Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Vegan Mama vs. Carnivore Papa - The Compromise

Being in a relationship with some one who isn't vegan is like being in a relationship with someone who practices a different religion. You can't tell a grown person what not to eat unless they're health relies on it. Usually, you can work out your differences, but what happens when a child comes along? My husband and I have had long discussions about how our daughter would grow up to eat and sometimes those discussions would turn into arguments. My point: health. His point: culture.

First you need to understand your intentions.

Why do you want your child to eat green? Is it because you love animals? Because you believe it's healthier? If you answered yes to the first question then you really need to consider listening to your partner's side. Your beliefs or feelings don't overrule his. So be considerate.
If you answered yes to the second question then your stance is more factual and less personal. Explain that to your partner. Try to show him the facts you have seen about the negative side effects of meat and meat products. 

Remember, your child is his/her own person as well. When the time is right, you need to allow them to chose what's right for them. As long as everything is prepared in the healthiest way, they'll still be ahead.


Here are some compromises my husband and I came up with:

Child will be vegan up until an agreed age. Then, if they show interest in meat, allow them to try.

Some cultures put meat in everything. Try to find ways to make cultural dishes with out the meat and meat products.

If you can't have it all try to get some. No parent has the right to trump the other so agree on one part of the diet. For example: I told my husband that I am a firm believer in excluding dairy so I would like at least that. If he pushes for meat then that's fine. I'll make sure that if our child does like it, I'll prepare it in the best way. 

Reduce the amount of animal and animal products. You can agree to allow your child to have meat once or twice a week for example.

This list of compromises can be used together. In the end, it's not about pride or who's right. It's about your child's best interest. Health is the number one factor above culture or one's love of animals. 

Another thing to keep in mind is; you don't need to shove veganism down your partner's throat. I always try to make vegan versions of his country's food and fun vegan food. When I serve it to him, I don't tell him it's vegan. There were many times when he'd look up at me in surprise because I'm eating with him and he'll ask, "Is this vegan!?!?!?"

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