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Dilemma: my husband wants to become vegetarian

Jo Brand / 14 February 2017 ( 05 September 2019 )

Jo Brand hears from a reader whose husband has decided he wants to be vegetarian, although he does not do any of the cooking.

Husband chopping vegetables
A reader's husband has decided he wants to be vegetarian

Dilemma: my husband wants to be vegetarian

My husband suddenly wants to turn vegetarian but I don't – and I'm the one who cooks. 

How can I dissuade him?

Where to find the best vegetarian food in London

Jo Brand's advice

I think dissuading someone to renounce a principle is a tricky one. It means you’re saying that you do not respect his ideals. Just saying, ‘Ooh, isn’t a bacon sarnie lovely, dear?’ will probably not do it, although I do believe it has worked in some cases.

However, I suggest that if it is indeed his dearest wish to become vegetarian then he actually puts some work into it himself. 

Just because he’s never cooked, why should he not, now that he wants different food, start exploring the possibilities available to him? 

He can go down the route of substituting the meat in the meal for something else like veggie sausage rolls or soya mince, or learn to cook the wealth of vegetarian dishes there are online. He might even enjoy it.

I wish you luck whether you welcome back the carnivore in a few weeks, or eventually find yourself with a happy man full of beans…literally.

Saga readers say...

'It's really not difficult. Cook the same meals as before but swap his meat for a meat substitute item. There is plenty of choice in any supermarket. Give them a try yourself. You might like it too as an alternative now and again. If he wants anything more sophisticated go to a veggie restaurant.' G Anne, via Facebook

'Veggie curry, veggie chilli con carne, veggie cottage pie, veggie moussaka, stir fry, veggie lasagne, veggie pasta bake, veggie risotto halloumi burgers, veggie quiche etc etc it’s really simple. We do not need meat and fish.' Wendy, via Facebook

'Not happy with what is being cooked for you? Do it yourself .' Janette, via Facebook

'I can only assume everyone saying he should eat what he’s given has no imagination whatsoever or can’t cook. I cook for meat eaters, veggies and vegans, it’s really not that difficult and we should all be eating less meat anyway.' Lily, via Facebook

'Buy him cooking lessons for birthday/Christmas gift. Never too old to learn.' Diane, via Facebook

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.