Would you Date a Vegetarian?by Don Lacey on Jul. 18, 2012, under Art & Culture, Atheism, Critical Thinking, Ethics, Freethought, Logic, Question of the Day!, Reason, That's Life!, Uncategorized
“One of the most idiotic jeers against animal lovers is the one about their preferring critters to people. As a matter of observance, it will be found that people who “care”— about rain forests or animals, miscarriages of justice or dictatorships—are, though frequently irritating, very often the same people. Whereas those who love hamburgers and riskless hunting and mink coats are not in the front ranks of Amnesty International.”
A friend recently sent me a piece claiming that abstaining from meat consumption could hurt one’s chances with a lot of singles. The article referred to a recent survey of 4000 singles conducted by match.com with the help of Today.com. Among their findings was that some 30% of meat-eating singles would not date a vegan or vegetarian.
My first thought was that I could not imagine any self-respecting vegetarian or vegan wanting to date someone for whom that would be deal-breaker anyway. I have dated a few vegetarians and a vegan myself and I doubt any of them would want to have much to do with someone who would dismiss them without getting to know them first. After all narrow-mindedness and dietary bigotry are not what most people look for in mates.
At the same time, I did not find this result overly surprising. I spent a good bit of time living in the rural Midwest and know many people who are involved in the meat production business. For them refraining from meat consumption was affront on their way life. I have many relatives who are avid hunters and hunting for food is a major part of their lifestyle for them I could see this as a compatibility issue. I also know men and women who are ordinary suburban grocery store shopping meat eaters who despite not being farmers, ranchers, or hunters still feel very righteous about the good old meat-centered American diet and are unwilling to compromise on it.
Maybe it’s the stereotypes associated with meatless diets. Vegetarians and vegans especially are often seen as high-maintenance, left-leaning, self-righteous hippie-ish, judgmental PETA supporters. I found the vegetarians and vegans I have befriended or dated to be thoughtful, considerate, nonjudgmental, and rather self-reliant. Vegans tend to be forced to find their own food on their own time. That may just be my own bias as I tend to gravitate to people who show a willingness to question prevailing social norms.
Maybe this is why I am still involved in the Freethought and Skeptics movements. They seem to have a disproportionate number of non meat-eaters as well as libertarians, feminist, ethical non-monogamists, political creatives, and pursuers of strange hobbies. We fancy ourselves as pretty accepting people. Though I have to wonder how many of us would be willing to date a Christian.
Interestingly, only 4% of vegetarians and vegans said they would not date a meat-eaters which means despite the stereotype the veggie-folk are actually the less judgmental ones. Of course, for a vegetarian or vegan to limit themselves in such a way would greatly restrict their dating pool since they make up only 2% of the population. This it would seem would put them in fairly compromised position to be overly demanding.
Maybe I am missing something though. Maybe there are other reasons meat-eaters do not want to vegetarians or vegans. The whole issue of dietary choice is definitely one freethinkers should consider. It wasn’t that long ago I posted a piece on the practice of eating bugs. I wonder how much of deal breaker that would be.