is a husband is turned out to be EXACTLY who I thought he was, EXACTLY the man I married. And we are vegan for life.