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Dec 9, 2009 06:18 AM

Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian?

So, I am seeing a gentleman who is a vegetarian. I am not. Most definitely not. Is there anyone on this board (or anyone you may know) who is a non-vegetarian married to/dating a vegetarian or are a vegetarian themselves who is with a non-vegetarian? How exactly do you make meals work? If you have children, are they vegetarian or no? I am just curious, but I am interested to see how others make it work?

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  1. I was lacto-ovo vege for years (eggs&dairy) DH is most definitley the polar opposite. In those 10+ years we made a lot of vege meals, quiches/fritatas, bbqs were easier, since I could throw on a veggie burger on my side of the grill. It's not easy but it's doable assuming he's not going to be offended if you cook meat in the house. fwiw our kids have been raised omnivores and so far only one is a die-hard meat-eater, the other two seem to prefer vegetarian dishes.

    I suggest you check out Peter Berley's Flexitarian Table and the related Cookbook of the Month (COTM) threads.

    1. I'm a vegetarian. DH is not. Since I do pretty much all of the cooking, I cook vegetarian. DH thinks I am a good cook -- which I guess goes a long way in this case. He knows he is welcome to cook something for himself if he chooses, since I will not cook meat (no chicken or fish either - I am not one of those vegetarians with quote marks). He usually chooses not to bother. He does get meat when we order in or when we go out to dinner. I do not have a problem with that (though he knows I'll make him brush his teeth before I'll kiss him). :)

      I think every couple makes it work in their own way. Is the gentleman the type who cannot or will not tolerate even to have animal products in his home? That would be a much more difficult scenario. I like maplesugar's suggestion of the Flexitarian Table too.

      ETA: we are child-free, so that issue does not arise.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LNG212

        >>(though he knows I'll make him brush his teeth before I'll kiss him). :)


      2. Great topic.

        The couples I know where one is veg and the other isn't, the non-veg person basically only eats meat when they're out (or at work, or if they pack their own lunches they might pack something that contains meat), and the home is vegetarian, especially if the veg person is an ethical vegetarian. As far as kids, it's a similar situation -- the kids in these kinds of homes that I'm aware of eat veg at home, but whether or not they're allowed to eat meat outside the home depends on the family.

        I happen to have a lot of vegetarian and vegan friends, and have never felt deprived when eating in their homes -- far from it! I've started cooking veg more (for money-saving and ethical reasons) and have found it to be a real kick in the pants as far as creativity. My repertoire of "ethnic" foods has really been expanded by my avoidance of meat.

        I honestly don't think it's a huge deal, unless your S.O. would be offended by your eating meat. If he's going to be grieved and troubled by the fact that you like to eat animals, I would think the relationship be a no-go, unless you're willing to give up meat.

        Ultimately, just about every couple will have to deal with some kind of dietary restriction, whether for high blood pressure or diabetes or just the indigestion that often accompanies "maturity" (grins), right? So you get a chance to navigate that now, not 50 years from now... :)

        Good luck!

        1. My answer is very similar - I was a vegetarian for ten years and my husband wasn't, and I pretty much cooked vegetarian at home; we eat in restaurants at least twice on weekends, and he often had an event to attend once a week, for which he'd make his own frozen meal that sometimes had meat and sometimes didn't. I think - having been vegetarian and non-vegetarian - that it doesn't seem like it should be that much of a challenge to make meals at home work. Surely people who eat meat don't eat it every meal, or even every day; if at least one of you has a job, you probably eat at least one meal every day apart; and I guess I never understood (not pointing a finger at you by any means!) why some meat-eaters seem to feel like it's simply not possible to enjoy a hearty veggie stir-fry, spaghetti, lasagne, pizza, etc, without meat. Of course, if you're the non-vegetarian and you're doing the cooking, you can just keep the meat item for yourself apart.

          I see a lot of horror stories about people on one side of the veg/non-veg regime thinking people on the other side are real jerks about it, but that hasn't been my experience in real life, thank goodness. If he's cooking dinner for you both at his house he'll probably choose to cook a vegetarian meal, and he's probably gotten pretty good at it. :) At your house, hopefully he wouldn't be offended if you want meatballs on the side of your mutual spaghetti marinara. Being nice about it goes a long way. Best luck.

          1. My FIL is vegetarian and my MIL is not. When they ate in, she did all the cooking. For the many years they were married, my MIL would usually make meals where the meat and other components were cooked separately, i.e. spaghetti with arabbiata sauce and meatballs on the side. It wasn't a wonderful arrangement because despite her many, many other redeeming characteristics, she's not very interested in cooking or food and didn't really include much vegetarian protein in her meals. But my FIL evidently supplemented the meals pretty frequently with treats from the local Indian restaurant. Both of their children were raised as omnivores.

            I would personally love to raise my children as vegetarians -- or at least as omnivores who don't rely on meat. I really would be thrilled if meat did not taste delicious to me since I have major moral problems with killing animals for food when it's not a biological imperative for humans (given our many sources of non-animal protein) and with the way many animals are raised for food. But alas, the habit is hard to break. I envy my FIL for the fact that even bacon doesn't smell good to him.