Vegan MoFo #13: Let me tell you about The Husband

Vegan MoFo

Great conversation yesterday about eating vegan food at work and dealing with co-workers, it seems like it’s something a lot of us have to deal with. I know I promised a shepherd’s pie recipe, but The Husband keeps forgetting to share it, which isn’t the end of the world since I have last nights dinner in picture form for you. First though, as penance for not giving us the recipe, I thought we would talk a bit about The Husband. Why? Well, friends, I am married to a meat eater, and I thought I might not be the only one.

In my family, I was the only vegetarian growing up, so there was always meat on the table. All of my friends ate meat, and the couple of exceptions that didn’t, seemed to find their way back to it in university (or once they started dating some guy who would take them to The Keg or something…I’ve lost many a veggie friend to “dating”). I didn’t really think about whether or not I would ever date a vegetarian. The fact was, I rarely MET any other vegetarians, so the chances of me meeting one I would want to date were slim to none.

The Husband and I met through friends years ago, and the stars finally aligned for us one Labour Day weekend 4 years ago. I was just coming out of a bad relationship, a torrid secret affair, and an attempt at the raw vegan diet. When we started dating, I was just happy to be with someone who I liked and who liked me back, I was not concerned about what either of us was eating! I fell in love with him for a million reasons, and they all seemed to outweigh dinner.

The Husband is compassionate, sensitive and loving. I know he understands why I don’t eat meat, and I know he listens intently to all the reasons I have about how humans do not require it. I think he is torn. Because my husband is also a man’s man. He owns his own construction business, he plays hockey at least once a week. He likes his beer. He made his own meat smoker out of old oil barrel.  As much as he understands why I don’t eat animal products, I don’t think he would allow himself to even imagine not eating meat. I think he pictures the hockey guys giving him strange looks as he orders a veggie burger after a game.

I don’t think it’s easy being a guy. Women always talk about all the media pressure to be thin and young, but what about all the pressure to be “manly”? Even the most secure man must at least pause when considering a plant-based diet. I welcome any men out there to respond to this too, since I am obviously just speculating here.

Finally, the issue of children comes up every once in a while, since we would like to have them sometime in the next few years. How will we raise them? The Husband’s only request is that he be able to take his kid to a baseball game and buy him a hot dog. The thought of my child eating a hot dog makes me very very sad. So we go back and forth on this. And it might end up being a game-time decision. Right now, I don’t have an answer.

The way we currently eat, works for us. I do most of the grocery shopping, so we don’t have any meat or dairy in the house. On nights when I’m not home, he might buy some fish or bacon for himself. If we have a party and someone brings over some cheese, that might stay in our fridge for a while, but other than that, our pantry is quite vegan friendly. He buys his lunches most days, and they usually contain meat or cheese, but our dinners for the most part are vegan.

So yes, I married a meat eater. It’s sort of the opposite of a carrot. But I think of it like this: I married someone who understands the way I eat. I married someone who doesn’t think it’s weird and isn’t condescending towards my choices. Right now, he doesn’t choose it for himself, but when I think about how much he must’ve changed since I came into his life, maybe we’re at a good compromise for now. In fact, I count myself as lucky to feel so loved no matter what food choices I am making.

With all that said, last night I didn’t go to yoga, so I had tons of time to prepare a bit more of a labour intensive meal (you know I like them fast, this one didn’t take hours, but took a bit longer than 20 minutes). The Husband made Angela’s Perfect Veggie Burger, which did, in fact, turn out to be perfect, and I made Isa Chandra’s OMG Oven Baked Onion Rings. OMG is right. Enjoy the pics, and let me know your thoughts on Herbivore/Omnivore relationships.

Sweet onions = Vidalia onions for those who didn’t know. I didn’t know. I lucked out and got the right ones!
The veggie burger mixture is ready to be formed into patties. We found it didn’t stick together very well, so I recommend playing around with the water/breadcrumb ratio.
This gets way messier than I was prepared for. Also, please ignore the dangling cord in this picture, we are still undergoing some renovations…
Ah, the final product! This was my burger, The Husband’s contained “beer cheese”. His eyes were twinkling as he added it. Oh well.

–Sarah

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About Sarah Tombler

I live in Ottawa, Canada with my husband and our twins. I work for the Public Service, and I have been a vegetarian for 18 years. Over the years, I have started to understand that what we eat effects us, through mood, weight and positive thoughts. I am working towards cutting most animal products from my diet, in an attempt to live a life of compassion, and to do what I can to help this small planet of ours. I also love letting people know that the secret to happiness may be as simple as what we put in our bodies. View all posts by Sarah Tombler

6 responses to “Vegan MoFo #13: Let me tell you about The Husband

  • Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles

    I like hearing perspectives on this. I went vegan after my boyfriend and I started dated, and he’s supportive, but he sometimes makes snarky comments or pokes fun. I know it’s just that, fun, but it hurts sometimes. I also get the impression that, being a fairly new vegan, that I won’t get offended by some things that longtime vegans do. Last night, he sent me a photo of his snack, an egg sandwich piled high with bacon and cheese. I almost threw up. Not only was I offended, I also worry for his health and it makes me sad that he isn’t more conscious of animal product intake.

    That said, he’s wonderful and I love him. It’s just difficult at times.

    • Sarah Stumbles

      Hi Kaitlyn, it sounds like you’re in a tough place. I think your significant other can be scared when you instigate change in your life, and that may cause him/her to act out. In my situation, I think my husband felt more scared when I started my Yoga Teacher Training than by how I ate, since I’d always been a vegetarian, but the YTT was new. At first, he was really against me taking the training, and not supportive at all, but I think that was because he was scared that I would change, and maybe not love him anymore. Once he realized that my changing was in fact better for both of us, he is slowly becoming more supportive. Maybe your partner just needs to be re-assured that you still love him, no matter what you’re eating?

  • Heather Blackmon (@betterwithveg)

    I am fairly new to the plant-based diet, so I am married to a meat-eater too. I think you’re description of your husband respecting your decisions, being respectful when you talk about food, and still making a different choice is exactly the situation in our house. I don’t ever want to push my decisions on others, only educate them with what i have learned and help everyone make a decision they are comfortable with. That’s how it is with my hubby and I. He is very helpful when we go out – making sure I have something good to eat and taking care to help get a vegan option when he’s the one grabbing food for us somewhere. Respect is one of the most important traits in a healthy marriage, in my opinion. 🙂

  • Mandee

    I know exactly how you feel, my boyfriend and I got together right after I went vegan and he has always been really respectful, he’s never teased me or told me it was stupid. He loves finding new products for me and when we watching cooking shows he always suggests we trying veganising recipes but he’s not vegan and I doubt he ever will be in. Of course I would love it if he was vegan but I love him as he is 🙂

  • Sarah

    I am married to a meat eater as well. I shop and cook – and he’s fine with eating vegan at home and in return I am fine with him eating whatever he wants in public. We aren’t going to have children – but I think we’d have the same type of arrangement. Vegan at home, omni in public. But then again, I am an environmental vegan first (and ethical vegan second).

  • Ewa

    Great looking dinner! It also helps that the Husband is an amazing cook and can make cardboard taste delicious! Its important for your partner to understand and support your beliefs no matter how crazy other people may think they are. You’re a great pair! 🙂 You’re having a greater impact on your friends and family then maybe you or anyone realizes by talking about your plant based diet.

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