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Old 08-30-2008, 08:01 AM
Location: Brusssels
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This thread is intended as an area to share ideas and thoughts on how we can coexist peacefully with omnivores.

How many vegetarians and/or vegans out there are married to, live with, or are under the same roof with one or more omnivores?

How do you make it work? Do you try to convert them or do they try to convert you?

Our story. After 8 years of an on-again, off again vegetarian diet, this year I've gone back to being a veggie and finally got it right - feeling better than ever with more energy and less irritability. My wife is still an omnivore, although her meat intake is now far less than it used to be (now 2-3 servings per week). This makes it easy since most of our meals end up being either veggie or vegan. Initially, she grudgingly supported my decision but kept buying big steaks, etc (probably thinking it was a phase I was going through). She loves to cook so perhaps I underestimated the impact such a decision would have on her (an affront to her cooking?).

Over time, she has come to accept it and is now very supportive. I have not tried to convert her but since she sees how healthy and vibrant I am, it has made her more curious. Now she can cook some mean veggie food.
She is a real animal lover which may also be a factor. Given that in recent weeks her doc is concerned about her ever rising LDLs (even though she is fit and thin as a twig), she may eventually take the plunge. This would make me happy to no end but if it happens, I want it to be because she chose it on her own.
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:18 AM
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I'm a vegetarian and my husband isn't.
It works for us because neither of us cook. So we just make whatever we want for dinner (which is always simple type meals). We are more of snackers then sit down actual meals people. I could see a problem if one of us were cooks and enjoyed cooking and the other never wanted to eat what we cooked though. But we are not cooks so it's no big deal. BUT it would be nice if he was a vegetarian too so we could have even more things in common.
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Old 08-30-2008, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Xpat View Post
This thread is intended as an area to share ideas and thoughts on how we can coexist peacefully with omnivores.
Ours is a mixed household and it's pretty easy to keep everyone happy by essentially making vegetarian meals and adding a slab of meat a la carte. We have a vegetarian who hates tofu and an omni who loves it, so meat substitutes usually end up a la carte as well. A couple of other things:

-- for recipes that rely on meat to be properly flavored, we make an authentic batch and a nonmeat batch (like etouffee with shrimp & sausage and a nonmeat version with liquid smoke and veggie broth)

-- meat gets cooked only on the grill and in one specific pan, with its own knife and cutting board etc. that I don't want my food touching (veggies on the grill are in/on foil or a pan)

-- the veggie broth supply is my responsibility -- I toss vegetable cuttings in the freezer daily, and make a broth whenever there are enough scraps

-- we deal with our groceries as soon as we get them home, separating deli meat and raw meat into meal-sized portions and freezing them that way

-- meat has the "deli drawer" in the fridge all to itself

I will post more if I think of it.
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Old 08-30-2008, 11:43 AM
Location: wrong planet
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Hmmm, I think it all depends on WHY you are a vegetarian. If you do it for health reasons, I think it would be quite easy to co-exist. If you are doing it for ethical reasons and believe in them strongly, I think it could be quite hard to live in the same household, at least it would be that way for me. Some people have said their omnivore husbands eat meat when they eat out, but they don't have animal flesh in the house. That would be the approach I would take, making tasty, healthy meals at home and letting the non veggie spouse eat their meat when they eat out. Luckily we are both veggies.
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Last edited by katzenfreund; 08-30-2008 at 12:08 PM..
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Old 08-30-2008, 11:59 AM
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I live with my boyfriend -- I'm a vegetarian for ethical reasons (and meat's never interested me too much anyway), he very much is not. We have a handful of meals that we both enjoy -- pasta of different variations, taco night (veggie ground beef), vegetable dinners (a southern thing, I think), and on "burger" night, he has a real one and I have my trusty box of Bocas. Otherwise, we eat separate things, or have the same side dishes/salad with different main courses.

When we first lived together, I was very weird about sharing pans for his meaty food and my veggie stuff. I'm less so now, partially because he or I thoroughly clean out those pans between uses, and partially because he doesn't really cook at all, particularly nothing involving a skillet, so it's rare he even needs the pans anyway.

He is a lot more willing to try different food than he used to be, but he wasn't raised on a very diverse diet, and still has a bean-phobia caused by god-knows-what in his past. I'm working on it, and it does occasionally cause some friction, but I know the way to change isn't force.
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Old 08-30-2008, 09:49 PM
Location: So. Dak.
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My situation is the same as Roma's. I'm a big snacker and often don't even eat meals~or full meals anyway. I honestly wish that my husband was a vegetarian, but it's his choice and I respect that just as he respects my eating choices.
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:38 PM
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I think this works the best for me as well. I don't eat full, so-called traditional meals, either. And never did. If I had a lasagna for dinner, I would have lasanga first, vegetables a few hours later, and maybe salad later. I feel way too bogged down if I eat a full meal all at one sitting.

Desert is a huge downfall for me, almost as bad as bread! I very rarely have desert - I think we're so conditioned to have desert after a meal - more like at somepoint during the day have two pieces of fruit or some nuts.

I don't think I could share my cooking utensils with a flesh eater. But then, that's pretty easy since I live alone now!
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:57 AM
Location: Bay Area
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I am vegetarian. Don't think I have ever dated a vegetarian though. Anyway, my husband is a meat eater. I have been a veggie for 20 yrs (almost) my daughter since she was born (12 years). We are 100% veggie inside the house, but when we go out to dinner (1-2 times a week) my hubby orders fish or chicken pretty often. It has never been any sort of issue whatsoever. It's his business what he eats. Now if he votes republican, thats a different issue

But yes, many of his friends, family, ask him what its like to be married to a vegetarian. He doesn't seem to think its any deal at all, in fact he says the food is far more flavorful and healty than regular meat dinners.
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:50 PM
Location: Austin, TX
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My husband loves to eat meat and cheese so it isn't great for us that I'm mostly vegan...I know he wishes that I weren't. He is Italian and he also wishes that I would appreciate fine wine but wine makes me feel really sick, so I'm a disappointment in that area, too.

I would never try to convert him because I wasn't vegetarian when we met. What we have been doing lately is he and our children eat some type of meat with some side dishes and I just eat the side dishes. Or I pop some sort of frozen thing in the microwave and eat that while the rest of the family eats something else.

I can't stand to handle or cook meat so my husband does most of the cooking. When it is my turn to cook, we either do take out or I make something really simple like bean burritos or a pasta dish.

Some day I need to take a vegan cooking class and learn to do some more interesting dishes!
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Old 09-05-2008, 10:21 AM
Location: Bay Area
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BTW- I do all the cooking in the house so at home we are 100% vegetarian. But, he does all the cleaning up before and after dinner, so I wouldn't have it any other way! I hate dishes
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