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As I just posted in my introduction thread, I am not a vegetarian, though my girlfriend of over 3 1/2 years has recently made the switch. Though I currently have no intention (I'm not close minded, I'm willing to make changes, it is not outside of the realm of possibility that I might choose to make the switch to, I just doubt it) of switching, I want to try to figure out what I will have to do with the complications that arise out of a relationship between those with mixed beliefs regarding food. Now I just have to sort my thoughts and concerns out into something that makes sense.<br><br><br><br>
Well, I guess one of my problems comes from how I love cooking and trying new things. I do look forward to trying out vegetarain recipes as an addition to my repertoire. Though I will be continuing to cook non-vegetarian dishes and I've always loved ebing able to cook new and exciting meals for her. That is even one of the things she has said that she loves the most about me. How I've introduced her to these new things, new experiences, and especailly new foods. Most of her current favorite foods are all things that I've introduced to her. It does depress me to think that this passion that I have had and that we have shared for so long is something that is going to be have to limited so. I'm not sure how to deal with that. How do other couples and families do it? I mean I can't expect to find someone who can find a perfect solution for me when I can't expect others to be as passionate about food, cooking, and taste. I start thinking (as a joke of course) that I'm gonna have to have an affair where I'm just cooking for another woman! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/laugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":lol:"><br><br><br><br>
Also, I obviously want to be supportive despite my desire to want to share my non-vegetarian dishes with her. We both understand and agree that this is her thing. That if she wants to eat vegetarian food, aside from the occassional dish that I make that happens to be vegetarian, that she has to fend for herself. I'm on a very stretched budget and I can't be expected to buy extra special food just to fit her vegetarian needs and when I cook, I'm not going to also cook a special meal just for her. Problem is she's not experienced in cooking and the only "money" she has is her credit card that her mom pays for. I know I can help teach her how to cook but aside from that, what else I can think of is going into that area of me being forced to change the way I want to live.<br><br><br><br>
I also worry about the possible friction that could come from this change of lifestyle. I mean right now, she's ok with my eating meat and her having to take care of things herself. But later on as she possibly becomes more submerged in this culture that she is disgusted that I still eat meat and tries to push me to change.<br><br><br><br>
So please, I'd appreciate some suggestions from those experienced in these type of mixed relationships.
 

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Well I know relationships with veg*ns and omni's can work out just fine.<br><br>
Past that I can not really help you. You eat your way, she eats her's and just do not let it become and issue between you that could be hurtfull
 

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I find it interesting that you're willing to buy yourself "special" foods--i.e. meat, pork, fish, etc.--but you won't do the same for her "special" vegetarian foods. Why are YOUR needs the important ones, and not hers?<br><br><br><br>
That said, my hubby is an omnivore. We often share meals by simply cooking something both of us can eat, and then he adds meat on the side. For example, I'll make a stir fry of veggies and rice. He'll cook some chicken strips on the side, and then add them to his dish at the end.<br><br><br><br>
You may find that her vegetarian diet actually opens up a whole new world of recipes, menus and meals to you. Don't immediately assume that it will limit you. Many people find that, once they become vegetarian, they suddenly discover all types of foods that they've never tried before. In truth, there are a lot fewer types of meats than there are types of vegetables, grains and fruits. So really... which do you think is the more limiting diet: Insisting on meat with every meal, or broadening your horizons to include the many plant foods that most people have never really tried?<br><br><br><br>
Many vegetarians are extremely passionate about food and cooking--look at the numerous gourmet vegetarian cookbooks. For that matter, do a search for raw/vegan/vegetarian restaurants. You may find that there are many more than you expect. Don't discount the diet in and of itself--there are so many ways to experiment with it in the kitchen. And frankly, if she's lacto-ovo rather than vegan, you can still work with things like butter, eggs and cheese--so the options are limitless.<br><br><br><br>
If you won't cook a special meal for her (though you obviously don't mind cooking meals for yourself), then I suggest you tell her about this forum. There are many wise, informed people here who are more than willing to help guide her as she experiments with cooking and the vegetarian lifestyle.<br><br><br><br>
Whether or not she pushes you to change is something the two of you will have to work out together. Hopefully she'll lead by example rather than thrusting copies of Meet Your Meat into your hands. But only time will tell.<br><br><br><br>
Nonetheless, I suggest you try and be patient, at least initially. Many vegetarians have an initial "gung ho" phase at the beginning, where they feel the need to share their experiences and thoughts with the world. For ethical vegetarians, this is often because of the "eye opening" experience that caused them to make the change to a vegetarian diet. If you're patient and understanding during this phase of her lifestyle, you'll probably be rewarded with similar respect later down the line.
 

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There's a lot of us in mixed relationships so it really can work. If you're a cook, vegetarian food can be very, very cheap. Tofu and beans are WAY cheaper than meat. Also, it's loads of fun learning to cook new vegetarian dishes. I'm the cook in my family so we eat all vegetarian food at home and my husband and kids can choose on their own when we go out. Since you're the one cooking, you can try making dishes where you can leave the meat out until the end, serve her up and then add the meat to yours. Also, try to make everything vegetarian except the stuff that's actually a "meat" dish. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, don't put things like bacon in vegetables or beans. That way if you're eating together, she won't have to ask you about the ingredients. She can just look at it and know.<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, it's totally awesome that you're being supportive and trying to cook for her. You get the VB boyfriend of the year award.
 

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Good questions, and I think my bf shares some of your concerns. I switched to veg*n about two months ago, and he has not. A couple of years ago I did mention I might do this at some point, and he was very supportive at the time and thought he might join me, so it wasn't a total shock, but still a bigger one than I expected.<br><br><br><br>
David also loves to cook, and I am a poor cook (or at least I do not enjoy it and don't do it very often and certainly not in the fancy ways that he does). Over the last couple of years he (like your situation) introduced me to new foods that I had not eaten before, and I've always appreciated that. I realize now I was able to go veg*n <i>because</i> he introduced me to lots of new things, making me realize I didn't have to depend on the same old meat-and-potatoes I grew up eating, and that I was able to cook some different things now myself too!<br><br><br><br>
When I switched, I did it rather quietly over a few days and then announced it. I think he was pretty resentful that I did not include him in the switch (i.e. just letting him know about it) and that I did it rather quickly. I did it that way because it was right for me, but I see now I probably alienated him at the same time.<br><br><br><br>
He pestered me with "I won't tell if you have meat just this once" and "It really won't matter this one time if you don't follow your diet" and "It won't last more than six weeks" and "No animals are really being saved since they're already at the supermarket" etc. I have to say this was really depressing and frustrating to be told from the person I thought I was closest to, who I thought would support me (he thought he WAS being supportive overall), especially when I was struggling myself to figure out what to eat--his creativity in cooking could have been a real resource to me in the first few weeks.<br><br><br><br>
This is still relatively new for me, but things are going better. His view on veg*nism is based on the health aspects, so he understands why someone would want to eat this way, but not why it would matter now and then to eat meat since the overall health effect would be minimal. But I am veg*n because I don't want to cause suffering to an animal, and that is non-negotiable. One night he was mad that I wouldn't try a new sauce he had made--he indulged in a new sauces book about the same time I went veg*n. I finally got through to him by describing it like this: Say you met a fabulous woman, and decided to sleep with her just that one time--would it really matter long term? For someone who thought monogamy was non-negotiable, it would, because you were in a committed relationship. But if that wasn't something that mattered above all to you, it wouldn't be a big deal.<br><br><br><br>
I was giving an extreme example but it really seemed to help him understand a little better. To me, cheating on him is non-negotiable, and so is eating meat.<br><br><br><br>
Since we are adults in separate homes and fend for ourselves several times a week anyway, I have been able to feed myself my way and he still cooks meat for himself and it hasn't been an issue very often. When we do get together, we are trying to get excited about new veg*n recipes to try together, or converting our old favorites to veg*n with substitute meats. His willingness to try (and his ability to make meat on his own relatively often) has made this go pretty smoothly. When we go out to eat, we're both able to choose our own dishes, so that hasn't been a big problem either.<br><br><br><br>
As a new veg*n, your girlfriend is probably having a harder time than you think finding appropriate food and enjoying it, and your unwillingness to bend (you say you want to be supportive but also say "being forced to change the way I want to live") is not going to help. I guess maybe it's worth figuring out what you each like/love about the other and deciding if it's worth focusing on--maybe food just isn't that big of a deal like it seems right now! I hope you have more between you than your cooking and her eating. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"> It will probably be less of an issue as each day goes by. You can still cook fabulous recipes--they'll just be veg*n. I know that seems limited, but challenge yourself to not eat any meat for a week and you'll be forced to figure out new dishes!<br><br><br><br>
Obviously I'm biased, but my recent experience tells me it's important to talk honestly and openly with each other about how you each *feel* about this change. It will help you commit to what's really important.<br><br><br><br>
In the meantime, there are many dishes where the meat can be separate, so she can just eat the part of the meal that remains if you are choosing to still make that dish, or you can experiment with substituting other proteins for your meat, or you can explore new dishes together. I think given some time you'll learn how to make it work--but try really hard not to look at your gf as limiting you! I figure we can only limit ourselves. <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>toadstool</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
I find it interesting that you're willing to buy yourself "special" foods--i.e. meat, pork, fish, etc.--but you won't do the same for her "special" vegetarian foods. Why are YOUR needs the important ones, and not hers?<br><br><br><br>
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Toadstool he did say she bought her own food, he is willing to learn to cook for her but can not afford to buy both her food and his own, they are not married.<br><br>
I think its a bit harsh to imply he is being selfish
 

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Vegetarian food isn't special or expensive. Beans, pasta, fruits, vegetables, lentils and rice are all good veggie foods you can find at the local supermarket. Why don't you try experimenting with some cheap foods you both will like?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Ayrlin</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Toadstool he did say she bought her own food, he is willing to learn to cook for her but can not afford to buy both her food and his own, they are not married.<br><br>
I think its a bit harsh to imply he is being selfish</div>
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My question would be this: If she still ate meat, would he be buying enough to feed her as well?<br><br><br><br>
He said he liked cooking for her. He said he introduced her to new foods and new dishes.<br><br><br><br>
During her meat-eating days, if he made a steak dinner for the two of them, did he only buy steak for himself? Or did he buy enough steak for her, too?<br><br><br><br>
But now that she's vegetarian, he won't do the same by buying her "special" foods? Frankly, since he won't be buying as much meat, I'd think it would cost the same (or even less).<br><br><br><br>
Also, if you read his post, he never said he was willing to cook for her. In fact, he said "I'm not going to also cook a special meal just for her."
 

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short sweet and to the point:<br><br><br><br><br><br>
do you plan to marry said omni partner?<br><br>
would there be conflicts in raising your children veg with a non-veg partner?<br><br>
do you grow tire of sitting across from plates of dead animals?<br><br><br><br>
talk about it. if they would be comfortabe raising thier children veg, or going veg, or whatever.<br><br><br><br>
without long term compatibility, there is no short-term compatibility - and as such, sometimes its best to just end it cleanly - your paths have gone in differnt directions and being yoked with someone in direct conflict to your beliefs is weary to your spirits.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>toadstool</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
My question would be this: If she still ate meat, would he be buying enough to feed her as well?<br><br><br><br>
He said he liked cooking for her. He said he introduced her to new foods and new dishes.<br><br><br><br>
During her meat-eating days, if he made a steak dinner for the two of them, did he only buy steak for himself? Or did he buy enough steak for her, too?<br><br><br><br>
But now that she's vegetarian, he won't do the same by buying her "special" foods? Frankly, since he won't be buying as much meat, I'd think it would cost the same (or even less).</div>
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Ahh yes I see your point there.<br><br><br><br>
I took it more as she bought her own food and he cooked it or they split the food bill.
 

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Yeah... he also never said he was willing to cook for her. In fact, he said "I'm not going to also cook a special meal just for her."<br><br><br><br>
I think she might be best off by coming here and learning how to cook from some of the fantastic chefs on this board! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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My Fiancee is a meat eater...and I was too when we first got together...many many many years ago...and he has been really supportive about it....he makes sure that if we are going to a restaurant or to a special occasions such as a wedding or something that something veggie is there...when we are invited to a bbq we bring veggie dishes so that our family and friends can try something new and i have something to eat...He is the cook between the two of us he cooks meatless two to four times a week..sometimes adding meat on the side for himself but mostly not usually he eats it..He checks labels on products for gelatin ect...he is just awesome about it....there are great recipes on here..veggie cookbooks and it will be a fun to learn and do together..we like it...<br><br><br><br>
you are a great guy.. that you wanna be supportive of your gf.. and cook for her..and help her...and i say communication is the key about everything...cause issues besides food come up and it helps soooo much if you are open and honest.
 

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Well to be fair my husband is omni and he can either eat what I cook vegetarian or he can cook himself.<br><br><br><br>
So I can see the guys point about not wanting to cook special meals just for her, but I see no reason why he can not cook meals that they both could eat, just her's minus any meat
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>toadstool</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
My question would be this: If she still ate meat, would he be buying enough to feed her as well?<br><br><br><br>
He said he liked cooking for her. He said he introduced her to new foods and new dishes.<br><br><br><br>
During her meat-eating days, if he made a steak dinner for the two of them, did he only buy steak for himself? Or did he buy enough steak for her, too?<br><br><br><br>
But now that she's vegetarian, he won't do the same by buying her "special" foods? Frankly, since he won't be buying as much meat, I'd think it would cost the same (or even less).<br><br><br><br>
Also, if you read his post, he never said he was willing to cook for her. In fact, he said "I'm not going to also cook a special meal just for her."</div>
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On these boards, SO many people say (proudly) that they will not buy or cook meat for their partners. So how is it any different for him to say he will not buy or cook "special vegetarian items" (whatever that is - tofu? tempeh?) for her?
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>troub</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
without long term compatibility, there is no short-term compatibility - and as such, sometimes its best to just end it cleanly - your paths have gone in differnt directions and being yoked with someone in direct conflict to your beliefs is weary to your spirits.</div>
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I am not so sure it is this black and white.<br><br><br><br>
Our lives and who we are as people are a constant changing thing... an ebb and a flow. To say "this is not the person for me" because of where we are in our lives for one brief moment may be foolish. We change. Always.<br><br><br><br>
And relationships are about work. Compromise. Love. Compassion for people who's views are different from ours.<br><br><br><br>
Omni/veg relationships can work if they include mutual respect.<br><br><br><br>
Some omnis are not "in direct conflict" with a vegetarian's beliefs... many are compassionate people who "love animals." They just haven't gone far enough to take that extra step. They remain blind for some reason or another.<br><br><br><br>
But that doesn't mean they won't someday see.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Katieq</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
On these boards, SO many people say (proudly) that they will not buy or cook meat for their partners. So how is it any different for him to say he will not buy or cook "special vegetarian items" (whatever that is - tofu? tempeh?) for her?</div>
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Veg*ns who don't buy or prepare meat generally do so because of their ethics (or a general sense of grossness).<br><br><br><br>
I can only assume that the OP's reasons are not because he's grossed out by tofu, or because he finds tofu ethically appalling, but because he doesn't want to be inconvenienced.<br><br><br><br>
IMHO, those are two very different reasons.
 

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I do not cook omni meals just because of the cost to make two seperate meals.<br><br>
So I cook vegetarian, so in a way one could say I am selfish and do not want to be inconvenienced and you know what?<br><br>
It would be true.<br><br>
So I can not say anythign about anyone else who may want to do the same thing.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>toadstool</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
We change. Always.<br><br><br><br>
And relationships are about work. Compromise. Love. Compassion for people who's views are different from ours.<br><br><br><br>
Omni/veg relationships can work if they include mutual respect.</div>
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true.<br><br><br><br>
I suppose I am talking from strict experience, and what I suggested was just what happened with us.<br><br><br><br>
I was with someone for 5 years - practicaly engaged. But after someone see's the pictures, gets told what happens, and has no change of heart (she said she didn't like it but she could never give up meat) then you know that change might just not happen.<br><br>
This was one area of my life I would never comprimise - I also wanted to raise my children vegan - she said she could comprimise as far as lacto/ovo, but still... i could not comprimise this part of my life.<br><br><br><br>
to me - being with someone that has enough compassion to put aside the norm of life, the cravings for certain tastes, and 'do it for the animals' regardless of the situation is very very very important.<br><br><br><br>
and we broke up - mainly over our lifepaths going in diff directions.<br><br>
---<br><br><i><br><br>
this is just what i did<br><br></i><br><br><br><br>
I suppose I worded my previous post a little too bluntly - while each and every situation is personal, and has to be delt with lightly - just know that sometimes we have to accept that a person wont change, and just move on. (i hoped that she would be veg the whole 5 years i was with her... i guess it took that long to realise it enough she wasnt going to...)<br><br><br><br><br><br>
some people can handle living with an omni for the rest of their lives... and if you can, more power to you.<br><br>
as for me, my household will be vegan. I want to go to farm sanctuarys with my wife - I want to start a cafe and donate the extra food and half the profits to the poor - I want to live a life of service - to both man and animal alike - and the only way to do this is with someone in full agreement over the core values.
 

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I like to cook, and I used to be a fair cook before I became vegetarian. I found that learning to cook vegetarian meals opened me up to new foods, and combinations of foods, that I never tried before. Now I'm a much better cook, and I've learned a bit of creativity too.<br><br><br><br>
When you cook vegetarian meals, you have to get away from the old meat-and-two-sides limitations of the standard American diet. It forces you to try new things, and to think about food in new ways.<br><br><br><br>
So, maybe the gf turning veg will be a good thing, a fun thing.<br><br><br><br>
BTW, there's a thread here called "Stupid Things Omnivores Say." It's pretty funny, and if you read it, you'll know some things *not* to say to her. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.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>troub</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
short sweet and to the point:<br><br><br><br><br><br>
do you plan to marry said omni partner?<br><br>
would there be conflicts in raising your children veg with a non-veg partner?<br><br>
do you grow tire of sitting across from plates of dead animals?<br><br><br><br>
talk about it. if they would be comfortabe raising thier children veg, or going veg, or whatever.<br><br><br><br>
without long term compatibility, there is no short-term compatibility - and as such, sometimes its best to just end it cleanly - your paths have gone in differnt directions and being yoked with someone in direct conflict to your beliefs is weary to your spirits.</div>
</div>
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I know someone who hasn't read the original post at all <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/wink3.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=";)">
 
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