For an upcoming story, we're looking for real-life tips from couples who have a half-vegetarian, half-carnivore household. How do you deal with meals? Dining out? Did one of you abruptly go vegetarian or was it gradual. Let us know! Thanks. -Denise, Senior Editor
I was raised vegetarian my whole life, then at around age 18, I started to eat white meat, so I'm a pescetarian (but only when I eat out, I don't prepare/cook meat). My boyfriend is a carnivore, but is also a wonderful cook and luckily, open-minded when it comes to eating.
For cooking at home, we balance by cooking protein-rich meals that are creative and inventive but without meat. We experiment with the soy or fake meat alternatives, many of which he loves and taste close to the real thing.
Since he can eat everything, and I have more specific dietary needs and don't prepare/eat meat when we cook at home, we love to create and build recipes that we both love. I think it's important to not think that "meat is everything," (like many men I know). Subsequently, he eats less meat now- not because I force him to, but because it's healthy, he likes to cook with/for me and because it's not an everyday necessity.
To balance, I respect that he enjoys meat so when we dine out (we're foodies, so we do about 2-3 times a week) if he orders red meat, that's his treat and I don't mind at all.
My story is similar - I've been a (mostly) vegetarian most of my life, long before I met my husband. He's gone back-n-forth between (occasionally) vegetarian & (usually) carnivore most of his life.
I enjoy eating fish, and since I was pregnant, I eat poultry occasionally. I still haven't eaten anything that walked on 4 legs in over 25 years, though.
We do not ever cook red meat at home. We do make chicken sometimes, & the kids like chicken. My husband occasionally orders meat when we go out, but we don't eat out as often as we used to (financial reasons). Our whole family eats mostly vegetarian, mostly because it's healthier, we like it, and it's lots less expensive. We don't restrict the kids when they're away from home, but they usually choose non-beef, except sometimes burgers.
Our extended families are both mostly carnivorous, so holidays include turkey, but never pork or beef at our house. When other family members host, they usually get all confused about the vegetarian-thing, so I usually just eat sides or whatever I brought. Hubby & the kids are fine with whatever's served.
Our wedding was even mostly vegetarian, but meat-eater-friendly. We accomplished that by serving many appetizers at multiple ethnic-themed stations. Only 1 item was coconut chicken skewers, everything else was vegetarian. Not even the most carnivorous guests complained & we still (8 yrs later) get compliments on how unusual our wedding was & how good the food was.
i abruptly became a vegetarian in the summer of 1998. i am the sole cook in the family so my husband eats what i make him. he does not have a problem with his "forced vegetarianism" at home and he appreciates the health aspects of it. when we eat out however, he does usually order meat. i do not allow meat in the house, even for holidays.
Wait, you call yourself a vegetarian but you eat fish? You are actually a pescatarian. The reason I bring this up...is because often when I go to restaurants and say I am vegan or my friends say they are vegetarian, the waiter or cooks will offer dishes with fish in them...which is ultimately really annoying and could be dangerous for those allergic.
So yes, you are a pescatarian...it helps to distinguish so communities can keep all eaters safe!
I recently became vegetarian after facing some health issues. I started trying to treat my body better (still working on that) by what I put into it. I had been raised in the mid-west where it wasn't a meal without steak and potatoes so it took that to change my entire perspective.
My husband, on the other hand, thinks it's not a meal if it doesn't include some sort of animal. He's finally cut the steak and pork but still eats chicken and fish. In fact, he's fishing this weekend, it's his favorite thing to do. He'll come home with 12 fish and I, the vegetarian, have to clean them because he's tired from 24 hours of straight fishing.
On normal days, I make two meals. One for him and one for myself. We just eat too differently for me to only make one meal. I try to eat whole grains and he likes white. He doesn't like olive oil and I don't like vegetable. It's become a routine though, So, one night I'll make one pot of white pasta and one pot of whole grain and make the base sauce (without meat) then add the meat in after I've taken my sauce out. Salads are a staple though, we both love them. We make it work. Sometimes I'll just drink a "green smoothie" for dinner if I don't want to make two meals. It's just as good for me, quick and tasty, and it saves me time.
Hope this helps!