A couple’s wedding day is not only an intense one, but also an increasingly rare one. In past generations and societies, it was seldom a question of whether a love bond would last long enough to accompany two people down the aisle, or fail to keep a couple together through thick and thin; a cornerstone of the marital bond. But as marriage rates in North America diminish with each passing year, speculation has arisen from all angles of social and economic study to try and explain why marriage as we knew it just does not seem to be faring as well as it once did.
Have ethics become the new religion? And if yes, are we looking to outmoded belief systems to keep us together, when we should instead be focusing on the ethics we share? The answer is likely more complex than this, but it’s definitely a sound starting point to figuring out how to build a marriage that lasts.
One interesting trend that supports this idea is that of vegan weddings. If you didn’t think in a million years that it would someday be practiced widely, nevermind openly, then it might be time for an update on what people truly believe in these days. And no, it’s not only the Church, the Synagogue, or the Mosque.
Yes, those places of worship will always be at the heart of certain communities, but we’re referring to the more individualistic, create-your-own-rituals-and-traditions kind of people who are driving the vegan wedding trend. Then again, so are Jews; when Anne Hathaway married Adam Shulman recently in Big Sur, the couple had it catered completely vegan within the context of a traditional Jewish ceremony. Even megastar Natalie Portman recently insisted on a vegan wedding. Funny, isn’t it?
Freed from obligations to old-fashioned culinary traditions, couples are opting for better environmental karma at their weddings by doing away with animal products. Marriage is meant to symbolize a rebirth of the couple as an official entity, and therefore the creation of new life; so why should innocent, beautiful creatures of the earth need to suffer for the festivities to happen?
To many sentient human beings who are connecting with the Earth more profoundly than any Western generation before it, this is a primitive, morbid, and offensive tradition that needs to be dodged at any cost. Not that vegan weddings are necessarily expensive; they don’t have to be. Knowing what one’s budget is, inviting the right type of and number of guests, and choosing the location are all necessary factors to consider when planning a wedding.
But it seems that in recent years, setting the big day’s ethical stance towards animals and the environment has become just as important for certain couples. Imagine if the good karma brought on having a vegan wedding ensured that the universe keeps couples together through thick and thin. Being vegan in itself is quite the commitment, so if two people share common values based on the lifestyle and the perspective it offers, it can only help as their marriage evolves.
Adapting to challenges and restrictions in a society that does not always cater to their dietary and ethical needs is a great strength that many true vegans possess, and this could carry over into couples braving the world together, where both partners do their best to adapt to whatever comes their way.
Animal ethics and respect for the other are vegan-supported values that could not only deepen the significance and experience of the marital ceremony, but if held true, could help maintain the bond between a couple just as much. Rather than ascribing to the increasingly difficult task of finding common ground over religion, which is usually imposed at birth anyways, a vegan couple will bond over self-awareness and empathy for all life surrounding them on this planet. If any single outlook on the world could translate into a constructive approach to relationship building, this could very well be it.
Being vegan tends to imply a holistic approach to living. Because this thought process ends up permeating many aspects of one’s lifestyle, it could be said that couples who live this way would predictably put more thought into the meaning behind their actions. Could this increase the chances of a marriage between vegans lasting longer than a non-vegan one? For most couples only time can tell, but there’s probably a good chance of the answer, among vegans at least, to be a resounding yes.
www.veganhousewives.com (photo credit)