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Do vegans need a dating app? The founding CEO of Veggly says yes

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Veggly Photo: Pavel Danilyuk

They say that love is a battlefield.

That saying came from Pat Benatar’s 1983 classic of the same name but those finding love as a vegan would know this all too well.

Alex Felipelli, a computer engineer who spent two decades working in IT, marketing and sales, found this out the hard way when he turned vegan six years ago.

Veggly Photo: Alex Felipelli

“Dating can be hard… it's always a challenge finding someone that connects with you,” he says. “For vegans and vegetarians, it can get even harder because many will not consider dating an omnivore.”

Alex realised that most regular dating app users are simply not willing to accommodate going out with someone with a vastly different way of life – nevermind that more restaurants than ever are now offering plant-based options.

“A lot of people started to make jokes or simply ghosted me after I told them I was vegan,” he explains.

Misconceptions and stereotypes of vegans aside, the crux of it is not just about the culinary logistics of going on a date. It’s about deciding to build a life together.

“There's a whole set of values involved in being vegan that makes having a relationship with someone who doesn't share these values quite difficult.”

Veggly Photo: Veggly

Thus, the idea for Veggly was born. Felipelli quit his job and dedicated his time exclusively to the project, launching it in October 2018. Call it the vegan version of Tinder or Bumble if you wish, but the platform has created a safe and much more comfortable space for vegans and vegetarians to meet and connect with like-minded people.

It works by letting its users like profiles after applying a set of filters like age and distance. Knowing that the app caters to vegans takes the emotional labour out of having to explain oneself to a potential partner at the early stages.

In fact, a survey the tech company conducted amongst 7,400 of their users recently also showed that 52 percent of vegans refused to date meat-eaters.

Today, Veggly is proud to have over half a million users and has made two million matches – some of whom have gone on to get married and start their own families.

“When someone tells a vegan he or she is a vegan, the mutual respect and admiration grows immediately,” says Felipelli.

Perhaps it's thanks to visionaries like Felipelili, that love can finally be a level playing field.

Veggly is available for download on iOS and Android in English, Spanish, German, Portuguese, French, Italian, Danish, and Polish. For more information, head to veggly.net

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