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#1 Old 02-20-2008, 07:25 AM
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Hi, I am new here and first of all let me say I am NOT a vegetarian but i am married to one. I need help. It seems that we are at an impasse with regards to meat in the house and I would like some others' opinions and/or ideas. My loving wife is the only VEG in the house. There are 9 of us total in the family 6 full time in the home. She would like to have absolutely NO meat in the house whatsoever. I feel like this is not really fair to the rest of us but would like some other views on this. Any info, advice, criticism or help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.



Regards,



Steve
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#2 Old 02-20-2008, 07:35 AM
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Who does the cooking?



Is it that your wife doesn't want meat in the house? Or does she just not want to prepare it?



Maybe you can compromise? If she'll back off a bit on the "no meat in the house" desire you'll cook your own meat? Maybe you can also compromise on how often you're wiling to eat meatless meals.



It can be difficult to find the balance between veg and non-veg family members.



One important fact, too, is why is she vegetarian? If she is vegetarian for health reasons them compromise may be easier. If she is vegetarian for ethical/moral considerations then asking her to compromise may be asking her to violate a deeply held moral or ethical stance. That can make finding the right balance harder.



You need to sit down and talk to your wife and see what you can both do to settle the issue. Remember that it is a two-way street.



You probably feel like, "I'm not a vegetarian and it isn't fair for her to try to make me into one. I didn't choose this."



But remember if she's morally/ethically opposed to the killing of animals for food (or any other reason) and you're asking her to cook meat she may feel that you're not being fair.



You'll have to communicate to find a compromise.

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#3 Old 02-20-2008, 07:36 AM
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Well thats a tough one Steve , I can see where your wife is coming from but with so many meat eaters in the house its very hard to put her values onto to others and expect them to tow the line .



Maybe a compromise can be talked through that you have one or two vegetarian main meals per week . Does your wife have to cook meat , that also could be an issue to look at if she does .
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#4 Old 02-20-2008, 07:40 AM
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Hi Steve! First let me tell you that it's wonderful you are seeking other opinions and information for your wife. I think that's very kind and thoughtful of you. Since she sounds a little isolated in her home (as many of us are ) maybe you could direct here here for a little vegetarian support.



Now I'll answer your questions as best I can. I understand your veiws on this and the rest of your family but consider this, is it fair to subject her to something that she is ethically opposed to, and likely upset by, in her own home? I know that you all live there too but as a vegetarian it becomes important to have a "safe place" where the stress of not being around meat, and meat eating is not present.



It's also important to note that you can eat her food but she will not eat yours. Her diet is healthy, nutritious, and filled with lots of options for everyone. She's not asking anyone to starve she's just askin for a "sanctuary" in her home. My Husband and I maintain a vegetarian home. It is important to me and he understands. That took him a few years to "get" though. And I assure you he's never hungry or lacking tasty food. He's also a "guy's guy" and will (most likely) never go vegetarian. His support, however, means the world to me and his keeping vegetarian at home with me shows me he loves me.



Lastly, just talk to her. Find out what compromises you all can make. If you're not willing to have a vegetarian home, which I urge you to consider, ask her if a "reduction" would help. As well as, "hiding it" in containers and not having visible meat in the fridge or in pantry items. That might help for a little while, but I'd bet if she's asking this it's something she needs.



Good Luck! And again, I think it's wonderful you're here and asking these things
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#5 Old 02-20-2008, 08:21 AM
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First of all thanks for the responses. I was not sure i would get any but i definitely want to work this out with my wife. Let me try to address some of the questions raised in the responses.



My wife does some of the cooking as she does not work outside the home. she goes to school 2 days a week. Lots of cereal and simple things that kids can make themselves are on the menus, sandwiches etc.



I have never asked my wife to cook meat, in fact i have told her that i would cook met if i wanted it. I LOVE Mexican food and having only bean burritos gets old for me and the kids.



The reason for her vegetarianism is not that clear to me. I think it is a combination of things. First and foremost it is a control issue. In a time in her life when she had no control over any part of her life this was one area she could control. I think there is also a moral/ethical part. I only say this because we have to spend 3x the amount of money to buy cage free eggs too I do not believe it is for health reasons really as she has replaced all meat with cookies and cakes and ice cream. She does not cook/eat a lot of vegetables, when she does cook veggies its broccoli. I like veggies myself. i also like meat . She mostly eats breads starches and pastas.



I seem to be having a hard time accepting a vegetarian household. For me its like asking her to have a completely sugar free home because i am a diabetic. I would never ask that of her.



Regards,



Steve
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#6 Old 02-20-2008, 08:56 AM
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I think in this situation it would be best to have some serious talks with her about why she's vegetarian, why she feels the need to have a vegetarian home, and what you might be able to comprise with her on . Of course, try not to be confrontational, but ask, like you are here, for clairification to reach common goals... like a happy home for everyone.



It's wonderful that you've never asked her to cook meat. Really, that's very cool of you. It is tough sometimes having different diets in one house, kids, meat-eaters, vegetarians, and diabetics all have special food requirements. If my Husband was diabetic and asked me to keep a sugar free home, I'd do it a heartbeat. However, that is different from vegetarianism. If her reasons for being vegetarian are ethical ones, and they may or may not be, then being around meat is not the same as being around something that someone is allergic to or something that somone can not eat for diabetic reasons. Not that I'm unsypathetic towards the dietary requirements of diabetics, it just is different. You're not ethically oppossed to sugar, she (may be) ethically oppossed to meat and the inherant cruelties that come with it. I am and having a meat-free home helps me feel comfortable. I hope you can look at this and understand that for some of us, being around meat and/or dairy causes sadness and distress. If you've never seen the videos www.meetyourmeat.com and many others might help you understand the point of view of ethical vegetarians.



If her issue is control and control of the house only, I would suggest you talk to her since that's another issue entirely.
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#7 Old 02-20-2008, 09:05 AM
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OK the main reason she says she is vegetarian is for HEALTH. The way i see that is if thats the case then why does she eat mostly breads and starches and pastas. Cakes and cookies and ice creams are her staples. I don't get it.
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#8 Old 02-20-2008, 09:19 AM
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lol- I don't get it either then A vegetarian diet can be extremely healthy, if you're eating whole foods in a wide variety. Figure out why she wants the house to be vegetarian, but if that means she wants to fill it with cakes and cookies and and ice cream, she would be doing you all a great disservice in the health department. If she wants to load up on vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and fuits then yeah... go for more vegetarian stuff cause we all need more vegetables but not if it's cakes and cookies. Sounds like you still need to figure out Why she wants a vegetarian home. Very interesting
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#9 Old 02-20-2008, 09:21 AM
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You can be a junk-food vegetarian, unfortunately, and it's not unusual for vegetarians to fall into carb-heavy eating habits simply because they don't know what else to eat. (Think of the standard american diet, and take out the meat - what's left?) With the possibility that she doesn't know what else to eat... What if the two of you invested in some good family-friendly vegetarian cookbooks? "Vegan Family Favorites" is good, as is 101 Meatless Family Favorites ( http://www.amazon.com/101-Meatless-F...3524082&sr=8-4 ). See if in a family-wide getting-healthy project you can agree to try 1 new vegetable a week to increase the number of veggies you like. You can also "hide" veggies on pizza, if that's something your family will eat. I also like to add them to pasta sauces.



Your wife isn't alone - a doctor friend of mine recently told me a patient who is basically a junk-food vegetarian, but she's had some thyroid problems which allow her to eat that stuff and get away with it. Now that she's on thyroid meds, that's going to have to change!
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#10 Old 02-20-2008, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by utahgolfer View Post

OK the main reason she says she is vegetarian is for HEALTH. The way i see that is if thats the case then why does she eat mostly breads and starches and pastas. Cakes and cookies and ice creams are her staples. I don't get it.



That is not a healthy vegetarian diet. I hope the kids eat a little better. Not trying to be confrontational...She can eat what she wants; she's an adult, but the children should be provided some healthy stuff. I hope they are.



Anyway, as to your situation, I don't think it's fair of her to ask you to not bring meat into the house, especially if you cook your own meat. Perhaps you can work this out with her...I mean, from my end, if my omni husband wanted a veg free household, I'd flat out refuse, so I can see how it might be frustrating.
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#11 Old 02-20-2008, 09:35 AM
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ok some new info. In talking to her about an incident that happened on Monday. Apparently she despises meat and thinks it is absolutely unhealthy and there is no evidence that it has any part of a healthy diet. Anyway on Monday as she was taking some meat from the fridge some blood dripped on the floor and some got on her pants. Apparently it put her into shock and i was not as sympathetic and validating as she thought i should have been cuz all i said was i will clean it up and take care of it. Now i am really not knowing what to do.
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#12 Old 02-20-2008, 09:47 AM
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Well.... she's right in that meat is unhealthy. It's full of antibiotics, hormones, carcinogens etc etc but it doesn't seem she's making healthy vegetarian alternative choices. As an ethical vegetarian (though I also do this for my health and the environment), I would have a huge problem if what you say happened on Monday to your wife, happened to me. But I still don't understand, why she was taking meat out of the fridge to begin with, and why (as a health only vegetarian) it would bother her all that much to have it in the house and have to deal with it. I don't like to see my Husband drink a whole bottle of soda in a day or eat an entire jar of peanut butter but I'm not ethically oppossed to it, and I can easliy just avoid it, so what's the big deal? He can make descisions all by himself about what's healthy and what's not. Meat on the other hand, upsets me, and so we don't have it in the house. It's that simple for me. So I don't understand what's going on with your wife. You're just going to have to talk it out and make compromises where you can. You can not live on bread, cookies, cakes, and pasta alone.
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#13 Old 02-20-2008, 02:54 PM
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I can see why your wife might find meat disgusting. In my case it's been so long since I considered meat to be food that to me meat is dead body parts, and having dead body parts and blood kept next to your food is a bit horrible, maybe similar to how you'd feel at seeing a human body part. I'm not normally a squeamish person, it's just that I associate meat with animals and can't make my brain disconnect the two (and wouldn't want to).



However, I can also see why you could object to not being able to eat meat at home. As much as it's your wife's home and it's nasty seeing dead body parts when you open your own fridge, it's also your home and you want to relax and do what you like in it, including eating foods you like. As others have said, it's great that you don't try and make your wife cook meat for you. Before my husband was vegetarian he didn't eat any meat at home, but there's only the two of us so I don't really know what to suggest in your situation as you have more meat-eaters in the household than vegetarians.



Perhaps part of it is that your meals are not that interesting as it is, so when you remove the meat they become even less interesting for you? Would you both be able to try out some new vegetarian recipes to make your meals more enjoyable? You say you like Mexican food, I'm sure there are Mexican dishes that are or can be made vegetarian, you could even try making some of the meat dishes with soya mince instead of meat, once you've put all the spices in you probably wouldn't notice much of a difference!
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#14 Old 02-20-2008, 02:59 PM
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I don't see why she would be handling the meat in the first place if she has that big of a problem with it. She really sounds like she's being unreasonable. You are respecting her choice to be a vegetarian. She needs to do the same for your choice of diet.

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#15 Old 02-20-2008, 04:08 PM
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I don't see why she would be handling the meat in the first place if she has that big of a problem with it. She really sounds like she's being unreasonable. You are respecting her choice to be a vegetarian. She needs to do the same for your choice of diet.



I do respect his choice. Before he came along, I was single and veg for 5 yrs. I had meat in my home maybe 2x per yr for the kids. Everyone was okay w/that. I had one child who was veg, whom Steve has talked into eating meat. So now I watch my 6 yo eating what I believe to be crap. That bothers me! I fed his boys veggie meatballs one day, and they always ask for that now they loved it so much. I see Steve as the only one who has a problem w/no meat here.



And yes I feed my children healthy (with the exception of sugar cereals currently b/c they were recently on sale for $1 per box LOL). They have sandwiches, fruit, 100% juice in their lunches everyday. I buy almost only 100% whole wheat vegan bread.



I currently am using my drug of choice, sugar, b/c I'm stressed out of my mind. Steve and I are newly married w/7 children b/w us. We just bought a house. And I'm finishing nursing school.



He's diabetic and I've asked several times for him to make an appt w/the dietician so I can go too and learn what is okay for him to eat.



I have offered a sugar-free household if it tempted him, but he said it was fine. He doesn't have an "issue" w/sugar.



I guess I don't see why he can't get his meat when he's out of the house. He's only here for dinner.



I thought I found the ideal meal for both of us... whole wheat tortillas, seasoned refried beans, and soft taco fixin's. Then he said he felt it wasn't even really his house b/c he wanted ground beef and not refried beans.



I am at a loss. I never imagined it would be this kind of an issue. We love each other and are really trying.



It didn't seem to occur to any of you... LOL... but the reason I was pulling that meat out of the fridge mon night was b/c I am also a nice, willing person and was going to cook it. He is great and willing to cook all of it. But that doesn't really change the fact that there is meat in the home. And "some" did not spill. A minimum of one cup of meat liquids splattered across the entire kitchen floor, appliances, and worst of all on my legs where I felt it immediately seeping into my jeans. In that moment, I just felt so incredibly alone. I cannot believe I have to have that carnage and bacteria in my home.
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#16 Old 02-20-2008, 04:21 PM
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I can see that a cup of meat liquids splattering over the floor would gross you out and make you feel alone. But enforcing a no meat rule on the several non-vegetarians in your home is unreasonable. Unless of course, you buy the groceries, pay the mortgage and all the other bills, then it's your house and your rules.



There's no easy answer and I hope both of you can come to some peace.
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#17 Old 02-20-2008, 04:22 PM
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Hello to both of you.



I'm not sure where you are from, but you may be able to find a substitute for beef mince that you can all eat. I often have mexican food using "vegemince", and i love it! Here a link; http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-...nce__454g.html



I personally would hate to have meat in my house, my house is where i'm away from it all, including dead animals. So i can understand.
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#18 Old 02-20-2008, 04:32 PM
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As much as you hate meat, its unreasonable to tell all 8 non veg people they can't have any meat in their own home. Children will survive just fine without it, as will your husband. He however has a right to eat what he chooses. He is not asking you to cook it, only that its available for him to cook for him self. That sounds pretty reasonable to me.
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#19 Old 02-20-2008, 04:37 PM
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Ok then. You've all proven his point. I'm completely unreasonable. I guess I will eat out from now on.



Thanks for all the input.
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#20 Old 02-20-2008, 04:39 PM
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Woah not "everyone" on here said you are unreasonable
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#21 Old 02-20-2008, 04:47 PM
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Woah not "everyone" on here said you are unreasonable



true enough. I'm sorry, thank you for those of you who did not say that.



On a board of vegetarians w/these kinds of comments, I have to say I feel more alone than ever.
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#22 Old 02-20-2008, 04:55 PM
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Woah woah woah!! lol



You're not being unreasonable. I'm a little unclear as to what's going on, but know this... I totally agree with a meat-free house. It does work with meat-eaters and vegetarians but compromise and lots of communication make it much easier.



ETA: branch out and check out the rest of the board before you dismiss us. BTW, Welcome! I told your husband that I would bet you feel isolated and that maybe you could use some support. We've got that in leaps and bounds. Just give it a minute
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#23 Old 02-20-2008, 05:03 PM
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Acting like a spoiled child isn't going to help anything. No one is forcing you to eat meat or cook it. You eat what you want and your husband can do the same.



For the record the only portion i think it unreasonable is trying to force a meatless house on your husband when he clearly doesn't want it that way and has offered to cook his own meat.
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#24 Old 02-20-2008, 05:13 PM
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OK the main reason she says she is vegetarian is for HEALTH. The way i see that is if thats the case then why does she eat mostly breads and starches and pastas. Cakes and cookies and ice creams are her staples. I don't get it.



...Dad? Is that you? =P



This sounds just like my mom. =/ I love her to death, but she claims to be vegetarian for "health" then serves the family ice cream and cereal for dinner... or something really unappetizing like plain lentils and brown rice on the other extreme. When I got to be a teenager it was ridiculous-- I wanted to experiment and have a slice of pepperoni pizza with my friends, and she would ground me for it (I was 16!). This wasn't even in the home. It totally seemed to be a control issue for her, though I have no clue if that's true for your wife.



On the other hand, I would really prefer not to have to keep meat in my house when I have my own house and family. To keep the peace, Steve, I might suggest that you just eat the vegetarian food in the house then eat your seasoned beef and stuff at restaurants or with other friends. As it warms up, maybe you can have barbeques at other peoples' houses? I think most people would agree that it's a fair compromise not to ask someone to buy or cook meat in exchange for you being able to buy it and it eat outside the home. When I was 18 and living at home with my mom, she had no problems with me eating meat outside the house as long as I didn't store it in the fridge or anything.



Can you two possibly get marriage counseling over this? It seems like there might be some slightly more serious issues underneath the meat, and I don't think anyone here is really equipped to help your family situation.
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#25 Old 02-20-2008, 05:13 PM
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Acting like a spoiled child isn't going to help anything. No one is forcing you to eat meat or cook it. You eat what you want and your husband can do the same.



^ So not helpful



There's no possible way in three pages that the whole story can be so clear that you could make that kind of judgement about her situation. It sounds to me, though I could be totally wrong, that he sees her diet as unhealthy (as I get from his bashing of her cookie and cake only diet), and he doesn't want to change what he believes is "his" healthy, normal, omni diet. I hear this story all the time here.



What matters most is that they find a way to exist peacefully together in their home. That takes patience and balance. I used to cook meat for my Husband. Before him I had a vegan home for over 4 years. He moves in and because I was trying to be "nice" I would cook what he bought for himself. Eventually that became completely horrific and I could no longer do it. That lead to where we are now which is my happy healthy meat-free home. It's my sanctuary. She might want the same thing, what's so bad about that?



I had to show my Husband though what this meant to me. I couldn't offer to cook him meat one minute and then expect him to totally support a meat-free house the next. It took me taking a stand and renegotiating our kitchen uses for him to "get" how deeply I felt about this. And to some degree, I guess, I had to come to know this about myself too.



It's all about communication and until there's enough of it, there will only be confusion from both sides... which is what seems to be going on here.
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#26 Old 02-20-2008, 05:26 PM
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Theres no judgement, her husband stated he didn't want a meat free home and I think thats perfectly reasonable.
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#27 Old 02-20-2008, 05:28 PM
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Compromise is not him doing everything she demands.



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To keep the peace, Steve, I might suggest that you just eat the vegetarian food in the house then eat your seasoned beef and stuff at restaurants or with other friends.


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#28 Old 02-20-2008, 05:31 PM
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Did I say that he should do everything she demands? I just don't see a reason why they can't eat healthy vegetarian food predominantly in the house and then eat meat when they go out to eat or to friends' houses. Or, perhaps, he could buy meat and then cook it within a day or two, like someone else suggested. Or maybe he could have a meat compartment where they keep all the meat, so she doesn't have to deal with it.
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#29 Old 02-20-2008, 05:37 PM
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Compromise is not him doing everything she demands.



Exactly!!!



To the OP,



The suggestion of hiding the meat you buy in opague containers, etc was a great one. I hate seeing my fiance meat in the freezer. He doesn't want a meat free home at this point and I have no right to demand it. He mostly cooks his own ground beef, steak, etc when I'm done with the rest of the meal. It works out great. He respects my wish to have nothing to do with the meat and I respect his to eat whatever he wants.
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#30 Old 02-20-2008, 05:42 PM
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I'm not clear why it's unreasonable for me to want a meat-free home? Incidentally, it didn't start this way in our marriage. We've been having meat ever since he told me how very much it bothered him not to. It hasn't been working for me. I don't know what else to say.



Please understand, there is not just he and I in this household. I have 4 children who live here fulltime who are now exposed to meat all the time. Why do I now have to give up one of my parenting ideals in teaching my children that meat isn't the best choice in a diet?



And why do I have to have a perfect diet to justify my "meat is not healthy" stance?? Does me eating sugar really negate that? Is it so black and white? I give what I can, do what I can.



My husband is NOT healthy. Yet he is not open to this way of life as being helpful for his issues. I don't understand that either.



And I certainly don't expect him to do everything I demand. On a vegetarian board certainly I am not the only passionate vegetarian??



I eat more than cake and cookies. And his diet is NOT healthy.



I've suggested boneless, skinless chx breasts to him as our only home meat b/c that doesn't have quite the ick factor for me. But that wasn't okay. He felt I was controlling him by not being okay w/his ground beef tacos at home. Last night and tonight they are eating chx and broccoli casserole. I don't even eat w/the family sometimes now.



I guess I feel like I am VERY polite everywhere I go. I never ever expect anyone to cater to my vegetarianism (though his family often does which is very sweet). I don't put anyone out or make a big "holier than thou" stance. But this is my home. It's my sanctuary too, not just his.



He eats out frequently at work w/co-workers, often at nice-ish restaurants where he can eat all the meat he wants. I eat pnut butter and jelly at home usually.
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