Actress and activist Alexandra Paul writes about her husband and what it’s like as a vegan being married to someone who eats meat.
I am crazy in love with my husband. We have been together for 18 amazing years, and my mother teases me, “Is Ian still perfect?” and I respond, “Yes, he is”. Ian is loving, patient, kind, thoughtful, smart, beautiful, athletic, funny and … a meat eater.
Most of my vegan friends claim they could never date a meat eater, but here I am, someone who has not touched meat since I was 14, and the man I call my soulmate has no qualms about eating animals.
I fervently believe that exploiting animals in any way is wrong, and shared values are supposed to be a vital part of keeping a couple together, so it sometimes makes me question my own integrity on the issue… how can I love someone so deeply who does not care about how animals in factory farms are treated?
I have come to the conclusion that one of the reasons our marriage is so happy is that we follow the most important line in our wedding vows: “I promise to let you be you”. Ian has certainly done that for me – supporting me 100 per cent in my transition from vegetarian to vegan and being completely respectful of my animal rights views. I believe I am the best advocate for animals when I simply follow my own path, instead of insisting people change to be like me, so I give Ian the respect of letting him be who he is, too. As a matter of course, he has cut down greatly on his meat eating, he cheerfully eats out at vegan restaurants and he always listens intently when I discuss my animal projects.
I admit to holding out hope that one day Ian will become vegan, but I want him to be excited about that new lifestyle for himself, not because he feels pressured to change. As a health coach in Los Angeles, I have learned that insisting people become who we want them to be doesn’t work. The most inspiring thing I can do for him is to be the happiest, healthiest vegan possible. The rest is out of my hands.
Alexandra is a health coach with clients all over the world. Her expertise includes a certification from Cornell University’s plant based nutrition course as well as certifications from Wellcoaches School. She was a certified EMT for 23 years. As an actress, Alexandra starred in over 75 films and television shows, and is internationally recognized for her role on the TV series “Baywatch.” If you are interested in health and wellness coaching, visit alexandracoaching.com for a free 20-minute consultation with Alexandra. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.