Mixed Marriages: When one family member is veg, and the other(s) are not. Aarrggh!

I've been veg for longer than a lot of people on this forum have been alive. During my entire vegetarian experience, I've never had a relationship or S.O. that was also vegetarian. I've always felt that there is too much else in life, and life is too short, to restrict myself to someone who is just like me. And frankly, there are too few to choose from.

My partner grew up in a traditional Manchurian Chinese "meat and potatoes" culture. Because of over a decade of my influence, said partner eats much less meat than in the past and has healthier eating habits in general. In addition, nobody in our family eats doggie dumplings any more (it helps to have a beloved dog in the house). These are more of a Korean treat, but NE China does have 'dumpling huts' that serve St. Bernard.

I would never have made a choice of loved one, based on their dietary practices (OK, I can't handle the doggie issue, but i didn't know that at the time). Same for smoking. Drugs and alcohol would probably end it, I can't go through that again.

So here's my question - How do people handle "mixed marriages"? Do you think that you benefit from being with an omnivore? Does said omnivore benefit from being with a veg person? What are your experiences? Practical issues - food storage, cutting board separation?

Tags: omnivore, vegetarian

Views: 128

Replies to This Discussion

We're a mixed marriage...my husband is a pescatarian, and will eat turkey or chicken if that's all that's around at work (he's a musician).

He rarely eats sealife at home. Occasionally he'll boil some frozen shrimp to toss in with his soups, but if he cooks fish, he's got a dedicated pan to use, and I have some throw away cutting sheets made just for animal products; he doesn't use my cutting boards. The knives get boiled after he uses them.
The one thing he is not allowed to ever eat in my presence is lobster...or anything else that is boiled alive. That's barbaric to me. (not that killing animals for taste buds or cool shoes is humane)
Do I benefit? No. Does he? Sure...he has lower cholesterol, he's got none of the weight issues that run in his family, and I know our food bill is lower.
I think that I benefit in some ways, living with an Omnivore, because it forces me to question my own motivations and have clarity on why I do the things that I do. However, there are times when these discussions become tiresome.
Being with a partner that eats meat has never been a problem for me - he loves all food, pretty much. Even before we started dating, he liked to try vegan/vegetarian food on occasion, simply for taste. Now that we share a lot of meals, we don't find it difficult at all to find vegetarian stuff that he likes. We both enjoy good food and cooking, and I think he might even like tofu more than I do!

It seems that he also benefits some from having me around - he eats less meat and a lot less junk food when we're together.
I'm the chef in my household, so being with an omni means lots more cooking for me. (I'm sure I'm atypical in that I don't mind shopping for or cooking meat/dairy/eggs [all of which I don't eat] for him since I used to be an omni, too, until a few years ago.) He doesn't eat much of my food either since the fiber content is way too high for him to handle without getting violently sick. That means more good food for me. We don't eat out much since it's too expensive, so that's not an issue, but if we did have more money, I bet the restaurant thing could get annoying fast.

I do occasionally have fantasies of living a different life with a perfect vegan partner, but well, those are fantasies.
Eating out is very challenging. After 30 years of being vegetarian, I still find it difficult. When I lived in Chicago, the Chinese restaurants had menu choice "Vegetarian". It had choices like "Tofu with Pork" and "Broccoli with chicken". Not fake pork and fake chicken.

Rarely, I take a "don't ask/dont tell" attitude, but it gets forced anyway. A few months ago I got a vegetarian burrito at the Denver airport, and after buying it the clerk told me that the refried beans were made with lard. It really pissed me off, there was no time between flights to get something else. That was after I had asked if they had any vegetarian options, and ordered it based on them saying it didn't ahve meat in it.
It's the chicken broth that kills it for me. Most soups have a base of chicken broth. Now I don't eat soup unless I've made it.

And you probably have encountered people who think chicken is a vegetarian item! Many people still think only red meat is "meat." Go figure!
Your're right! chicken, turkey, fish. It's strange.
Cutting boards have also been a source of contention for me. I keep my own, vegetarian, cutting board, and I keep it in an inconvenient spot so that it won't get used. I don't use the other cutting boards. Other kitchenware goes into the dishwasher, which I figure is a way to "kosherize" it to vegeterian "OK" if not actually kosher.
I have a plexiglass (strange word for a piece of plastic!) cutting board that I wash with "my" dishes and pans. No meat on those items! Partner was a vegetarian until he relapsed back into eating flesh.
Starting to cook more is a great idea. It make the whole process of being vegetarian more interesting and is a way to take control.

My partner recently became a vegetarian (after watching 'Earthlings') WOOHOO!!! In my past relationships and before my current bf became vegetarian I only prepared vegetarian/vegan meals and when we eat at home we would eat veggie unless he bought and prepared meat for himself which was extremely rare. I'm a pretty good cook and I'm outspoken about my disgust for the smell of meat cooking and how I fear food poisoning with it being around the other groceries so its easier for them to just eat veggie. All past bfs said they loved my cooking and didn't miss meat at all so maybe I've been lucky but honestly I don't think I would have been with someone who insisted on bringing meat into the house and didn't enjoy eating vegetarian food. When we'd eat out it'd be a different story.

Now that I've become even more passionate about veganism I don't think I could be with someone who isn't at least vegetarian and very thoughtful about what they consume. Just like I coudn't be with a smoker. Yuck (and stupid)!

Why would I marry a meat-eater if I won't marry a theist?  I can't respect either


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