I have food ethics but my partner has none
Posted by AlysonJayne at 11/01/2011
After eating organic meat and dairy produce for some time I decided to become vegetarian. My partner was vegan when he was younger, but then reverted back to eating everything. It never bothered me very much before as I see it as a question of choice, but when he chucked some normal, instead of organic, milk in the shopping trolley today, it flipped a switch and I suddenly feel really angry with him. How can I resolve this incompatibility between our values in my head?
As to your dilemma, I don't think you can resolve it in your head unless you know for certain that he fully respects your values. He doesn't have to share the same values, beliefs or thoughts but he needs to respect yours. After all, all of our views change over time. We go from meat-eating to vegetarian to vegan or anywhere in between changing with new information and experiences we have in life. So if he threw the non-organic milk in the trolley and expected you to drink it, that's a big problem. Major red flag. But if he threw the non-organic milk in and then you threw your organic milk or soy, almond or coconut milk in, that can be delt with.
I'd say the path to a solution involves full communication. Does he know why you are vegetarian? why you choose organic? These are very personal choices of deep importance to most of us and he needs to know your thoughts and feelings. It's your responsibility to communicate them. It's his responsibility to listen to you and empathize with you though he may not agree with you. We're all a work-in-progress.
I feel very much for your situation and I think it happens a lot. One of my dearest friends is a vegetarian with a partner who is a major carnivore. The best she could do is to arrange that her partner cook meat while she is not in the house (she still has to see it in the refrigerator).
I've rambled on enough so I'll sign off for now.
All the best,
I would recommend keeping open communication regarding your food choices and ethics, so that he can be more mindful when shopping and cooking with you. Don't bottle your emotions, but explore them with your partner and look for compatible solutions.
I guess whether you can be with a non-veggie (and vice versa) depends also on your convictions and willingness to compromise with those closest to you, and some of us are different in that respect.