food

Vegan mum Vs meat-eater dad. Is this a war that can be won?

Avi needs our help. She’s a clean-living, non-dairy type. Her husband loves Maccas. Now she’s worried about what to do when the kids come along…

People are often shocked to find out that I am a vegan and my husband is a meat-eater.

When people find out that I am a vegan, their first question is whether my husband is a vegan too. When I reply that he isn’t, his preferred meal is steak and chips, there is utter disbelief on their face.

“But how do you LIVE together?”

Well, for the most part peacefully, unless he is annoying me or I have PMS. In which case, he may sometimes fear for his life.

I am Lisa Simpson. This is my potential future family.

But they aren't really talking about living peacefully together. What they are talking about is how can a non-meat eater and a meat-eater live under the one roof. It seems like meals are an impossibility. They aren't.

(For those super interested, we just have vegan dishes and he adds meat when he feels like it. So roast vegetables and he adds steak. Cooking vegan and non-vegan sausages. Do-able.)

To keep it interesting, we are also on completely different wave lengths in terms of food choices.

My husband is all about the tried-and-tested choice - if he hasn't had it before, then he most likely won't be overly keen to give it a go. He also thinks there is nothing wrong with enjoying McDonald's every once in a while and soft drinks aren't bad enough to avoid.

Whereas me, well I am a "Yay, I've heard about these Kale Chips, I can't wait to try these when we get home" while my husband pulls a "you are going to make me vomit" face. I am also a McDonald's hater (sorry, Ronald). And as far as flavoured drinks go, mint in water is awesomeness (I do have soft drink, but just diet to avoid the sugar and massive caffeine dose). I also get excited at herbal tea combinations like ginger and lemon, sprinkle chai seeds, linseeds and sunflower seeds on my soy yoghurt fruit salad in the morning and explore the benefits of going gluten-free just for kicks.

Vegan Burger versus Take Away

But we still live peacefully. Just the two of us. And my husband still loves me for it. Even though when I went vegan, he asked "Is this going to ruin our relationship?" Clearly, it didn't, as he proposed to me one month later.

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This is all good, but what happens when we have kids? And this is the next question everyone asks. Will I be mean and cruel and deprive my children of meat! How inhumane!

The answer (to both everyone and my husband) is no, I won't. If they want meat, they can have meat. Probably just better if dad cooks it, as I will have no idea what to do. Same goes for eggs, milk, ice cream, honey, chicken etc etc.

But in reality, they will most likely eat 90% of the time what I eat. Because it will just be what I make. Same happened with my mum. She felt like meat and potatoes and I ate the meal she prepared.

What I don't have sorted is the healthy side of things.

I have these friends whose toddler is 3 years old. She only drinks three things: water, milk and apple juice. She never asks for Coke, because she has never had Coke.

Macca's 7 nights a week or else!

I want that. While I am not going to go all crazy on my kids (in the wise words of Cookie Monster, certain foods are sometimes foods), I know that little kids (and most adults) don't have a control switch which tells them when too much of a bad thing isn't good.

And from the lessons I have learnt when babysitting my nieces, you will never win when negotiating with toddlers and children. So I would rather they avoid all temptations until I can negotiate with them (and not just lie to them that kids who drink too much soft drink get kidnapped by witches).

But what do I do with my husband then? What happens when he brings back a brown greasy bag of McDonald's and the 3 year old says, "Can I have a bite, Daddy?" and then they decide they want Maccas every night for dinner. Or when at two years old, they point to Daddy's can of soft drink and throw a tantrum when I offer them some tasty water instead.

I don't think making my husband have dinner in the front garden bushes is a good idea but that is all I have.

I am being serious, what do I do when we have kids?