I have been wanting to go vegetarian for quite some time due to moral and health issues. When I was a teenager and tried to go veg, nobody- not my parents, friends, or boyfriend- supported me. I got nicknames like PETA girl, veggie tales, Carrot Stick, etc. It didnt bother me that no one supported me but it became harder and harder for me to even try due to low resources. With in the past few years Ive cut down to eating meat only once a day- if that- and thinking about possibly trying to go veg again. I just have one big problem; my boyfriend is a huge meat eater. Weve been together for almost 4 years now and I feel like it may cause some problems in the relationship if I all of a sudden decide Im not going to eat meat anymore. Its even harder now that we moved to Alaska because so many people here hunt. I would rather eat meat from an animal that has been free to live its life than a conventionally, farm raised animal who most likely hasnt even got to breath fresh air. So pretty much my question is do any of you have non-veg boyfriends or husbands, and if so how do you work it out? And how do you feel about eating sustainable, kindly raised animal products? This has been an issue for me for many years now and there are so many more resources out there that would help me transition. I guess just needing some hope that veggies and meat eaters can live together would be nice. Thanks hoopers!!
I've only been veg for 2 months now (my 'veg-january' experiment has continued indefinitely), but luckily my meat-eating bf has been very supportive. I usually cook anyway, so he just has to eat my veg meals. I make sure we both get enough protein on the plate so we feel full and satisfied for hours after eating.
He generally has sushi for lunch, so gets his meat 'fix' then, and if he wants to eat meat at dinner he'll go get himself a take away. He's also cooked with meat substitutes for us a few times (tvp, tofu, soysausages etc), which is a good compromise. We live in a very progressive suburb in Sydney, where vegetarian (and sometimes vegan) meals are standard and labelled at every restaurant, so it's a bit easier than what your situation sounds like.
I think it helps that I don't make an issue out of his meat eating or try and change it. I made a choice for me and he respects that. In turn I respect his eating habits. His consumption of meat has gone done significantly anyway, just from my change in cooking.
Perhaps you could talk to your man about your reasons for going veg and make it clear that it's a choice you're making for you - it's not a judgement on his eating habits.
Also, if you don't already, you could take on more of the cooking, and let him know that he can add meat to a dish if he wants to (e.g. making a veg stirfry, then letting him add cooked chicken at the end). Trying new recipes with new or flavorful ingredients is a good way to ensure the meat-eater doesn't feel like they're 'missing' something on the plate.
Hope my suggestions help a little bit. There's a lot of support online for people like us who are transitioning into a veg lifestyle, so look around. And this group's a great one for connecting too.
I'm lucky because although my bf eats meat, whenever we make food together he omits meat. His family also provides a substitute for me when I come over for dinner. My dad became vegetarian as well a few years ago which is great. I try not to pressure my bf too much to become vegetarian, although I do mention time to time that it's a fabulous choice to make. I don't think there are many 'kindly raised animal products.' Really, if you think about how many people in the world eat meat-there's not enough time to be friends with farm animals. Even the free range chickens live in huge barns. Most are not killed or transported very kindly either.
Emotional word of farm animals is a good video to watch, as well as Earthlings, Death on a factory farm, and Sharkwaters.
I also recommend 'Skinny Bitch,' and 'The Pig that sang to the moon' for reading material.
Yeah, Im not pressuring my man to quit eating meat; he probably never will. And Im fine with that. It doesnt bother me when other people eat meat, it just bothers me when I comsume meat. When I said "kindly raised animals" I was referring to the local, small scale farms in my area that have humane raising and slaughtering practices. Animals that actually get to live their lives. But I understand where youre coming from, also. I will look into the videos and books that you have recommended. I have heard of the skinny bitch books, but not the others. Thank you all for sharing your stories. It def gives me hope we can work something out. Even if we just start off doing "meat free mondays" and go from there.
Hey Peta girl, hehe jk I actually think that names cute!! Anyway look I have been vegetarian for about 6 years now. The reason being is that my husband has been vegetarian his whole life, his family is Hare Krishna, so when we first start dating I had no idea what a vegetarian was. It was a huge learning process for me, and as soon as I had our first child I deiced to become vegetarian. I am taking alot of courses towards holistic nutrition and have found some very disturbing evidence pointing towards unfermented soy products and meat treated with antibiotics. My mother and grandmother both had estrogen driven breast cancer, and all soy products have a large amount of estrogen in them. Now the thing is with highly processed meat products, as in antibiotic filled beef chicken or pork are very dangerous to our health as well, seeing as all these super bugs are coming from these feeding pens, and the part of the population that is eating these antibiotic estrogen pumped animal products are going to get a huge wake up call when power bugs come out and there body wont be able to fight off these bugs with normal antibiotics because they have had so much already pumped into there system. I just recently started eating small amounts of organic beef or chicken, and am trying to cut out all of the soy products in my life. If you have a problem eating meat due to moral then you need to research about the products you can safely eat, without causing other health problems. There is something called wheat meat and you can make it from gluten and it is full of protein and tastes very good and is very versatile. Now when it comes to your boyfriend everyone is an individual and we all make our own decision. If you are worried about cooking just make alternatives or spend time planning what you will cook to make both of your palates happy! It can be easy, dont worry you just have to put time into what you will be eating. Just do some research about what you are putting into your body though, thats all i have to say. Because alot of these so called "healthy soy products" could actually be doing more harm to your body in time then good. Much Love my little veggie!!!
I have been vegetarian for 2 and a half years now and I too didn't receive much support when i started. My dad, who i was living with at the time, thought it was another "phase" and that id change my mind in a few weeks. additionally my family is full of huge meat eaters and hunters. It makes it much more difficult to go vegetarian when that is the case but if you just stick with it then everyone else just learns that that is who you are and eventually they try to work with it.My family says its silly and they dont understand how i can not eat meat but i just tell them i find that it is morally wrong and leave it at that. you have to be strong or they will try to convince you to go back to eating meat. when i met my husband he was not vegetarian and i was and he was accepting of it becasue his sister had been vegetarina for 13 years which made it a little easier but he wasnt sure about it either becasue "he loved his meat" lol and actually a couple months ago he "saw the light" and came to me and said, "ya know, i was thinking about it and i just cant justify causing harm to animal when i dont need to" and then he becasme vegetarian as well :) when he wasnt vegetarian however it could get difficult at times when deciding what to eat and stuff but it was definitley worth it. (you know one vegetarian can save 100 animals a year.) with family it was difficult as well becasue any time we got together to eat they had to fix somethign i could eat but htey got used to it and they usually just fix a small extra thing for me. now, its not always the greatest meal because say for instance they are making a big thing of stew or lasagna or chiken and dumplings or something, they wont fix a vegetarian version of that (but you shouldnt expect them too make a huge concession for you either) but they usually try to make some rice, or potatoes, or mac ncheese or something for me instead. The thing with vegetarianism is that some people just dont get it, and they wont ever get it and its when your with those people you have to just learn to accept eachothers differences and move on. for instance, when my family starts talking about hunting it i just try to start a new conversation or go to antoher room and do something, thats how they are and some ppl you just cant change.
as for organic and free range meat, if someone were to choose to eat meat i would rather them eat an animal that has lived a very happy life instead of those who live the terrible life of mass produced animals. good luck with your decision!!!
oh and if you live in a small town like me its also a little more difficult but your local walmart supercenter should carry a few fake meats which can help get you by.
I've been vegetarian for over 5 years and finally went vegan about a year ago. And let me tell you, everybody thought I was crazy when I first made my decision. Everybody in my family is really big on eating meat and my mom thought that it was "just a phase" and that I would be back to eating meat soon once I started to get all "sickly and weak". At first I was really timid about my decision and when anybody who was an omnivore sensed that about me they would jump all over me and give me a hard time about my diet and I would pretty much just cower in a corner because I hadn't thought up any arguments by that point. It was so discouraging and it took every last bit of my willpower to even continue with my vegetarianism. I really did feel passionate about not eating meat and it was really hard not having support from my mom, friends and boyfriend-at the time.
As I've gone through the years a vegetarian and more recently a vegan, I've become much more comfortable with it. It's nobody's business what I eat or don't eat and it hardly ever happens anymore, but if a meat-eater ever gives me a hard time about my dietary choices I'm just very firm with them and tell them that it's right for me and I don't ask them whey they eat the things they do- and leave it at that. If it feels right for you to stop eating meat (and you have the resources to do it), then go for it! Once you've been a vegetarian for a little while, your boyfriend will come around and accept that it's just part of who you are. And once you get good at cooking up really yummy dishes he'll be even easier to win over! He may not decide to go full fledged vegetarian but at least he'll hopefully start to support you and maybe even request some vegetarian dishes! It sucks at first, but it just takes time.
My mom eventually started to understand that I wasn't going back to eating meat and has since become much more accommodating toward me as far as food is concerned and always makes sure to have something for me to eat whenever I go over to her house.
So just hang in there. Stick to your guns and don't let anybody make you feel like you're crazy for giving up meat. It's nobody's decision but yours and they have no right to make you feel bad about it. And if they do, you can always show them dietary statistics on the health hazards of a meat-based diet. Might start an argument, but at least they'll learn to stop pestering you :)
My ex-boyfriend was a meat eater and we lived together (and cooked together) for a year. There was never really a question about that he'd go veggie or I'd eat meat, we just worked around it. Like, if we had bolognese, we'd just cook the sauce in 2 separate pans (one with veggie mince, one with meat), or things with chicken, one frying pan with chicken, one with tofu/meat substitute. It's a bit more of a faff but once you get used to it it's second nature. We're back living together now (a year after we broke up.. erm.. yeah it'll be fine!:P) and cooking together again, so need to get used to it again but should be fine.
Make sure he knows you're not going to force him to eat meat, but that if he does want to continue eating meat he might need to help you with the cooking (if he does not already) and keep your fingers crossed.
As for the 'kindly raised animal products', I'm very much in two minds about this.. I can completely see where you're coming from, and if I were going to ever eat meat I'd want to be able to find out its life story (which seems to be something you'd be able to do). However, for me, it's still meat, so that's still a rather large sticking point. But I have to say I'm with you on the premise that if you are going to eat meat, at least make sure it's been genuinely happy (not this free-range 'happy' either).
Hope that helps!