You’ve dressed up to go out, booked your Uber, and sent out the obligatory ‘wish me luck!’ text to your friends. Now for the all-important last step: Praying that your date isn’t a dick, and that he doesn’t make a huuuuge deal out of the fact you’re a vegan. Because despite what internet memes want you to believe, IT’S REALLY NOT A BIG DEAL.
Make any joke about your sausage at your own peril.
It’s guaranteed that any vegan will have heard one of (if not all of) these lines before, whether from well-intentioned friends, a date or strangers on the internet. Ironic really considering it’s vegans who don’t shut up about being vegan… right? 🙄
And while it’s true that we’re not ashamed of our lifestyle choices, it can get tiring to explain yourself to everyone who learns we don’t eat steak or dairy ice cream. So whether you’re en route right now to a hip vegan restaurant, or you’re chatting to cute omnivores online, get your eye rolls ready and be prepared to exit any date that involves these conversation topics:
“I thought about going vegan, but I couldn’t give up cheese.”
Greeeeat. If there’s one thing anyone loves to hear from their date, it’s that they can’t motivate themselves to even try and achieve what they want. Is it too soon to propose? HA. Next joke.
Okay, in fairness, cheese is quite literally addictive, and it is a difficult thing to remove from someone’s diet if they enjoy it. We’re all technically lactose intolerant and our bodies aren’t designed to process cow’s milk and its products.
What’s most important to remember though is that you don’t have to justify your choices to your date, just as they don’t have to justify their choices to you. Instead of arguing about why you don’t have this one thing in common, spend the date talking about things you DO have in common. Maybe you’re both into Stranger Things. Or cats. Or doing housework naked. So many avenues to explore.
“Can I eat meat in front of you?”
Even worse if they say this guiltily with puppy-dog eyes, almost daring you to assure them that yes, they can eat meat in front of you, that’s totally fine! As though following a vegan lifestyle is hindering them greatly.
This is for vegans and non vegans alike: If someone has agreed to go on a date with you, or has asked you out on a date – they have already proved they don’t care about your eating habits. Unless those habits involve smearing food around your face in public (and if that is your thing, hey – there’s someone out there for everyone 😅).
Does your date genuinely feel uncomfortable eating meat in front of you? Maybe they’re more open to a plant-based diet than they realise. However, before letting them delve into that bag of self-realisation, remind them that many vegans, particularly ones who are open to dating meat-eaters, do not care about their date’s food order. We’d rather they were friendly, had good conversation, and didn’t bring every topic back to your choice of diet.
“How do you get enough protein?”
First off, do I look nutrient deficient to you? Picture this question being asked to anyone else you meet. Rude much? While it’s great that they’re so concerned about our wellbeing… it’s honestly none of their business, lol.
You’re not here to educate your date on plants’ nutritional properties, or to show them your meal plan for feedback and approval. There’s a great wide world of google searches that will answer all of these questions for anyone who’s interested, should they wish to learn something today. It may sound a little defensive, but asking anyone a question like this is very accusatory and judgemental – particularly for a first date, to someone you don’t know very well.
No matter what you eat, don’t treat your date like a test for either of you. Chat about each other’s values, or your favourite vegan alternatives, or perhaps just anything other than their diet.
“How can you not miss bacon?”
It’s 2019; the time has been and passed for having “I love bacon” as a personality trait.
But in response to the question… maybe you do miss bacon/steak/cheese! Lots of vegans once upon a time enjoyed the taste of pork, beef, chicken, eggs etc…. Before realising they have higher priorities in their life, which could be anything from environmentalism to animal welfare, to pursuing a plant-based diet for health reasons. It might sound like a crazy concept to your date, but people can quit things they once enjoyed for the sake of something more important to them.
If your date seems too fixated on your V-Card, or treats it as a flaw in any kind of way – they are definitely not second date material. Hopefully your next date, if they’re not already vegan, will want to have an engaging, interesting conversation with you, about more than just the food you eat. Because let’s be honest, there has got to be more to talk about if you both wanted to go on a date in the first place! And if they want to stick around for some dairy-free dessert, you can probably look forward to date #2.