Last week I came across an article on CNN about how differences in diet can cause serious divisions in relationships. As you would expect, the article primarily focused on couples with extremely different diets with more than a few examples of half vegan/half omni pairs. What struck me was how seriously the couples in the story and the author treated the subject, even going so far as to offer up tips for navigating this issue from a licensed psychologist.
I suppose my surprise stems from my own experience as the vegan half of an “interdiet” relationship. When my husband and I met 10 years ago I ‘d never given a second thought about the implications of eating animals and had an appetite for them that matched his own. Fast forward to today where I’m now an enthusiastic animal advocate who keeps a fairly strict vegan diet while he remains a conscientious but dedicated omnivore.
I suppose on paper that sounds like a recipe for disaster (and according to this CNN article, it is!) but that couldn’t be further from the truth for us. Andy has been and remains open-minded and supportive of my slow but steady transformation from unequivocal meat eater to full-on vegan even as he continues to include animal products in his diet.
Certainly it helps that he is the least picky eater possible (he can be counted on to dispose of the failed vegan experiments that even I won’t touch with a ten foot pole) but more than that I think the reason our differing diets have been such a non-issue for us is owed to our deep mutual respect for each other. While I do keep an entirely vegan kitchen/home, he’s free to buy and prepare anything he wants (an option he very rarely exercises). Likewise, when we eat out, he orders as he pleases. As for me, I keep all my gross-out facts and guilt-inducing stories of animal abuse and neglect to a bare minimum in his presence (sometimes it slips!) and abstain from food-related judgement or preaching.
Sure, I would love it if he decided to become vegan but if things are just the way they are now in 50 years, I’m cool with that too. I’d bet you he feels the same.
I know our situation isn’t an uncommon one, so I’m curious: if you’re in an “interdiet” relationship, how does it work for you? Is it a major issue? Give me the scoop in the comments!