When a Vegan and an Omnivore Get Married
My husband and I met at work in 2008, when we were both living on the West Coast. I'm from there and he had moved there for college and stayed. We were working in different divisions of the same company, but we had a lot of interaction at work and got along right away. When we started dating, I was a pescatarian and he was an omnivore without even a slight interest in eating any other way. Not everyone does, but plenty of people live with their partners before they get married and have some time to settle in to cohabitating. You enmesh your lives together--your living styles, decorating styles--and your more intimate habits surface. You find a way to make them work together. We chose not to do that; we lived separately until after we were married, on our six-year anniversary, a little over three years ago.
By the time we got married, I had become a full-fledged vegan, and he was mostly eating plant-based but was still definitely an omnivore. He was always very supportive of my decision to give up all animal products, and he was completely open to eating fewer of them, especially because he could easily replace them with alternatives. His favorite brand was Gardein, and he LOVES the Beyond Meat burgers and sausages, all of which he thought tasted good enough to satisfy him. He was never one of those guys who NEEDED meat--not to be manly and not because he just needed to have it. He just liked whatever tasted good, and he's still that way.
Our wedding was not vegan, though it would have been in my perfect world; however, we did have vegan cupcakes that blew omnivores away! I didn't tell anyone in advance that the cupcakes were vegan because I knew people would expect them to taste like granola and kale and never give them a chance. Ideally, there wouldn't have been any animal products in my wedding, but it wasn't just MY wedding, and I did want to be at least SOMEWHAT reasonable and accommodating. It was a personal choice, and it worked out well for us. Marriage requires a lot of compromise, and this is one thing I'm willing to be a little flexible on in some regards.
When we got married and moved in together, our apartment was vegan, and the same applies to our house. I felt very passionately about keeping a vegan household, so there would be no designated "animal products cabinet" for his products, and he was very understanding. He happily ate whatever was there and whatever I prepared. He understood what it was like to feel strongly about one's morals and respected my wishes. I just could not imagine allowing animal products in my house, even though we knew it would be difficult for many people to understand. All I've had to do to justify it to others is compare it to something others might feel really strongly about. For example, some people would never allow an unmarried couple to sleep in the same room together, even though other people might think that's weird and outdated.
Our blended food situation works well for us. Of course I would give anything for my husband to join me on "the light side," but I'm eternally grateful for the strides he's already made. He's essentially a weekend meat-eating warrior, and he's absolutely fine with it.
We ask guests to keep animal products out of the house and no one has made a fuss about it thus far. Many of them, if not all of them, are not vegan, so we've had to find a way to handle that. How do we manage our nonvegan guests? Check out my next blog post to find out what works for us!