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There are a number of factors that will affect how well a couple with
dietary differences get along:

1. Was there a change in the diet of either spouse after the wedding?

2. How strongly does the vegetarian hold his/her view? Does she/he regard it as a moral crusade or only as a personal preference? Is he/she revolted at the sight of meat?

3. How strongly does the non-vegetarian hold his/her view? Does she/he deeply resent it when a strong case is made for vegetarianism? Or does he/she respect the vegetarian position and perhaps even agree with it, but just feel unable to adopt that diet?

While the above factors should be considered, it is hoped that the
following suggestions will be helpful in most situations:


1. Recognize that the issues that you agree on are far greater than those on which you disagree;

2. Recognize that your spouse did not adopt her/his diet to hurt you or make life more complicated for you. Try to respect his/her decision, whether it is based on what she/he regards as great moral principles, on convenience, on conformity, or on habit.

3. You might both want to take advantage of the many increasingly available vegetarian substitutes for hot dogs, hamburgers, and other animal-based meals.

4. Try to be creative in experimenting with new dishes that do not
compromise your position.

5. Never attack your spouse’s point of view, especially in public.

6. Compensate for any friction related to dietary differences by stressing important areas of agreement.

7. Try to find restaurants where you can eat together, without either spouse feeling that her/his principles are being violated.


1. Play an active role in shopping and preparing meals. Try to show that vegetarian meals can look appealing and be tasty.

2. Invest in a few good cook books (see Bibliography) and try to come up with perhaps 7 or 8 easy recipes that you can both enjoy.

3. If you lack time for meal preparation, you might find valuable ideas and recipes in Meatless M deals for Working People - Quick and Easy Vegetarian Recipes by Debra Wasserman and Charles Stahler and Conveniently Vegan by Debra Wasserman (see the Bibliography).

4. Try to be a positive role model. Try to let your good health, cheerful attitude, and tolerance serve as a positive example of a vegetarian life.

5. Don't talk about your diet and the many benefits of vegetarianism unless your spouse is interested.

6. Use your improved health and vigor to be a better spouse.

7. If meat is not served in the house, be understanding if your spouse feels that he/she needs to eat meat outside sometimes.

8. If deemed appropriate, have vegetarian books and magazines around the house, so that your spouse may read them, and learn about the benefits and
other aspects of vegetarian diets.


1. Try to see the positive side of your spouse's diet. Recognize that she/he may be having a hard time defending his/her diet outside the home and that some support at home can be very helpful.

2. Don’t say "how much easier life could be if you could just throw a steak in the oven (or on the grill)".

3. Appreciate any improved health and increased vitality your mate has due to a vegetarian diet.

4. Recognize that if you eat vegetarian food you are not compromising any principle or belief, while your spouse would be doing so if she/he ate meat. Consider, for example, that all meals served by the Israeli military are kosher, even though many Israeli soldiers do not normally keep the kosher laws, so that nobody's beliefs will be violated. (Vegetarian food is also available for Israeli vegetarian soldiers.)

5. Try to find some good vegetarian recipes that you find convenient and enjoyable, and that you can share together.

In conclusion, recognize that, while eating is one of life's great pleasures, it is not all of life, so please don’t let any disagreements get in the way of your enjoying your life together.

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