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My Husband Won't Give Up Meat

by Kathy
(Cincinnati, OH)

My husband refuses to give up meat. I tried to change my diet to give up meat, but hated it when there were two dinners being made on a single night because I didn't want to eat meat. We started fighting so much that I kinda gave up. Do you have any suggestions on what we can do so that my lifestyle change doesn't cause so much trouble?

Hi Kathy!

Just so you know, almost everyone who decides to give up meat has to deal with this situation to some extent. What I've found is that even if you hope to change people's minds on food to make them healthier, you definitely can't force it. If you start pushing, they start pushing back even harder on keeping it.

Make your own changes and other people will change if/when they see a difference in you. Or, they will just accept your choices and not give you a hard time about it.

Meat is really touchy for some reason-- people really hate the idea of having to give it up. It probably has a lot to do with how addictive it is-- it sets off some of the same receptors in the brain as heroin and other drugs!

What I would do is make meals that are nutritionally complete for you, but also add in the meat for your husband. So, if you are looking at your dish, half of it should be vegetables, a quarter should be a whole grain, and a quarter should be beans. Then add on whatever meat he wants. That way you're not making two meals, but just one extra piece of meat for him. If you are opposed to making the meat, maybe ask him if he can cook that part of the meal. Hopefully this wouldn't take any longer to make than normal, and you make him happy, without compromising your values.

In the meantime, he might start to notice changes in you-- maybe a little weight loss, maybe some increases in energy and decreases in fatigue, maybe even a little more mental clarity. Maybe eventually he will see that the meal is really filling even without meat. And maybe he will eventually cut back.

These are big maybes, and it's probably better not to try to force him to change his diet. I know many vegans who live happily with non-vegans. Relationships are often about compromise and always about respect for the other person's values.

I have a jokey personality, and I like to approach tense things like disagreements with humor. I find this works reasonably well as I've seen several people in my life change their eating habits over the course of the past few years. A few of them were even the people who adimantly told me, "I will never give up meat; but maybe I will start eating more veggies."

Meat and dairy are the types of foods that you can get used to not eating, and once you do, it's really hard to go back. Who would want to go back to eating stuff that makes you cloudy and sick when you can eat stuff that makes you feel alive and well?

Hope that helps!

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Stop your vegan propaganda
by: Anonymous

Vegetables and fruits are the types of foods that you can get used to not eating, and once you do, it's really hard to go back. Who would want to go back to eating stuff that makes you cloudy and sick when you can eat stuff that makes you feel alive and well I:E Meat and dairy?

See your rhetoric is built on falsehoods, I know for a fact that people have had their health plummet when they embraced a vegan diet, once they went back they recovered instantaneously. Now before you say "THEY WERE DOING IT WRONG" I want to point out they had followed all the guidelines and procedures yet didn't get a health boost or anything. So stop spreading vegan dogma like that.

Why manipulate?
by: Tom

Why are you so busy with manipulation your men? If you choose to change your eating habits and he wants to keep his own habits, why always trying to change the man? And why do you women always use tricks and manipulation to get your ways? Accept thing the way they are, you expect that of your husband to. You are measuring with two different scales as we say in the Netherlands

No is No, Yes is Yes.

Live your own live and don't try to change people to fit your own needs!

Married to a meat eater also
by: Bonnie

I, too, have a meat eater for a husband. I gave up meat for Lent this year and liked it so much I have become a new vegan now. My husband's family was Seven Day Adventist and he was raised a vegetarain so for him it is still a matter of "rebellion" and doesn't have much support for my convictions.

I fix meat sometimes for him and sometimes he has to make do with a vegetarain meal. I did tell him that I don't personally have anything against people eating meat, I just don't want to anymore.

Over the past few weeks he has begun to be more accepting of my new memu. It is very hard to cook a whole new way (for me anyway) and being picked on for changing the game at the same time, I know. Just remember no one likes change and you have changed. And you have the right to change and have your very own convictions.

Be patient and give it all time, for you and your husband.

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