Gastronomic Dilemma: Can a vegetarian and an omnivore strike a durable relation?

Vegetarian Sushi

Some time ago a friend asked me a thorny question:
“Is my relation with my new vegetarian boyfriend doomed because I’m an omnivore?”

My personal reply would be that there is little reason for her relation to fail. But I sometimes tend to be a bit too simplistic, so I thought this was a good opportunity to delve on an ever growing issue.
I do not pretend to know all the solutions/answers, and I would be honored if anyone could offer her/his opinions on that matter!

I think that the key is to be positive about this gastronomic divergence.
Instead of considering it a matter of contention, it should be taken as a chance to expand one’s horizons.
I know of many vegans who cook for their omnivore halves. The opposite should hold true.
As long as it is not a religious issue (I’m agnostic), I see it as a source of daily joy and contentment.

I also see it as household cooperation.
If you decide to live together, why not have one take care of all the food (and washing the dishes!), and the other take care of all the house chores regardless of his/her gender? You can’t start to imagine how much time you would have left to enjoy each other’s company!


Yasai Kushiyaki/Vegetables brochettes.

Having two different culinary priorities can become a lot of fun at parties:
You’re planning a BBQ? No problem!
Prepare two plates/grills over the same fire.
Hamburgers: meat ones on one side, tofu vegetables patties on the other one.
Yakitori/brochettes: meat ones one side, yasai kushiyaki/vegetables brochettes on the other.
Even vegetarian sausages exist!
You can always have two sets of sauces to make everyone happy!
And so on!
Even if your vegetarian half is strict, eating no eggs should not be much of a hindrance.
Use your imagination and ask around!
Tempura can be made without the egg white for example (use cornstarch)!

You are going to a restaurant?
In this case, try to find a restaurant which serves both cuisines.
Any good restaurant should be willing and able to tackle the challenge.
After all, one should go to a restaurant to learn and enjoy food. If you can make it at home, go to the market and spend a bit more money of your food. Remember that the more you pay on good food, the less you will pay a doctor!

As for restaurants, in my own city, Shizuoka, I know at least two French, one Italian, one Japanese, two izakaya and one sushi restaurant capable of devising a vegetarian meal in a pinch. And of course I do not include the vegetarian cuisine par excellence that Indian gastronomy is!
Even if you live in meat-eating Texas, there should not be a problem!

Do not forget that as an omnivore (which I am), you will have one day to reduce your meat consumption and eat more vegetables to hold in check your cholesterol, fat and blood pressure (come to Japan! LOL), whereas vegetarians will need to limit their sugar intake with all those cakes.

Great team work, no?

Looking forward to debating this (very tasty) issue!


Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

7 thoughts on “Gastronomic Dilemma: Can a vegetarian and an omnivore strike a durable relation?”

  1. My parents have been happily married for… well, I don’t know how long but it’s at least 35 years I think. My mother is a vegetarian, but my father not – to be honest, food has never been an issue for them. It’s just a question of understanding. If the vegetarian is “militant” and refuses to have meat in the house then it’s going to be an issue, but if it’s just a question of “hey, you eat meat, I don’t, no problem” then both people can get on very well.


  2. Being a vegetarian with a carnivorous boyfriend is no difficult task! When we choose someone to share our lives with, eating habits is just another characteristic we accept as part of love for one another.


  3. Very interesting post. I don’t have this problem, but as you say tolerance is the key to the happiness here. And of course if it’s for religious reasons, it might be much more complicated.
    Same for alcohol. Actually, no. I cannot imagine a non-drinking husband 😉 Drinking excellent wine without good, appreciating company would be soooo sad.


  4. She didn’t get to the top of the food chain to graze.! They’re doomed I say DOOMED:) Well maybe not. What would I know about it haven been Doomed…ah errr…married for a quarter century.


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