Q. My fiance is a meat eater and has no interest in making the change. It isn’t that he doesn’t see the cruelty, its that he turns a blind eye in favor of the taste of meat. I’ve tried to make him see my side of things, and he claims he does, but has no interest in changing lifestyles. He HAS however, cut back A LOT on the animal products he eats and encourages me to buy local, (as I always have) I’m not sure if I should continue pressing the issue with him, or just buy locally raised animals who aren’t slaughtered by machine.
My heart goes out to you as you are in a difficult situation. It is not easy to live with someone who is unaware of the pain his diet causes you and helpless animals. I wish I could tell you that this is something that will easily be worked out once you get married, but that is highly unlikely. From what I have experienced and heard from other vegans whose partners eat animal products, this is an issue that will become even more pronounced over time.
You wrote that you are not sure if you should continue pressuring him to change or if you should give up on your needs and settle for continuing to feed him locally raised and slaughtered animals.* I would do neither. He is unlikely to change and nobody likes being pressured to. He will only get irritated and you will be disappointed. You are considering giving up your needs to go along with his preferences, but I would bet that is going to make you very unhappy because animal cruelty is not okay with you.
I think you need to accept that your feelings are important to you and that they are probably not going to change in his favor. If you tell him one thing now and then a few months down the road, say that you thought he would change since he knew how you felt, then you will both feel betrayed.
Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself while keeping your future in mind:
Am I willing to buy animal products for my husband (or anyone else)?
Is it okay with me if there are animal products in the house?
Would I prefer to have none in the house, but it is okay with me if he eats meat away from home?
Will I be okay accepting that he is unwilling to see how his diet impacts others as long as he does not expect me to change my behavior?
Carole, you sound like a thoughtful and giving person who cares deeply about the welfare of others. It is possible for you to lead a humane existence and still be with your meat-eating fiancé. You don’t have to give up your principles if you don’t want to. There is a saying that goes, “If Mama isn’t happy, then nobody is.” This does not mean that other people’s feelings are not important, but if your kitchen is uncomfortable to you then the marriage will be as well.
Do both of you a favor and take the time to imagine your future together. Then sit down with him and in an accepting manner of both of your positions calmly tell him exactly what you need. If he loves you, he will understand that it is as difficult for you to change as it is for him and maybe you can reach a middle ground that works for you both.
* I am not convinced that locally raised animals suffer much less than factory raised ones. They still live a cruel, short, life with an uncaring death.
© Jill Powers and The Feel Good Vegan 2010.
Photo courtesy of Microsoft
Posted in: Social Situations for Vegan Adults