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I casually mentioned to my boyfriend this evening that I was considering trying to be a vegetarian (eventually vegan, but one step at a time here). He got an awful look on his face and said, uh why? I said to be healthy and save animals. He whined that he would then have to cook his own meat.
What on earth do I say/do about that?
I am not sure how to get started on being vegetarian. I know that Alicia's book focuses on being vegan, but I just think it would be too hard to make that big of a leap right away. Is her book helpful for going vegetarian? Any other suggestions for this first step?
I've been a vegetarian for about 3 years and am currently working towards a vegan lifestyle. Like you my boyfriend is not supportive and doesnt think it is healhty to eliminate diary or meat and finds no reason why I would let what is happening to animals bother me. He, and many others, say "what difference does it make to you if cows are being abused?"
I think a good argument to this if they think owners should be allowed to abuse their dogs? There is a reason why that is illegal. What their neighbor does to their pet doesn't affect them directly, but it is against the law because it is wrong. ..Just as with what is happening in the meat and dairy industry.
For me personally going egetarian was easy. I have never loved meat so it was easy to cut out; just go one day at a time. Avoid restaurants where you love a certain meat dish and try new places. Make new vegetarian recipes. Its a fun process! After a week or so you'll feel a lot healtheir, cleaner, and purer on the inside.
Going vegan has been a little bit more difficult for me so far. I've eliminated cheese and pure milk but find it hard to watch out for foods with butter/eggs hidden in them. I've been cooking a lot more at home, which is also fun!
Definititely read Alicia's book before and during your vegetarianism path. It will remind you what you're doing is important for the planet and for your health and keep you motivated. Try it at least for a month and by the end of it I am certain you wont want to look back!
Know that what you're doing is important and not everyone will agree wtih you. It is ultimately up to you to decide what you feel best about doing morally, and up to you to figure out what keeps you healthiest. Listen to your body and listen to your heart.. don't let others stop you from doing what you feel is right!
Beth, I guess the first thing I thought of when I read your note was- Whose boyfriend IS supportive of their girlfriend going vegan!! It can be frustrating....I am with a guy who eats like a twelve year old and claims that the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle has no taste. Now granted, I'm in college still and haven't mastered cooking up a wide variety of things...but sometimes I dream of moving to Seattle and meeting a really hip guy in yoga class who has been vegan for a few years and will welocome my health and my love for animals with open arms.... But at this moment it is still a day dream....
My advise, is get Alicia's book, or search online for great tasting vegan meals. Buy the berries and flax and strange lettuce that you've never bought before, ya know? for a month say....http://www.talronnen.com/this guy has some really good tasting stuff too!! Don't tell your boyfriend what you're doing just cook this amazing food. Buy the best foux meat and spice it up all nice and see if he can even tell....
Then let him know, when he asks with a smile on his face about how yummy what you made was, what you made for him ..and see if he is a smidge more supportive.
This is what I hope to do one day because My boyfriend is not very healthy and i KNOW that the kind life would be good for him too!
Good luck! and know you are NOT the only one!!
Most of all, do what YOU want to do. Be You!
If anything, if he is a good guy, he will like that you are sticking to your beliefs and standing up to be a new individual woman!
peace and love,
You're in the same boat as me! I eat vegan most of the time, but I still have dairy occasionally with my boyfriend . . . I haven't told him that my goal is to become vegan because he did NOT take it well when I told him I was becoming a vegetarian. After a couple weeks went by, I thought that he was ok with it, then he told me Saturday nigh that he found my vegetarianism to be "annoying" and that it was affecting his life because we could no longer eat cheeseburgers together. It's very frustrating.
As far as becoming vegetarian goes, you should definitely read Alicia's book. Even though it promotes veganism, it's really good about explaining how to transition into it all, so it will be helpful even if you're not ready to give up dairy and eggs yet.
Hi Beth! It's great you're considering giving up meat. Alicia does have a section called flirts in her book for people who are dipping their toes in the vegetarian/vegan diet. I think the book is geared toward people eventually becoming vegan but as a vegetarian I certainly ate tons of vegan food as well as things that had dairy & eggs so I think the book and the recipies would be very useful for you.
Don't let anyone freak you out about getting enough protien or that you need meat to be healthy. It really is easy to get your nutrients as a vegetarian (I never had a problem and never took a supplement) and there is plenty of info on what you need to go vegan (which is probably the healthiest diet there is).
The only thing I would recommend as far as the vegetarian thing is concerned is to try and buy organic dairy & eggs since there is a lot of animal cruelty in the dairy industry.
As far your boyfriend goes I would very gently remind him that you don't decide what he can eat and he needs to give you the same respect in regards to your dietary choices. As far as cooking the meat you could suggest that he prepares it ahead of time to add to his portion of the meal.
Going vegetarian was not quiet a struggle with my boyfriend. However, when I made the change to vegan he freaked out. Life is about compromise, and especially (since we are from the midwest-and meat and white starches are staples) coming home from the grocery without a few blocks of cheese and hunks of meat was "crazy". Like the earlier posts, do your research...find the most delicious recipes and cook things that taste so great that he won't even know he isn't eating meat, or miss it at all. Don't get me wrong, when we go out he may still order a steak or seafood...but like I said life and love is all about the art of compromising- so do your research cook or make the most your opportunity to make and serve healthy food while you have the opportunity. Be opened minded, but also educate the ones you love- trust me after a while, the knowledge that you posess will benefit you, and help to widen your significant other's perspective on the greater picture, and consequently their diet.
Whitney-I thought it was funny when your boyfriend said your vegetarianism was "annoying" because you couldn't eat cheeseburgers together! He realizes that you still eat together, right? Cute!
I just introduced my "vegetarianism" to my husband of 15 years, and he just made a comment, "what a waste". I told him that it was important to me and my health and that I needed him to suppport me by not making comments, or rolling his eyes. He's really good at that...
He's already used to me not buying beef for the household, and not eating lamb or veal. So, I knew that if I told him "deeper" reasons, he wouldn't get it. But, if I emphasize the health issue, then he really couldn't argue with me. Sometimes, I'll sneak in a veggie meal and won't even know it! I made a "meatball" tomato sauce and he couldn't even tell. The only reason he knew was because he knew I made it for me. But, he had to agree that it was pretty tasty.
I see it as a health issue when I have to "explain" myself. People usually don't argue health reasons...it's the political reasons that start people up.
Wow, thanks for all the support everyone. I am not sure what I will do. and in a way I feel kind of bad for my boyfriend because I have been making soooo many changes over the last 13 months. I quit smoking, took up exercise and yoga. I just got my dog and he is not a big "dog person". I know that he is overwhelmed with all the changes I am making and I can understand his hesitation. I really truly love him and he makes me happier than anyone ever has, so I don't want to compromise this relationship or scare him off. Not sure what to do now. We'll see how it plays out I guess.
First of all, it is true that most men do not immediately respond well to this kind of change because it does affect them too. (took me a while to get that...) My husband knew I was a vegetarian for health reasons from the very beginning, and he still had a hard time with me going vegan 7 months ago- after 14 years of marriage! And he still makes whiny comments sometimes but he also makes supportive ones more and more. So ultimately, caring enough about each other not to push one or the other into our own mold of thinking has been the key.
I don't want to sound to old and boring here, but as a married person with a bit more experience (who has gladly left behind the dating scene!) it seems to me that you may be growing apart.Not because you want to be vegan, but all of the changes you mention are good positive things and should be acknowledged as such. Why would he have a problem with you taking up a healthier lifestyle if he truly cares about you? I know the heart is powerful and I really hope the best for you here, and that you and he can make this work. But you will have to communicate your feelings here and find out if your long term plans are going to mesh with his. Mature relationships do not involve one person giving up health and happiness for the other. Love does require compromise and giving on both sides. But sometimes the lives that two people want are so different one person (or both) realizes it is more loving to let each other go. And it sounds as though you are still growing and maturing. You have to both truly be yourselves and be comfortable with each other before getting any more committed!
Sorry to sound so mom-ish...
I'm with Donna (aka French_Momma) on this. Your most recent post really does sound like you may be growing apart.
Here's how I approached the compromise (I also had a skeptical husband, and he razzes me a lot, still): I still buy him meat (even though the first time after my "conversion" I nearly cried), but I buy the local, ranch-raised very expensive stuff that even though I know better, I feel better about. He'll mostly eat what I cook, even if it's vegan, since I do the cooking, but I do try to include meat as a "side" for him a couple of nights a week. He sees the effort and appreciates it.
Also, he just took up fiddle, and is obsessed with learning to play, and I told him that veganism is AS IMPORTANT to me as his fiddle is to him. I told him that deep down in my soul, this was who I was and the most right and important thing I've ever done. That really tempered a lot of his criticism!