Living peacefully in house of omnivores - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 01-13-2014, 01:46 PM
Meat Free Since Dec 2013!
coexist52's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: North Carolina, USA
Posts: 83

As I grow into my new vegetarian lifestyle, I find that meat is becoming more and more repellent to me.  I live with a husband and teenager daughter who are both omnivores.  My dilemma is trying to find ways to prepare meals for them that don't totally gross me out.  So far we've been eating out a lot!  At home, I try to get something for them based on how little I have to handle it to prepare it.  When the meal is ready, I sort of shove the meat down to their end of the table and usually find myself eating in an adjoining room or an hour or so later.  Husband is willing to try new things . . . up to a point . . . and he's eating more healthy foods and trying to go meatless maybe once a week.  Daughter considers herself to be a carnivore instead of omnivore!  She lives for meat!  How do other people handle this situation?

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#2 Old 01-13-2014, 02:05 PM
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Lentil City, UK
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Is your daughter old enough to cook?  If so, tell her to get on with it - same goes for your hubby if they insist on eating meat at home.


Both of them can eat meat for their lunchtime meal without you having to prepare it at home.  If it distresses you to the point where you can't eat with them then they should be showing a bit more sensitivity.  As you are vegetarian there are plenty of options for meals you can all enjoy without having to include meat.


My Dad and children are all omnivores - none of them expect me to prepare meat for them, they either do it themselves or eat out.  All of them will happily eat my vegan food if they are too lazy to prepare their own meals.  Youngest was tucking into Linda McCartney veg sausages and mash with gusto yesterday :)

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#3 Old 01-13-2014, 02:13 PM
Not such a Beginner ;)
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 8,394
Hi and welcome! Maybe you could do Meatless Monday meals for everyone, and then other days, try to make meals where the meat is added at the end or cooked separately from the rest of the meal. I've heard good things about this book. zyqe8upe.jpg

This article has tips also

As far as being grossed out by the meat, I totally understand. I would take it easy on the family for awhile, though, as this is your change, not theirs (yet). You used to eat meat, I assume, please just realize they aren't at the same place as you are. They are still like the vast majority, thinking they need meat.

I would especially tread carefully around your daughter with food issues, as eating disorders are frighteningly common amongst teen girls and young women in our thin-obsessed society. I would just teach by example, and leave tempting vegan leftovers labeled with the name of the dish, date, and "help yourself" on it. smiley.gif

Good luck and hang in there!
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#4 Old 01-13-2014, 04:00 PM
Don't Eat Animals.
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Location: USA
Posts: 1,291

coexist52 -


The above advice is you really NEED to cook meat for them if you don't want to? :idea:


Don't violate your own personal principles.  :huh:


Eating out is a lot more expensive than eating at home, & may not "solve" the problem.


Have they watched any videos (FORKS OVER KNIVES, VEGUCATED) about meat?  Have you explained why you made your decision & why they might want to embrace it?  You look very smart & the phrase "If Mamma ain't Happy....nobody"s Happy" comes to mind.


My wife ate a bit of fish after I went veg*n, & there's NO WAY I would cook it for her, we both had an understanding, & your situation might be different.  You have to have a harmonious relationship in your house.  Life is too short.  I went veg & most of my relatives followed.  I never pushed it on anyone, I just calmly explained the benefits.


I would say two things:


1) Don't do anything that you want to do. Why would you want to? If you don't want to cook meat for other people...tell them to do it themselves. They know where the kitchen is.


2)  Stick to your principles.  I was offered a free prime rib dinner a few weeks ago.  I declined, saying that I would only eat some green beans, mashed potatoes, etc.  The waiter looked at me like I had lost my mind.  He repeated his position & I repeated mine.  I got some veggie sides with a salad & was very happy.  BTW - I explained why I didn't want to eat meat & he looked at me like I was from Venus.  No, really....he literally stared at me for 30 seconds.  Whatever....


Good Luck!!!!!  :nana::pibo: 

All animals should be respected & should have the ability to lead a natural & enjoyable life. This means not eating them, or abusing them in any way.
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#5 Old 01-17-2014, 09:06 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 64

I totally sympathize with you coexist. Although I don't have kids, I live with my fiancee and a room mate who both eat meat. Neither of them were very open to my new lifestyle at the beginning. Its a year later now and I have to say that it has gotten a ton better. My fiancee actually stands up for me now and we are a lot happier.


The biggest thing I did was stop talking about meat being/not being in the food. If you sit down and say "ok this plate is mac and cheese and there is no meat in it" then they will want to add meat. If you say "Here is the wonderful mac and cheese I made from scratch for us!" There is nothing missing and most of the time there won't be an issue. I made a list of all of the meals I used to cook that didn't have meat and some that could easily be made without it. (mac an cheese from scratch, chili, home cooked red sauce, potatoes and veggies in the oven, breakfast burritos, ect..). Now when I cook I try and make meals like that instead of meals that seem incomplete.


The second change I made is if my fiancee requests a meal that has meat I will have him take out and defrost whatever meat he wants. I will then prepare the rest of the meal (pasta, veggies, ect..) get two separate pans out and put half in each. Then I will call him into the kitchen again and say ok add meat to yours now please. He does this any time he wants meat in his dinner. After that I will just use two separate utensils to stir each one. I'm happy. He's Happy. 


The third change I made is not cooking every night! Take some of that pressure off yourself and buy some sandwich stuff, salads, and pasta and tell them there is no dinner plan and to make their own food. This lets you have some time to yourself, takes the pressure off of the situation, and teaches your family that they should be appreciative of you. 


I also changed the way conversations happen in my house. I do not tolerate being picked on or ganged up on and I usually just say "I don't want to talk about it." I also refuse to talk about vegetarianism over dinner. I never made my fiancee watch any documentaries about vegetarianism and honestly he stared asking me questions on his own. 


My confidence to do all of this came from one woman. Her name is Colleen Patrick-Goudreau and she has a free podcast called "Vegetarian Food for Thought". I wouldn't have gotten where I am without her and her work. If there is one thing you do for yourself right now, download all of the episodes and listen to them!!!!! 

Just because we can, doesn't mean we should.

Just because we always have, doesn't mean we always have to.

Once we KNOW better, we should DO better.

~Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

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#6 Old 01-18-2014, 01:36 PM
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Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 118

My situation is a bit different as I am a college student who lives with my parents and siblings, and my mother cooks most of the time, however they are all omnis except for me. My mother is very considerate and usually makes something that I can eat (and if she doesn't, I'll make something but that's actually pretty rare). My dad and siblings rarely cook, though my dad does barbeque a lot in the summer, but he'll usually just grill a veggie burger for me. However, when I do cook I never make anything with meat. Nobody really cares that much. I sometimes make this Italian wonderpot dish ( - its so amazing! I don't even add the feta cheese) and my dad will cook some sausage to put in his, but otherwise they just eat what I make. 


I wouldn't make meat dishes at all because if I'm cooking it, I should be able to eat it. And I'm not making meat for them to put in it either. If they want to grill some chicken or something and put it in whatever I make, that's their choice but it's not my responsibility. Meat grosses me out too. I would tell your family that they should make their own meat if they really want to eat it. If you're putting in the effort to cook, you shouldn't have to do something you don't want to, and you shouldn't have to be grossed out either! 


*edited for spelling errors

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