Tandi Rolen, a 28-year-old yoga instructor, is a vegan — meaning she abstains from consuming meat or any animal byproduct. Meanwhile, Mitchell Rolen, her husband, works as a fishing guide and is a proud hunter.
However, despite their differences, Tandi and her hunter husband, who have been married since January 2015, manage to make it work together.
The high school sweethearts met at 16 — four years before Tandi adopted a plant-based diet to focus on her health, Daily Mail reports. Tandi became fully vegan a month after the pair wed.
“I became so passionate about the positive effects of a vegan diet and I wanted to share it with the world. I understood the negative habits the western world has, and wanted to be a part of the conscious shift towards healing for all,” she said, according to the Daily Mail.
Tandi admits it was a rocky start as she initially did try to force her newfound diet on her husband, before letting go of “the pressure of my husband having the same food values.
“What saved my marriage was realizing that people will not change if you tell them what they're doing is wrong. You have to lead by example and lead with compassion and understanding.”
Eventually, Tandi claims Mitchell came on board with her food philosophy and vowed to only eat meat that he himself killed using a bow and arrow. He also agreed to store his meat products in the garage and not the house, she said.
“People think it's really far out. But it works for us because we're able to integrate our values to be the best version of ourselves,” said Tandi, noting the pair still eats together, and her husband will just add “deer or grouse” to his meal.
“Everyone is so far on one side of the spectrum. But the truth is everything is not a one-size-fits-all — lifestyle and diet included. We have to integrate. And we must take the best options on both sides and practice them.”
The pair currently are raising their 4-month-old son vegan as well — but Tandi says that’s only because she is a vegan. She would not stop him from following in his dad’s footsteps when he’s older.
“Once he's old enough to understand how food is sourced, he can decide if he wants to eat animal products. But until then, he will get all his nutrients from plants,” she said.