Is this where you’re at? Your partner is full on meat eater and you’re wanting to go veg.
Or, perhaps you know some-one who is in this situation and you’re not sure how to help them. Well, I’ve set out a few ideas below and hopefully they’ll be of some benefit.
You see, I’ve pretty much heard all the excuses, in fact I wrote a book about it Why Be Vegetarian Debunking The Excuses and in that book I go through the most common (and funny) ones that are asked.
But the one that I think is not necessarily an excuse per se, but is a reason and one that I do understand – my partner is a meat eater but I’d love to go veg –
1. The very first thing I tell them is that bringing in the cruelty of animal farming usually doesn’t work. Many have tried by putting up the argument about the animal abuse within the meat industry, but, sadly, many meat-eaters have turned off the compassionate switch, in fact, putting factory farming images can actually have the opposite effect – it’s called desensitization. The brain doesn’t compute the images with what is being eaten, because the brain is so used to believing that what is being consumed is needed by the body. (plus it tastes good).
So the trick is to bring in health and scientific research. There is a documentary which you may have heard of called Forks Over Knives. This doco was made in 2011, but it is even more relevant today. The medical studies and research are incredible and the results amazing.
The idea is to watch this documentary TOGETHER … you can rent it from Amazon really cheap …. then when it’s finished, hopefully, it will stimulate conversation between the two of you. That’s when you’re then able to suggest that you both could try having animal free days even just a couple of days a week and see how you go.
However, don’t be surprised if the result is even more dramatic and a full on 100% plant based diet is suggested by the meat-eater.
2. If you’re the one doing the cooking, then this can be much easier. You can easily make veg meals and have meat as a “side dish”. In fact it’s even easier if you have single serve pieces of meat e.g. a piece of chicken, steak, fish etc.
3. Of course you can just say …. “This is what I’m eating – if you want meat, you cook it yourself”. Now this one is rather dramatic, but has been known to work. You know your partner, so you’ll know just how far you can take this one.
4. Another great way of introducing veg meals is to have food in different bowls laid out on the table so everyone can help themselves. Along the lines of a buffet style meal. Yes, it makes for a lot more dishes, but it’s actually quite fun, and rather than you dishing up each plate of food, everyone gets to choose.
Now this bodes well for the change. The meat-eater can still have the meat, but can also try a little of the plant based foods as well. Make sure you add some vegan cheese also just for fun.
5. You can use faux meats, however, I’m not a believer in this type as, at the end of the day, it’s still processed and, for health, you want to avoid processed as much as possible.
In saying that, if you come across something very tasty, then it could be a way for your meat-eater to give it a go. Perhaps an idea for transition food.
6. Last one is that you could approach it this way …. “I respect your eating choices and we eat the way you want every day, so, please can you respect my choices and perhaps we can eat the way I would like twice a week?” It could be a start.
One thing to remember throughout all this, is to respect the meat-eaters choices. You may not agree, but each person has a right to make their own choice and chances are s/he is just not ready yet. We all come at this from different angles and at different times.
Hopefully this has been of some help if your partner is a full on meat-eater and you want to go veg.