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#1 Old 06-03-2014, 07:02 PM
 
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talking with spouse about not cooking meat in house.

So I am a relatively new vegan and my wife is still consuming an omnivorous diet. I believe in just sowing seeds and not trying to force change, but I'm having a bit of a dilemma. You see, I do all the cooking in our home. I really have no desire to purchase or prepare meat. But I don't know what to do since it is not only me i am cooking for.

On top of this, we have a 1 year old daughter who is now getting into quite a bit of solid foods and we are confronted with how she will be raised to eat.

I really appreciate any input.
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#2 Old 06-03-2014, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by BenPatterson View Post
So I am a relatively new vegan and my wife is still consuming an omnivorous diet. I believe in just sowing seeds and not trying to force change, but I'm having a bit of a dilemma. You see, I do all the cooking in our home. I really have no desire to purchase or prepare meat. But I don't know what to do since it is not only me i am cooking for.

On top of this, we have a 1 year old daughter who is now getting into quite a bit of solid foods and we are confronted with how she will be raised to eat.

I really appreciate any input.
Hi Ben, and welcome to Veggieboards. I'd sit down and calmly discuss with your spouse about cooking. Could it be that you cook b'fast and dinner, and they can make her own lunch? Or some other compromise? Perhaps they can fix their own meals after you fix your own? As for your daughter, you two really need to talk, openly and calmly. When she is old enough to make up her own mind, she will. Good luck with all of this.

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#3 Old 06-03-2014, 07:52 PM
 
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What, if anything, have you already said to your wife about this? Have the two of you discussed this? I gave up meat about a month ago. Both my husband and I cook. I just don't buy or cook meat - I take that back, I did buy some ham and turkey so my daughters could make sandwiches, but that's the first I've bought since I gave up meat. For dinner, however, I make a meatless meal and if someone doesn't like it, they can make something else. What I'm experiencing, however, is that the rest of the family is going along with this change for the most part. If the food is good, they don't seem to be missing the meat. And if they need a meat fix, they can order some at those times when we go out to eat or when we are out at an event that serves meat. Not knowing how your wife feels about veganism, one suggestion would be to make the change gradually.
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#4 Old 06-03-2014, 09:19 PM
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Ben -

CONGRATS on the vegan change.

I was a veg*n about a month before my wife switched. I refused to cook or handle any meat for her. She watched the FORKS OVER KNIVES, VEGUCATED and several other videos. She also read THE CHINA STUDY after I did.

She slowly came to the same conclusion like me, that you don't need meat in your diet. We never fought about it, we just examined the facts of the book & videos.

Hope that helps & GOOD LUCK!!!!!

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 06-04-2014, 02:54 AM
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I have been vegan for a little over three years and my husband is still an omnivore. It was difficult in the beginning for him to adjust. After much discussion about why I chose to be vegan and what it meant to me, I laid down rules that I would no longer buy any kind of animal products, food or nonfood, and would not handle meat. I have on rare occasion prepared some egg or cheese dish (from stuff he bought) exclusively for him with some reluctance. He has a disability and at times has been very sick and I have had to care for him. Those are the times I have made his food. For the most part, he now eats my vegan meals at home because I too am the cook and I cook a LOT. If I am making something he doesn't like, he will let me know and he will make his own meal at a different time. He has on his own decided if he does cook a meal heavy on cheese or meat (which is rare at home nowadays) he will only do it while I am at work or away from the house for a while. He knows how upset I get just seeing that stuff and how awful it smells to me. It took him three years but he finally started drinking plant milks more often and dairy milk less (partly because his doctor told him to cut down on dairy intake due to high cholesterol), and when I make homemade bread he will not buy his own commercial bread from the store.

We also keep separate cupboards for our dry foods, and separate areas of the refrigerator for some of our foods. For example I have a shelf area for my plant milks, homemade bread, leftovers and lunches I have made for the work week and he has an area for his non vegan drinks, his own leftovers etc. I have dishes and cookware that are strictly never to be used for preparing animal food and he was respected that. It seems complicated but we are so used to it now that it is second nature.

I try to make vegan versions of foods I know that he likes, such as whole wheat spaghetti with red lentil/bulgur tomato sauce, or banana pancakes and tempeh bacon, or split pea vegetable soup. I make enough so that he has something for lunch the next day while I am at work too. If we visit his family out of town for the weekend, I bring all my own food and prepare my own meals there, and if he visits my vegetarian family for a day (they live nearby), he will eat vegan there but I will make sure to bring a dish I know he will like that tends to be heavier than what the rest of us would eat.

We don't have children so I have no experience there. It is still at times difficult living with an omnivore and wish that I could live in an all vegan house, but we find common ground in our beliefs and what we love about each other and focus on that. We have been together for almost sixteen years and have weathered a lot of changes together. The only thing that I have had to buy on a regular basis that is not vegan is help out with dog food. Our dog has a very very sensitive stomach...she can't even have scraps of any kind without getting sick...and she was already six years old when I went vegan. It would have been near impossible to change her specific diet to a vegan one. My husband mostly buys the dog food but when he has been short on money I have helped. I am not crazy about it, but I have to think of our dog's health too, and in many ways my husband has reduced his buying and consumption of animal products because of my efforts so I just have to do the best I can where I can.

I have come to accept that he is probably never going to be fully vegan. His cultural values and beliefs are so ingrained in him and so strong that it is difficult for him to change, and he is heavily influenced by his parents who are dairy farmers and hunters. He will not view farm animals the same way I do. It's funny because he is a very strong environmental advocate and is against wolf hunting and other forms of animal cruelty such as circuses, but he can't or won't make the connection with the impact animal agriculture has on the environment or even on wolves (hunting of wolves is supported by farmers where I live who claim they steal their livestock). It can be frustrating but I have learned to focus my advocacy efforts where they will make more of a difference and not get too frustrated with him. We fought a lot about me not cooking his food in the beginning as I used to cook his favorite meat dishes all the time as an omnivore, but I stood my ground and he eventually saw how successful I was as a vegan and how yummy my vegan food is and came around.

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#6 Old 06-04-2014, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by BenPatterson View Post
So I am a relatively new vegan and my wife is still consuming an omnivorous diet. I believe in just sowing seeds and not trying to force change, but I'm having a bit of a dilemma. You see, I do all the cooking in our home. I really have no desire to purchase or prepare meat. But I don't know what to do since it is not only me i am cooking for.

On top of this, we have a 1 year old daughter who is now getting into quite a bit of solid foods and we are confronted with how she will be raised to eat.

I really appreciate any input.
If veganism catches with your wife, no negotiation is necessary. Your influence can facilitate that if you stay with it and if it proves beneficial to your health, appearance and disposition. Til it catches with her, you might as well assume anything you say on the topic is going to make her very, very hungry for a bucket of chicken wings. You can ask her to give it a try, but you need a bargaining chip. Is there anything she's passionate about that she'd like you to try, that you've resisted so far, something of that level of magnitude? It's reasonable for you to stop buying and handling meat, but if she wants to buy and cook her own, she is being reasonable too. She didn't marry a vegan, she married you: someone who was fine with eating everything she eats. So it's a major bait-and-switch if her mind is in a very different place than yours about this. Best of luck navigating this, and I second the recommendation that you ask her to watch Forks Over Knives with you. If you have Netflix, it's on there.

I understand you do all the cooking in your household. Does your wife know how to cook at all? It should be pretty simple for her to add any meat of her choosing to her own serving of the vegan dishes you prepare. That way she'll still have the health benefit of all those vegetables and complex carbohydrates. I live with an omnivore. He eats what he wants, but it didn't take him long to get used to the tofu, tempeh and fake sausage I cook with. He doesn't tart up his home meals with meat, but he can if he wants to.

Last edited by Joan Kennedy; 06-04-2014 at 06:09 AM.
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#7 Old 06-04-2014, 05:25 AM
 
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Thank you everyone for the advice.

As far as what we have talked about so far, I've mentioned cooking meat less, but we have not really discussed it any further. I will have to suggest us cooking separate meals.

As far as films go, she has seen vegucated, we watched it together. I dont know if she has seen forks over knives so we can watch that one. I told her I watched Earthlings and she mentioned she could not even watch it based on how she knew it would make her feel. Which is why I'm having trouble understanding why she is having difficulty seeing my stance. She is a former Vet. Tech who is against circuses, zoos, animal testing, hunting, and pet mills. So it seems logical that she would see veg-ism as the next step.

As far as nutritional benefits, I have a BS in nutrition and keep up on my research. So she knows intellectually that I would not make this decision if it was not nutritionally sound. But she is deeply rooted in the "humans have always eaten meat" argument.

I will try just leaving it be for a while with the exception of her cooking the meat. Maybe the plant based diet will rub off on her.
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#8 Old 06-04-2014, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by BenPatterson View Post
So I am a relatively new vegan and my wife is still consuming an omnivorous diet. I believe in just sowing seeds and not trying to force change, but I'm having a bit of a dilemma. You see, I do all the cooking in our home. I really have no desire to purchase or prepare meat. But I don't know what to do since it is not only me i am cooking for.

On top of this, we have a 1 year old daughter who is now getting into quite a bit of solid foods and we are confronted with how she will be raised to eat.

I really appreciate any input.
I will celebrate a year vegan at the end of this month, and my DH is an omni.

Like you, I prepare most meals (all dinners) in the home. I made it very clear from the beginning that I would not be buying or preparing any animal products whatsoever. DH doesn't mind. He just appreciates that I cook most meals.

Although I wish he NEVER ate animal products, at least he does it away from me and he NEVER prepares meat in the house.

As far as the kids go, since I was not vegan since their birth, they fall in a similar camp as DH (but to a lesser degree as they are with me most of the time). ALL the meals I prepare are animal free and we have only plantbased milks in the home, BUT if they are out with DH or extended family, they will have a bit of meat/egg/dairy here and there (although I don't really think they consume enough on avergae to greatly affect their health, I am an ethical vegan). I just hope to open their hearts as they get older and become more aware of the pain, suffering and death involved in what they are eating.
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#9 Old 06-06-2014, 03:12 PM
 
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I cook. If my dh wants meat he would have to cook it himself. As long as I am making good food he is happy for what I cook. He does keep cheese in the freezer and adds that to his portion when he wants.

When we go out he can eat what he wants.
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#10 Old 06-06-2014, 04:31 PM
 
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I am fortunate enough to have married a vegetarian. She is willing to eat my vegan cooking, as I will not cook anything that is not. We have no children but have agreed to raise them vegetarian (mostly vegan) until they are old enough to decide their own diet (if it is omnivorous, they cannot keep meat in our house. The only ones allowed to eat meat in our house are dogs and cats, we decided that as a ground rule before we got married and lived together). In your circumstance, I would ask for at least part of the fridge and freezer to be meat free, and don't feel obligated to cook meat. If they wish to have it, they can cook it themselves. As far as banning meat from the house, it depends on their openness to your lifestyle. I can only recommend setting an example for them. Be the change you wish to see, but also be the change you think is effective. If the ultimate goal of being vegan in your case is to end animal suffering, which do you think would work better for your wife and family to "convert" them? Setting a no meat rule, or setting an example?
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#11 Old 06-09-2014, 05:56 PM
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My omni boyfriend and I have lived together for just over a year now, and I do all the cooking at home (he works, and I stay at home, so that's just how things work out). I don't cook any meat, ever, and I never have. I will not, on principal, cook meat, even if it is for him to eat, but he know that he is always welcome to cook his own if he would like some. I have even told him that if he wants me to plan dinners that allow for him to have meat and me to not have it, I would be willing to do that. He always just eats what I do though. He doesn't want meat enough to have to cook it himself when I am willing to cook a vegan dinner for him.

When we go out to eat, he usually orders a dish with meat in it. Also, he takes his lunch to work and usually it is either a slow cooked meat dish or meat sandwiches. Today he took a veggie salad though

That's what works for us. He can eat meat if he wants it, when he wants it, but he has to cook it/obtain it himself. I won't buy meat for him, but that is as much as anything because I don't know what I'm looking at since I have been veg since 12 and have never had to buy meat from a store. When we moved in together it was an agreement we came up with because it puts the least amount of stress on both of us. I think you just have to talk it out. Make sure you explain where your boundaries are, what you aren't willing to do, and then ask what you can do to make things easier for your spouse that is within your comfort zone.
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#12 Old 06-09-2014, 06:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BenPatterson View Post
So I am a relatively new vegan and my wife is still consuming an omnivorous diet. I believe in just sowing seeds and not trying to force change, but I'm having a bit of a dilemma. You see, I do all the cooking in our home. I really have no desire to purchase or prepare meat. But I don't know what to do since it is not only me i am cooking for.

On top of this, we have a 1 year old daughter who is now getting into quite a bit of solid foods and we are confronted with how she will be raised to eat.

I really appreciate any input.


Hello Ben, that's my brothers name & congratulations on the baby! If you doing the cooking then what you cook is what your family will eat that is in your control. If wifey wants animals tell her to buy it her self and cook it her self and get her her own skillet and pots for her to cook on when she wants it... Otherwise it's what you made for dinner tonight... If wife has a problem well she can cook her own.
I am have raised my son vegan since conception so I could offer a lot of advice on foods to eat. (he is 15 1/2 month's old now!)

Do you and wife have opposing views on your daughters diet? I am confused on that point and don't want to give the wrong advice...Also is baby breastfed?
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#13 Old 06-09-2014, 06:22 PM
 
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Thank you everyone for the advice.

As far as what we have talked about so far, I've mentioned cooking meat less, but we have not really discussed it any further. I will have to suggest us cooking separate meals.

As far as films go, she has seen vegucated, we watched it together. I dont know if she has seen forks over knives so we can watch that one. I told her I watched Earthlings and she mentioned she could not even watch it based on how she knew it would make her feel. Which is why I'm having trouble understanding why she is having difficulty seeing my stance. She is a former Vet. Tech who is against circuses, zoos, animal testing, hunting, and pet mills. So it seems logical that she would see veg-ism as the next step.

As far as nutritional benefits, I have a BS in nutrition and keep up on my research. So she knows intellectually that I would not make this decision if it was not nutritionally sound. But she is deeply rooted in the "humans have always eaten meat" argument.

I will try just leaving it be for a while with the exception of her cooking the meat. Maybe the plant based diet will rub off on her.
You guys both have to watch THE GERSON THERAPHY! That'll get her haha ;-)

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#14 Old 06-09-2014, 08:56 PM
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This is overall relationship advice, rather than vegan/vegetarian advice: communicate openly, calmly, honestly, and fully with your wife. Express your feelings and concerns and let her express hers. Come to a conclusion together about how to handle this situation. If you intend to never eat or cook meat again, tell her. And tell her why and why it's important to you. Don't attack her, and give her some time to adjust to your new ethic and figure out her own stance on the issue. But really communication is key. Try to be non-judgmental and calm when you are talking. If either of you get angry, give it time to see if the anger will subside on its own. Make sure you are being rational at all stages of the discussion, rather than impulsive and overly emotional.

All of that said, I am a firm believer in the philosophy of Isa Chandra Moscowitz, author of many high-quality vegan cookbooks. You have to show people that vegan food is DELICIOUS, which it is. Then, their argument/belief that animal products are necessary to survive crumbles right in front of them. I've seen this work myself. After taking my sister to a wonderful vegan restaurant in my town, she decided to go pescatarian. She saw that you could have tasty and satisfying meals without animal products and took an incredible first step. No matter how many logical reasons you give someone for going vegan, nothing is going to work as well as delicious food. Show your wife that food can still be satisfying and pleasurable without meat. Do this by going to high-quality vegetarian restaurants or trying great recipes at home. If you need a recipe with extra OOMPH to show how great veggie food is, I highly recommend any of the cookbooks written by Isa Chandra Moscowitz and Terry Hope Romero. They are goddesses among mortals. Seriously. If you make bland tofu or flavorless pasta dishes, your wife will not be convinced that this is actually food. But, make her Quinoa Puttanesca (http://www.theppk.com/2007/11/quinoa-puttanesca/), and she will love it. Also, do some research about nutrition. Vegans get plenty of all the vital nutrients, but that is rightfully something many parents are concerned about. Let her know that you are not only concerned with animal ethics, but also health as well!

Also, understand that it is scary. Even if you have watched these documentaries and decided to dive into a vegetarian lifestyle, it's frightening for many people. Food is a source of comfort for many out there, and it connects them with their family traditions. She may worry about what her parents will think or how your friends will react. That's why it takes time for many people to make the transition and why showing them wonderful substitutes is so important. A good vegan cupcake can convince just about anybody, let me tell you!
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#15 Old 06-09-2014, 09:09 PM
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I understand completely. My situation is very similar. I live with my dog, who would like to eat meat but I'm a vegetarian and I do all the cooking. So the solution is this....my dog goes outside during the day sometimes and finds itself food to eat..bones on the ground, chicken, etc. That's fine by me but under my roof I cook vegetarian foods and share them with my dog.
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#16 Old 06-09-2014, 09:29 PM
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I understand completely. My situation is very similar. I live with my dog, who would like to eat meat but I'm a vegetarian and I do all the cooking. So the solution is this....my dog goes outside during the day sometimes and finds itself food to eat..bones on the ground, chicken, etc. That's fine by me but under my roof I cook vegetarian foods and share them with my dog.
...Have you checked with a veterinarian to make sure your dog is getting the nutrition that he/she needs? Lots of folks prepare their own foods for their dogs, but you have to be very deliberate and careful about it. Also, are your dogs outside roaming around without supervision and picking up scraps of food? Unsupervised outdoor time can be dangerous for any dog; they can run off, be preyed upon, or ingest something dangerous in a matter of seconds if you are not supervising them outside.

I don't want to derail the thread, but I thought this was worth mentioning. A dog being an omni while his human is a veggie is quite different from spouses with divergent opinions on the issue.
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#17 Old 06-09-2014, 09:35 PM
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...Have you checked with a veterinarian to make sure your dog is getting the nutrition that he/she needs? Lots of folks prepare their own foods for their dogs, but you have to be very deliberate and careful about it. Also, are your dogs outside roaming around without supervision and picking up scraps of food? Unsupervised outdoor time can be dangerous for any dog; they can run off, be preyed upon, or ingest something dangerous in a matter of seconds if you are not supervising them outside.

I don't want to derail the thread, but I thought this was worth mentioning. A dog being an omni while his human is a veggie is quite different from spouses with divergent opinions on the issue.
Oh my dog is okay thank you for your concern though honey. It roams around outside because it's not my dog and I share it with a woman living in the neighbourhood and she lets it roam free until I take it home.
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#18 Old 06-09-2014, 09:45 PM
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Oh my dog is okay thank you for your concern though honey. It roams around outside because it's not my dog and I share it with a woman living in the neighbourhood and she lets it roam free until I take it home.
Depending on where you live this could be in violation of animal control laws. It's very, VERY unsafe to have dogs roaming without any containment. If the dog belongs to someone, it needs to be in somebody's house or fenced-in yard. Hopefully indoors though, because dogs are pack and den animals and are safest and happiest spending their time with people.

I hope that one of you, if one of you has taken responsibility for it, is taking him to the vet and making sure he is healthy as well and getting preventions against heartworms and fleas/ticks.
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#19 Old 06-09-2014, 09:57 PM
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Depending on where you live this could be in violation of animal control laws. It's very, VERY unsafe to have dogs roaming without any containment. If the dog belongs to someone, it needs to be in somebody's house or fenced-in yard. Hopefully indoors though, because dogs are pack and den animals and are safest and happiest spending their time with people.

I hope that one of you, if one of you has taken responsibility for it, is taking him to the vet and making sure he is healthy as well and getting preventions against heartworms and fleas/ticks.
I live in Taiwan...I guess you could say that here it's very common for people to keep dogs in outside cages all the time almost never letting them out or the opposite having a dog that roams outside most of the time. Though there are also lots of people who spend a lot of time with their pets. I am giving my dog Front line every month and the owner took it to get a rabies shot. GOOD BOY, BEAGLE!
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#20 Old 06-14-2014, 11:59 AM
 
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So I am a relatively new vegan and my wife is still consuming an omnivorous diet. I believe in just sowing seeds and not trying to force change, but I'm having a bit of a dilemma. You see, I do all the cooking in our home. I really have no desire to purchase or prepare meat. But I don't know what to do since it is not only me i am cooking for.

On top of this, we have a 1 year old daughter who is now getting into quite a bit of solid foods and we are confronted with how she will be raised to eat.

I really appreciate any input.
i am in the same boat, i have 2 children (ages 10 & 12) and a omnivorous husband. i don't do the majority of the cooking anymore since i work in the evenings, however, i do the shopping and they've made it clear that although they will enjoy *some* vegan/ vegetarian meals, they will not be vegetarians or vegans.

part of me is tempted to just shop as i would for myself and tell them if they want something else that they must get it themselves, but even after all these years i still buy it for them. i don't enjoy it, but they're going to eat what they want and until they are ready to make a change, there's not much i can do (i mean either me or DH will be going to the store, and i am home during the day, so really, it i just do it)

i hope you guys come to an agreement.
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#21 Old 06-22-2014, 11:14 AM
 
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Me and my partner are virtually in the same situation. He has a lot of food allergies and intolerances and he refuses to eat fruit and a lot of veggies even though he can eat those. He literally only eats meat most of the time. He has a George Foreman grill that he uses to cook his meat by himself seperately from my food. My daughter tends to eat what I eat most of the time and is mostly vegan. I do the shopping and buy my partner his food. My partner has a neurological disorder and struggles a lot with things at the moment so I have just had to accept that he won't be buying his own and if I didn't buy his food for him he would go to the corner shop and buy pizzas, crisps, cola and microwave burgers and be very ill and spend money we don't have on the inflated prices there. It's not an ideal situation, I wish my partner could go out and buy his own meat but I am caught between a rock and a hard place in many ways. If your spouse doesn't want to be vegan there really isn't a lot you can do. If she is perfectly able then maybe she needs to start doing her own cooking and shopping.
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Last edited by Spooky Dollhead; 06-22-2014 at 11:17 AM.
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