To be tired at vegan vs vegetarian arguments

(100 Posts)
Veggieconfused Fri 12-Jul-13 00:48:56

I am genuinely upset and dont know where to go with this.
When DP and I got together we were both non-meat eaters but occasionally ate fish and shellfish. About 3 years into our relationship DP gave up fish. When our DCs were born we agreed that we would raise them as vegetarian. I was very comfortable with this even though I still very occasionally eat fish. We agreed that we would have a vegetarian home and I may occasionally eat fish and shellfish when in restaurants or travelling away (which I do quite a lot for work)

About 18mo ths ago DP decided to become vegan. From our discussions this seemed to be for health rather than ethical reasons. I respect the fact that DP sees eating a plant-based diet as the healthiest option but we did agree that we would still raise our children as vegetarian.
Lately we have been having lots of conflict around food. At home our diet is pretty much solidly vegan. I have objected to coming home to find that condiments that are not strictly vegan (amoy soy sauce has some trace of egg albumen in it apparently, the lea and perrins worcester sauce had to go and all butter and honey- related stuff just disappeared) have just been thrown away.
I accept that we can fulfill all our DCs dietary needs with a vegan diet. I know that a vegan diet is very healthy BUT today we had a major row because I gave them a cake that was made with eggs and I also took the DCs for a pizza when DP was away last week.

The issue for me is that DP is becoming more fundamental about this. I would prefer to raise our kids on a largely plant-based vegetarian and healthy diet but accepting that now and then they will have a bit of cake, a pizza once in a while, and once in a blue storm I might even buy them an ice cream.

AIBU?

Remotecontrolduck Fri 12-Jul-13 00:58:45

YANBU

Your DH is being extremely selfish. He is entitled to be 100% exclusively vegan if he chooses, but throwing out food and berating you for giving your kids a bit of cake isn't on. You are allowed to feed them whatever you want, especially when he's away.

AmberLeaf Fri 12-Jul-13 00:59:10

YANBU.

Your DP is BU because he is IMO inflicting his values on you by 'force' [for want of a better expression]

Its difficult because he does have as much 'say' over what your children should eat as you, but in removing all those non vegan foods he is also controlling what you eat too.

Bogeyface Fri 12-Jul-13 02:22:46

HIBU because eggs are vegan as long as they are truly free range (not supermarket free range) ie; a natural by product of a natural life and not induced lays.

Bogeyface Fri 12-Jul-13 02:24:33

And YANBU because you had an agreement and he doesnt get to change the goalposts on the whole family just because he has a new philosophy. My Vege friend cooks fillet steak on her non vege DH's birthday because it is his favourite meal. She is vege on moral grounds, but accepts that he is not.

sashh Fri 12-Jul-13 03:11:03

YANBU

Has he thrown the alcohol out as well?

He can be vegan, his choice, but you are not and that is your choice.

AdoraBell Fri 12-Jul-13 03:25:02

HIBU, no one gets to dictate your diet and you both agreed to raísed the DCs as vegetarían. What's he going to do if they decide to eat meat when they grow up, as my stepson did? Will He go to their houses and empty the cupboards? He shouldn't be doing that to you, or the DCs.

HIBVU - what exactly are his objections to well husbanded animal products?

Mind you, I've never met a reasonable vegan, one of my sister's husband is a lacto-vegetarian, I offered him my placentas as a bit of cruelty-free, iron rich protein. He declined.

In all seriousness, I would question your DP's particular approach & dedication to Veganism, it sounds as though he has become purist & dictatorial about food which may suggest an eating disorder.

Either way, he has absolutely no right to chuck stuff out & tell you what to eat. I would be having a serious word.

lottiegarbanzo Fri 12-Jul-13 04:15:23

This is nothing to do with the healthiness of veganism or reasonableness of arguments for veganism. It is about his attitude to you, thinking he can dictate, rather than discuss and agree, how your household is run and children fed. You had an agreement, if he wants to change its terms, he needs to persuade you, not alienate and annoy you, just as on any issue at all.

McGeeDiNozzo Fri 12-Jul-13 04:23:15

What the hell is wrong with him? He is finding reasons to argue with you. He seems to have engineered this whole situation just to cause fights. If he has a bone to pick with you, I suggest he gets to whatever it is he's really unhappy with, rather than putting on this silly, pompous, flouncy act.

MrsMook Fri 12-Jul-13 04:43:04

HIBU- raising a child as a vegan is very socially isolating. DS1 has allergies to milk, eggs and soya, so has to avoid many foods associated with childhood like the cakes, pizza, ice cream you mention. You don't mention the ages of DC, but it is very difficult to exclude DC from 90% of foods in a party environment.

I would also have thought that meeting the dietry needs of children on a vegan diet is very difficult as it excludes many sources of healthy fats. protein, vit D, calcium etc that they need for good growth. I have no choice about DS's dietry exclusions, but it still concerns me that his height is significantly below average (he was a big baby) and that maybe nutrition is a factor.

A good vegetarian diet is easy to manage with a little care (I have known some with atrocious diets), but to manage children on a vegan diet is very difficult, especially for arbitary reasons. Would the children voluntarily abstain from cake and ice cream etc whe surrounded by friends scoffing them???

It's a bit of a negative association, but the vegans I have encountered in RL have had control issues, and use it in an eating disorder type way of severely controlling their food intake (one person I can think of has had bulimia- and veganism is a healthier way or expressing that urge). Whatever their motivation, that is their free choice, but to inflict that onto unwilling participants, especially beyond the home is immoral.

PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Fri 12-Jul-13 05:05:32

YADNBU

I'm veggie, DH eats meat, we agreed to raise the DCs as meat eaters but will obv let let choose when older. Trying to imagine what DH would do if he came home to find I'd
a)chucked out all meat
b)decided to only cook/buy veggie
c)berate him for giving the DCs meat.

Your DH is being extremely selfish- if he wants the children to have a seriously restrictive diet that will make social events/travelling etc very difficult for them, he needs to discuss it with you, giving his reasons and being prepared to hear out your thoughts on the matter.

bettycocker Fri 12-Jul-13 06:23:28

YANBU. Your husband can be vegan, but that's his personal choice. It's not his place to dictate what the whole family eats. All vegans I've met have been usreasonable, extreme, militant and full of self rigteousness about their diet. They have all totally slated people for not being vegan. I personally think this is because they are secretly miserable because of the boring food and lack of nutrients.

I say this as an ex vegan who followed all the advice about getting all the nutrients you need. One day I woke up and realised that the food was shite and I felt utterly miserable.

Personally, I don't think you should feed children on a purely vegan diet, as another poster mentioned, it is socially isolating.

MojitoMagnet Fri 12-Jul-13 06:24:00

YANBU - your agreement was to raise the DCs as vegetarian, not vegan. He doesn't get to change the rules unilaterally. I would be seriously reconsidering my relationship with a DP who had so little respect for me as to be throwing away non-vegan food and yelling for giving them non-vegan food as per your original agreement to raise them as lacto-ovo-vegetarians.

If he wants to change the original agreement you both need to have a rational non-argument discussion about it but I would be seriously oposed anyway - like previous posters have said excluding a DC from being able to share food at parties, etc ice cream etc is a huge step not to be taken lightly, and unless your kids are brilliant eaters who will happily wolf down spinach, broccoli and other not-so-kid-friendly foods you may struggle to actually give them a balanced diet. I think once your DCs are 12ish and have enough understanding to grasp the various issues maybe they can make their own choice whether to be vegan like dad or whether to keep having eggs and dairy etc - but until then you are quite right to stick to your original plan.

AHandfulOfDust I am somewhat gobsmacked by the suggestion that declining to eat some of one's sister-in-law's placenta is evidence for vegans being unreasonable! Most in-law relationships are just not that intimate!

RobinSparkles Fri 12-Jul-13 06:33:31

"Mind you, I've never met a reasonable vegan, one of my sister's husband is a lacto-vegetarian, I offered him my placentas as a bit of cruelty-free, iron rich protein. He declined."

Um, so would I confused. I'm not even vegetarian!

OP, he is being very unreasonable!

Bunbaker Fri 12-Jul-13 06:42:05

I agree with MrsMook. I also think that as the children get older they will rebel and become carnivores if their father insists on them having such a restricted, draconian diet.

CarpeVinum Fri 12-Jul-13 07:09:07

Mind you, I've never met a reasonable vegan, one of my sister's husband is a lacto-vegetarian, I offered him my placentas as a bit of cruelty-free, iron rich protein. He declined.

I would turn down your placenta too. If that makes me an unreasonable omnivore, so be it. I wouldn't eat mine let alone anybody else's.

Veggieconfused

My sister is vegan out of necessity. She has a range of allergies that restrict her diet. IHO and IHE, while not obligatory, there can be a cycling up of control, "purity", "food as medicine" issues that can topple over into the disorder range within the vegan group.

Signs can be an autocratic attitude regarding what other people eat.

If he isn't prepared to sit down, talk and hear your perspective then I think that might also be a sign that this is less about mere diet choices and more about him starting to slip into obsessive and controlling behavoirs around food.

NB, I am not accusing vegans of being controling obsessives, this is not specific to veganism, any diet that is retrictive or has a lot of "rules" is caperble of attracting people with boarderline obessive/control/food issues that become exacerbated once they pick their poisen. Particualrly if they throw themselves into the online "tribe" where things too often can work their way into the extreme as armchair warriors try to outdo each other.

NewAtThisMalarky Fri 12-Jul-13 07:14:03

YANBU. He doesn't have the right to dictate how you eat.

But Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce - have they changed the recipe, as I thought it had anchovies in it?

Bunbaker Fri 12-Jul-13 07:22:54

Henderson's Relish is Sheffield's answer to Worcester sauce. It is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Jan49 Fri 12-Jul-13 07:25:02

He has as much right to a say in your dc's diet as you do so I think you need to keep talking to him about it. How old are the dc? You could also take their views into account. Maybe you both could agree to compromise a bit. How about whoever is cooking or buying food out for the dc decides how to feed them and the non-vegan food is kept separately?

You say you want a vegetarian home but then complain that your DH threw away Lea and Perrins Worcester Sauce, which contains fish (anchovies) so it isn't vegetarian.confused I've just checked their website and every one of their sauces contains fish.

Bogeyface, it sounds like you are confusing vegan with organic. Eggs are not vegan.

I've been vegetarian for many years and have an adult ds who we brought up vegetarian, but as an adult he has moved towards a more vegan diet. I always thought that once he got to age 8 or 10 we would let him eat meat when eating out if he chose to, but he has never wanted to.

Yanbu- he has no right to control what YOU eat- which he is trying to do by throwing away non vegan foods- unless it's the DC that primarily use the lea and perrins?

Nor can he change the goalposts of DC diet without discussion. Particularly in such an extreme way, it is a very strict restrictive and socially excluding dietary choice- fine for an adult to choose, not fine to inflict upon a child without good, IMO medical, reason. Vegetarian is an easy to follow healthy choice which won't isolate your children and won't present a nutritional challenge. Certainly not in the way veganism, where I appreciate it is possible to meet nutritional requirements, it is a challenge, particularly for DC dietary requirements.

CarpeVinum Fri 12-Jul-13 07:42:16

so I think you need to keep talking to him about it

The issue is that HE isn't talking about it. He is making unilateral descions to rid the home of foodstuffs that do not adhere to his food philisophy.

Andnthat raises the specture of ears firmly closed. Which makes additional communication a tad hampered.

The diet he has chosen is a red herring in terms of whose right, who has a point, who needs to compromise more. It is the controlling attidudes behind it that are causing the strife. This may well require more than a "reasonable chat" becuase veganism isn't the problem. His mindset is. And typically it is not a mindset where ears are open to alternative perspectives.

bettycocker Fri 12-Jul-13 07:42:25

What do the children want to eat? Has he even considered whether they want to follow his way of eating?

CarpeVinum Fri 12-Jul-13 07:43:51

who's

Veggieconfused Fri 12-Jul-13 07:48:40

Thank you for all your replies. Does it make any difference that DP is actually female? She is our DCs mother and we share childcare.
I don't think that this is any attempt to control me or pick a fight or subjugate our family to any oppression...but we had an agreement and now every time I give them anything with ANY animal related product (and eggs are most certainly not vegan no matter how groovy the hens are apparently) the reaction is rows and cold shoulder and I am made to feel like I have fed them something really evil.

I dont know how to reach a compromise and she seesm to be getting more extreme.

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