Sabine (38) is a real one veggie lovers. She was a vegetarian for a while and for ethical reasons even tried to eat completely vegan for a while. Recently she has been together with Marc, a die-hard carnivore. At first she thought it was one deal breaker before their relationship. They have now found a way around it.
“More than five years ago I started cutting out meat and fish. I became increasingly aware of the impact on the climate and wanted to do my part. After all, a better environment starts with you. Now I always was fond of vegetablesso I didn’t find it difficult to cook vegetarian.
I found out that many of my favorite dishes were just as tasty without that piece of meat or fish and got more and more pleasure in cooking. Ottolenghi became my best friend and I played the best plant-based dishes together and it didn’t even have to be complicated. I could (and still can!) enjoy even simple oven vegetables. I never thought I would end up with a carnivore.
From pescatarian to flexitarian
In corona time I slowly started eating fish once in a while. I had moved to Curaçao and saw that the fish there practically jumped from the sea onto your plate. It didn’t get fresher than that. And it was not very harmful to the climate either, because there was no large industry attached to it. The local fishermen personally delivered their catch to the restaurant each morning. Thus I became a pescatarian.
A little later I found out that there was also a chicken farm on the island and I also started eating chicken once in a while. My diet still existed before eighty percent from products with a vegetable source, but I could no longer call myself a vegetarian or a pescatarian. I became a flexitarian.
Nevertheless, I was still aware of the meat industry and did my best to reduce my carbon footprint in other areas as well. I separated my waste, planted trees, took the train whenever possible and didn’t buy clothes for a year.
Dating a carnivore
When I met Marc, on the first date he told me that he only meat at. I responded with: ‘That can’t be right?! Only meat?’. But then he explained that he animal based at. So mainly meat, fish and organs. My mouth fell open. “But what do you eat for breakfast?” I asked surprised. ‘Eggs.’ was the answer. “And sometimes raw dairy.”
I could not believe my ears. That there were people who could eat like that. And those people were nice too! After two drinks we were hungry and decided to order food. When he took all the flesh of his’mixed platter‘ had eaten, he was done eating. He literally just left all the vegetables and fries!
Once home I was totally confused. We had such a good time, but that someone only ate animal food was so strange to me and it went against my principles. I was no longer a vegetarian by then, but this was a while the other extreme. There really was a moment where I thought, ‘I can’t do this. I can’t be with someone who eats that much meat.’
Local, grass-fed meat
A week passed and the app contact remained very nice. Marc insisted on a second date and I decided to give him another chance. It was perhaps a bit strange and his diet did not really fit my vision of the world’s problems, but it doesn’t define him as a person. He was really nice and sweet.
I resolved to question him a little more on the second date—something I hadn’t dared on our first meeting. Thus I found out that he, in his way, also a real foodie is like a carnivore. He eats always organic, looks for the purest products and only eats local, grass-fed meat. You can’t even buy that in the supermarket.
Much purer and healthier
He taught me that “ordinary” meat is full of growth hormones, antibiotics, fragrances, colors and flavors. Even the organic meat from the supermarket means very little your health, your taste experience and your ecological footprint. It mainly has an impact on your wallet.
The animals may be fed organically grown grains, corn and soy and perhaps some extra time outdoors, but grass-fed meat is much purer and healthier. It has potential more nutrients making it much more nutritious and therefore healthier. In addition, grass-eating cows play a prominent role in the ecological cycle of pastures.
He has now convinced me that – if you use the right products – you can eat animal products. Now we sit still not aligned, because I simply find vegetables much tastier than meat, but that is not necessary at all. It’s about mutual respect for each other’s choices. And there is.
Of course I sometimes regret that we can’t enjoy the same food together and that I make him, a true carnivore, less happy with an extensive Ottolenghi dinner. But love doesn’t always go through the stomach. And I still see it as a challenge to cook extra tasty meals for him, without meat.”
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Sustainable dilemma: “Help, my boyfriend is a carnivore”