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Okay so while my boys are very young (3 years & 21 months) it won't be hard to change their eating and will have a lasting impact on them into adulthood. Then we come to my hubby, growing up on meat and cheese diet here comes the challenge. Not wanting to be pushy my strategy is to cook delicious vegan dinners , a benefit of being a stay at home mom, I contol what we eat for dinner. He is still free to have what he likes and is not obligated to eat what I cook but heres the kicker, I have accepted the challenge that if I maintain vegan for three months he will remove meat from his diet for one day a week indefinately. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
Anyone else out there with significant others who love their meat and dairy? What has been your strategy? I'm not pushing him into becoming vegan, just don't want to prepare meats at every meal and hope to swap one of his meals with vegan food, the one meal we eat together, dinner.
On and upwards.
I can totally relate. My husband is a total meat and potatoes guy. That said, he has been very supportive of my vegan transition over the last two years. I have not pressured him at all to change his eating. This is my journey. He needs to choose for himself. However, he is slowly adding more and more veg food into his life as he watches my example. He always tries my food, and has come to love several of the dishes I make. So, now he eats a vegan supper probably 3-4 nights a week and enjoys it. Other nights, I make my vegan meal, and then add a skewer of meat to it for him. And of course, I haven't tried to mess with his pizza night. I just make my vegan pizza alongside his.
His favorite vegan meals include channa masala on brown rice, kale salad (recipe on Oh She Glows blog)...I still can't believe I got him to eat kale, veggie chile (just added a second type of bean to replace the meat in my original recipe), veggie stir fry, veggie curry with cashews, and crispy cajun chickpea cakes (found on vegan dad's blog). Baby steps....
All the best on your journey. Kim.
I think the best thing you can do is continue to cook delicious food without putting a 'vegan' label on it. My husband has willingly tried things like quinoa patties and lentil patties. If I make it easy to grab and have these types of things are already cooked, I find he'll grab what's available. It takes time.
Kim, thanks for the suggestions, I will definately try the kale salad as I made kale chips and my hubby ate them all before I could even get to them. I will also make the veggie chili as he loves that and I will be checking out vegan dad's blog. My hubby is also supportive, it's just tough making two versions of the same meal. I've been adding just a meat to the dish for now.
Thanks ladies, you guys are the best.
I posted this advice (following) in reply to a separate but similar question on the site, titled, "Living with a Carnivore". I suppose I'll post the same advice here as well, although your situation is somewhat different in that you've apparently given up on the possibility that this guy will ever be vegetarian or vegan (for more than one day a week). [Advice follows:] There are two sides to this: one side is the praxis of motivating a man to do anything. ___ If you think that the way to motivate him is to say, "Look, it's so easy", you're dead wrong. ___ A better approach is to present it as a challenge, or as if it were training to climb a mountain, or any other sport: "Yeah, it's tough… why aren't you tough enough?" ___ I don't think that nagging has anything to do with this: if you pretend that it's easy, he'll be angry and disappointed when it isn't. If you pretend that you aren't placing a demand for him to do something difficult, obviously he'll feel resented and cheated when he finds out that the exact opposite is exactly the case. ___ Do not try to motivate him by saying, "Don't you know how this makes me feel?" An army general does not motivate soldiers to climb up and down a hill carrying sandbags by saying, "If you do a bad job, think about how much that will hurt my feelings!" ___ Men don't get motivated to train for a sport (or the army, etc.) by being told, "This is so easy! You'll love it once you get used to it!" It is much more effective to motivate a man by being honest and direct about what the challenges are, why he should do it, and what the consequences will be for success or failure. The bottom line is, "Yeah, this is a tough situation, but either you're tough enough or you aren't." If he isn't, it probably will mean the end of your marriage, or at least a shift to some kind of separation, eventually.
I refuse to cook meats and my husband does not cook. So, when we eat out, or order in, he'll eat whatever he wants. The lovely thing is, is the last several times that we have ordered from our favorite Thai place, he has ordered same as me! So awesome.
My husband loves food and has taken me to many vegan restaurants, but he has no interest in going vegan or vegetarian. He thinks having lettuce in a sandwich counts as having a "vegetable" serving. I do the majority of the grocery shopping, which is partly due to finances. When he didn't have much money sometimes he'd eat whatever I cooked, but it wasn't long before I noticed him buying canned meat products, fried chicken, or really low grade meat (we had a good laugh over the "foul" he purchased which turned out to be too gamey to be chicken, no idea what bird it was). When his income increased he started getting meats better quality meat but still rather fatty. So what's a vegan to do when he husband desperately needs to lose weight? Despite the fact we often cook together (the sides are always vegan and he usually wants to try whatever protein I make for myself), I know that by not making meat available in my house is not going to improve his eating habits. Recently I've been choosing to purchase organic meats for him when I go grocery shopping. He still eats the vegan sides (even if's less than I'd like), but at least I know the meat he is eating isn't filled with hormones, the animals where treated in a more humane manner, and he doesn't feel like I'm trying to change him. Part of his job is reviewing restaurants and he loves good quality meat. Hopefully your husband will start to enjoy more vegan meals, but just remember to take the little victories where you can get them. good luck
In direct reply to Rae, but indirectly replying to everyone else, you write: "…and he doesn't feel like I'm trying to change him". Why would that be a good thing? You are trying to change him: be honest with him about it, and be honest with yourself about it. The guy is overweight, unhealthy, and killing animals every day for no good reason. That should change, and you should not be ashamed to help him change.
You're not trying to get him to wear different clothes here, and you're not trying to force him to stop flirting with other women: the "change" you're talking about is neither petty nor vindictive. These are ethical issues, they're health issues, and you're trying to get him to change for the better --in a way that will pretty much save his life and/or save his marriage.
If he doesn't change, he's going to (1) ruin his marriage and (2) ruin his health --although he has done both to some extent already. The stakes are high for both of you. He has something very clear to gain (his health) and something to lose (his marriage) to motivate him to become vegan, or at least vegetarian. If he isn't motivated by either one, you know you're married to a man who neither cares about his own body, nor all that much about you, nor about any ethical commitment. It may seem grim to write that out plainly, but it's the truth. Divorce is rough; sitting next to this guy and holding his hand after heart-surgery will be rougher.
Catrina, you are so on the right path. It sounds like you and your husband have a lot of respect and love for each other and this should not affect your marriage. (Did you even mention that this was affecting your marriage?)
Marriage is the union of 2 people and what fun would it be if we were exact duplicates of each other? I would much rather have my omnivoure husband to fight and make up with than the guy down the road that beats his wife when the towels aren't folded perfectly.
My favorite thing: When my hubby cooks dinner and saves some of it out for me before adding the meat or cheese (without me even saying anything). Gotta love when you have that love and respect.
If you really think about it you have gotten your husband to drop meat from 1 meal a day plus in 3 months he agreed to be meatless 1 day a week, that means 9 meals out of 21. He probably doesn't eat meat for every breakfast either so you could say that he will be eating 50% less meat. I say that is a huge step in the right direction. Big hug for you and your family, Great job!
My husband's nickname was "the meat-eating plant" and his favourite pleasure was going out with the lads to the "All-You-Can-Eat" SpareRip-Night. The big change came when he returned from the UK and started with his new time-consuming-job which invited him to unhealthy snacks (chocolate, burgers etc..) instead of good, healthy meals (you know: the stuff which contains significantly more vegetables then letuce and tomatoes on a burger. And I don't think that onion-rings really make up for it). Additionally he began to develop serious problems with his back and couldn't go to the gym any more. The result was: tata - no surrpise there - he gained weight. And I'm not talking about a few gramms but about more then 15 kg. In the end he weighed about 100 kg (about 224 lbs), had really bad headaches, was more aggressive then usual and became ill - nothing really specific: he just always had something. Nevertheless I could not tell him that he was too fat because it really annoyed him whenever I tried to bring up the topic. But one day I sat on the sofa and was about to look for some nice fotos for a scrap-book when he took an interest in it and also had a look at them. I think I have never seen him so shocked when he looked at a foto of him and asked: "Am I really so fat?" This was the turning-point. For both of us. Since diets have the Yo-Yo-Effect and counting Weight-Watchers-Points is somewhat really annoying, we bought different books and read a lot of information about nutrition etc...That's how I discovered "The Kind diet" and became a vegan. He is not a vegan but he tries to be vegetarian and he is really successful with it. And at home he eats whatever I eat, though I don't try to push him to it, i.e. that I buy him his favourite cheese whenever I can. Nevertheless I bought some cooking-books with the most wonderful vegan burger and kebab recipes ever. And of course "vegan cupkakes take over the world". Regarding the burgers he was really surprised that he did not miss the meat and that they were more tasty then the ones he was used to. We even invited his big, meat-consuming friends over for dinner and served them our "vegan" TexMexBurger and they didn't even notice (there was a test on German TV where a vegan cook served exactly this burger to a football team after their training and none of them noticed that they did not just kill a herd of cows for their dinner). That was the point when he started to find it really challenging and cool. I don't think that he will ever be a 100% vegan but on the other hand I don't think that this is really important because every step counts. And it is much more difficult for men then for woman: he and I heard so many comments (even from close friends) about "vegan men being gay". We like gays but the way it's said it is as if someone would tell you, that you're husband is not really a man anymore. Even if it's just a joke, it's insulting. What I do, whenever I hear one of this comments is, that I start talking about our wonderful sex-life which is even more wonderful after we changed our diet. This will do normally (I can be pretty explicit if I need to). But nevertheless:I'm very proud of him. And more important: he is proud of himself. He lost weight, his back problems have disappeared and he feels relaxed and happy. So I'm really curious what's going to happen next.