Can vegans and meat-eaters have lasting relationships? Of course! Our relationship guide can help you with everything from dating, to cooking, to dining out, all the way to co-parenting.
Dating as a Vegan
Most relationships — between vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians, meat-eaters, fruitarians, the lot — will begin in the same way, with a conversation, and then if all goes well a date.
If you eat meat but you’re looking to date someone who you know is a vegan or vice versa; maybe you’re a veggie but the person you have your eye on likes to indulge in meat or cheese or eggs, what are the best activities you could do together? Consider an afternoon date, get outside, get to know each other a little better, and just have some fun.
1. Visit an Animal Sanctuary
Instead of the zoo, opt to visit an animal sanctuary with your date. There’s nothing like bonding over sweet farm animals, birds, or primates to show the person you’re dating your soft side. Vegan or not, everyone loves giving pigs belly rubs!
If your date loves history, art, science, or maybe they’re into fashion or films, why not take them to a museum or gallery? You can stroll around, talk about your interests, and get to know each other a little better.
3. Take a Stroll or a Bike Ride
Sometimes it’s best to just keep things simple. You don’t need to do anything particularly expensive or fancy, just pick a nice spot to walk around and enjoy each other’s company. If you’re feeling energetic, try renting some bikes.
4. Go to a Wine Tasting
If you need a little dutch courage, why not try a wine tasting? If your date is vegan, be sure to check the winery your visiting has enough choice on offer for them to try.
5. Go Fruit Picking
Unless you’re allergic, enjoying fruit picking is pretty much universal, whatever diet you follow. Pick a nice spring day and soak up the sun while picking strawberries and chatting about your lives.
If you feel like you’re ready to get to know the person you’re dating a little better, and you feel like inviting them into your own space, cooking someone a meal is one of the best ways to show them how much you care, especially if you take into consideration their dietary habits.
If you normally eat meat but your significant other is vegan, don’t just cook yourself a steak and them a bean burger, try your hand at a plant-based recipe. If you’ve not cooked a vegan meal before, there are plenty of beginner recipes to help you out. The person you’re dating will be so appreciative that you made the effort to take their values into account, and you might discover a new go-to recipe.
If you follow a plant-based diet, but the person you’re dating is a meat-lover, don’t panic, you don’t (shouldn’t) have to cook them a rib-eye steak to prove your love. Instead, find the meatiest vegan recipe you can. You’re still taking into account what they like to eat, but you’re not sacrificing your own values at the same time. See below for five of the best vegan meatiest dishes you could try.
1. Vegan Barbecue Ribs
Does it get any meatier than barbecue ribs? Try using seitan to make these deliciously meaty vegan ribs by Baked In. Don’t be shy with the barbecue sauce.
2. Vegan Chicken ‘McNuggets’
If you know they’re a fast-food lover and you want to have some fun with the food you make and not take it all too seriously, try these vegan chicken McNuggets by the Edgy Veg. They have all the salt and crunch of the McDonald’s classic, only without the meat.
3. Vegan Crab Cakes
If you want to go for something a little more sophisticated for a shellfish-lover, consider Hot for Food’s recipe for vegan crab cakes with a delicious tangy side salad.
4. Vegan Bolognese
Everyone loves pasta, right? It’s worth noting that bolognese isn’t the most elegant dish to eat, and you have to be prepared not to care about your date seeing tomato sauce dripping down your chin if you decide to make this recipe by Lazy Cat Kitchen. But it’s oh-so good!
5. Vegan Portobello Steak Fajitas
Just like pasta, Mexican food is loved by most people, you’re pretty safe with fajitas. Make them taste extra meaty using portobello mushrooms with this recipe by What the Heck Do I Eat Now.
Top Vegan-Friendly Restaurants
These great date-night restaurants are London based, but most major cities around the globe have at least a handful of vegan restaurants, and most places have either a vegan-friendly menu, or will try their best to accommodate you if you phone ahead.
1. Gauthier Soho
Gauthier Soho offers a variety of vegan dishes and is actually planning to eventually change its entire menu to plant-based. For the moment, it also offers meat and fish-based options.
2. Wulf & Lamb
If you’re a meat-eater taking out a vegan, or a vegan taking out a meat-lover, try Wulf & Lamb’s vegan meat selection. Located in Chelsea, the restaurant offers meaty chillis, burgers, pasta, and pies, all using plant-based ingredients.
3. Jūsu Brothers
This Japanese-inspired restaurant uses fresh, local produce to make its delicious array of dishes. It offers a vegan menu, which includes a selection of sushi, spicy kimchi, and soba noodles.
This is one to visit when you can’t decide on whether to eat Japanese food, Indian food, or Mexican. Ethos offers a vegan-friendly, high-quality, self-serve buffet, so each of you can pile up your plate to your heart’s content.
Who doesn’t love pizza? It’s virtually impossible to get it wrong with this Italian classic. Try Purezza for a selection of plant-based pizzas with melty gooey mozzarella cheese and meaty toppings.
Sex Benefits of Following a Vegan Diet
If you’re a vegan yourself, or you’re dating someone who follows a plant-based diet, could it offer any benefits to your sex life? Some experts think it just might.
According to registered dietician Bonnie Taub-Dix, eating plant-based foods can boost your circulation. “We want to look at foods that boost circulation, because not only do we want to boost circulation to your brain — which is your sexiest organ — but it also boosts circulation to other parts of your body that you want to work properly,” she told Insider.
She added, “most of [vegan foods] can do that. Foods like cayenne pepper, dark chocolate, fruits, leafy greens, sunflower seeds, beets. All of those foods would help to boost circulation, and when you boost circulation, there’s a greater chance that you’re to get the response [down there] you’re looking for.”
Taub-Dix isn’t the only one who thinks this is the case. Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron also believes in the sexual benefits of following a plant-based diet. He even thinks that if more people follow a vegan lifestyle, it could potentially see Viagra – the pill for erectile dysfunction – go out of business.
In Cameron’s forthcoming film “The Game Changers,” three men took part in a clinical test to measure the length and girth of their penises. Each of the men had “better erections,” according to Cameron, after eating plant-based foods. “I’d love to put Viagra out of business, just by spreading the word on plant-based eating,” the director told the Star last year.
Parenting as Mixed Eaters
So you’ve dated, you’ve wined and dined, you’ve done the deed, and everything in between. If things are starting to get really serious, you might be considering bringing a child into the world together. But is it easy to co-parent if one of you loves to eat meat and the other is plant-based? Well, not much about parenting is easy, and this isn’t either, but it can be done.
According to Brown Vegan, it’s all about communication. If you feel strongly that your child should be raised on a plant-based diet, communicate your feelings to your partner or co-parent.
If they’re skeptical at first, suggest eating meatless meals just once a week as a family, then move to two or maybe three. If you show your partner and your family how easy and tasty it is to cook and eat vegan meals, they might be less inclined to stand in the way if you want to feed your children less meat and more plants. They might even join you themselves.
2. Be a United Front
Decide on how you are going to approach your child’s diet together, make a plan, and stick to it, but monitor and change it up as you go.
Be consistent with your child, and if there are any major disagreements on what they should or shouldn’t eat, try to discuss them quietly and reasonably away from your child. Mixed signals are not helpful for anybody, let alone children.
3. Cook Together
If you’re a whizz in the kitchen but your partner isn’t so interested, stock up on easy, pre-made plant-based fresh and frozen foods for them to cook up when you’re not there. Plenty of supermarkets stock kid-friendly meat-free pizzas, nuggets, and even fish fingers these days.
Or, if you feel like it, you could all cook together. It will help you to teach your child — or maybe your partner too — all about where certain foods comes from, which foods are healthy, and how to get the best out of each ingredient. It can be fun too, consider a vegan pizza making night, or indulging in fajita Fridays or Saturday night Chinese food fakeaway.
Is Feeding a Child a Vegan Diet Healthy?
According to LIVEKINDLY’s Editor-in-Chief Jill Ettinger, whose five-year-old daughter Imogene has been vegan since birth, raising kids on a vegan diet is healthy, and they are able to get all the nutrients they need. “Our pediatrician has been so supportive of our diet choice and the benefits have always been clear to her,” says Ettinger. “Imogene hardly ever gets sick, is a star student, extremely athletic and keeps growing like a weed.”
There were concerns from family members at first, recalls Ettinger, but now, “all they see is a healthy, strong, and bright child, and they no longer question it,” she says.
“Whether or not your family eats meat I think it’s really important your child(ren) are involved in all aspects of eating,” Ettinger continues. “From shopping for food (or growing it) to selecting recipes, preparing the meals, and helping to clean up — it really makes them aware of their food choices and their impact.”
Celebs Raising Their Children as Vegan
If you do decide to raise your child vegan, you’re in star-studded company. Actor and activist Alicia Silverstone — known predominantly for her role as Cher Horowitz in the 1995 cult classic movie “Clueless” — is a passionate vegan and is raising her son Bear on a plant-based diet as well.
Becoming a mom even inspired the actor to create her own line of natural, vegan, organic vitamins, named MyKind Organics. “Everything I found either had lots of chemicals, it wasn’t vegan, or it was food based wrapped in chemicals,” she told Forbes last year. “I realized that if I wanted a truly great vitamin option, I was going to have to make it myself.”
At the end of 2018, Silverstone explained her belief that feeding her son, who is seven-years-old, a plant-based diet has kept him healthy. She told Page Six, “he’s never had to take medicine in his life. He can get sniffles and a runny nose but he’s not down, he still goes to school. Two times in his life has he been like, ‘Mommy I don’t feel good,’ and it was only for a few hours and he was back running around.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, aka Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, are also reportedly aiming to bring up their first baby on a plant-based diet. According to a palace insider, Markle eats a predominantly plant-based diet and wants her baby to be raised in the same way, Harry has also been cutting back on the amount of animal products he eats.