Loving And Living With A Meat Eater When You’re A Vegetarian
For National Vegetarians Month I wanted to talk about a particular group of individuals who are probably struggling a little: the vegetarians who love and live with meat eaters. I was a vegetarian for three years and during that time I met my boyfriend. For me, showing love involves cooking for people and sharing my favorite foods with them. This was obviously tough when the person I love, well, found most of my foods at best bland and at worst repulsive. I, of course, found the foods he likes repulsive at the time. And then there were the differences in ethics around our diets. It’s not easy but you can make it work. Here’s what it’s like being a vegetarian who loves and lives with a meat eater.
You’ll get nauseous sometimes
Sometimes you’ll walk into your own kitchen and smell a waft of meat cooking and become very nauseous. Then your partner will feel terrible and you’ll feel terrible for making him feel terrible. It’s a whole thing.
Being drunk together can be hard
When you get drunk and want those late night snacks, your partner always wants to hit the drive-through or order pepperoni pizza. Your defenses are down when you’re tipsy and it’s especially hard to be around meat at that time.
You’ll consider two refrigerators
When you move in together you’ll consider getting two refrigerators. You don’t want your partner’s food near yours. He is tired of you acting like his food is invading your space.
Nobody has room for two refrigerators
Nobody has room for two refrigerators and you quickly realize that was a ridiculous notion.
Sometimes you cook meat
Sometimes, for very special occasions like his birthday, you’ll cook meat for your partner. You don’t eat it, but you buy it and make it because your loyalty to him is slightly greater than your loyalty to your lifestyle.
Food made your way is a compromise
You try so hard to find vegetarian alternatives to your partner’s favorite food. You visit every specialty store that promises to have faux turkey that tastes like the real thing but he still always wishes it were the real thing.
Resist judging him
You have to resist judging his choices. He was raised as a meat eater. You have to separate the man from the diet, even though you’re kind of judgmental of other meat eaters.
Ask your friends not to judge him
Your vegetarian friends make their comments to you, which is fine, but you have to ask them not to criticize your partner or try to convert him. Especially in his own home.
The fake hotdogs look a lot like the real ones, a fact you learn the hard way (read: with major stomach problems) before you start labeling food.
You worry about his health
You naturally worry about your partner’s health because you know how meat can affect one’s system in the long run. Bringing it up a lot, however, makes him feel like you’re judging him.ine and you too
You can encourage him to be healthier
You find other ways to encourage your partner to be healthier. You try to get him to eat less red meat and more chicken and fish. You get him into omega supplements and green juice. At least it’s something.
His friends scoff a little
His friends tease you for being a vegetarian. They do it just a little to your face so you know they full on roast him about it when you’re not around.
He respects you so you should respect him
You have to remember that he doesn’t try to talk you into eating meat so you can’t try to talk him into being a vegetarian. (Even though you really feel your way is the right way.)
(But sometimes he pressures you)
All that being said, he does sometimes try to pressure you into eating meat. Like when he has a burger he thinks is too good not to share.
Applaud small efforts and changes
When he does things like, pick out an all vegetarian restaurant for date night or learn a vegetarian recipe, you have to applaud him a lot to encourage him to keep eating healthier.