Relationships are all about compromise in every area of the home, which of course, includes the kitchen.
When two people decide to observe two distinctly different diets, it can be hard to compromise and coexist, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor LemonLopsided3498 was feeling slighted by their girlfriend, who had become fully vegan during their relationship.
When she refused to compromise in the kitchen, the Original Poster (OP) felt like they were the only one giving anything up.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my girlfriend that I will not stop using butter?”
The OP only ate locally and humanely sourced animal products.
“My girlfriend was a vegetarian when we started dating and is now completely vegan with no exceptions.”
“I am very meat conscious, and only eat it on holidays. I try to avoid animal products in general because of my girlfriend, but I personally have no problem with eating locally sourced/humane animal products, including meat.”
“I also eat eggs daily from my backyard chickens and butter for cooking.”
The OP and their girlfriend were struggling to continue sharing cooking duties.
“My girlfriend and I used to rotate cooking meals. My girlfriend now refuses to eat the meals I prepare because I use butter in most of my recipes.”
“I told her if she didn’t like what I made, she doesn’t have to eat it, but I feel like I compromised a lot in order to satisfy her lifestyle, and it’s not fair for her to expect me to make completely vegan meals.”
“She says I am not respecting her choice to be vegan. She says she can’t make me vegan, but the least I could do is prepare vegan meals.”
The OP felt slighted.
“I told her that I sacrificed eating lots of animal products I enjoy to respect her, while she hasn’t done anything for me, such as eating my dishes where the only animal product is butter.”
“I told her I am making meals with no meat, and no eggs, but I don’t like the vegan substitute for butter when I make my creamy dishes, such as pot pie (with fake chicken).”
“I am trying to accommodate but it feels like I’m the only one giving anything up.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some pointed out the OP was expecting their girlfriend not to be vegan anymore.
“The ‘compromise’ that OP suggests is that she eats butter. That’s not a compromise, it is expecting her to stop being vegan.” – MyNameYourMouth
“I don’t think there is anything wrong with him saying they should just cook separately. But from what he wrote, it sounds like he’s saying they share cooking responsibilities by switching off cooking and every time it’s his turn, he makes something he knows she won’t eat.”
“And then he tells her she should just eat it even though he already knows she won’t. That’s not sharing cooking responsibilities and that’s what makes him the AH.” – Successful_Zombie971
“If she had to cook for herself when it’s his turn, she would have to cook every day and him only 50% of the time. If he keeps on putting butter in ‘shared meals,’ she should just make enough for one person when it’s her turn and leave him hungry.”
“If he doesn’t live up to the deal to share the responsibility of cooking both should just cook separate meals all the time.”
“Him being ‘unable’ to cook without butter is similar to the weaponized incompetence of guys who just pretend they can’t cook at all. In the end, she will have to cook every day, because when it’s his turn he makes something she can’t eat.”
“Maybe OP hopes she gives up on the taking turns agreement and does all cooking in the future?” – nilda
“10000000% Insisting they share cooking duties and then insisting she eats his non-vegan food is ridiculous. What a petty hill to die on when there are so many vegan butter alternatives too.”
“I mean truly what is the difference between saying, ‘it’s just butter, one nonvegan thing!’ And ‘it’s just a steak, one nonvegan thing!'”
“It’s not vegan. Period. (And anyone who has looked into the dairy industry thoughtfully would find it is arguably worse than just the meat industry).” – SaltySeaBanshee
“If I understood correctly, she DOES make her own food. He said she is refusing to eat what he cooks. So she must be eating her own meals.”
“I think the conflict here is that they are no longer rotating cooking nights. He eats what she cooks, so he gets a break from cooking. Then he insists on putting butter when it’s his night, so she has to AGAIN cook her own food.”
“She thinks she could get a break from cooking if he would just not use butter. Use ‘I can’t believe it’s not Butter,’ or whatever. But he won’t, he insists on real butter. And she’s getting aggravated by that.” – BetterYellow6332
Others took issue with the OP’s girlfriend expecting meals to revolve around her diet.
“Is it not an AH move to share cooking duties and then choose to completely restrict your diet in a way that your partner doesn’t enjoy?”
“So now your partner has to cook meals that they don’t like just because the duties are split.”
“Really in these situations, the minute someone adopts a restrictive eating style they should rejig the division of labor because right now either OP doesn’t get to cook the food they enjoy or their partner doesn’t get to eat.”
“There’s not really any middle ground to be found there if they still want to share cooking duties.” – scpdavis
“This is a simple truth.”
“For me, anyone who pushes others to follow their own life choices be it religion, work ethics, or food is a hard no.”
“I have no problem with people wanting to be vegetarian or vegan. Their bodies so their choice.”
“However, I draw the line when someone goes from explaining why they made the changes to demanding that I now change to meet their new lifestyle.”
“OP should cook what they want to eat. If they want to make adjustments so their GF can also eat, that’s fine. Otherwise, OP and GF should cook their own meals so they can each enjoy them. And yes they should each then clean up after themselves. That is the actual compromise.” – 3Heathens_Mom
“NTA and I say that as a vegetarian (sometimes vegan) who is very accommodating of others and who cooks a lot.”
“If she feels that strongly, she can pick up more of the cooking.”
“Butter is a really amazing flavor, and it’s tough to substitute. (If you want to try, I recommend Trader Joe’s cultured European vegan butter, Mykonos vegan butter, or Earth Balance.) But you’re right, she can make her own food and just not eat what you make.” – WinnieTheBlueBear
“This is my vegan sister’s solution to living with her husband who feels very strongly about his steaks, they just cook separately. It’s not that hard, you just get leftovers for lunch or dinner later in the week.”
“OP’s GF is the AH for trying to make him vegan. She may say she’s not, but in practice, she is by trying to force him to make only vegan meals. She says OP isn’t respecting her choice, but she’s not respecting his choice to eat butter. You’re both adults who are capable of making your own food.” – AMagicalPlace
“Especially for baking, I think butter is needed. For cooking, I hate the butter taste. But that is my preference. And just because she decided to go vegan, why must he change his diet? He didn’t decide to be vegan?”
“It is always crazy when a partner chooses the lifestyle for the other, like, ‘Hey, I decided that we cook vegan!’ Nope, you want the change, you deal with how you get your food. NTA.” – EvilFinch
“For the record, NTA. I feel like you each should cook for yourselves. I have concerns regarding the sustainability of this relationship, given the vegan vs (almost) vegetarian seems to be at a stalemate. I think you both may have reached the point where neither of you is willing to concede further ground regarding dietary choices.” – AffectionateYoung300
“The problem with your girlfriend is she’s essentially weaseling you into being vegan. Sure, she can’t ‘make you a vegan,’ but she can whine about being considerate, she can make unsolicited ‘suggestions’ about how the meal could have been made more inclusive, etc, etc etc.”
“She can passively manipulate. At the end of the day, she’s effectively expecting you to be an ad hoc vegan so long as you’re with her. You might not officially be a vegan, but she expects you to cook with her in mind and therefore function as one.”
“You’re also not wrong for pointing out the one-sided nature of this situation where you have to make all the compromises, but when you suggest you won’t make anymore, she starts bellyaching about how you’re not fulfilling her needs. Never at any time acknowledging your own as valid.” – MundanePlanet
The subReddit was divided on what was happening in the kitchen in this relationship, with some in favor of veganism and others in favor of keeping things the way they were.
By continuing to cook with butter, the OP was encouraging their girlfriend to give up her veganism.
But by refusing any solutions besides “no butter,” the girlfriend was essentially requiring the OP to be vegan, too, whether or not that’s what they wanted.