Today is National Boyfriend Day, a moment to celebrate our partners in life and love, which has me thinking about all of the wonderful ways in which having a vegan boyfriend is amazing. In writing my book Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal, I interviewed more than 30 vegans to find out what they loved most about being in a relationship with a man who respected, appreciated, and loved animals as much as they did. Their answers were numerous and varied, and listing all of them would make for a long read (or, of course, you could just read my book). However, I came across five aspects of having a vegan boyfriend that nearly all of the women mentioned. Here are the top five common answers as to why having a vegan boyfriend (such as my boyfriend Dietrich) is so perfect for all of us straight vegan gals.
A kiss isn’t just a kiss—it’s an acknowledgement of mutual affections, a connection, and a sexy way to get to know someone. But what if the person you’re kissing has the secretions of an animal on his lips because he just drank a cup of coffee with cow’s milk in it? More than one of the vegans I interviewed while writing Vegan Love mentioned how nice it was to be able to smooch with someone who had no cruelty on his lips (or in his body). For this reason, and others, some of those people choose to be “vegansexual,” which means she chooses to date only vegan men.
2. The classic date
What couple hasn’t been out to dinner and a movie? This oldie-but-goodie offers time to enjoy each other over a good meal, while later indulging in something cinematic together (though you might not always agree on how good it was). With a vegan boyfriend, there’s no need to worry about a grimace from your guy when he looks at the menu because both of you agree about what is food and what is not. When your boyfriend is cruelty-free, he’ll likely be as excited about going to that gourmet plant-based restaurant as you are. And he’ll probably want to avoid the movie that includes mistreated animal actors, just like you.
3. Romantic getaways
Whether it’s a road trip or a visit to a faraway land, many couples enjoy traveling together. One of the things I enjoy most about going on adventures with my vegan boyfriend is our mutual enthusiasm for finding great cruelty-free eateries (and sometimes shops) while traveling. On a recent trip to Toronto, Dietrich and I took a morning journey to The Imperative, an all-vegan store offering a gorgeous selection of shoes, jackets, and other fun items for men and women. We shared the excitement of finding a business where everything was made without animals, and the people I interviewed for Vegan Love also mentioned that the shared joy of finding plant-based businesses while traveling was one of the greatest bonuses of dating a fellow vegan.
4. Home is where the heart is
Our homes reflect who we are, and if you’re in a relationship, chances are you’re spending a lot of time at your sweetheart’s house (assuming you aren’t cohabiting). With a vegan boyfriend, you can be confident that he won’t bring animal-based products into the house, as one woman with whom I spoke appreciated never having to open her vegan boyfriend’s refrigerator to find dead animals. Personally, I love coming home to the safe space my vegan boyfriend and I share, where I know no beings suffered for our meals or lifestyles.
You might decide to have kids with your guy, or perhaps you are fantasizing about co-parenting with him someday. One bit of reality you want to integrate into the daydreaming is the fact that it will be easier to raise those little ones as vegans with a plant-based partner. In interviews, vegan parents explained that they appreciate having a cruelty-free partner around when it comes to passing their ethics onto their children. In these homes, there is one philosophy regarding food, and no contradictions about whether or not to eat animals or animal products. One vegan mother also mentioned the sense of security she has around holidays, knowing that she and her partner understand what their vegan family will eat at meals that historically have featured animals.
Maya Gottfried is the author of Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal and Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary.