Friday, February 15, 2008

"I'm sorry, I can't make out with you..."

...when you have steak breath." (Courtesy of Tara.)

If you clicked on the NYT link above, then wonderful; if not, go back above and read it. The gist is that vegan-omnivore couples have to accommodate each others' dietary preferences, but since people have different standards, it makes for easily-make-and-break relationships.

A few particularly interesting snippets from the article:

Vegans, who avoid eating not just animals but animal-derived products, take it further, shivering at the thought of kissing someone who has even sipped honey-sweetened tea.

See post title above. Also, I vividly remember a similar sentiment from a previous article about searching for vegan relationships...
Judging from postings at food Web sites like and
, people seem more willing to date those who restrict their diet for health or religion rather than mere dislike.

Typical sentiments included: “Medical and religious issues I can work around as long as the person is sincere and consistent, but flaky, picky cheaters — no way” and “picky eaters are remarkably unsexy.”

If we do a "shallow text analysis" of this, we can see that being vegan is linked with infidelity, thanks to the juxtapositions of "picky cheater." Also, unsexiness.
Could it be that pickiness stems from a person's unwillingness to change? And what does that say about my removing cilantro from everything?

To defend myself, I would say that taste is subjective and that I've also been exposed to cilantro for most of my life. The acquired taste clearly hasn't kicked in. I think you could make the same argument with simply picky eaters, as long as they're not declaring moral superiority as their sole reason for going vegan.

So, next question: would I date a vegan? The answer is no. I'm not going to use the "different cultures" argument, because to say that would undercut the importance of learning from others and even diversity. But if we do consider veganism to be a lifestyle - or even for some, a religion in its own right - then it makes sense to not date a vegan if our value systems - and not simply cultural backgrounds - are incompatible.


Hank R. said...

Picky eaters unsexy?

I resent that, I consider myself very sexy.

Of course, I guess I'm not all that picky anymore.

kate said...

The article was really interesting.

Personally, I just don't see what's so offensive about, say, tea with honey or artisanal cheeses. It's not like animals gave their lives to make either of those products.