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What’s With Single Men My Age

Posted by at 6:02 AM | Permalink | Comments (32)


christyI am 55, and I have never been married, so I have had a lifetime of dating. I always make it clear, right from the start, that I am vegetarian-not just for health reasons but because I don’t want animals to suffer and die. The younger men I have been involved with have been totally cool with it. Most have become vegetarians, too, and since I am not much for cooking, they have become great vegetarian cooks. Others have respected my beliefs enough to eat vegetarian when they are around me.

But every time I have dated men my age or older, it’s a whole different story. It’s like they are Neanderthals. They say that they respect the fact that I am vegetarian, but they “need meat,” or they believe that God made animals for them to chomp on. They order bloody hunks of meat at restaurants right in front of me, and later, they can’t understand why I won’t kiss them. Some even have the nerve to ask if I will cook meat for them “once in a while.” Yuck! They just don’t get it. The most astounding part is that they are all upset when I tell them that I don’t want to go out with them anymore.

Is it just me or the men I’ve been involved with, or do other veggie women find single younger men to be more evolved than single older men? Are there any single older vegetarian men out there? If so, where are they hiding?

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    Linda says...

    October 17th, 2008, 1:09 pm

    Hi Christy,

    I am one of the lucky ones, my husband is 58 and an ethical vegan. He is sensitive to animals and their feelings, is a PETA member like me, and has a bumper sticker on the back of his 2-ton flatbed truck that reads “Real Men are Kind to Animals”. I didn’t go looking for him, but we found each other along the way. I am sorry I don’t have any advice for you in finding that older vegan guy, but I would say if you find a wonderful young vegan guy, stick with him!

    Dee says...

    October 17th, 2008, 3:45 pm

    Have you tried joining a local animal-rights activist group? That might be a good way to meet vegetarian men, or even a vegan/vegetarian group if there’s one in your area? Maybe take a vegetarian cooking class to meet people? I don’t know if that helps, I am a new vegan and dating the same guy I was before I became vegan, he is very much a carnivore…in some ways he can be very supportive, but in other ways he just doesn’t understand. He’s younger than I am but we’re both in our 30′s.

    Anyways, that’s probably not too helpful, but I do wish you luck!

    Helen says...

    October 17th, 2008, 4:07 pm

    It gets worse with age! I am NOT looking to date, but as a 65 year old vegan, I have found it near impossible to find people in my peer group who don’t consider meat an essential. I experience a lot of eye-rolling, silence, and some barbs. Most older people are polite, but I am certainly excluded from a lot of social events because of my lifestyle. Good that I truly enjoy my own company and that of me dear 4 footed roomies!

    Amen A. Sigala says...

    October 17th, 2008, 4:11 pm

    Christy Brinkly needs to read this one! Maybe that’s why non of her marriages wked out?! She married meat eaters! I always wondered how vegetarians have succesful marriages to meat eaters?! Michael J. Fox’s wife is vegetarian, & they r kick n it strong! In his case, I’m s o o o glad for his success in love w/ a vetarian women! It’s awesome to know & see! So glad u wrote in! I’m a single 30 something & w/ a boy who gave up being veg
    = ( , he promises he will keep trying to go bk, it’s been hard when meats all around him = ) ! He is vegetarian at home though, thk goodness for that!

    Jim says...

    October 17th, 2008, 4:19 pm

    Dear Christy, the solution is simple. Stick with the young dudes. Us old geezers are crusing the Peta meetings for young chicks anyway.

    Tom says...

    October 17th, 2008, 4:35 pm

    I don’t eat, meat…I am 58yo, single and looking!

    Jim says...

    October 17th, 2008, 4:44 pm

    Christy, I was just kidding around. Being in your target age group, I kind of thought your post was a little bit of a shot at guys in the 50+ age group. Bottom line is lifestyle is fundamental to people getting along with each other in a realationship.
    I admit that as the years roll by, my level of lifestyle flexibility may not be what it was when I was at Boston U in the late 60′s. One day I might have been eating Brats at Jacob Wirths, the next I day I was on a Macrobiotic diet gorging on brown rice.
    Nowadays the changes have to be slower. There are a lot of guys my age that are very sympathetic to animal welfare, (just go see who volunteers at your local animal shelter)and might embrace the vegan diet if it was slowly introduced. People in the 50+ age bracket have sometimes come a long way from how they were raised. Kindness to animals comes out if you spend some time with people. Find a guy your age that loves animals, I quarantee you have found a diamond in the rough. Polishing sometimes takes awhile. Best of luck, don’t give up on us Neanderthals.

    Robin says...

    October 17th, 2008, 5:12 pm

    Dear Tom,
    I am 54 and involved in all sorts of animal rights. Where do you live?
    R.

    HiKo says...

    October 17th, 2008, 5:19 pm

    Wow Jim, I can see another reason you don’t eat pigs, you’d then be considered a cannibal.

    LuLu says...

    October 17th, 2008, 7:58 pm

    Hi Christy,
    I found your story very interesting. Very similar to mine. As a 68 year old attractive professional woman and single, I have dated men my age and younger. Yes, the younger men are much more understanding, and will attempt and succeed at going vegetarian. I dated a younger man for over 4 years, who did exactly that.
    However, I have met older men who view “meat” as the end all, but there are some good men out there who seem to be “getting it.”
    Good luck and happiness,
    Lulu

    Bob says...

    October 17th, 2008, 9:36 pm

    I am 55 and my wife and I have only recently become ethical vegetarians. Two weeks ago, if I went a day without at least two meals containing meat, I felt as though I was really missing something essential. Today I’m amazed that I don’t even miss it!
    But I can tell you one thing for certain: even in those days, I would never have eaten a rare steak in front of any vegetarian who was not comfortable with that, even if they were just a casual acquaintance, and not a date. In my opinion, that is just incredibly selfish and rude. And any guy who would ask you to cook meat for him is a complete moron who probably thinks you wouldn’t mind if he sleeps with other women.
    I expect better manners than that from anybody, but especially from someone our age, weren’t we brought up in a generation that cares about manners? I suggest that you decide on some rules and limitations ahead of time – for example you don’t like to watch someone eat a rare steak, but are OK with pasta and meat sauce for example. Then make every date aware of these rules before you go out. If he’s an idiot and still orders the steak, get up and walk out. If he asks you if you would cook meat or him, pour your drink down the front of his pants, THEN get up and walk out.
    I KNOW there are considerate single men out there because I know a few myself. Maybe take a close look at the places you are meeting the idiots, and go someplace else. Just a thought.
    Good luck!

    Jenifer Newfeld says...

    October 17th, 2008, 9:43 pm

    I have only been a Vegan for three years but I am loving it. I lost about 10 pounds, and it feels great. I love all animals, and believe they are not meant for our food chain. I have a very understand husband who for 20 years gorged on meat, and finally I can say that in the last three years and cut back dramatically on meat intake. I think he’s finally getting the health picture, not to mention a little softer about animals and their rights to live. I welcome the new man he’s become, and hope that you can as lucky in your quest for finding love.

    Fred Remus says...

    October 18th, 2008, 9:17 am

    Try being a 54 yr old GAY vegan! Talk about being on the fringe. I stopped eating meat at 14, became a vegan more than 10 years ago, and have spent my whole life without a single veg friend or lover.
    My partner of more than 17 yrs reads my animal rights mags, has heard all kinds of stories about cruelty free living and still eats meat, so many, many people have this huge disconnect when it comes to animals and food.
    I think how great it would be to go out to dinner with friends and have at least one other person like me, ordering cruelty free.
    The earlier poster made a good point of joining a local animal rights group, or veg group. I did this and have fallen away from them as they are all hetero-centric. Nothing wrong with that except I need to have members of my own tribe around me. Respect for all earthlings!

    Jim says...

    October 18th, 2008, 8:20 pm

    Hiko, Wow!! you make it sound like being a pig is a bad thing.

    Christy says...

    October 19th, 2008, 11:21 am

    I love reading all these comments and suggestions..Thank you! SO interesting!
    And Tom, dont suppose you live near me! Do ya?!
    If you do…we might be able to write the next article about how we met on Peta Prime and havent stopped kissing yet!!!

    Nancy says...

    October 19th, 2008, 11:33 am

    Christy — There are several places that you might find men your age who are vegetarians/vegans for environmental reasons. Organizations promoting green behavior, outdoor people (not hunters!), and even the Unitarian Universalist Church are some places to look (this is a liberal, pro-environment, non-Christian church embracing diversity in all matters). While the vegan who bases his food choices on its effect on the environment might not be your first choice, it is a great beginning. If a man is already not eating meat for one reason, he might (if he has a working brain) consider other reasons to strengthen his position on non-consumption of meat. The psychology precept of “attitude follows behavior” is reality. The first step for anyone is just not eating meat, and the philosophy behind it can follow later.

    ambika shukla says...

    October 19th, 2008, 11:38 am

    I turned my husband vegetarian but when we were fighting, he would eat meat at Me! After we divorced , he has gone right back to eating meat — sometimes I think it may be out of spite because he is fond of animals and does understand the meat- animal connect.
    Now when I date , I insist on the person turning vegetarian. I do believe if there are enough of us single attractive women out there we can turn the world veg — man by man!

    Gilda says...

    October 19th, 2008, 11:39 am

    Christy — Boy, good luck on this one! The only piece of advice I might give is become a Lesbian. I tried it, and I like it. Women (in general) have a direct line from their brains to their hearts. But anyone, regardless of gender, can just be a shut down piece of work. Our society counts on that, and supports the education of young people to cut off their hearts from their brains.

    Gene says...

    October 19th, 2008, 11:45 am

    The advice to seek an animal rights group is good, although there are carnivores in the wood pile, to be sure. In my group, there are quite a few non-vegetarians who are quiet about it, and still don’t get it. The same for animal welfare groups; humane societies, rescue groups, animal shelters. Nothing frosts me like working to save kitties and doggies with carnivores! If all of the shelter workers, volunteers, and financial supporters would just sit home and not eat meat, thousands and thousands of animals would not die. Sit home and watch Judge Judy, eat carrots, and save lives.

    Fran says...

    October 20th, 2008, 5:26 pm

    I am not in your situation and I realize how being married to a vegan certainly has many pluses but there are many times we need to be with like minded others too and so we often look for others to socialize with. We’ve joined meetup groups and with that we have pot lucks, restaurant outings, etc. If there is no meetrup group in your area then start one. check Meetup.com for information. Another source could be Earth Save. Chapters throughout USA. They have monthly vegan pot lucks with great speakers. Do some research on similar groups such as local Sierra club meetings. I know this thought might sound drastic but how about relocating to big Veg friendly city such as Portland, NY, San Fran, LA. I am always amazed at the veg opportunities there are in these places. Big cities offer diversity, Veg News another great source of all things vegan makes me feel part of a larger group with great ideas. Go for it and don’t waste time feeling so isolated when you don’t have to

    Carolyn says...

    October 20th, 2008, 5:38 pm

    I would suggest you start visiting all the churches and temples in your entire area–especially the 7th Day Adventist Churches and Buddhist Temples if there are any in your area. There are a lot of vegans or vegetarians there. Also start shopping at your local health food store, and try starting conversations with people there shopping. It is really good if the store also is a restaurant with vegan/vegetarian foods, so then you can ask lots of questions about the foods and meet diners there. If there is a vegetarian club if your area–join!!
    I am an older widow and sometimes date. My requirements: the man must be a real animal lover and not a hunter. If I date I make it a point right up front that I am a vegetarian. They can order what they want (I always give the meat a few revolting looks so they get my point), but if I cook at home they get strict vegan or vegetarian foods–no meat in my house! This is not negotiable.
    I have not yet met a single man in his 60′s who is a vegan or vegetarian.
    Good luck to you.

    Pamela says...

    October 23rd, 2008, 7:43 pm

    Hi Christy,

    I’m 51 and can so relate to what you’re talking about. I’m single after being married twice. I don’t think it’s our generation. I think it’s an age issue, and middle aged male meat eaters being stuck in their ways.

    My first husband was 29 when we married. He was a meat eater when we met but became a vegetarian when we married. I’ve never liked to cook either. He became an excellent vegetarian cook. My second husband was around 35 when we married. He was vegan when I met him. He did almost all the cooking.

    I started dating again in my early 40′s. Most of the men I meet now are meat eaters. A few have gotten it and knew better than to order meat in front of me. Others acted offended when I turned up my nose at the disgusting oder of meat cooking or the bloody mess on their plate. Some have told me the hardest thing to get used to in dating me was my being a vegetarian. Weird.

    I just think people are more open when they’re younger and tend to become more closed about their habits as they age.

    Good luck. You’re not alone.

    Rhoni-pony says...

    October 27th, 2008, 6:36 pm

    oh Christine! hunters! how absolutely awful that people will do that for their own sport or entertainment!

    Christy, all killing is abhorrent, yet we live in a world that thinks it’s fine. St. Francis of Assisi said: “”If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion
    and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”

    We’re seeing it more and more now – and beware of Halloween, everyone! It’s even becoming known in psychiatrict circles that people will do to a human what they do to an animal.

    As for God, there was nothing dead in the beginning. Our collective sin ruined the world for all of us to have the ability to live peaceably. Blood was required to forgive our sin, and it’s stupid that there are some religions even now that will kill, whereas Jesus came to be the FINAL sacrifice! Now stick that in your shake and drink it!

    “All Creation reflects the beauty of the Creator, and as such, deserves our best”

    Rhoni-pony says...

    October 27th, 2008, 6:39 pm

    Where are the men!

    Any australians here? :)

    http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-eEiiFWkjc6mvKo6t8hwJRYY-?cq=1

    Dee says...

    October 31st, 2008, 3:34 pm

    I’m vegetarian and sometimes vegan…….but it’s very hard to find single guys here in colorado that don’t eat meat. Many of them here are big hunters and love to fish! So……Tom…..where do you live?

    dee

    Eva says...

    November 5th, 2008, 7:33 pm

    Well,friends, try to be a vegetarian in the third world! i´m from mexico, and here i feel like an alien! having problems with my husband, for many reasons, but now he decided that i should cook meat for him… i just answered that there´s a lot of things negotiable beetween the two of us, but my house stays cruelty free; he eats veg cause i do the cooking, but eats meat whenever he can, the fact that he doesnt get the relation beetween cruelty and meat bothers me more and more. With the friends is the same thing, including people who are in animal protection groups… they seem to forget that not only cats, dogs and wildlife need our help and respect!!!! feel like the solution is to divorce and move to a first world country!!! if only that was so easy…

    Jo says...

    November 6th, 2008, 11:23 pm

    At age 47, I’m in the same boat. It is hard enough to find a decent single, straight guy, let along one who is vegan or vegetarian. I have pretty much given up on that; now I just want someone who is veg-friendly.

    I have done it all — taken classes, attended conferences, volunteered, attended Meetups — and I’ve met lots of great women! But, no men. I’m not sure what else I can do.

    MIA says...

    December 12th, 2008, 8:46 am

    I am a 38 yr old vegan and having the same issues. I know a ton of younger vegan guys, but I am looking for someone who is older and into the same pronciples.
    No wonder there are so many lesbians in our movement. They seem to have the right idea!!!!

    Jessica says...

    March 30th, 2009, 3:46 pm

    Hello, Christy!

    I am 45 and feel blessed that I have as many vegan friends as I do. A vegan sweetheart still eludes me, but I still have hope. The specificity of the “minimum requirements” of a conscious, compassionate person who would love a mate makes it tricky! Some people have thought that I am being too selective, but I feel strongly about a few good things, and on a practical note, it just hasn‘t worked with non-compassionate potential mates.

    These are some of the subjects of my obstinance:

    I avoid doing harm to anyone, and when it comes to spending significant amounts of time, being with someone who also feels strongly about doing no harm to anyone is very important to me.

    I’d like to be with someone of my own “maturity,” and someone who I feel very close to.

    And last, but certainly not least, I want to be with someone who I enjoy being with at least as much as I like being by myself.

    I have two places I can go to meet and spend time with other vegans. The first is the Sacramento Vegan Meetup, a group that is organized via a Meetup website (I‘m the current organizer of the group). We have over 400 members (and counting!), and we get together locally and relatively frequently. Off-shoot groups have also formed from this group: a vegan parents and kids group, and an animal advocacy group that is very active in local demonstrations and public education.

    The second place I have met some good friends is Veggie Connection
    (veggieconnection.com), an international website for vegans, vegetarians, raw foodists, etc. Even though it’s an international site, I’ve found many local folks on this site. I often invite the local vegans/vegetarians from this site to the Vegan Meetup.

    It’s funny: the vegan men I speak with relay similar challenges when talking about accepting a sweetheart into their lives. Knowing this leads me to think that it wouldn’t be so challenging to get together, but it sure is!

    Claudine Erlandson says...

    May 16th, 2009, 2:25 pm

    Oh Kerry, you look superb on your bicycle! I’m sure because of your veganism and compassion. I think the right man is just around the corner…or better yet, think about how many you have educated. Please don’t give up.
    I am not even there yet with my husband after 50 years! Even this morning, he said “What’s wrong with eggs from happy chickens?”…I chose not to answer… not yet anyway.
    Thank you gorgeous compassionate wise woman!

    Lisa says...

    July 23rd, 2009, 9:46 pm

    I’m 27 and live in Sydney Australia. There isn’t much joy down here either…

    Anne says...

    November 26th, 2009, 6:13 am

    I guess I have a similar problem. Most, if not all the men I meet, who are ‘animal enlightened’, are at least 10 years younger than me. Which is nice if you want to start a family, which I don’t, or if they don’t mind an older woman – but most of them do mind! So what to do?

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