Is it wrong to cook meat for my non-vegetarian family? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-27-2016, 06:07 PM
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Is it wrong to cook meat for my non-vegetarian family?

Hi all, I do all of the cooking for my family and have decided to try vegetarian eating for ethical reasons. My family are all meat eaters so is it wrong of me to continue cooking meat based meals for them whilst making a vegetarian version for myself?
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#2 Old 03-27-2016, 06:19 PM
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How do you feel about it? Does it gross you out.... or is it something you are used to doing and it doesn't bother you? If it makes you feel uncomfortable, then maybe one of your family members can cook the meat, or your dishes can be veggie. On the other hand, if you feel fine doing it and the family is requesting meat, then I'd say go ahead - as long as you are not consuming it, you are still a vegetarian
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#3 Old 03-28-2016, 10:22 AM
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It doesn't make you less of a vegetarian to cook meat for your meat-eating family. Do what is comfortable for you; expect your comfort level about cooking meat to change over time. (For example, I was initially O.K. with cooking meat for others; then handling dead flesh started to make me feel like crying; now I can't enjoy a meal if someone is eating meat at the same table.)
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#4 Old 03-29-2016, 03:07 PM
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Yes!

Why are YOU vegetarian?

For ethical reasons? Is it ethical to serve dead animals to people?
For health? Do you think that people will get healthier when you serve them meat?
For the environment? Do you think the environment will get better when you serve meat to others?
For the world? Do you think the world will get better when you serve meat?
For yourself? What kind of discussion will you get when YOU don't eat meat but do serve it to other people?
Do you think people will die when they eat no meat for one day?


By the way, for me it is easy to say this, because I grew up in a vegetarian family. I have never had any problems in being a vegetarian. Never had meat for human consumption in my hands.

Now you must think and discuss this problem with your family. They don't have to be vegetarian, but maybe they can solve your problem. Ask others to cook and serve the meat part.

My usual answer: I have never heard a convincing reason to eat meat.
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#5 Old 03-29-2016, 03:51 PM
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Red face Great question BLouise

I think this is a great question and I have the same scenario in my home. I am a new vegetarian (90 days now). Fortunately, I am not the only one that does the grocery shopping and I have older children who can cook for themselves. At first the comments I got were why are you starving us. But I told them, this is my lifestyle choice and if you want to eat, you eat what I cook. If you want to cook your own meals, go for it.

90 days later, they are now asking me what am I cooking. They are enjoying the vegetarian dishes I am cooking. Now when they are not home, I am sure they are eating meat. But I am not cooking it, I am not buying it, and they now get to take ownership of their own meal choices, just like me.

I will also share with you that a dear friend of mind, recently turned vegetarian and she's married to a cowboy. He swore he would not be eating vegetarian meals with her, but told her she can go for it. But now that he is seeing what she's cooking and eating, he is learning to appreciate the vegetarian lifestyle too and I think one day he might be on the vegetarian bandwagon too. Because you can't deny that the food looks fabulous, tastes great and you feel awesome living this lifestyle.

So, it just depends how firm you want to be with the cooking in your household, if they are hungry they will learn to eat what you cook and love it.
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#6 Old 04-02-2016, 01:33 PM
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Indeed a good question! I had this problem when I lived at home with my parents. Usually they cooked, but when I decided to become a vegetarian I started cooking more and more. Sure they didn't like all the 'new foods' I made for them but at least they gave it a try. If they wanted a piece of meat with their dinner, gotta bake it yourselves. Yes they thought it was weird: ''you are not eating it, just bake it...''
Since then I haven't cooked meat in over 2 years now! When my meat eating family visits my home, no meat is on the table. Do we have a BBQ, I flip my own burger, you can flip yours.

Because I believe it is unethical. I don't want to bake meat for myself, why should I for others? Besides I give them a healthy dinner and show them that vegetarian/vegan food can be just as delicious! But yes it is about how strict you make things for yourself. I became more strict throughout the 2 years and now I'm almost vegan (that darn cheese...)
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#7 Old 04-02-2016, 04:41 PM
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I guess being vegetarian and cooking meat for your family would be better than not being vegetarian and cooking meat for them. Maybe you can slowly gravitate towards more vegetarian meals. There are 562.7 billion vegetarian recipes online (approximately). Lots of dishes that are vegetarian can still be enjoyed by omnis if they can be a little opened minded about it.
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#8 Old 04-26-2016, 10:53 PM
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For me--because my reasons for being vegetarian are ethical--there is NO QUESTION that I could not/would not cook animal flesh for anyone, for any reason. To me, that is as disgusting and repulsive as cooking and serving human flesh would be.

Of course, MY feelings cannot dictate what YOU do! You're going to have to have a talk with yourself and decide if it's okay to continue participating in the cruelty of the meat industry by buying and cooking meat. If you're okay with that, that's all that really matters.
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#9 Old 04-27-2016, 03:39 AM
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I have lived with an omni the entire time I have been vegan (and we have been together for 18 years total). 99% of the time I do not buy, cook, or prepare animal products. I make plant food for the two of us for dinners, weekend meals, and some breakfasts. He eats his own thing for his lunches and some breakfasts. He buys his own food if he wants an animal product. He is mostly vegetarian at home now (but eats meat at home maybe two times per month and eats meat with his family when we visit them a few times a year etc). Nevertheless, we have our own kitchen cupboards for our own foods, and we have separate areas of the refrigerator for our own stuff. Some of my dishes/cookware/utensils are off limits to animal products, as is my blender. I do all the house cleaning so I buy or make products for that and he is fine with it. The 1% of time I have made him animal products (stuff like grilled cheese) is when he was very sick and unable to care for himself, and could not eat certain foods etc. I wasn't thrilled about it but I was more concerned about other stuff at the time.

I am an ethical vegan. I don't want to support the use of animal products. It was not easy for us at first. I had a lot of talks with him so he could begin to understand what being vegan means to me and why it is so important. I have tried to make it easier for him by making foods that leave room for him to add his own stuff if he so desires. For example, I make tacos with a bulgur lentil filling and taco seasonings. He might add his sour cream or cheese to his own (though I have also offered vegan versions of those). Or spaghetti, he might add parmesan to his (though I have also made a vegan parmesan). I have learned to make vegan versions of some of his favorite foods (such as stroganoff, or buttermilk pancakes). The more I cooked and experimented with plant based foods, the better I have gotten and making satisfying meals that he loves. It took time and patience for him. He used to be a huge junk food eater too. But you know what? I noticed last week he hasn't bought any chips in a long time and I asked why. He said he just isn't interested in that stuff anymore. For snacks he's been eating totally plant based peanuts, all on his own (not because I nagged him lol). And he's been snacking on oranges, and he loves Just Mayo in place of his old Hellman's. He buys that exclusively on his own. Five years ago I would never have dreamed he'd do this. He was a HUGE egg and dairy lover. He hasn't bought eggs in months. It takes time for them to come around.

I was clear up front about my intentions and what I would or would not do and this has made it less confusing for him. I don't have kids and I am the bread winner so it was probably easier for me than it might be for others.
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#10 Old 05-04-2016, 07:15 AM
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If you are the one who cooks for the family I suggest you take it slow. Some may ask why not instantly cut off everything? I have had the experience myself. My girlfriend was a vegetarian when I met her and I've been a rather militant carnivore before. Would she have imposed herself and banned all meat from the kitchen immediately, well... it would probably have ended in disaster. Instead, she suggested cooking together and now after almost one and a half years, I have become almost vegetarian without even noticing it and even better, never noticing that my meat consumption went down to a minimum.

So, give your family enough time to realize that vegetarian food can be quite good and over time, they probably won't notice their meat consumption going down. But then again, that's all just my opinion.

Edit: I have only cooked meat 2 or 3 times in my life at university and I did not really get the hang of it. I would probably ruin it if I tried, so I rather don't
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#11 Old 05-10-2016, 07:11 PM
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I cringed about this, honestly, those questions are to big, it's not about the world, it's about ONE family.

Myself keep dairy at a low but my family both eat meat, eggs and dairy however they want and I bake for them when theres birthdays, because it is THEIR choice what to eat, yes the world certainly needs less meat eaters, but they need to feel the change within themselves.

Family is important and you shouldn't put your own pride in front of your relationship to friends and family, just because you cook meat doesn't mean you have to eat it.

Cook meat for your family, but you could also give them an alternative dish without meat, or use veggie meat, maybe they will think about it that way, however it is fun to explore new food. Or ask them before you will meet up if they would like to try veggie meat.
Zinalu, we are vegetarians here; we don't eat meat or fish, and many of us would never dream of serving dead animals to our families.
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#12 Old 05-10-2016, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BLouise View Post
Hi all, I do all of the cooking for my family and have decided to try vegetarian eating for ethical reasons. My family are all meat eaters so is it wrong of me to continue cooking meat based meals for them whilst making a vegetarian version for myself?
When I first went veg, the agreement between me and my husband ended up being that I would make veg food and if he really wanted meat to "go with it" he would have to prep it himself and wash the dishes separately. If it's against your morales to prepare the meat, and it obviously bothers you or you wouldn't have sought help, for anyone to pressure you to violate them is wrong.

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Originally Posted by Zinalu View Post
I cringed about this, honestly, those questions are to big, it's not about the world, it's about ONE family.

Myself keep dairy at a low but my family both eat meat, eggs and dairy however they want and I bake for them when theres birthdays, because it is THEIR choice what to eat, yes the world certainly needs less meat eaters, but they need to feel the change within themselves.

Family is important and you shouldn't put your own pride in front of your relationship to friends and family, just because you cook meat doesn't mean you have to eat it.

Cook meat for your family, but you could also give them an alternative dish without meat, or use veggie meat, maybe they will think about it that way, however it is fun to explore new food. Or ask them before you will meet up if they would like to try veggie meat.
Zinalu, I can't believe how rude this is for you to say. No one should violate anyone else's morals, no matter what the circumstances. I wouldn't let dairy into my house, let alone meat, even when family came to visit. When it comes to this person's situation, they're clearly having a moral dilemma, and this sort of blatant guilt tripping is destructive. It doesn't have a place on a vegetarian board.
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#13 Old 05-11-2016, 03:33 AM
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It all depends on how you feel, if it is making you uncomfortable then it's probably a good idea to talk it through with your family because I'm sure they wouldn't want you feeling conflicted like this and may even offer to buy/cook the meat themselves to prevent you feeling this way.

My personal feelings on this are that it's MY choice to go vegetarian and not my families, so I shouldn't impose my beliefs upon them and deny them something because I happen to disagree with it. Although you are the one buying and prepping the meat, it's never intended for use (or is actually used) by you, therefore you're not the CONSUMER of the meat.

But like I say it all depends on how it makes you feel that's just my take on things, I would voice this to your family and not bottle it up if I were you.


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#14 Old 05-11-2016, 03:44 AM
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I'm not trying to promote the consumption of meat in saying this, just thought I should mention. As other members said above, introducing your family to some veggie meals would be a great idea! I wouldn't force or pressure them into that or being full veggie is all I'm saying.


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#15 Old 05-11-2016, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by 10LitresFitness View Post
I'm not trying to promote the consumption of meat in saying this, just thought I should mention. As other members said above, introducing your family to some veggie meals would be a great idea! I wouldn't force or pressure them into that or being full veggie is all I'm saying.

Sorry, edited, thought this was the vegan forum, carry on
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#16 Old 05-16-2016, 01:46 AM
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I am exactly like you and I have a meat eating family, they all support the fact that I have become a vegetarian but when I cook family meals they obviously want to eat the meat. Cooking the meat I am fine with as long as I don't eat it, if you have any doubts in your mind or it grosses you out at all then I wouldn't do it and I would explain to your family your situation. Cooking meat if you feel comfortable with doing so does not make you any less of a vegetarian though.
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#17 Old 05-16-2016, 11:32 AM
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I wouldn't do it because I don't want to spend my time and energy doing something that I'm ethically against.

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#18 Old 05-17-2016, 12:44 AM
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I'm a new vegetarian (about 2 months now) and I've cooked meat for my family once. I was staying at my mother's house for the day and she asked me to make pasta with minced meat, not thinking at all that I might not be comfortable with it. I gave it a thought but the truth is, I was fairly ok with it. I'm not repulsed by the idea of eating meat. I mean, I used to do it too until recently and I'm not the kind of person who fears blood. I just find it unnecessary. I can live and let live. If I hadn't cooked it, she would have made it herself anyway, she would just be more tired from work, and she would have viewed my behavior as radical, so it would be less likely for her to become vegetarian as well, while now she's contemplating it. I don't think it's a black-or-white situation.



But I don't think anybody should be forced to do the same thing either. I'm just sharing my experience on the topic.
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#19 Old 05-17-2016, 02:13 AM
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Even though they would do it anyway, it doesn't mean you have to assist them into doing it. It's okay to take a moral stance on things that matter.

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#20 Old 06-12-2016, 08:35 AM
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Personally, once I had the epiphanies that precede veganism, I couldn't.
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#21 Old 06-12-2016, 09:40 AM
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In the end it is up to you. Maybe you can explain to your family why you chose to do so, and educate them. You can start by cutting down cooking the meat (maybe they might not notice??) or talk to them about a plan. Like start with having completely vegetarian dishes 2-3 times a week and maybe you can increase it to 5-6 days a week and instead of a meatless monday's they can have a meat Sunday or something? I would talk to the fam jam and see if there is a compromise that you can make. But don't stop trying to educate them. Look up ways you can sneak in learning experiences and for the older kids, you can ask them to do research on the topic to make an informed decision on their own.

You can also try meat substitutions in stir-fry's, tacos, etc. They might not even know the difference.
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#22 Old 06-12-2016, 01:58 PM
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I think BLouise is blown away by our replies

My usual answer: I have never heard a convincing reason to eat meat.
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#23 Old 06-13-2016, 01:57 AM
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I would not prepare anything but plants for anyone ever. To understand more clearly, try imagining your family eating your neighbours' little children. Would you prepare them? And don't call anything crazy here, as this is just what you're accustomed to. Pig meat - ok, horse meat - crazy. I saw once in a videoclip where people were told that an athlete eats that 'crazy' meat. To me it didn't seem anything special, because all meat is the same, whereas to the interviewees it seemed gross.

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#24 Old 06-13-2016, 03:59 AM
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Hello ! I am vegan until a few months now. Cooking animal products is not the same thing than to eat them, of course you still stay vegetarien. For my part, I think you should not placing you under pressure about how you call yourself. I mean you are free to say you are vegetarien, whatever other people say about you. Fortunately, I don't have to cook for other persons, just for myself but if you cook for other people, why would they adapt at your new eating habits? You could make them discover full nice recipes?
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#25 Old 06-14-2016, 04:21 PM
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Is there a reason meat eaters can't eat vegetarian meals? I think it's a bit mixed messages to tell people you are ethically against the consumption of meat but are content to cook and prepare it.
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#26 Old 06-15-2016, 05:02 AM
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I am sure they have a ton of sources here on VB, but nutritional science has come out saying that children can live on vegetarian diets, and vegan diets and have healthy lives. According to what I have read, health-wise, people who eat vegetarian diets, and vegetables, and omit all the garbage food are way healthier, while child hood obesity is rampant. I am one of those sugar is poison/ and so is meat type health vegetarians, so I would not feed my children meat/sugar/dairy because I would feel that I was slowly harming my family, and contributing to potential health issues in the future.

That's how I would feel, but does not suggest an answer to your problem. No, I would not cook meat for my family, to be totally honest. My family is half my spouse's, and in a sense, I would pull him off to a vegetarian talk, or to a nutritional and try to get him to understand the issue. Show him the benefits. Either that, or He could cook meat, for example, on weekends only. I think having 5 days a week "vegetarian or vegan" and then 2 dinners per week with meat could be gotten used to. It is all about habits. A habit is something that can be changed.
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#27 Old 06-17-2016, 03:40 AM
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hi there,
i had the same dilemma when i first went vegetarian and cooked two dishes every night for about three years. eventually i just got tired of cooking so much so told the kids it was vegetarian or nothing (or whatever they could cook themselves!!). at first i let them choose a meat dish twice a week, then it went down to one and now they only eat meat when they go out. i think after seeing me eat veg dishes, and trying some of it themselves for quite a long time the change was easy for them in the end.

so maybe give your family some transition time, and cook some amazing vege dishes so they will be wanting some of what you are eating and you should have them eating more veg in no time.

hope this helps.


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#28 Old 06-29-2016, 08:48 AM
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#29 Old 07-01-2016, 08:15 AM
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I certainly don't think it's wrong. But also, if you can make some killer veggie dishes that the whole family would enjoy, that would be great too!
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