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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This should probably go in the "stupid things omnis say" thread but I wanted some feedback- if you all feel like it that is.<br><br><br><br>
So I'm cooking dinner last night (an elaborate beautiful veggie meal) and my fiance and I start talking about vegetarianism. He is not a vegetarian, at all, though he eats and enjoys many meals veg. since that's how I cook and what I serve. We generally respect our diferent views in food choices and have never come even close to a fight in this area- we don't fight about anything so that's normal.<br><br><br><br>
But he starts joking around that he's going to call himself a "flexatarian". This quickly moves from a playful tone to a serious one. And for some stupid reason, it really irks me. I never "bark" about my vegetarianism, I eventually grew out of that.<br><br><br><br>
But last night I barked at him. He said something along the lines of, "well I can call myself a flexatarian cause I sometimes eat vegetarian and I care about the issues." I got so mad, though we were still talking not yelling or anything, and I say back to him (as he is making himself a porkchop) "That is meat. You are going to eat it. That consitutes as murder. If you actually gave a damn about the "issues" you wouldn't be able to contribute to the slaughter and horrible treatment of defenseless animals so you can eat something WHEN I'M COOKING YOU SOMETHING VEGETARIAN THAT YOU LOVE"<br><br><br><br>
I just kinda lost it. It usually doesn't bother me that much. I'm starting to wonder (and have been for a few months) how big of an issue this is for me. Just every once in awhile I want to harp on him for his choices.<br><br><br><br>
*sighs* I know lots of you go through this. I just need some reassurance. He's not going to eat meat strictly outside the house- it is his home too. I love him- it's just this one issue that occasionally gets me.<br><br><br><br>
Any words of wisdom greatly appreiciated <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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How important is this to you? Lots of vegetarians and vegans on this board have omni spouses. Would you want to raise your kids veg? Is he o.k. with that? I always think a bit of couples counseling is a good idea before getting married maybe meet with a marriage counseler or your pastor to discus these things with a non biased 3 party. Sorry, hope this advice isn't too bossy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Beachbnny</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
We generally respect our diferent views in food choices and have never come even close to a fight in this area- we don't fight about anything so that's normal.</div>
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From what you have said, it seems that you do <i><b>not</b></i> truly respect your different food choices, but are just pretending to. (Whenever a couple says they "don't fight about anything", my warning buzzers go off.) If there were really mutual respect, the scene you describe could not have happened.<br><br><br><br>
I would say you need to have a truly candid conversation about these differences - air them fully, and make sure it's as much about listening as talking.<br><br><br><br>
FWIW, I can't imagine having a partner that I sincerely considered to be a murderer. That's just huge, see? If it is just rhetoric on your part (and you do n't truly regard eating meat as equivalent to killing innocent human beings), then you need to scale down the rhetoric to match your actual understanding of what meat eating represents. If the two things are truly the same to you, then it would seem he would need to change or leave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanx for both of your awesome responses <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
Let me clarify: First of all, we have been to premarital counseling. It was fun! We learned a lot about each other and came out with a strong sense of common goals and future plans. He really is my best friend.<br><br><br><br>
We argue about things sometimes because we are both very passionate but we never "fight". Can't really explain the difference but it's what I grew up with and in past relationships I have had "fights" which never really get you anywhere. An argument usually leads to resolution and compromise- two things I value greatly.<br><br><br><br>
Do I consider it murder? Yes, I do. Will we raise our children vegetarian? The verdict is out on that one. We've talked about it at great length as well as religion, church, alternative schooling etc. And we both love the conversations. I know that should we decide to raise our children as light omnis I would have open reign to educate them in all ways not considered graphic. Which does involve taking them to a farm and does not involve taking them to slaughterhouses.<br><br><br><br>
Everyone has differences- plenty of marriages are happy even though they may have different political, religious, or food choices. I think it makes us stronger and much more able to deal with the smaller stuff.<br><br><br><br>
I don't usually feel a need to say anything when he eats meat. It doesn't usually even occur to me but sometimes.... it pisses me off. I've never said anything before and can only think of one other time, in the entire 6 years of my vegetarian career, that I've "barked" about this. It was in the company of close friends and I was actually encouraged by a friend who was proud of me for speaking out about something I believe in.<br><br><br><br>
Anyway: long rant.... sorry. I know it doesn't make sense but WE are splendidly happy.... I just have an issue with something that I'm unsure of how to deal with. No biggie <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> just venting with people who understand.... thanx!
 

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I don't have any words of wisdom but i have been in a similar position with my dh. He ate meat when we first got together and I tried to let it go but that wasn't really reasonable for me. I know he's pescetarian but at this point in the game meat doesn't come up at all any more. Plenty of people will say that we/you shouldn't try to change anyone and I agree with this on the surface but imo/experience it's inevitable in relationships becase we do learn from eachother. Considering animals wasn't a part of his life before we met. He wasn't exposed to it just like I wasn't exposed to it until i met my ex 16 years ago. His world-views are changing because of me as mine are changing because of him. So many things came into play for us and I let him know at one point that I didn't think I was capable of being with a meat eater but it wasn't because I thought he was a bad person. I made sure that he understood this. He knows how deeply I feel about these issues and since he respects me (more than anyone ever has) he has been able to evaluate meat-eating from a different persepctive.<br><br><br><br>
I guess what I'm saying is that you should just be honest with him 24/7. If something is making you uncomfortable/sad than you should share it with him. If not your husband then who? Eh, my dh loves the fact that I don't waver in my convictions but that's not for everybody.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Gaya- I agree with everything you said. And what an awesome guy to respect you and open his mind to things that you value so deeply.<br><br><br><br>
We are a lot like you described- we learn so much from eachother. We have both grown up a lot and become this beautiful couple the longer we've known each other. He really is fantastic.<br><br><br><br>
When I'm feeling like it bugs me I make a vegetarian dinner and tell him (lovingly) that's what we're having. I leave no room for meat or I make something I know he loves or that has a meat substitute in it.<br><br><br><br>
We do talk about it and he's super all the time- defends me when I'm not around etc. So I do repect his choices... I just don't like them. He knows that but I guess I would feel better if we talked about it more often especially when I'm touchy about it.<br><br><br><br>
Something changed in me when a few weeks ago he watched "meat your meet" with a look of disgust on his face.... and then had a steak sub for dinner. For some reason something about that just bugged me. I'll have to talk to him about that...<br><br><br><br>
anyway... thanx again! I really appreicate being able to talk about this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Hi again!<br><br><br><br>
Thanks for clarifying the "fighting" thing and some of the other details. I think you have a good, strong basis for working through these things when they come up.<br><br><br><br>
I would still like to press you on the "murder" thing, though, as I can't really reconcile the different statements you have made. You say you consider meat eating to be murder, and so consider him to be a murderer. How is that "respectful" of his choices? More importantly, how can you say<br><br><br><br>
"I don't usually feel a need to say anything when he eats meat. It doesn't usually even occur to me but sometimes"<br><br><br><br>
would that be your attitude if he were, say, knifing children on their way home from school and burying them in the back yard? Sorry to be graphic. I'm not arguing for a particular point of view on the issue, just suggesting that you seem to working two different angles at the same time. There is some tension between "I respect his choices, I usually don't even think about it" and "He's a murderer". It's that tension that erupted in your last confrontation (as well as other tensions, I'm sure). My suggestion is that you explore how those two seeming different positions you hold can be reconciled.
 

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No matter how much my boyfriend and I respect each other's diets, we still get into it sometimes. Just like your fiance, my boyfriend eats vegetarian food with me often. He really doesn't seem to have a problem with it. He only eats meat when his Mom makes it, my Mom makes it, or when we go out with family and someone gives him extra food. When it's just me and him, he eats almost completely vegetarian. We share a meal when we go out and at home, we cook 100% vegetarian. He's told me before that he'll never go vegetarian. This has caused some problems, especially when we talk about raising kids (we definately want to get married).<br><br><br><br>
It will be hard, but it's best to just accept that there will be fights in the future regarding this. If your boyfriend chooses to support the meat industry, he's an adult and you can't stop it. It's very unfortunate for you, himself, and animals.<br><br><br><br>
The term "flexatarian" doesn't bother me, I just think it's dumb. It doesn't mean anything. It translates to omnivore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Seusomon- (BTW what does that mean?)<br><br><br><br>
knifing children and burying them in the backyard? Oh my Gosh! I'm sorry, I have to laugh a little <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Uh... no that would sooo not be cool.<br><br><br><br>
But I still see him as a murderer nonetheless- of animals, not people. I don't know how I deal with it but it falls somewhere along the lines of this:<br><br><br><br>
I was once a murderer. There majority of people are murderers of animals. I chose to stop my part in it. He has the knowledge and makes another choice. It's something he greatly admires about me and yet, I know he will never give up meat permanently. I just have to deal with it. It's who he is and I love him.<br><br><br><br>
I have to say you are right in that I'm not "aligned" with this and him. I pick and choose how I see it but only when it comes to him. It's black and white for me yet.... it's grey and blurry when it comes to him. And it's frustrating! LOL But I don't know how to get it together.<br><br><br><br>
Danakscully-<br><br><br><br>
I know... it does seem like I'm just accepting the fact that we will argure about this sometimes. We haven't had a full-on fight about these issues and I know that if I really wanted to, we could raise vegetarian children... and he later would have the opportunity to offer them meat and then they could decide when they are old enough to understand. Either way we will both offer our philosophies... same thing with church.<br><br><br><br>
And yeah... "flexatarian"? So dumb. I tried to explain to him that there was no difference between an omnivore and a flexi (even though it's not even a term)... whatever it just didn't go anywhere and I got stressed about it... thanx for understanding though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Beachbnny</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
knifing children and burying them in the backyard? Oh my Gosh! I'm sorry, I have to laugh a little <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> Uh... no that would sooo not be cool.</div>
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Yeah. My point was that this is a very loaded word. Using "murder" instead of "kill" conjures up just the sort of image I used for a lot of people. Have you talked to him about how it makes him feel to have someone he loves call him a murderer?<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">But I still see him as a murderer nonetheless- of animals, not people.</div>
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By using the word "murder" you are equating killing people out of malice with eating meat. The word will lead you down a certain path implying certain moral judgments.<br><br><br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">And yeah... "flexatarian"? So dumb. I tried to explain to him that there was no difference between an omnivore and a flexi (even though it's not even a term)... whatever it just didn't go anywhere and I got stressed about it... thanx for understanding though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"></div>
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I disagree. Flexitarians (as usually conceived, I don't know how well it applies in his case) eat very little meat. In ecological, economic, and dietary terms they are much more like typical vegetarians than they are like typical omnivores. When someone says there is no difference between a flexitarian and an omnivore, I know that they are coming at vegetarianism from a purity standpoint, rather than a pragmatic one. Again, I'm sensing disrespect from you (eating less meat counts for nothing, only total purity matters).<br><br><br><br>
I hope I'm not coming across as too confrontational. What I'm getting at is the same thing you remarked on: it's one thing to make clear choices of right or wrong for yourself (and use words and categories that reinforce your own choices), and quite another thing to deal respectfully with someone else who is thinking differently.<br><br><br><br>
A distinction I sometimes find helpful is that between "tolerance" and "acceptance". Tolerance of another person means you disagree and disaprove, but don't feel you have the right to force them to change. Acceptance, on the other hand, means that you believe their choices are truly right <i>for them,</i> although not for you, at least at this time. Acceptance is compatible with respect, but tolerance and respect can't really co-exist; tolerance includes an implicit judgment of inferiority toward the other person.<br><br><br><br>
I'm thinking you've been approaching each others' choices with tolerance, along with genuine love and caring for each other, but that acceptance is not really there. Deep down, both of you feel that you are right and the other is wrong.<br><br><br><br>
PS - "Seusomon" is a name I made up, some years ago. (I invent my own languages as a kind of hobby.) It means "one who remembers the Goddess".
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Beachbnny</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br><br><br>
Danakscully-<br><br><br><br>
I know... it does seem like I'm just accepting the fact that we will argure about this sometimes. We haven't had a full-on fight about these issues and I know that if I really wanted to, we could raise vegetarian children... and he later would have the opportunity to offer them meat and then they could decide when they are old enough to understand. Either way we will both offer our philosophies... same thing with church.<br><br><br><br>
And yeah... "flexatarian"? So dumb. I tried to explain to him that there was no difference between an omnivore and a flexi (even though it's not even a term)... whatever it just didn't go anywhere and I got stressed about it... thanx for understanding though <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"></div>
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I was going to write more, but as I was writing this, my boyfriend and I got into a fight (haha). I cut it short. I know full-on fights shouldn't happen, but I know from personal experience that they do. The best thing to do is learn how to stop them before they start. My boyfriend and I have improved a lot over the last year. We didn't fight at all during out first 9-12 months of dating. Now, because we're both busy and always stressed, fights are more likely to happen.<br><br><br><br>
I said the same thing to my boyfriend, Mark. I said that we'll raise vegetarian children and when they're old enough to understand where it comes from, they can decide if they want to eat it. I wouldn't feed my kids something I wouldn't eat.<br><br><br><br>
Who even came up with flexatarian? That's like saying "I'm a virgin sometimes." Just doesn't work that way. *shakes head*
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Seusomon</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br><br><br>
I disagree. Flexitarians (as usually conceived, I don't know how well it applies in his case) eat very little meat. In ecological, economic, and dietary terms they are much more like typical vegetarians than they are like typical omnivores. When someone says there is no difference between a flexitarian and an omnivore, I know that they are coming at vegetarianism from a purity standpoint, rather than a pragmatic one. Again, I'm sensing disrespect from you (eating less meat counts for nothing, only total purity matters).</div>
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According to the dictionary, a flexiarian is: a vegetarian who is flexible enough to occasionally eat meat or fish. But a vegetarian DOESN'T occasionally eat meat. That contradicts itself. A vegetarian is: a person who does not eat or does not believe in eating meat, fish, fowl, or, in some cases, any food derived from animals, as eggs or cheese, but subsists on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grain, etc.<br><br><br><br>
That's like saying I occasionally have sex, so I'm a flexible virgin. No, virgins don't have sex. Plain and simple.
 

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When I went veg*n several months ago, my best friend became flexitarian. At first I thought it was a dumb distinction when I read the word (I didn't know the word at the time of our diet changes), but she has given up 98% of the meat in her (and her husband's) diet--that's a lot! She did this because she thought what I was doing was right, but she didn't feel she could go all the way. I'm really proud of her for making such a big change, rather than lumping her in with everyone who has meat multiple times per day. We don't go around using the word (like I do at a restaurant with "vegetarian"), but it does describe her eating habits well.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>danakscully64</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
According to the dictionary, a flexiarian is: a vegetarian who is flexible enough to occasionally eat meat or fish. But a vegetarian DOESN'T occasionally eat meat. That contradicts itself. A vegetarian is: a person who does not eat or does not believe in eating meat, fish, fowl, or, in some cases, any food derived from animals, as eggs or cheese, but subsists on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grain, etc.<br><br><br><br>
That's like saying I occasionally have sex, so I'm a flexible virgin. No, virgins don't have sex. Plain and simple.</div>
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The definition makes sense to anyone who's not hung up on purity stuff, but is willing to just get the jist of it. If you want to be a word lawyer, just say "a person who is flexible enough to occasionally eat meat or fish, but is otherwise vegetarian". The meaning is clear.<br><br><br><br>
And, by the way, you seem to have completely missed the point I was making about flexitarianism.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Seusomon</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
The definition makes sense to anyone who's not hung up on purity stuff, but is willing to just get the jist of it. If you want to be a word lawyer, just say "a person who is flexible enough to occasionally eat meat or fish, but is otherwise vegetarian". The meaning is clear.<br><br><br><br>
And, by the way, you seem to have completely missed the point I was making about flexitarianism.</div>
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No, I didn't miss the point. The thing about the virgin was supposed to be comical...<br><br><br><br>
I think the flexitarian definition should be revised. Instead of saying "a vegetarian who", it should say "Someone with a mostly vegetarian diet." If you eat meat, you're not a vegetarian. I don't see any room for flexibility with that. The term "vegetarian" is solely around to describe someone who doesn't eat meat.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Seusomon</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
There is some tension between "I respect his choices, I usually don't even think about it" and "He's a murderer". It's that tension that erupted in your last confrontation (as well as other tensions, I'm sure). My suggestion is that you explore how those two seeming different positions you hold can be reconciled.</div>
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That tension is very interesting to note, as it's very central to the whole tolerance and "personal choice" discussion.<br><br><br><br>
For the record, I think it's possible to consider meat-eating murder and still be with an omni and respect them as a person (despite the fact that I personally would probably not stand the tension). You argue that if one thinks meat-eating is murder, one should react in the same way as if the other person was killing children etc. But I think that one's reaction -- what it is effective to do, how much responsibility to assign to individuals committing the action, what to expect of people etc. -- depends partly on the general societal context. In the case of killing children, that context frames the action as something marginal, uncommon, opposed by the majority of people etc; in the case of meat-eating, the context is a whole society fundamentally relying on animal exploitation.
 

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You know from our emails and PM's that I have been struggling with this for a while (thanks to you we're getting a little better!) so I have no advice for you (my husband and I are one of those volatile couples and with 3 kids and him working 3 jobs and me with a chronic health issue emotions and stress are always running high around here). But just wanted to say I'm sure you two can sort this out (from what you tell me you love him dearly and he feels the same way about you). Maybe he didn't realize just how much a silly offhand comment such as that would upset you and once it did he probably just got mad that you were mad etc etc and it all got blown out of proportion. But I'm just guessing. Anyway just wanted to give you a <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":hug:">
 

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We have this issue too. I wasn't vegetarian when my husband and I met, nor for the first few years that we were together. Once I became vegetarian and told him all about it (LOL), I thought that he would show some interest, but he hasn't. He continues to eat loads of animal products. I've cut way back on dairy and eggs, and he eats a lot of them. I've argued with him on occasion, but really, this is a huge change for most people. You can't make them do it, no matter how enthusiastic you are. It's just not something they'll do unless they find their own reason(s) for doing so. And it isn't helping our relationship any for me to harp on him about it, though I continue to give him dirty looks on occasion. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)"> So...I try to set a good example and hope for the best.<br><br><br><br>
We have a 2-year-old son. I think I have finally convinced DH that he is <i>not</i> to offer any meat to DS. He does still give him eggs and cheese. DS likes both soy and rice milk (and soy yogurt), so at least he will be used to those tastes. When he's with me (which is a good share of the time), he tends eats nearly vegan, as I do. But he's obviously going to be exposed to meat-eating (by his dad) as long as DH continues to eat meat. Nothing I can do about that.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Beachbnny</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
This should probably go in the "stupid things omnis say" thread but I wanted some feedback- if you all feel like it that is.<br><br><br><br>
But he starts joking around that he's going to call himself a "flexatarian". This quickly moves from a playful tone to a serious one. And for some stupid reason, it really irks me. I never "bark" about my vegetarianism, I eventually grew out of that.<br><br><br><br>
Any words of wisdom greatly appreiciated <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"></div>
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Well I don't know about words of wisdom .<br><br><br><br>
is the jug half full or half empty<br><br><br><br>
He eats a lot of dishes you prepare shares some of the issues that are dear to you....the list is endless , so why the wind up about the flexitarian , hes sorting through it his way .<br><br><br><br>
Its not easy cooking meat/vegetarian at the same time . Can really make you want to <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/spew.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":spew:"> the situation of the moment might have got on top of you ...and out it come ....there could be deeper issues<br><br><br><br>
Geeesh , know a lot of meat eaters how are easer to be around than some vegetarians
 
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