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Guest Spot by Hannah McNeely “I’m in love with a Non Vegan”

By June 1, 2014Uncategorized

I’d like to introduce you to my best friend, who just so happens to be my sister, Hannah. I asked her to share her vegan story and how that plays into her marriage with Eric, who is not vegan. I love both Hannah and Eric dearly and they have a beautiful relationship. So take it away Hannah:
Being vegan is a big part of my life. And if you’re vegan, too, I’m sure you’d say the same thing. So how can I be married with someone who doesn’t share my beliefs? How did this relationship even come about? Let me tell you, I reflect on this all the time, but in the end I am never surprised Eric and I make it work. We believe different things about the world, but I didn’t marry him for his beliefs. I married him for the kind of person he is, for his character. 

MY VEGAN JOURNEY

I became a vegan in 2006 when I was 18, but I was a terrible one for many years. My sister was the one who told me about the lifestyle and I jumped on board because I wanted to be thinner and it just made sense that not eating processed or animal foods would make me healthier. Because I didn’t have any ethical attachment to my food and was only on the vegan path for personal reasons, it didn’t stick very well. I would constantly fall off the wagon by way of maple twist donuts, feel awful, complain to my sister, who would encourage me (with a stern look), and then get back on. I also still ate sea animals occasionally, for some reason. I realize now that I had such a hard time staying totally vegan because I had no ethical attachment to my food. So it was really easy to convince myself it was okay to eat certain things.

I met Eric, who is now my husband, after I had been on this vegan journey for about four years. We met during a time when the whole vegan thing wasn’t too important to me, except that I just tried to eat pretty healthy and not eat animal foods, but still fish, sometimes, “like just sometimes,” which is how I would justify it. All that to say, Eric did not expect to be married to a vegan who actually cared about the animals or anything. Especially one that cried after finding out she just ate an artichoke that had been cooked in chicken broth. (True story.) In fact, when we were dating, I would even say things like, “I don’t care about the animals. I’m only doing it for my health.” I did not want to associate myself with animal rights activists.

About four months before our wedding, my sister and I started getting into specifically the high carb raw vegan movement. I began surrounding myself with information about veganism, which I had never really done before. When I first started on the vegan path in 2006 I just did it overnight. No online research. No documentaries. No books. No vegan community. But this time, in the summer of 2012, I was learning about high carb raw veganism, and inevitably came across information about the ethics of the whole movement. After several months of consuming this information and mulling it over, I had to admit to myself that I had been wrong about what I used to say about animals. After admitting it to myself, I knew I had to talk to Eric. We had been married for about eight months when I spoke openly about my change of heart. We were at a friend’s house for the Fourth of July when someone asked me, in front of Eric, why I was vegan. Instead of responding with the usual remark about it only being for my health, I said that I did in fact care about the animals and I was also doing it for my health. It felt really good to get it out in the open. After that, I slowly shared with Eric the reasons for my change of heart.

A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE

I tell you this history just to give you a picture of where we came from. I believe that if I never had a change of heart and was never an ethical vegan, then the whole vegan thing would never be an issue in our marriage. Because to be honest, the everyday food thing is the easy part. What we eat for dinner, that’s a cinch. It’s kind of like living with a roommate and you just both make separate meals. The hard part is that we fundamentally disagree on something that is such a big part of our lives.

I believe the biggest difficulty stems from the same reason most people get uncomfortable when a vegan walks in the room. When you are vegan and your partner is not, they likely will feel like you are judging everything they do. Hopefully this is not the case! I know that I can catch myself judging others for what they are eating, if I’m to be completely honest, but I always try to put it into perspective. I used to eat that way. I used to make fun of vegans and laugh at people who would refuse to go to fast food restaurants. How can I possibly make a judgment on someone else for things I used to do myself not that long ago? What I do is tell all this to Eric; that way he is assured I am not sitting there every time he is eating a pizza silently crying over the animals that had to suffer for it and thinking he is an immoral person because of what he eats.

Something that has been hard for Eric to grasp is that I no longer want to buy things that have caused harm to animals, be it leather in my soccer cleats, down feathers in my comforter, or household products that have been tested on animals. This is where communication is so important. Instead of throwing a fit about it, I simply explain to Eric why I want to buy one product over another and show him how good it makes me feel to make a simple decision like that. I think that because he can see it makes me happy, he is glad to go along with it.


Now the inevitable question, the one that people ask Eric all the flipping time: so, when is he going to go vegan? I hate when people ask him this because it pressures him to change into something he doesn’t want to be. In the beginning of our marriage I would pressure him to eat healthier but he got so fed up with it. (In the very beginning when we were just dating, he would eat salads and green juices all the time. But later, I found out he was just trying to impress me. I guess it worked!) So now, I never press him on it, unless we are already in a discussion on the topic. Some advice to vegans who are in love with non-vegans is to just let your partner be. Seriously. Can you imagine if your partner was really into the Paleo diet (yuck!) and they kept harassing you to stop eating fruit because it has too much sugar and to eat more bacon because fat is good for you? So annoying, because you love your fruit, right? Or, even more frustrating, what if your partner was following a different religion, and he or she kept leaving religious books around the house for you to read and sending you video clips of holy people saying things that didn’t make sense to you. And then your partner turns around and says, “I don’t judge you for not believing what I believe!” Bullocks!

What it comes down to is that Eric knows very well that I want him to be vegan. I want him to change his lifestyle and take care of himself so that he will be healthy and vibrant and feel as good as I feel. He knows all that. He doesn’t need reminding. If I’m just sitting there watching him make a decision about what to eat for dinner and he feels my eyes boring into him, all he will feel is pressure, which he is likely to turn away from. But if I give him space and let him make his own decision, he often makes really good ones. And that’s when he likes me to notice. He’ll say, “Look, Hannah. I’m eating oranges. Did you notice?” And I say, “Of course, I noticed! It makes me so happy when you eat fruit.” It’s amazing what letting go does. I’m learning every day to let go more and more and just let him be.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, a vegan author and podcaster I look up to a great deal, explained it perfectly. What are the characteristics of an ethical vegan? They are compassionate, kind, caring, loving, integrous, and so many other things. I married my husband because of his character, not his behavior. (Check out Colleen’s podcast episode called “Vegan Dating” on her show “Food for Thought.”) Eric is all of those things and I am constantly learning from him, especially from his kindness and integrity. I have to recognize that it took me a long time to understand what compassion meant to me. I was even eating a relatively vegan diet for almost six years before I awoke to the reality of it all and before I began living a life of true kindness.

My year and a half being married to Eric has been the best time of my life. It’s amazing how much we have grown, as individuals and as a couple. And he is so incredible in how he supports me 100% in a lifestyle he doesn’t follow himself. Now, even though I have just told you not to push your diet and beliefs on your partner, at the same time, I don’t shy away from talking about it when there is something I genuinely want to mention. Maybe I just learned something interesting I want to share or I just watched a compelling video. It’s still part of who I am, and Eric wants to know who I am, just like I want to know who he is. The key is when I talk about vegan stuff, it’s always as it relates to me, not to him.

Remember to be patient with your partner if they are not on the same path as you. If you pressure them, they won’t change. They just won’t. That’s how humans are. It has to be their own choice. Stay positive and try to be the best example you can: if you feel and look your best, they will notice. Offer to make him or her meals in a perfectly sweet and non-judgmental way. My favorite line is, “Want a smoothie?” Or, “I have some super ripe avocados. Want a salad?” That way you’re really just offering to make them food, which is so nice of you! It just happens to be cruelty-free and full of nutrients.

Here are some FAQs I get, if you’re interested.

Do you make him non-vegan food?
No. I don’t want to, and frankly he probably doesn’t want me to because I don’t know how. I haven’t made non-vegan food since I was in high school! I’d probably kill him with food poisoning!

What about going out to eat?
Honestly, being vegan in Southern California is so easy! There is always a little leaf or V indicating vegan friendly options on the menu. Very occasionally we’ll go to an all-vegan restaurant. But not often. The best place to go for vegans and non-vegans is sushi! Just order veggie rolls and cucumber-avocado rolls and your partner can get anything he or she wants!

What did you do for your wedding?
We had a local Lebanese restaurant cater. Everything was vegan except there was meat served separately. So we had rice, roasted veggies, hummus, pita, falafal, fried cauliflower, etc. We didn’t have a wedding cake because neither of us really like cake. But we did serve baklava, which was vegan except for honey, I believe.


What about drinking? You gave up alcohol, but your husband still drinks, right?
Ah, yes, good question. Maybe Ellen will let me do another blog post about that. There’s so much to say!

Do you ever make him food?
Yes. I make him smoothies and salads once or twice a week. And sometimes I’ll get inspired by a cooked vegan recipe and ask if I can make it for him. I like finding things that he enjoys and that we can eat together.

Does he ever make you food?
Yes. If I ask nicely.
-Hannah McNeely

Pictured is Hannah’s husband, Eric, with my son, Elvis. They LOVE each other so much.

Ellen here. Thank you, Hannah, for sharing your journey with us! I wanted to chime in with my two cents on how my husband, Andrew, became vegan and what kind of role I played in his transition.

Andrew and I started dating when we were 15 and 16 years old, before either of us were vegan. The summer after freshman year in college, in 2006, I learned of the raw vegan diet and jumped right in. With an overwhelming excitement, I immediately went to tell Andrew about my new enlightenment. Not surprisingly, he shut down the idea rather quickly and did not jump on board with me. He actually laughed at me and told me I would never last as a vegan, and that we needed milk for calcium. He inevitably said the same things he now gets tired of hearing. Ha! Things like, “but you need meat for protein” and “I could never be vegan. I love burgers too much.” At the time, I didn’t care that he wasn’t going to join me, but I wanted his support. I didn’t want to be dating someone who was going to put me down on my path towards better health. It didn’t take much time for him to understand where I was coming from and choose to accept my new lifestyle.
I became emerged in not only eating raw vegan foods, but also in learning all I could about the science and reason behind it, through reading informative books about the subject. Over time, I began to care about Andrew’s health too. I tried to bring information I learned to Andrew, but with failed efforts. Nothing I said really sunk in or mattered to him, and he was constantly denying any scientific study or information on health that I brought to his attention. My words meant nothing to him and did not aid a transition to a healthier lifestyle. It wasn’t until I stopped trying to get him to change, that change actually happened within him. I realize now, how important it is to focus on yourself in your journey towards health. Don’t shake others, whether physically or mentally, into going vegan with you. Be the best example you can be by truly living a compassionate and healthy lifestyle. Be the light for others to be inspired by. Actions speak much louder than words. The people who want to feel their best will see a change in you, and will come to your for advice to begin their own journey.
Fast forward a couple years later, once I was living the raw vegan lifestyle for myself, free of trying to convince him to join me, Andrew began to notice big differences in my well being and happiness. He came over for date nights with In-n-Out burgers and fries to eat while I enjoyed a large homemade raw salad. He felt crappy and sluggish afterwards and noticed that I didn’t have those same feelings after eating my salad. I would always feel light and full of energy after my meals. So slowly but surely he occasionally started asking me to make him green smoothies, juices and salads. I was utterly elated!
His transformation was much slower than mine. He often told me, “I’ll never be vegan, so don’t count on it.” But once we got married and moved in together in summer 2009, his desires for eating a healthy diet grew. My informative books were placed ever so intentionally in parts of the house I thought he might sit down to read. I knew that nothing I personally said to him would make a difference, but thought if he chose to pick up a book for himself, that he might have a more open heart to new information. And that is exactly what happened. I remember one time he came out of the bathroom holding the book “The China Study”, and asked me with enthusiasm if I new about milk protein and it’s relation cancer growth. I said, “Of course Andrew! I’ve been trying to tell you this stuff for years!” It was a good day.
I found out much later to his admittance that every once in a while when I would go to work in the evenings, he would go to “Taco Tuesdays” at Dell Taco and order nine 99cent chicken tacos. To hide the evidence of his guilty pleasure he would take the trashed taco wrappings all the way down to the dumpster around the corned to make sure I wouldn’t see it. Stories like this make us laugh now.
He wanted to make healthier cooked dinners. So he experimented in the kitchen and became quite good at making healthy cooked meals, like quinoa with vegetables or brown rice pasta. He is a great cook! In summer 2011 we went to a BBQ at his friend’s house. At this point he was eating all vegan foods, except when he would go to his friends’ house. Every time he went over there, the guys would cook up some burgers or hot dogs and he always felt really crappy afterwards. Finally, this time it just so happened that a whole month went by without going to his friends’ house, and as we were driving over to the BBQ, I asked him, “Are you going to eat burgers today?” To which he lowered his head in reply with, “…No.” His quiet reply wasn’t because he was sad about not eating a burger. He wasn’t even craving the junk food at the house at all. And it was his own choice and he knew it. His quiet reply was simply because his proclamation to me that he would never be vegan failed. Which of course, ended up being a victory for both of us!

Pictured LEFT: Andrew and I when we were in college, before he was vegan. (And don’t ask me what he is doing with my dress, because I have no idea!) Pictured RIGHT: one and a half years after Andrew became vegan, when we were 7 months pregnant with Elvis.

 He lost 30 pounds effortlessly and measured down to his ideal body weight. His athletic performance soared and he has a newfound energy and zest for life. He eats a predominantly raw food frugivorous diet with a couple high carb cooked vegan meals a week. Andrew is so book smart and he became super knowledgeable about health and nutrition. He tackled it with a common sense approach and learned so much information about nutrients and their functions to the human body, surpassing info I had not even tapped into yet.  I eventually started going to him for health advice and learning! Let me tell you that I have so much respect for this man.
If you are excited about your health journey and are making steps towards veganism, but are in a relationship with someone who is not on the same path as you, I encourage you to be as loving as possible to your partner. Every relationship will have a little different circumstances, so you can adjust accordingly, but I found it most helpful to let my husband find inspiration on his own. With that being said, you can still ask him to join in on the learning experience with you. There are some really great documentaries about going vegan. “Forks over Knives” found on Netflix is a great one to start with. And there are two speeches on YouTube I have found super inspirational: “The best speech you’ll ever hear” by Gary Yourofsky and “101 reasons to go vegan”. If he or she doesn’t seem enthused to watch it with you, offer to do something for them that would repay them with kindness for sharing in this experience with you. Back when I wanted Andrew to watch something with me I would say things like, “I’ll give you a 30 minute massage while we watch the documentary.” or “I’ll watch that war movie you’ve been wanting to watch next weekend with you if you watch this with me. I would really appreciate it.” Offer to make your partner smoothies or salads in a loving, non-pushy way. If you come across a good vegan recipe which you think your partner will like, ask if you can make it for him or her. If your dinner is separate from your partner’s, offer to share your meal with them so the only thing they relate vegan food to is LOVE. Find new ways to enjoy a healthy lifestyle together that your partner may enjoy as well. Food is just the beginning, really. If your partner likes roughing it, look up interesting new hikes in your area you can try together. If he or she likes to swim, spend days at the pool doing laps together. Find which activities get your partner excited to workout. Spending quality time together doing enjoyable healthful activities will bring inspiration to the relationship to stay healthy and active for the long haul.
I’m so thankful that I backed off of Andrew to change his diet sooner than he was ready to. Because of this, love filled our relationship. And over time, we naturally gravitated towards agreeing on all other aspects of how we wanted to do life together. It is positively amazing and more wonderful than my wildest dreams of a “happily ever after” I dreamt up as a kid. Can you imagine if someone told us way back in 10th grade that our future holds for us to be ever lasting partners, giving birth to our child in a birthing tub in the middle of our living room floor, spending life as fruitarian hippies on the island of Maui, Hawaii? We would have laughed in their face and probably said, “What’s a fruitarian?”
In love and health,
Mango Island Mamma, Ellen Fisher

Author Ellen Fisher

More posts by Ellen Fisher

Join the discussion 37 Comments

  • Hannah says:

    What a lovely post full if encouragement!
    I get married to a nonvegan in July. He’s a lovely, amazing man but I do wish he was vegan. This article was a great reminder to “lead by example” and be loving and patient! Thank you!

  • Julia says:

    If someone enjoys eating something, their enjoyment is equally as valid as someone else’s joy in what they love.

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you So so so much for this. I have only been vegan for a little under 2 years, but am fully involved in it – for animal rights issues and health issues. I’ve been with my fiancé for 4 years. Previous to this lifestyle, I ate everything. And cooked everything. When I made the change, he was confused. It took no time at all for him to support me. He almost brags about it to people. He gets excited to show me new vegan products he’s found, explains to his friends and family about the lifestyle, and listens to me talk about it. But… He still eats everything. I’ve been struggling with this, because it’s become so deeply rooted in me, and I want him to change his lifestyle as well. He’s started drinking smoothies, and eating healthy, and has said he could become vegetarian in the next little while. But I still struggle. This post helped me SO MUCH to realize I need to back off. THANK YOU THANK YOU.

    • Hannah says:

      I totally understand your situation. It’s amazing that he’s said he could be a vegetarian in the future. That’s huge! It just takes time. Everyone’s journey is different. Even my sister and me, we started at the same time but we have very different stories with where we are now. It took me much longer to fully give up the bad food! Be patient. Hope all goes well. Good luck!

  • Filippa says:

    Thank you both so much for all this great advice! <3

  • Hannah says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to share!

  • Stephanie says:

    This resonated with me so much, this is exactly what my partner and I are going through! I’m very lucky though we eat all vegan at dinner at home, no meat comes in the house and he even makes vegan meals for us both when it’s his time to cook! I’m curious to know how Hannah will raise her children? I really want to raise my child vegan and am worried about daddy’s influence! Will it be a daily battle??

    • Liz says:

      I struggle with the children issue. I feel like I can’t back off because I don’t want junk being bought into our house or being eaten around our toddler because I don’t want that example set for her. I wish I could just back off and let him be but I just refuse to let our daughter see that bad example…..

  • Marielle says:

    Great article and great tips! I am on the same page as you are.
    I was wondering, like Stephanie, how would you (Hannah) raise your children? Sometimes I am talking about that with my fiancé (non-vegan) and then he always says: I don’t want my children to be raised as a vegan as I don’t want to experience with them and giving them the chance of failure to thrive.. Which is nonsense but he is afraid that will happen.

  • Chrystaline Sullivan says:

    Great story.

  • Jenna says:

    I LOVE this post! Great stories from both lovely sisters. And I can say that not pushing my views on my husband worked in our relationship too. We had been married for about seven years when I went vegan. I did not push my new beliefs on my husband and I just happily ate my delicious vegan food and offered it to him as well. I even still cooked meat for him on occasion because I didn’t want to seem judge-y or difficult. But what I loved to do was bake and cook amazing vegan food for him that he enjoyed. My husband has always been very fit and into body building type workouts. I would casually show him pics or tell him about fit celebrities that are vegan. I’d say, ‘did you know that so and so is vegan???’ 🙂 Slowly he started eating ‘mostly’ vegan during the week and would ‘splurge’ on the weekends. After many years he decided, completely on his own, to watch ‘Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead’ and ‘Forks Over Knives’. After watching FOK he went vegan overnight. He said that if he actually cared about his health the way he claimed he did then he could no longer eat any animal products. VICTORY! It has now been over four years that I’ve been vegan and almost two years for him. He is in the best shape of his life. Now I am eating a high raw, mostly fruit diet… we’ll see when he joins me… 🙂

  • Roxanne says:

    I found out some things I never knew before!

  • This was a great story to share. Something that I have struggled with in my relationship as well. I’m curious about if and when you decide to have children, if he is still eating animals, will you allow your children to as well?

    I am vegan and my daughter’s father was not. It became quite an issue once we had her and I refused to allow her to eat animals. I fully accepted his choices but everything changed once I became a mother. It was difficult to turn the other cheek with my daughter. He digressed and allowed me to raise her as such knowing how passionate I was about it but not without much resentment toward me, which invetiably led to our splitting. (among many other problems as well)

    Anyway, I’d love to know if you two have discussed this. And what the compromise will entail?

  • Mich says:

    Thank you both so much for sharing your inspirational stories ! I am on the journey to healthier living and this post has really brought me hope as I have thought a lot about this question ! May you both continue to inspire others to health 🙂

  • Dee says:

    These are both wonderful inspiring stories that really resonate with me.Thank you Hannah and Ellen for being so transparent!
    Still hoping to transition back to a cruelty free life style. I fell off the bandwagon 2 months ago when my family members all said that I gained to much weight on my diet and looked “fluffy”.I was 8 months clean (4 months shy of a year!!! 🙁 ) and now I’m back at square one with so much weight to loose. Every time I eat meat I feel terrible about what Ive done ; I’m still eating predominately vegan, but its just that portion of passion I still have that makes me feel utterly terrible about my meals.Have you experience weight gain in any part of your vegan journey and even raw;I would love to read a post or hear you comments about it?I want to go back to eating vegan but I’m scared of gaining even more weight than I already have.Looking forward to your response
    Peace Love and Fruit
    -Dee

    • Ellen Fisher says:

      hi there love. its hard for me to answer why you have gained weight without knowing more information about your diet and your past eating habits. it might be helpful for you to consider doing a consultation with me. they are toga;;y affordable and i simply offer support and encouragement and what has worked for me to thrive on a raw foods diet. but here are a couple tips: 1. eat as much fruit as you desire. eat as much vegetable matter as you desire. but don’t eat more than you desire. start out with breakfast eating only perfectly ripe sweet fruit 2. stay consistent. your body is trying to heal but when harmful foods are put back in the body it can be hard to make progress 3. focus on completely eliminating all animal foods, oil, salt and processed foods from your diet. a lot of foods are vegan but that doesn’t mean it is necessarily healthy. 4. push yourself in vigorous workouts to get your lymphatic system moving. 5. get LOTS of rest. go to bed early and rise as the sun comes up. your body needs to heal. 6. above all, love yourself and don’t let others get you down on your healthy journey. if you surround yourself with people who say negative things about your body, it will reflect on how u view yourself. surround yourself with uplifting people who don’t judge you and who remind you how beautiful you are! keep at it girl xo

  • chelsea says:

    omg this post is exactly what I needed. I immediately went high carb when I changed to a vegan lifestyle. my boyfriend was very unsupportive when I switched and we almost split. he has become supportive but he challenges me sometimes. he has accepted that I am vegan and I try to make it as easy for him as I can by cooking his meals for him still. but our most recent issue is when we talk about the future and having kids. we argue about this quite often and it makes me so nervous about the future f our relationship. he doesn’t want to raise them vegan and I told him that while they are too young to make sound decisions for themselves they will eat what I make for them. and the day my child comes to me and says… mom…. I want to eat _________. I will let them because it is their life and I can provide them with the education and lead by example but I will not force them. he wont have it…. and I don’t know what to do. im so willing to compromise my values for him by cooking him meats, yet he wont budge for me. I feel so weird posting this on a public site but I really have no one else to ask 🙁

    • Tabi says:

      I had that issue and we split. I found a more compassionate guy and we married. He’s a gentle soul and has been making the transition to go vegan. He slips up every now and then BUT he is trying!!! We’re having a baby due in March and he wants it to be raised vegan 🙂 There are certain personality traits maybe that make vegan transition easier. …

  • Hi!

    First, I love and am inspired by your articles. I also truly enjoy your Instagram. I have been vegan for 7 months now and recently gone raw till 4, with hopes to transition to fully raw over time. This has been the biggest challenge in my life coming from the hugest carnivorous family. Luckily my husband and 9 year old joined me. We have also transitioned our 4 year old son who battles autism. Recently I found out I am a couple months pregnant, I am so scared. I am being pressured to eat an American diet again but I will never go back there. I am even paying for all of my prenatal a out of pocket to get the vegan ones I prefer. I will be checking out your resources for guidance. I desperately want a healthy baby and home birth. You are an inspiration in my life. Thank you.

    • Ellen Fisher says:

      thank u so much yvonne. and congrats on your pregnancy! have u checked out my post called “transitioning to the 80/10/10 diet while pregnant or nursing”? u might find it helpful and encouraging to keep moving forward with your healthy eating 🙂

  • Bodine says:

    I got in touch with the 80/10/10 diet a few weeks ago and am reading books and blogs and watching YouTube videos to get as much information as possible. I want to be prepared before I jump on the bandwagon so I can handle the change in my life better!

    Both your stories are very inspiring! Hannah’s story is one I really needed. I am going to make the transition to an 80/10/10 diet soon and will be moving in with my boyfriend at the same time, who isn’t joining me in this new lifestyle. He doesn’t mind me doing it, but I find it really hard seeing things as joint dinners work – and I am only sucking up information at the moment! I know it will be a challenge in the beginning and although I never doubted we would make it work, Hannah’s story is making it a lot less scary 🙂

    For now I don’t necessarily want my boyfriend to join me, but Ellen’s story is one to remember the moment I would like him to be more aware of this lifestyle. Luckily he already likes healthy food and voluntarily joins in the smoothies I make. Although it isn’t consciously, there is an interest for taking good care of his body, which is, in my eyes, already a step in the good direction and one that makes it easier to explain the benefits of this lifestyle.

  • Anne-Miep says:

    I love this post! My boyfriend is a non vegan as well but is very supportive to my lifeestyle.
    What Hannah says is my situation and i think it is great. It’s stupid that other people are judgemental because i am vegan and he is not. He eats maybe 1-2 times a week meet and no dairy and eggs and is not complaining. In fact he is very currious what i am doing in the kitchen and loves the food that i make. When we are around family and friends he will always supports me because he loves the food we eat and isn’t missing any meat at al. He tells people this always. I don’t think that he ever be vegan but for someone who ate 7 times a week meat to eating it once a week is great.

    I think that when you love but most of al respect each others this should never be a problem! Thank you for the post 🙂 I love it and shows me that what i/we do is the correct way and that i am not the only one with a very loving, supporting BF 🙂

  • Lucy R says:

    I’m madly in love with a non vegan who told me he will never ever go vegan. I try to teach and educate him but he’s completely uninterested. Some days I care and wish he would be the same as me but other days it doesn’t even cross my mind. He always says he feels rubbish and wants to get fit and thinks he’s getting a bit over weight but he isn’t making a connection between how he feels and what he puts in his mouth yet.. maybe one day but I’m not banking on it. I just take each day as it comes and continue to do my thing!

  • Valentina Ulyanova says:

    Thank you so much, Ellen, for this wonderful advice. I’ve been experiencing this struggle for the last year with my boyfriend since i jumped back on the vegan bandwagon a year ago. He has CVS (chronic vomiting syndrome, which can sometimes be extremely debilitating). He also smokes and drinks energy drinks regularly. sometimes i get very concerned for his health, and although he’ll try vegan dishes when we go out to eat or when i juice at home, he’s been pretty adamant on never adopting a vegan diet. I wasn’t sure how to change my strategy to his benefit, but i’ll definitely try to lead by example instead of criticizing his choices.

  • Anna says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I cried the night my fiance said that although he wouldn’t join me as a vegan, I had his full support. I was so scared to tell him and so relieved that he took it so well. Support is a wonderful tool and I am so thrilled to be on this journey, thank you each for your words of encouragement! 🙂

  • Mónica says:

    Hannah and Ellen, thank you so much for posting this :). You can’t imagine how inspiring this is for me. I’m not vegan or even vegetarian yet, but I am really coming into these thoughts and understanding that changing my lifestyle can contribute to my health and also to really live the will that I have to take care of the planet. But my boyfriend wouldn’t ever come to the idea of getting informed about this. Of course I believe that this could change; but Hannah: what are your thoughts about maybe getting pregnant and having to decide with your husband how to raise your child together? That is something that really worries me… Seeing little Elvis grow up so healthy makes me so happy and I would wish that for my children too, but I believe that would be a problem if your partner isn’t vegan… Thanks so much and keep inspiring us all <3

  • Pauline says:

    Thank you so much for this post. You have no idea how helpul it is. Your words have helped me to become a more compassionate person, and as you said, to lead by exemple. Thank you!

  • Jess says:

    Amazing Ellen!! So inspiring 😉

  • Mariah says:

    This was very helpful and encouraging! This is exactly what I needed to hear and be reminded of because I’m the only person in my family that is vegan. It can be quite the struggle sometimes, but they have been mostly accepting so far! My mom is actually giving veganism a try and I’m so proud of her for that. I find myself wanting to push this lifestyle on my family because I see the amazing benefits for our bodies and the planet, but I know that it takes time and to just lead by example. Thank you Hannah and Ellen!

  • Kristylee says:

    This was amazing to read! Thank you so much for sharing! I have always wanted to hear other peoples stories about this topic as my boyfriend is nonvegan as well. I have started to back off too, and he will now eat many of my vegan dinners as well as my smoothies I make too, when he wouldn’t eat any fruit or any salad when I first met him. Slowly but surely change is happening!
    Thanks again girls! xo

  • Sille says:

    Loved this post! Please ask your sister to make a post about “alcohol and her boyfriend”.

  • Maria says:

    Hi Ellen,

    I came across your Youtube channel last week and have watched all your videos already. Your channel, your posts, the way you share your knowledge, seeing your beautiful and healthy sons and hearing about your husbands transition…what an inspiration. I have never written a comment on any single blog or youtube channel but the first one had to go to you. I am in absolute awe of you and the example you have set for everyone watching.

    I am 25, from Spain, but live in New York with my British husband. I transitioned to a vegetarian diet two years ago and have now made the decision to become completely vegan. It never occurred to me that it goes so far beyond you as a individual, but rather you as a part of something bigger. I have shared a few of your videos with my husband and we have both been so inspired, although he is not even vegetarian he is incredibly supportive and, more importantly, very respectful and curious. In the past two years he has transformed his eating habits so much and I believe that, one day, he will join me and become vegan.

    If you are ever in New York City, I would be so excited to meet you.
    You and your beautiful, kind and loving family have inspired me so much.

    I am very grateful for that.
    Lots of love to you all x

  • Teleisha Daly says:

    Thank you both for sharing very helpful to see things in a new light and to back off and just use self love and loving others to help them find the path themselves 🙂

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