Married to a Vegan

Posted on August 24, 2011


I grew up in Ohio and Illinois, where if there is not meat on the plate it isn’t really a meal.  I come from an extended family that likes a good steak; the more meat you can pack away the more of a man you are. In high school I would have been likely to wear one of those shirts that says ‘save a cow…eat a vegan.’

The point is that I am not exactly a likely candidate to suffer the loss of meat lightly, but I don’t eat it much anymore.  I get more excited about lots of vegetables and fruit than a nicely cooked chicken these days.

This was a process of learning to like new foods began in college by going to China Town in south Chicago and to Devon St. for Indian cuisine.  It was a shock to learn that not every one in the world had meat on their table at every meal.  I began to view it as a luxury of the west. I was, however, quite happy to have that luxury.

I became good friends with a vegetarian and learned that food without meat can be quite tasty. I continued my belief that cheese was undervalued and deserved its own place on the food pyramid.

Years later as my mind and tastes matured I got married to a woman who is an exceptional cook. Being frugal we quickly realized meat is expensive and we thought and willingly became ‘flexatarians.’ We would talk about how being a vegetarian was not too bad, but a vegan, no thank you. I want my cheese and my butter (butter is another word for love you know).

Then comes our diagnosis. I won’t re-hash those details here, but there was a need for Clarissa to change her diet.  It was not practical or feasible to buy food for two different palettes. I saw meat, and more importantly cheese, slipping away from me. I did only what I think any loving husband would do. I changed. Cheese went away, and meat was long gone. Except for fish and egg whites no animal products allowed. (I realize this is not strictly vegan, but the rational is complicated.)

I can still have meat and dairy. If I go out with the guys I eat pizza, and not long after I feel a bit of regret as that heavy greasy feeling settles in my stomach. I miss it less and less. I am not impressed by men linking their manhood to how much meat, cheese, and potato chips they can pack away. Now I just have to work on not judging them because they don’t know the freedom that a mostly plant-based diet brings.

I am very thankful that God gave Clarissa a love for cooking, other wise this might be a far more unpleasant process. I have included some pictures of her delectable food; you can see more on her blogs. Know that it tastes even better than it looks.

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