Traveler and married to meat eater


Oct 26, 2017
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  1. Vegan newbie
Hey guys,

This will be my millionth attempt at being vegan. Every time I try, I feel amazing inside and out; however, inevitably I go back again after traveling a bit into the world. It's easy to be vegan in the U.S. Travel is always my downfall and I will never stop traveling. My most recent downfall happened while taking a teaching job in Colombia. I was vegan for 1.5 years and then lived/worked in Cali, Colombia and met my husband. He is Colombian and very much a meat-eater. It was nearly impossible to live there or to eat food in his mother's house without eating meat. I caved, and now I've been eating meat regularly for the last 2 years. However, we're living in the U.S again and I have NO excuses to continue this behavior.

I am the kind of person that when traveling, if someone cooks me a meal, out of respect, whatever it is, I will eat it. Also, I love to cook, now my husband is SKINNIER than I am and claims to need meat. He loves when I cook him authentic Colombian food which invariably is made of meat. I am nervous about getting him the proper protein and vitamins he'll need, not because I think that animal proteins are better, but simply because I've not cooked a lot with many of the plant proteins that truly cover one's *** protein wise. I'm just nervous about all this. He's in the US Army now and he does so much PT that it's imperative if I'm going to eat vegan at home and cook vegan for him that I have enough vitamins for him and that he doesn't feel tired. I would love a link to SIMPLE and quick vegan recipes that include high plant-based protein if possible.

Ok, so my main question is, how does a vegan deal with being vegan if one's partner will not change? Also, how does one rationalize or not rationalize eating meat or staying vegan when traveling? I am here in the States for now, but we might get stationed overseas soon. This is a transitional time in our lives and I'm feeling the need to try vegan again. I wish/hope I can stay on track. I TRULY believe in all of the reasons a person should be vegan. I am disappointed in myself that I fall off the wagon when traveling because I hate to inconvenience people.
Eating away from home is always going to be a struggle for vegans in my opinion. If I were in your situation, I'd pack as much vegan ingredients as I could carry when traveling until I could find local sources for similar ingredients. This would take a lot of planning and probably entail a narrow number of specific meals at least in the beginning. Your husband is a more complicated issue. I believe that you only create resentment by forcing your lifestyle choices on someone else. At best, you might be able to slowly, over time, transition him to cooking his own food. That way, you aren't forcing him to adapt to your lifestyle and he isn't forcing you to take part in all that goes along with supporting the meat industry. This won't happen over night. Good luck citizen.

Thanks so much! He's willing to try vegan food and he actually likes it, but last time we did it, he lost 30 lbs in 3 weeks. He went down to 128 lbs. Really small for his height. So, if I do this and he's willing to eat some of the food, I need fast, easy, protein rich plant-based recipes I guess. I'm currently surfing the web looking of course and hopefully it won't be as overwhelming a task as it seems. I think he's open to change for sure, but I won't try and convince him otherwise. If he wants to eat meat, so be it. Certainly his decision. Thanks for the words of encouragement and advice.
Hi Citizenfootball ;)

Callador is a weight lifting fanatic and hence heavily into high protein foods. He is also a very helpful contributor on the forum. You couldn’t do better for a good start than looking up his past posts. Good luck.

I think warn in advance the people you will be travelling with or staying with of your preferences, search restaurants in advance, and so on.

Tell people that they don't need to make specialist foods for you, and you will just eat more of the salad and potatooes or whatever that goes with the meat. Hopefully they don't take you literally and will prepare foods for you over time, but it's more polite. Also, if they do take you literally, you can bring foods with you, offer to cook and so on.

Yes it's bad to offend people, but the ethical issues are more important. Keep up to date with the latest documentaries and research about animals and factory farming and this can help to strengthen your resolve, the truth really can set you free.
Yes it's bad to offend people, but the ethical issues are more important.

Couldn’t agree more.

I would suggest thinking about what might be on the fork or spoon and conjuring up a mental picture of the animal that died. If meat, the picture could be of a pig with a bolt being fired into its head. If milk, a calf that has become just veal. If egg, then one day old male chicks on a conveyor headed for the gas chamber.

To my mind the same suggestion applies to newbies with meat cravings (I have received mild rebukes on the forum for my views on this) and for food cravings in pregnancy.

And there was me determined to make a cheerful response! :)

I just did my first "trip" away from home after being whole food plant based for just over a year and it was to visit family.

It wasn't too difficult as I cooked for them all the first night - simple lentil, primavera pasta sauce, with a side salad and dressing made from raspberry jam and balsamic vinegar, and roasted garlic (in oven) mashed with a cooked sweet potato and spread on thick toasted and then broiled to heat up. I also made a quick hummus with some chips for an appetizer.

The next night they wanted to have a pizza party at my dad's care home and so I asked them just to order me a small pizza with sauce and veggies only and we all ate some of the leftover pasta and salad from the previous night.

The last night we were short on time so we just grabbed some veggie sushi from the grocery store. The other meals I had fruit and peanut butter on toast.

So my advice would be to increase the amount of food that you are feeding him, all the carbs he wants, like rice and beans with veggies, spiced as they would there. Lots of potatoes and vegetables with one of your side protein dishes. Sweet potatoes are great and have many nutrients. It is carbs that will fill him up and give him the nourishment he needs, 15% fats from whole foods, 15% protein and the rest carbs is how we eat and it is very satisfying.

Good luck with your choices!!

Emma JC
I live in Spain 6 months (in winter). I think South American food must have much in common with the Spanish diet (all meat and fish). Here vegetables are considered a garnish and almost nobody eats them! However Spain grows a wonderful variety of fruit and veg and it's all cheap. So it's not hard to be vegan at home in Spain. I do make some compromises when I am visiting friends. I will sometimes accept vegetarian food in a restaurant too. At home or in the UK I am 100% vegan.
Make sure you and your husband eat beans/lentils/garbanzos every day and add nuts, seeds and fruit to any dessert. Your husband could have a protein powder vegan milk shake once or twice a day too - the stuff that body builders use. Don't worry about vitamins when you're on a vegan diet, except for B12 perhaps.