Monday, August 3, 2009

Two vegans, two years, one wedding: The Saga, part 3.

This is the third installment of an as of yet unknown quantity of posts about Melissa Bastian's wedding nonsense, to be posted monthly.

As this is my post for the first Monday of the month, it's meant to be the third installment of my vegan wedding antics. But this morning a slow, steady, quiet rain is falling, and it is making me contemplative. So I'm thinking that instead of the wedding, I'm going to write about the marriage that I will be embarking upon, and maybe more so the partnership that I have already found.

Jonathan and I have been together for a bit over three years. Often when omni friends and acquaintances find out that he is also vegan, they ask if he went vegan for me. But not at all! Our mutual veganism is, in fact, how we found each other. Believe it or not, we met on Friendster. (For you young'ins, that's the thing that existed before Facebook, or even Myspace.) He happened to be searching for vegans in his area, and I, having gone vegan two months beforehand, happened to have said something about my veganism on my Friendster profile. Voila!

I won't go into all the gory details, but yes, the long story short is that I met my future husband on Friendster, and it's all because we're both vegan.

Whether veg'ns can or should date omnis has long been a hot topic in the veg community, and many have strong feelings on it. I don't think I have a right to an opinion on who others should or should not date. All I know is that when I decided it was time for me to dedicate myself to a vegan lifestyle, dating anyone who did not also follow that lifestyle was out of the question. I went vegan because of a deep rooted feeling, based in cold hard facts gained through years of research, that there is something seriously wrong with our current methods of food production - particularly with regard to animal foods. How, then, could I date someone who could eat the products of that system, that I so strongly believe to be corrupt, amoral, perverse, etc...? To me it presented a fundamental incompatibility. Plus, how the hell would we ever agree on where to eat dinner?

But alas, I tangent.

Luckily, shortly into my vegan life, I found Jonathan. He had then been vegetarian for ten years and vegan for almost five. He was (is) a fabulous cook, and had (has) an extensive knowledge of the veg restaurants in this huge city to which at the time I was still pretty new. Naturally we connected on many other levels, but being with him was a huge benefit to my fledgling veganity.

Jon and I are vegan for different primary reasons. He focuses on the ethical side: he believes that it is fundamentally wrong to eat an animal. While not feeling that eating animals is A-OK in every circumstance, I have more of an objection to the way that food animals are treated in current society - cranked out of factories as if they were chairs or automobiles, not living and thinking beings. Both of us knew that becoming vegan was the proper step to take for ourselves, but we have different takes on the issues. This allows us to have interesting debates on the subject, and to challenge each other to think about why we do what we do. I believe it's important not to be stagnant in the act of being vegan - after all, it is in reality a boycott.

Jonathan is my partner, and our shared vegan lifestyle is an important factor in that partnership. Of course there are MANY other aspects that are as or more important. (Like that he's hilarious, brilliant, caring, and well read, for instance, or that we agree on the kinds of cities we'd like to live in if and when we leave New York.) But I believe that it has been a cornerstone in our relationship. Why? Because it is a way of seeing, understanding, and approaching the world.

Some of our friends and relatives think that we're simply being stubborn to insist that our wedding will be all vegan. But to us, to do anything else is unthinkable. How can we have a celebration of our partnership, of which this worldview is such a crucial factor, that involves the very thing that we reject? It would be absurd.

So yes, we're having an all vegan wedding, to celebrate our partnership which is so intrinsically vegan - a partnership that began just because one vegan looked for another on Friendster.

Sometimes it's funny how things work out.


michelle said...

Ha! I met my boyfriend on Friendster too!

Such a great story, you two! :)

melissa bastian. said...

Hmm, maybe it's just the NYC way of doing things. ;) For serious, when are we gonna do, say brunch at Curly's? said...

Please please get in touch, as I'd love to feature your vegan wedding on! :) Candy

al oof said...

the thing that is so strange to me about people wanting vegans to have non-vegan food at their wedding, is the idea that there should be anything to eat at your wedding that you can't eat! that's ridiculous. seriously, i wouldn't have anything at my wedding that my partner couldn't eat (he is the vegan one, i am working on it). it's our wedding! hell, 3/4's of a wedding is about eating, and the bride and groom are going to be left out of it.

it's seriously -totally- baffling. we are thinking about having a plain penne with tomato sauce out of a can for anyone who doesn't want to eat 'weird' vegan food. see how they like it.

melissa bastian. said...

Howdy again VeganBride. Here I am! Contact me any time -

al oof - didn't you know that everything you do is supposed to be done to make *other* people happy? (clearly, jk.)

A ninny mouse, that's what we call SPAM. Which I normally delete instantly. The ONLY reason I'm not doing that instead of typing this is that some of our readers might actually be interested - if, in fact, your site isn't total crap.

TheAwesomestPossum said...

I loved reading your thoughts here, and I'm so, so happy for you two! What an awesome partnership. :) My husband and I took a lot of crap for refusing to serve any meat at our wedding (we were only vegetarian at the time, chose vegan together after we married), but the complaints mysteriously stopped as soon as people started eating the amazing veggie food we had. ;) What a great wedding present, to watch even ardent carnivores admit that they liked what they were eating. Woot!

melissa bastian. said...

Awesomest Sam, that's so cool! I will admit that not the reason for, but part of the benefit of, having the all vegan wedding is getting to serve an all-vegan meal to a large group of people who are accustomed to having meat at least once a day. Many of them will be ASTOUNDED by the fact that everything from the appetizers to the desserts are vegan.

Sam, your wedding sounds super cool. Perhaps someday you'll write up something for the blog about it, and about you and your husband choosing veganism together? Because seriously, that's rad.