April 10, 2011 in Features

Carolyn Hax: Vegan husband now eating meat

Washington Post
 

Dear Carolyn: When my (now) hubby and I got together, we were both ethical vegans. Recently, he decided he was “going back” to meat and has done so to an extreme. Over the years we’ve had countless heartfelt discussions about why we don’t eat animals – the cruelty of factory farming and the moral imperatives – and now I feel duped.

He is not working, so it’s “my” money going to purchase a “product” I find truly abhorrent. How can someone I love not see the cruelty that was once so obvious to both of us – and still is to me? Do principles trump love? – Anonymous

I can’t tell you what he’s thinking, nor can I decide for you where you need to stand. I can point out, though, that for all your reverence for animals, you’re not showing much respect for the mammal you married. With my emphasis added, I’m going to give your words back to you: “How can someone I love not see the cruelty?” Your love determines how someone else thinks?

I appreciate your passion and sympathize with your predicament but you need to take a couple of rhetorical steps back to your side of the personal responsibility line. He is entitled to his own principles.

Your job now is to see whether you’re willing to do the hard work and look for ways you can trust and respect someone who differs with you.

Before you go in, I suggest you think carefully about “mine” vs. “ours” when it comes to money, because you could have an even more painful argument on your hands.

Dear Carolyn: My daughter and her boyfriend recently became engaged. I like the man, they treat each other well, they seem compatible and have similar values.

Now for the not so good. We (daughter, fiance, husband, I, friends) live in the South. The rest of both families live in the Northeast. The grandparents on both sides would have difficulty traveling. We agree that a wedding in the Northeast is best. The fiance has a large family; ours is small. Our family lives in a rural area; his in an urban one. My daughter’s concern is that her friends will not be able to come as readily to the rural area.

Now, instead of a summer wedding, it’s a winter wedding because the venue in the urban area is cheaper then.

Bottom line – I feel, perhaps unjustly, this wedding has been hijacked by his family! If I felt this was my daughter’s great and abiding wish, no problem! But she cries every time we discuss it, and claims she just wants everyone to be happy!

But I also admit – I do want the wedding to be, at least a little, what I want. I am also concerned it will cost more than any of us really needs to spend. – Wedding bell blues

You’ve stomped your foot and pouted here, in the safety of anonymity, and that’s good – you needed to admit those feelings.

Now, bury them.

Your daughter’s priorities are sound; she chose a good man and she’s opting for inclusion at every turn. I hope you’re proud of her, and say so – because I think you need to hear yourself say it just as much as she needs to hear it from you.

Next, set a budget, and notify the relevant people that you need to stick to it.

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ carolyn.hax or chat with her online at 9 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.


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