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© 2015 mo'adore | Content and design by Morag Lee | Powered by Blogger.

Yes, I put vegan on my Tinder and I swipe left on health nuts because food politics are important to me

Sometimes I'm advised not to do it, but I do it anyway.

"You'll be seen as a preachy vegan type"

"People might be put off"

"You're revealing too much, try and have some mystery"

I'm talking about adding the word vegan to my online dating profile. It's not because I'm massively preachy or only date fellow vegans. Yeah, sure: if I could visit a shop and pick out my dream partner they'd be a vegan, but it's not a dealbreaker.

But I still put it in my bio for two reasons:

1. it means that other vegans can easily spot me, and
2. it means that anyone who is anti-vegan knows to fuck off immediately

At its most basic level, food is something we use to fuel our bodies. But, in reality, it is so much more than that. It's cultural, it's moral - and it is most definitely political. Food is brought up in parliament in relation to health policy, and Twitter has been awash the past few weeks with the news of the Amazon fires that were caused by aggressive animal agriculture. It's naive to brush food off as some neutral component of human life.

And because it is political, it means that it can become a dealbreaker in the world of dating.

While veganism might be brushed off as a personal choice or a phase someone goes through. For many of us, it is a political decision. Many vegans don't consume animal products because we believe it is wrong. And we believe it is wrong to the point where we consider it a dealbreaker when it comes to friendships and dating.

Personally, I don't have it written off as a dealbreaker and a meat-eater is welcome to court me. However, I'm not going to pretend that I wouldn't challenge the meat-eater to think about why they are eating a dead animal or remind them they are killing the planet.

And let's be honest: a lot of people would dump my ass for that kind of behaviour.

(Also, I also don't cook meat for people.)

While I don't consider veganism within itself to be a dealbreaker, I do consider politics to be a dealbreaker. I don't believe someone I'm dating has to agree on every issue under the sun, but I do want our political leanings to be similar-ish. Tories, Brexieters, pro-lifers, SWERFS and TERFs are five groups of people with political ideologies that I consider to be too polarising to my own to even consider a friendship, let alone a romantic partnership.

But under that political umbrella, there are some issues that I'm happy to disagree on (and by disagree I still mean challenge from time to time). One of those is veganism. I would prefer it if we agreed but I can live if we don't.

And I have known people who have gone veggie after falling in love with a veggie. It's not unheard of. Heck, most of my friends are veggie now but some of them weren't when I first met them.

To be honest though, people aren't particularly surprised to find any of this out. In fact, I'm regularly asked how I feel about dating a meat-eater when conversations turn to Tinder. But something that does catch people off guard is another area of food politics that is a dealbreaker to me.

And that's diet culture. 

Whenever I see "gym bunny", "I really take care of myself and don't ever eat bad" or - dear god - "raw vegan" I swipe left immediately. You can be handsome af in that cute nerd way that I like, write poetic morning texts, and own a library full of non-fiction books - and I'd still not bother with you if you insist on counting calories or won't go out for dinner because you're fasting.

Because, again, food is political. It can be more than a simple lifestyle choice.

My decision to not count calories and to prescribe to intuitive eating is a political one. In a world where eating disorders are rampant and there are industries out there that feed off of people's insecurities, deciding to nourish my body and accept its natural shape feels like a revolutionary act.

And it's a revolutionary act that I want my partner to share with me.

I fully believe that food should be enjoyed, and we should never encourage people to starve or go hungry in order to shrink themselves to a size that their body is not meant to be.

Truthfully, my aversion to dating people who count calories goes beyond politics and into mental health. While I might be all ~luv thyself~ now, it was a long journey. And it's still a journey as I am constantly surrounded by advertisements on a daily basis that don't want me to be happy in my own skin. It's a constant effort to keep myself above it. I became really skinny in my early 20s after an emotionally difficult time - and maintained my low food intake for some time after because I really liked the way skinny felt regardless of how unhealthy my behaviour was (I quit this nonsense after I was bed-bound with tonsillitis). And I don't surround myself with people who might encourage me to undo all of that hard work.

Which, obviously, includes romantic partners.

But it's more than just veganism and diet culture. These are just my own food-related dealbreakers.

Food can be a dealbreaker in many different ways.

My friend was speaking to a guy on a dating app, who was lovely enough. But he didn't drink. Which is obviously a perfectly acceptable lifestyle choice. However, my friend is a drinker and likes to actively seek out new bevvies. This wasn't what caused her to end it after two dates, but it was something she actively debated.

I've also met a handful of people who wouldn't want to date a fussy eater who only ever orders chicken nuggets.

And bad table manners.

Dealbreakers are deal-breakers. 

If you're someone with fairly mainstream eating habits, the idea that food could be a dealbreaker might not have ever occurred to you. It's similar to people who want marriage and children; they forget that some of us are child-free by choice.

And it doesn't matter whether someone finds out on a first date or a 10th date - if someone really isn't up for dating someone who is (or wants) x, y, and z then they'll end it. And that's why I think it's important to have a Tinder bio that shows off your personality - including anything that might act as a potential dealbreaker. You know that saying? Things that are for you won't go past you yadadada.

While I've not found a partner via online dating, I have met a lovely female friend on Bumble BFF. Both of us had very detailed bios - and we both double took when we saw each other for the first time. Heck, I even screenshotted her profile to send to my current friends because I was so excited! We could tell straight off the bat that we weren't going to be short of conversation topics! So while, yes, a detailed bio might mean you lose out on more right swipes - it means that people you are really suited for will definitely swipe right! Just like me and newest plantonic love affair.

So I put vegan in my bio. Saves everyone time.
morag | mo adore
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