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Hi there,

I've been with my omnivore partner for nearly three years now. When we met, I was vegetarian (had been for a year) and I was still ok with handling, smelling and being around meat in general.

Three years later and I have been vegan for 7 months and it's slowly becoming more of an issue. He has already compromised and eats vegan with me for our evening meals so that's a start but I'm struggling to deal with packs of ham popping up in the fridge and his general love for meat.

I had a serious discussion with him the other day and he said he could never be vegetarian as he would find it too restricting when he went out and that he simply couldn't choose to order a bean burger over a beef burger. He then went on to say that in the future it would be a problem if we had kids. He said that if one parent was veggie and the other was vegan the child would have no choice about whether to eat meat or not under our roof and would be forced into an abnormal lifestyle at school and with friends.

This worries me as I always hoped that, even with my partner eating meat, we would compromise and raise any children pescetarian or veggie but not vegan. Our discussion clearly stated that he would want his children to be omnivores as he sees anything else as 'weird' for a child.

He has always respected my choices but things are suddenly cropping up that could become a problem in the future and I'm really worried. The guy is perfect for me in every other way and this is the only issue we've encountered so I don't want to give up over this but I'm really struggling with it.

Does anyone else have this issue or can anyone offer me some peace of mind? I despise myself for letting this become a problem as I always said that I'd be open minded about his viewpoint on it all but I'm finding myself getting more and more upset about it.
 

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You say that you don't want to give up the relationship over this, but I wonder, does he? Is he willing to end the relationship now simply because you say that you want your future children to be vegetarian? You seem to be beating yourself up for not being open minded to his viewpoint, when he's not being open-minded about yours.

It seems pointless to me to discuss future children when the issue should be - how are you two going to live together long-term as a vegan and an omni?

My husband was a meat eater when I went vegan back in 2005. As I started to buy and cook less and less (and then none!) meat, he had the choice of either going along or making his own dinner. Since he really doesn't cook, he got used to eating a lot of vegan/vegetarian food, sometimes adding cheese or sour cream if he wanted. We basically compromised thus - he ate whatever he wanted when we went out and while he travelled for work, but I cooked vegan at home. It really worked well. Then over the years, he became more interested in my animal rights activism and stopped eating land animals about 2 years ago (seven years after I went vegan!). He eats very little seafood - only when other options are unavailable - but does still eat dairy and eggs out on occasion. I'm tickled he's come so far, and try hard not to push.

I think if your boyfriend is eating vegan for the evening meal, that's a great start. And since that may be as far as he's willing to go, you may have to be satisfied with that, if you're going to stay in this relationship. As for children, getting to the point where you have school aged children who might have difficulty being veg*n, that's years and years away, so don't worry about it now. Hopefully being veg*n will be a whole lot more "normal" in the future and your child (and you) will have like-minded friends for support.
 

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my story is just like poppy's. A omni husband who eats vegan plus cheese diet at home when he wants.

I believe lots of people have this issue. You are the vegan, he doesn't want to be and certainly has that right. When it comes to kids, well, either you resolve it or they have some vegan stuff and some meat stuff. Since you do most of the cooking and probably would continue that I think they would end up having a lot of vegan food.

If you are going to go on together I believe you need to both come to a compromise for now. Spell out how it will work. You cannot take to a position and hold it and expect him to change and neither can he.

It can be done. Children, if you have that future together, will be a whole other step. Good luck and I hope you can work this out.
 

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In similar situations I've come across, it's always (knowingly or not) other deficiencies in the relationship that are then glossed over with the veg/non-veg issue. His views on kids being ostracized are old hat. More and more kids are taking on the responsible eating habits of their parents. And worst case scenario, they're forced to make friends with other like-minded and compassionate kids.

I wouldn't enter into a LTR with a non-vegan, personally. For how much trivial stuff we may have in common, the lifestyle represents so much more of who I am than what goes into my mouth. I've inherited family members and platonic friends along the way whose ignorance I'm forced to excuse, but a life partner is different.

If you're just vegetarian then it's possible to make it work. He seems supportive now so don't put the cart before the horse. Communicate.
 

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Don't Eat Animals.
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I'm struggling to deal with packs of ham popping up in the fridge and his general love for meat.
I went veg*n, showed my wife the FORKS OVER KNIVES, VEGUCATED, and several other videos....and she followed. I can't imaging a package of ham in the fridge....:spew:

I had a serious discussion with him the other day and he said he could never be vegetarian as he would find it too restricting when he went out and that he simply couldn't choose to order a bean burger over a beef burger.
I travel 180 days a year on business & have had no problem "eating out".....even after going vegan. The first week was interesting, but after that.....no problem. If you are eating out in a local setting......pick a veg*n or vegan friendly restaurant. If he complains about that, maybe he just wants to eat meat. :serious:

He has always respected my choices but things are suddenly cropping up that could become a problem in the future and I'm really worried.
You need to decide whether compromising your dietary principles outweigh the value of the relationship. I am not a psychologist, but you only live once, and you should be happy. There's give and take in any relationship, (ask my wife!!....she's all take & no give....but I still love her to death), but if you can't morally tolerate something.....that's something you need to deal with.

Good honest discussion, without any finger pointing, is a good place to start. You both need to respect and accept each others choices, but if it violates your moral beliefs.....

GOOD LUCK!!!!! :)
 

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I think it's important to agree on how you'd raise children before you have them. With my first ex, it never would have been an issue. He became a vegetarian a few years after we started dating. He was understanding of my views. My last ex was a meat eater and had no desire to give up meat. His family made my vegetarianism more of an issue than it was. That was an issue in and of itself, I never wanted to have children with that guy (that was one of many things). When I broke up with my last boyfriend, I was worried I wouldn't find someone right for me. 2 months later, I met my amazing boyfriend. He's been a vegetarian for 16 years and we share all of the same beliefs. We are both Atheists, vegetarians, math nerds, gamers, and agree on everything kid related (no circumcision, no spanking, etc). This is the best relationship I've ever been in. You have to decide if you'd be okay with your partner how he is, not changing. You can't expect someone to change for you.

Good luck!
 

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When I met my fiancé, I was not veg and he was. I was interested and receptive and wanted to be though. It was very easy for me to eat veg with him/around him, and I guess we had what could best be described as a don't ask/don't tell policy about what I ate when I was not with him :) I finally educated myself a little better and now am fully veg, and he told me recently that he would not have expected how much easier it made the relationship for him compared to other ones he has been in.

As for children, I assumed we would raise them veg since we both eat that way. But his son (from a previous relationship) is not being raised veg, and he is okay with buying him (in restaurants, not to cook at home) things like pepperoni pizza if he asks for it. And picky eating runs on both sides of our family, so I think he has issues with restricting food for kids or forcing food upon them which they don't like. I think he hopes they would follow our lead, but he would allow them to make their own food choices.
 

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This man has only ever known you as a veg*n, and he's only now letting on he thinks your lifestyle is abnormal? I mean, most people would agree with him, and a wide swathe of the population considers vegetarians -- not to mention vegans -- undateable. But what you're having now sounds like a conversation that should've happened early on, not three years in. That's like someone who tells you when you're three years married that he doesn't want kids after all, and really never did.

To be fair, your own attitude toward meat-eaters has also migrated from when you were the girl he fell in love with. You were fine with his eating meat then, and with being around it, and now you're not. Your current stance about his diet might be affecting his feelings for you. If you love this guy and want to make a life with him, tell him what you will and won't do to make this work. Let him know that his stance is affecting your feelings for him, and that you need to know what he'd be willing to do so you could make it work as a family. If you're thinking long-term and if you can't reach enough common ground, probably best to cut your losses now and move on.
 
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